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Best lights for Chimera?


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#1 Ronald Gerald Smith

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:27 PM

Hey Guys!

My first post on this forum. Glad to be here.

I'm looking in to investing in a Chimera Softbox. I love the way it looks, and the way it wraps light around the face. But there are so many options when it comes to a Chimera - there are daylight, daylight jr, video pro, quartz bank.

The Quartz bank looks the best to me, because it can handle higher temperatures and also is a lot shallower than the daylight banks, and it is only slighter deeper than the video pro.

I am wondering what sort of lights would be better for a Quartz bank? Money is not too much of an issue, but I would like to stick with tungsten rather than any HMI. I have to choose between Arri or Mole open face lights, Tota light, the Lowell 1k, and I am open to any other suggestion. I have heard that Arri open face lights can melt, because of their plastic casing, so I am leaning more towards a Mickey and/or Mighty Mole. Money isn't really an issue, so I want the softbox/lamp combo that is the prettiest, wraps the best, and overall is an excellent match for the softbox. I know that this is all very subjective, but I trust all of your judgement!

Thanks!
Ron
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#2 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:53 PM

Hey Guys!

My first post on this forum. Glad to be here.

I'm looking in to investing in a Chimera Softbox. I love the way it looks, and the way it wraps light around the face. But there are so many options when it comes to a Chimera - there are daylight, daylight jr, video pro, quartz bank.

The Quartz bank looks the best to me, because it can handle higher temperatures and also is a lot shallower than the daylight banks, and it is only slighter deeper than the video pro.

I am wondering what sort of lights would be better for a Quartz bank? Money is not too much of an issue, but I would like to stick with tungsten rather than any HMI. I have to choose between Arri or Mole open face lights, Tota light, the Lowell 1k, and I am open to any other suggestion. I have heard that Arri open face lights can melt, because of their plastic casing, so I am leaning more towards a Mickey and/or Mighty Mole. Money isn't really an issue, so I want the softbox/lamp combo that is the prettiest, wraps the best, and overall is an excellent match for the softbox. I know that this is all very subjective, but I trust all of your judgement!

Thanks!
Ron


Any directional light isn't optimal for a chimera because the light is focused and then fired into the diffusion, which gives you a smaller source. The baffles usually aren't far enough away from the front diffusion to give a really good double break.

Your best bet for the softest light is to go for essentially a bare globe inside the chimera. You'd be giving up the flexibility of the light being useful without the chimera so that's a choice for you to make.

Rifa lights (by lowel) are great, lightweight and quick to set up. Perfect for interviews, but they're a little delicate for the rigors of full time production (unless you can afford to replace them often, but they're great for a handheld key)

Alternatively the triolet is a pretty cool head if you want to go with the quartz bank.
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#3 Ronald Gerald Smith

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 03:53 AM

Any directional light isn't optimal for a chimera because the light is focused and then fired into the diffusion, which gives you a smaller source. The baffles usually aren't far enough away from the front diffusion to give a really good double break.

Your best bet for the softest light is to go for essentially a bare globe inside the chimera. You'd be giving up the flexibility of the light being useful without the chimera so that's a choice for you to make.

Rifa lights (by lowel) are great, lightweight and quick to set up. Perfect for interviews, but they're a little delicate for the rigors of full time production (unless you can afford to replace them often, but they're great for a handheld key)

Alternatively the triolet is a pretty cool head if you want to go with the quartz bank.


Hey Mathew,

Thank you for the reply, and this gives me a lot of ideas.

By 'directional', do you mean some kind of fresnel light? Or would an open face flood light by either Arri or Mole be considered directional as well? I am curious to see the quality of light coming from an open face light.

I do like the idea of having a bare globe inside the chimera, and know the kind of soft light that is produced by a mogul base bulb inside the Chimera Lantern model. This is great for closeup to medium length shots, but when I want to cover a group of people and when I am using a large 54x72 inch quartz bank, I need something bigger than 1000 watts. That's why I need a kind of fixture that I can punch out at least 2000 watts with. I've looked at the Barger, and that looks like a great option---but I can't know for sure because I've never used one. If something like a Mighty Mole or an Arrilite 2000 looks great with a Quartz bank, filling up the screen nicely, then this would be a cheaper option.
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#4 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

Hey Mathew,

Thank you for the reply, and this gives me a lot of ideas.

By 'directional', do you mean some kind of fresnel light? Or would an open face flood light by either Arri or Mole be considered directional as well? I am curious to see the quality of light coming from an open face light.

I do like the idea of having a bare globe inside the chimera, and know the kind of soft light that is produced by a mogul base bulb inside the Chimera Lantern model. This is great for closeup to medium length shots, but when I want to cover a group of people and when I am using a large 54x72 inch quartz bank, I need something bigger than 1000 watts. That's why I need a kind of fixture that I can punch out at least 2000 watts with. I've looked at the Barger, and that looks like a great option---but I can't know for sure because I've never used one. If something like a Mighty Mole or an Arrilite 2000 looks great with a Quartz bank, filling up the screen nicely, then this would be a cheaper option.


