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Carbon Arcs


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#1 Olivier Koos

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 07:10 AM

Why are Carbon Arcs out of fashion? They are on, without stabilizing time. They have such a nice light-quality. I could imagine that they can be computerised so that a light-operator would not be needed.
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 09:37 AM

Why are Carbon Arcs out of fashion? They are on, without stabilizing time. They have such a nice light-quality. I could imagine that they can be computerised so that a light-operator would not be needed.


I used to be an Arc Angel... and Arcs will always need an operator not a computer. They are out of style because they belch smoke, are VERY heavy and take a lot of attention to use them correctly. They can still be found on Backlots as they are very durable and weather proof. I remember my first time on the Disney Lot and the Gaffer told me to "go get an Arc"... I asked "where"?.. he said "just walk around, you'll find one". I did. Two blocks away! I dragged it to the Set. He said "fire it up". I asked "where do I get power... where's the generator?".. he said "at each street corner there are DC tie ins". There were! When we were done with the shot ( for Lethal Weapon 3) we just left the Arc where it was (after coiling the cable of course).

Here's a snap from way back when.. over 23 years ago! Running an Arc outside the door of a Stage shining into the Set. It was an 8 day Steve Miller Music Video shoot. Amir Mokri was the DP, Bob Gantz was the Gaffer, Tom Voelpel was the Best Boy , I was running two Arcs. We were shooting 35mm B&W while he was recording an album/ it was pre cd.. I don't know (what) you would call it.. album I guess. Sheeesh check out the beard. No wonder I wasn't getting any dates at that time :lol:

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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:10 AM

Well, they can be automated - projector arcs were. I've used one.

P
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 07:46 PM

P-

Olivier is obviously talking about Set Lighting and in Set Lighting computerized Arcs will never happen.... for obvious reasons.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 01:22 AM

The problem is carbons. They're not just carbon, they also require some rare earth elements that came from parts of Southeast Asia. Places we don't do business with any more, going back to the 1970's. So, as people ran out of old stock carbons, they took out carbon projection lamp houses, and retired the brutes and titans. The last carbon projection I remember was the VistaVision machine upstairs in the WC Fields building at Paramount. They changed it out before Bob Miller retired, which I guess is over 5 years ago now.

Of course, they probably also have a substantial environmental "carbon footprint" too.




-- J.S.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:31 AM

HMI's help to kill arcs. Also you would need to put a man on each one when shooting. that's extra salary for cheap producers and production managers.

best

Tim
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#7 David Rakoczy

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:38 AM

I have ran as many as three at a time.... usually just two.
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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:51 AM

Check out this: http://www.schutzcar...arc_carbon.html
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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 12:10 PM

To run three at once you really have to have the Continuos Trim Method down i.e. jamming a Positive Rod in there the perfect depth without shutting it down and having to re-strike. That's fun! :huh: Of course when the Negative Rod needs to be replaced you have to shut them down and open the oven... Ouch, that's Hot!
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:41 PM

Check out this: http://www.schutzcar...arc_carbon.html


Does that mean we can actually get cabons, now?

Scheme, scheme.
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 02:09 AM

Check out this: http://www.schutzcar...arc_carbon.html


Interesting -- Any guess whether they're any good? The Paramount guys had old stock from National, and the various new sources they tried didn't give them adequate stability.




-- J.S.
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#12 Henri Titchen

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 05:01 AM

Double Eagle is another commonly used brand of carbons, they are used in lamp houses of cinema projectors.

http://www.jackroeus...ma-carbons.html

Cheers,
H.
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#13 Marc Roessler

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:21 PM

Carbon arcs are fun, but they are also dirty, smelly, power hungry and maintenance intensive. And let's not forget, many carbon arc fixtures also contain massive amounts of asbestos.

I've been collecting film projectors for some years, and thus also got some carbon arc lamp houses and a few boxes of HI carbon/copper rods. The carbons are fun to use (fun as in "driving a go-kart")... and also somewhat fascinating with that raw, untamed power that always somewhat reminds of the old time when "steam engines still ruled the earth"...
Just be careful, they produce loads and loads of UV! I once catched a sunburn on my hand: just had toyed around with some HI carbons and an electric arc welder power supply for a few minutes...

But you gotta admit, carbon arcs have style... :lol:

Edited by Marc Roessler, 22 December 2009 - 03:22 PM.

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#14 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:19 PM

Does that mean we can actually get cabons, now?

Scheme, scheme.

You can probably still get the real thing. I saw them on a set in 1998 or 1999. I'm sure they won't be cheap.
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