Jump to content


Photo

To PAR or to fresnel, that's the question!


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 May 2007 - 04:49 AM

Hi folks,

for a prospect upcoming show that spans the whole summer I might buy a couple (3-4) of 1200 HMIs. On this show I'll use 2 to light a green screen and 1-2 to light people in front of the screen. The two lights for the talent will be diffused by 2 4x4 frames with 216, so I don't really need a special quality of light for that.
But, keeping other general stuff in mind, what more versatile? I guess that'd be the PAR. But what's more widely used? The fresnel? And the resale value?
Thanks for your input!

Cheers, Dave
  • 0




#2 James Brown

James Brown
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 235 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 10 May 2007 - 06:21 AM

Hi,

Smaller wattage Fresnel's are not anywhere near as common anymore, therefor they are cheap to get second hand and are a good quality versatile light, but, a lot of them are NOT flicker free. Par's are the way to go, if you want a lot of punch out of a small unit, It's always better to have more light and take it away then not enough.

If i can put a suggestion in i would say to mix your lighting expenditure up with a HMI, Tungsten and some Kino. I would find it very hard to light talent and a blue screen with 1.2's only! but then again you probably have it sorted.

Couple of Blondies, pup's, 650's, a 1.2, a four foot four banka, wallo'light 2 foot 2banka, china balls, par cans ect would be (roughly) the same price as 4 1.2's.

James.
  • 0

#3 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 10 May 2007 - 10:37 PM

Hi,

Smaller wattage Fresnel's are not anywhere near as common anymore, therefor they are cheap to get second hand and are a good quality versatile light, but, a lot of them are NOT flicker free. Par's are the way to go, if you want a lot of punch out of a small unit, It's always better to have more light and take it away then not enough.

If i can put a suggestion in i would say to mix your lighting expenditure up with a HMI, Tungsten and some Kino. I would find it very hard to light talent and a blue screen with 1.2's only! but then again you probably have it sorted.

Couple of Blondies, pup's, 650's, a 1.2, a four foot four banka, wallo'light 2 foot 2banka, china balls, par cans ect would be (roughly) the same price as 4 1.2's.

James.


I agree. Pars are horrible for lighting greenscreens, and you'll get more usage down the line with an assortment of units like the ones mentioned above.

But if you're firm on buying some 1.2 HMI's, pars are the most common (and therefore easy to rent out or sell).
  • 0

#4 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:51 AM

Hi folks!

Thanks for your input. I should have been more clear. The HMI will be used for this project for a number of reasons. First of all, the whole will be a mobile green screen. Secondly, I'll be shooting in a tent, so I need the punch and daylight balance.

And they'll supplement what I already have (2 x 650W Arri fresnels, 1 Arrilite 800 open with face w/ Chimera) and will get quite soon (Dedo kit, 2 DIY 4' 4-banks).

So for me then main question remains whether to get 4 identical HMI 1200 fresnels, what is cheapest with conventional ballasts. Or should I get 2 PARs and 2 fresnels, which is more expensive...

Best regards, Dave
  • 0

#5 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 11:26 PM

What everyone is saying more or les is that the PARs don't have the spread to be even slightly useful for lighting a green screen. You would need to heavily diffuse them.

I would be especially leery of buying any HMIs as they are extremely expensive and require a good deal of maintenance.

A $5500 HMI rents for $180 a week. Do the math and then see if it pays off.

That said, I have long spoken against buying equipment but I also recently bought 10 PAR cans (tungsten) and have been able to keep them working pretty well so far. They are low on maintenance and cheap, and that is what I would look for in gear I needed to own.

Kevin Zanit
  • 0

#6 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 May 2007 - 10:46 AM

Thanks, Kevin. Seems like to project just died. We'll see, maybe we can revive it, but I doubt that.

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#7 Matt Workman

Matt Workman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 14 May 2007 - 06:02 PM

I own two HMI fresnels. 575w and 1200w. They are great and I've made money with them BUT THEY ARE SO ANNOYING. My 1200w ballast has been back in the shop constantly and it needs to go back before my next feature.

They are pretty rugged Lee HMI's w/ electronic ballasts from VP, most likely sold from an old Panavision auction. HMI bulbs turn green and aren't cheap. Also packing HMI's for travel requires more thought than with tungsten heads. For bigger HMI's we take the bulbs out if its going to be really rough. I need to take better care of them :huh:

I've used ther 1200 PARs and Fresnels. For a hard rim light or a strong spot light feel the PAR is the best. The Fresnel is nicer for an even spread. Though some PARs come with a nice set of lenses, including a fresnel lens.

My 2 cents.

Cheers,

Matt :ph34r:
  • 0

#8 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1539 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:44 AM

Matt, what is the brand(s) of the ballast? Are they magnetic or electronic? What problems have been identified and repaired?

JD
  • 0

#9 william koon

william koon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Student

Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:18 AM

What everyone is saying more or les is that the PARs don't have the spread to be even slightly useful for lighting a green screen. You would need to heavily diffuse them.

I would be especially leery of buying any HMIs as they are extremely expensive and require a good deal of maintenance.

A $5500 HMI rents for $180 a week. Do the math and then see if it pays off.

That said, I have long spoken against buying equipment but I also recently bought 10 PAR cans (tungsten) and have been able to keep them working pretty well so far. They are low on maintenance and cheap, and that is what I would look for in gear I needed to own.

Kevin Zanit

Dear Kevin,
I am interested in your par lights you bought. Wonder if you can post pictures of your lights. thanks
  • 0

#10 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 17 May 2007 - 03:49 PM

Um, they are just PAR64 cans. Simple and cheap but a lot of light for the money.