Yeah, if you're going for bigger than 1k those options won't really work for you.

A fresnel is, as you supposed, very inefficient for the purposes of using with a chimera, you're giving up at least a third to half your light for that clean beam.

a 2K open face like a mighty mole is certainly better (still somewhat directional, but you will get a higher percentage of footcandles out of the lamp).

The problem I've found in the past with these lights is that the yokes often aren't strong enough to hold up a larger chimera, which can be a very annoying issue I've had to solve with bailing wire before :) This is definitely a problem with the arrilight 2k and 2k Blondes, I think the Mighty mole is a little sturdier, but for some reason I never use those.

Also 2k open faces tend to be somewhat poorly ventilated and get very very hot.

The Barger is definitely your best bet for a greater than 1k tungsten chimera if you can afford it. I use them frequently and have always been happy with them - they are well ventilated, have a strong yoke, and the switchable globes makes changing intensity a breeze. My gaffer likes to get the 6k with Edison tails, and put a dimmer on one of them for maximum flexibility.

One caveat is that if you're looking for more throw, using a mighty mole with thinner diffusion and spotting it in can give you that (at the cost of softness of light). You can't spot a barger.
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#5 Ronald Gerald Smith

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

Yeah, if you're going for bigger than 1k those options won't really work for you.

A fresnel is, as you supposed, very inefficient for the purposes of using with a chimera, you're giving up at least a third to half your light for that clean beam.

a 2K open face like a mighty mole is certainly better (still somewhat directional, but you will get a higher percentage of footcandles out of the lamp).

The problem I've found in the past with these lights is that the yokes often aren't strong enough to hold up a larger chimera, which can be a very annoying issue I've had to solve with bailing wire before :) This is definitely a problem with the arrilight 2k and 2k Blondes, I think the Mighty mole is a little sturdier, but for some reason I never use those.

Also 2k open faces tend to be somewhat poorly ventilated and get very very hot.

The Barger is definitely your best bet for a greater than 1k tungsten chimera if you can afford it. I use them frequently and have always been happy with them - they are well ventilated, have a strong yoke, and the switchable globes makes changing intensity a breeze. My gaffer likes to get the 6k with Edison tails, and put a dimmer on one of them for maximum flexibility.

One caveat is that if you're looking for more throw, using a mighty mole with thinner diffusion and spotting it in can give you that (at the cost of softness of light). You can't spot a barger.


Is there a good reason why you've never used the Mickey/Mighty Moles? For some reason they look very strong, but I can see that when they are in a chimera setup, they might become poorly ventilated and get very hot, much like the Arrilites.

From what I deduced so far from posting on forums, and with a lot of influence from your post, I can see that a good setup is to get a Medium Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 with a Mogul Base with speedring, and equip a 1k bulb inside of it. This will be strictly for smaller closeups and mediums, where the light can be less than 6 feet away from the subject. For bigger wider setups, a Barger 6-lamp with Large Chimera would be the most flexible.

Perhaps I should just get the Barger 6-lamp with Medium and Large Quartzbank and call it a day.
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#6 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:10 PM

Is there a good reason why you've never used the Mickey/Mighty Moles? For some reason they look very strong, but I can see that when they are in a chimera setup, they might become poorly ventilated and get very hot, much like the Arrilites.

From what I deduced so far from posting on forums, and with a lot of influence from your post, I can see that a good setup is to get a Medium Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 with a Mogul Base with speedring, and equip a 1k bulb inside of it. This will be strictly for smaller closeups and mediums, where the light can be less than 6 feet away from the subject. For bigger wider setups, a Barger 6-lamp with Large Chimera would be the most flexible.

Perhaps I should just get the Barger 6-lamp with Medium and Large Quartzbank and call it a day.


No real reason I don't use the mighty moles, I just seem to order Blondes by force of habit. I think I got a couple of burns from Mighty's back in film school and have avoided them since...

One thing to keep in mind with the single globe unit is that you should have a dimmer to make slight adjustments, as you can't just drop a scrim in it...

Buying equipment is always a tricky choice. If it helps I own a 750w Rifa with the eggcrate, which is great for a controlled softlight on smaller shoots or an obie on music vids. My theory is that if it's a bigger shoot they should have money to rent bigger lights.

One other intermediate option is the Woody light I haven't used it but some DP's I know swear by them...
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#7 Ronald Gerald Smith

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:47 PM

Thanks,

I ended up going with the Chimera Triolet with 500w and 1000w bulbs in a Video Pro Plus1 Small Lightbank, lighttools 40 degree eggcrate, with an extra full CTB add on. And it works excellent!
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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:24 AM

Haven't tried it myself, but what about an LED panel as a source for a softbox? Regarding the weight of a softbox, tending to pull the fixture down, replace the pivot bolt with a second locking handle. This feature is also found on some brands of Leko(s), which tend to be nose heavy.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Willys Widgets

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