Thread: ARRI HMI fresnel vs M-series

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  1. #1 ARRI HMI fresnel vs M-series 
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    Hi all,
    I'm looking to expand my lighting collection with an 1.2k-class light. I currently have an ARRI 1.2k PAR and I've been looking at getting either a 1.2k fresnel (such as the compact) or the new M8 (which is about twice the price). M8 has a lot of nice features that seems to be a nice in-between for the PAR and fresnel, but have others worked with it? How's the light quality? I'm looking to be able to simulate moonlight so having a hard shadow is a plus.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2  
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    I am a bit old school, but here are my thoughts.

    Fresnels are hard to beat. Good ones have a wide smooth beam, it is easily cut and controlled, and you can use it as is as a hard source without hot spots and weird patterns. It makes the most sunlight like shadows.

    Back when film was shot, and digital cameras were slow, pars came into more popularity because they had more punch, which was handy if you were going to shoot it through a frame, or a 6x or 12x. You definitely get more punch from a par through a frame. However, if you like shooting a big HMI through a window to be the sun, a par does a lousy job. A fresnel is much better. If you are going big soft source, sure go pars through something, but if you are looking for hard light, you can't beat a fresnel.

    My feeling is, when you need a fresnel, nothing else will do.

    Nick
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  3. #3  
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    Thank you for the advice, Nick! It sounds like the fresnel is the way to go.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Ulf Krentz's Avatar
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    What Nick said. I would go so far to say a fesnel is also much better when going through a frame. Its light fall off is very specific. Be prepared to have SIGNIFICANT less light output than from a PAR or M series. You may check Arris lighting calculator to get an idea: http://calc.arri.de/calculator
    While everybody loves the M series for convenience I still prefer the Arrisun (PAR), unfortunately Arri is phasing them out, the M8 is not available as PAR.
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