Posted Image
  • 0

#11 william koon

william koon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Student

Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:21 AM

Um, they are just PAR64 cans. Simple and cheap but a lot of light for the money.

Posted Image

KZ, thank you for your trouble to post me the pictures. I appreciate it. regards
  • 0

#12 John Thomas

John Thomas
  • Sustaining Members
  • 116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Akron, Ohio USA

Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:57 AM

That said, I have long spoken against buying equipment but I also recently bought 10 PAR cans (tungsten) and have been able to keep them working pretty well so far. They are low on maintenance and cheap, and that is what I would look for in gear I needed to own.

Kevin Zanit



You can do a lot of damage with 10 par cans. With pars and kinos you can rule the world.
  • 0

#13 Patrick Neary

Patrick Neary
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Portland, OR

Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:29 AM

You can do a lot of damage with 10 par cans. With pars and kinos you can rule the world.


Ha- you said it!

With the exception of a couple lightning strikes units and a 2k baby, I lit this entire piece with par cans and nsp/vnsp lamps:

http://www.mtoproduc...s/toughman.html
  • 0

#14 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 18 May 2007 - 01:07 PM

Not a problem, that picture doesn't show the lights with their "bale blocks" (or TVMP adapter) that allows you to put the light on a stand btw.

The entire reason I bought them was I realized that on EVERY job I do I always seem to have at least 2 and more typically 6 to 8. They are great for night exteriors.

They are real easy for me to keep working. The very last job I did I had a rental for 2 and brought on 4 just to have as stand by (and bill them if it the other 2 were used), and the job before that I had all 10 on.

par1.jpg
par2.jpg

Kevin Zanit
  • 0

#15 Matt Workman

Matt Workman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:11 PM

My HMI's are Lee. They are electronic ballast. I suspect they have problems because I keep feeding them crappy power. Low-budget, what can I say. I've had the power kicked out and the outlet blown many times and I think the ballast has had it. If production could afford a reliable generator then I wouldn't have to use my own HMI's.

Kevin - The PARs look really great. I used them a lot for theater but I've never used them on a movie set. For some reason I always want to see Arri or Mole, but I guess there isn't a reason why these wouldn't do the trick. LOL I love the KZ on them. I was thinking of spray painting my name on my pelican cases.

You have changed how I have been thinking about light packages. Thanks.

Cheers,

Matt :ph34r:
  • 0

#16 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:21 AM

Um, they are just PAR64 cans. Simple and cheap but a lot of light for the money.


Hi Kevin,
seeing that you and a whole bunch of other cinematographers use PAR cans I decided to get some as well. I was really surprised to see how cheap they actually are. So what kind of reflector do you have in yours? The full range? Most I found on the web come with a NSP or VNSP.
How do you attach them to stands? The ones available here over online-stores and ebay all come with the bar to hang them from stage trusses. Do you get some Manfrotto/Bogen female 16mm adapters?
Does it make sense to get a number of 64 short and long? And are the smaller cans such as the 36 as useful? Thanks for your time! And please bear with my questions! :D

Best regards, Dave
  • 0

#17 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:39 AM

The reflector is built into the globe (as is the lens). The ones I keep in the lights are MFLs (medium flood), but I usually rent spare globes in the different types (VNSP, etc.). At around $20 each, I didn't want to buy every type of globe, as they are a $2 a day rental or something like that.

They are fairly cheap (though to get a complete unit with the can, globe, bale block, gel frame, safety hanger can all add up quick).

Also, most of the ones online are aluminum cans that are not very durable. The ones most rental houses carry are older steel ones. I own a few steel cans, but most of mine are aluminum. My crew knows I'll kick their asses if they break my lights, so no problems yet :P

To attach the lights to stands you need what?s called a "bale block" or TVMP adapter. I bought Avenger ones for mine:
http://www.bhphotovi...nd_Adapter.html

Kevin Zanit
  • 0

#18 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:51 AM

The reflector is built into the globe (as is the lens) [[snip]]
To attach the lights to stands you need what’s called a "bale block" or TVMP adapter. [[snip]]


Thanks for the quick reply, Kevin. The ones offered here are all aluminum ones. I guess I'll have to adopt your policy on crews' asses. :D
I know that the whole point of a PAR is the sealed unit, but I also see reflectors and lamps sold separately. The company seems to be called Raylight. Check this out: http://www.amazon.co...R/dp/B0002ZPKV2

Do you find any use for smaller cans? So far, the only one I see used for film lighting is the PAR64.
As for the adapters, yep, that's what I figured. Thanks.

Cheers, Dave

Edited by David Auner, 28 May 2007 - 02:55 AM.

  • 0

#19 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 28 May 2007 - 03:03 AM

The ones you are talking about are under 1k, I think all the 1k globes are sealed units.

I've never worked much with small than PAR64s, though my old gaffer had a thing he called a "mini par", it was one of the really small sized PAR cans that he would just throw in the electric set crate.

Kevin Zanit
  • 0

#20 Tim Terner

Tim Terner
  • Sustaining Members
  • 340 posts
  • Producer
  • Prague, CZ

Posted 28 May 2007 - 03:37 AM

These new mini pars look quite useful for certain applications

http://www.spotlight...ult_en.asp?ID=3

http://www.cinemills.com/led.php
  • 0


Quantum Music Works

Zylight

Willys Widgets

Pro 8mm

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

CineTape

Glidecam

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Quantum Music Works

Glidecam

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Pro 8mm

CineLab

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Zylight

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC