I'm looking for a cheap 1.2k hmi, I know of cool lights whatelse is around ?
I'm looking for a cheap 1.2k hmi, I know of cool lights whatelse is around ?
I think Richard Andewski's "Cool Lights" brand is manufactured offshore. He apparently stands by what he sells and is accessable. He may already visit here, otherwise he posts from time to time over on dvnfo.net. I myself have a "Steven Studio" 1.2K HMI. This is an ARRI style emulation, sold also by several other Chinese vendors. There are two styles of electronic ballasts sold with the lights as a kit by different vendors. There is a more expensive ARRI style emulation which is power factor corrected. This ballast appears to be passively cooled by a thermal conductive path to the casework. There is a cheaper sheetmetal clad electronic ballast, which appears to be fan cooled.
Thus far, the only issue I have had with the light was shipping damage which I fixed and the power frequency knob on the ballast unit working loose. Unlike the genuine ARRI, my light did not come with a Hobbs meter, so unless you keep an accurate duty record, you could go overtime on the globes and maybe do damage. If you buy via Richard, you will probably have assurance of compliance with US and Canada power regulations and safety requirements.
Lights from other vendors will likely come with a blue two-pin heavyduty style plug which may have to be changed for compliance with your local mains power system. Prior to using the lights, it would be wise to have a local electrician check them for correct connection, earth continuity and standards compliance. Directly imported chinese lights from an offshore vendor may not be accompanied by a handbook of operating instructions. By the time you have spent on undertaking checks and assuring standards compliance and safety, the cost difference between buying via a local vendor and yourself directly importing might no longer be so great.
For what it is worth, here is a link to a post I put up at dvinfo.net a while back about the lamp I bought. I am neither a lighting professional, nor electrician, so the notes should be challenged by your own researches and due diligence. I took the attitude in posting that some cautious advice is better than no advice at all as there are some who will just buy in a light and with blind faith, plug in, switch on and go for it.
Thanks bob. Great post. From the dv info net post I see your also down under. I'll keep looking, perhaps a used arri will come up on eBay.
Coollights make nice products, also Richard is a nice guy and stands behind his kit.
We fit our 150WCDM fixtures with Iwasaki bulbs which render really nice light.
If you are in Australia then it might be a different situation with Cool Lights unless Richard offers product support into Australia. You might still have to get a local electrician, preferably one experienced in production lighting to go over your lamp to check its safety and compliance. Enquire with the Richard to see if there is an Australian rep.
If you buy in a used genuine ARRI from offshore via eBay, you also should call in your local electrician
There is an unlisted range of gear offered from the Steven Studio vendor. Stuff I have bought in from there has been :-
650watt fresnels. One fresnel lens glass out of three lamps bought cracked after about five hours of service. The lens glass was replaced by the vendor. One tilt thumbscrew broken in heavy fall over. Black plastic knob on thumbscrew appears to be thermoset resin, cast over an industrial screw. It had cracked off from around the screwhead.
2K fresnel. Spot-wide focus knobs injured by heat from being aimed at ceiling and fall during removal from box on location. Temporarily replaced with domestic stoveknobs. Lamp is otherwise good.
500 LED dimmable panel. Available by order as daylight or tungsten, not colour temp adjustable. Available by order with AB or Sony V-mount on back, 4-pin XLR or mains plugpack 12V power. Gavan O'Sullivan, cinematographer and DoP over here tested it with his colour temperature meter and suggests a 1/4 CTO gel could live with it permanently, otherwise it is a good light. The dimming knob on the back looks like it or the controller it is attached to, could be vulnerable to injury as there is no guard around it. It goes onto a normal redhead stand.
The lightweight redhead style stands I bought with the 650watt fresnels, whilst fine in my hands over 7 jobs were loaned and came back with ruined columns from overtightening, friction pieces bending and then dropping out, allowing the bare ends of thumbscrews to punch into the columns. The sections have rubber ends in them as semi-seals for aircushioning and coil springs for some degree of shock absorption when lowered. Abusive handling caused over-extention of sections with one coming out. I don't think they would last long as a rental kit.
The heavy aluminium stand for the 2K tungsten fresnel and 1.2K HMI is of good build quality, robust and so far has not failed. The telescopically adjustable third leg stay thumbscrew needs to be carefully managed when transported as it could be sheared off if the stand is carelessly thrown or slid into a worktruck in amongst other gear.
Over time, the thumbscrew threads cut into aluminium castings might eventually need helicoils if they are habitually overtightened but so far have been fine. The hole to receive the spigot on bottom of the lights is a taper, not cylindrical like an ARRI stand. I think the manufacturer has made innovation on the traditional design for quick setup with the taper to prevent the lamp spigot spinning free in the top of the column. The traditional thumbscrews are still fitted. There is one lower extra threaded hole for a bolt or thumbscrew to be used as an end-stop to prevent the spigot from locating deep into the taper and locking. The upper thumbscrew engages in the spigot channel to prevent the lamp from being inadvertently lifted out and to lock it from turning. IN this arrangement the spigot sits higher in the stand than with a genuine ARRI stand.
This vendor also offers unlisted C-stands which are also of robust build quality.
There are also available 240watt batteries in either Sony V-mount or AB-mount styles. I use them on a SI2K P+S Technik camera-recorder, which is fairly heavy on batteries. The batteries are unbranded and are in a similar style to the blue third party batteries used on ENG cameras. They have a D-tap socket on the side for a travel charger to plug into and a five-bar LED charge indicator. These may be usable on the RED camera family but may present similar issues to the GMP batteries which appear superficially similar.
My observation has been that the AB-style batteries seem to not talk to or accept charge from the AB Titan switching supply/smart charger I also use on the camera-recorder. They will suppply power to the camera through the Titan unit and the it will switch out the battery when mains power is present.
Steven Fu advises that the battery cells are sourced from Japan, the enclosures made and the final assembly completed in China. As I try to be conservative with my camera batteries, I have not deep-cycled them, so cannot assure how they stand up to journeyman use/abuse.
Discussion on other threads has included several contentions that a genuine used ARRI light will remain serviceable for as long if not longer than a new Chinese clone version because of better build quality to an evolved and proven design, not an emulation of one. That is worth thinking about along with product support from local representatives. However most used items, especially ex-rentals can have an uncertain history, so it could go both ways. Over here in the west, we seem to be increasingly a branch office economy with inventory and support having to be called in from the east for many commodities. There is thus less incentive for us to buy in the genuine article. Either way, if it breaks, we are stuck with fixing it ourselves or shipping it back out for repair. We do have good rental vendors though.
Steven Studio is one of the Chinese vendors on eBay. Shipping is generally by EMS. Some vendors offer shipping included, others don't. The prices seem to shake down to the same general ballpark once shipping is factored in.
That was probably a little more info than you need but there it is.
Last edited by Robert Hart; 07-02-2012 at 11:44 AM.
buy used in the US. I have a DN Labs 1200W par, mag ballast. And a Desisti 2.5k fresnel with an old light maker E ballast. Each system was right around $1500. BTW DN Labs lights are made exceptionally well. i am a long time Mole fan and they are built even better. i got an old LTM 12k and mag ballast for $2500 including ship.
One sometimes wishes to be living in the US where great deals like yours can be had because of the sheer population of used or redundent gear. I am in favour of keeping older tech going. Sometimes older generation hardware can be more easily repaired as some parts are easier to remake or adapt, sometimes not.
I imported an old 12K Desisti HMI from over there plus a Lightmaker ballast for a good eBay price from Visual Products. By the time it landed here and I settled customs, GST etc., the cost had gone up about another 50%. The tyranny of distance and shipping costs for heavy items rules us out here across the ditch for most of these good deals.
I wonder how far and how powerful the innovators are going to be able to push LED lighting tech.
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