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Quality of Fresnel Light -- Arri vs Mole?


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#1 Dane Cannon

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:56 PM

I know about price differences and weight differences and durability differences, but am wondering if people have a preference for one brand of fresnel vs another, based on the quality of the light. Also -- I read that Arris are generally a brighter light than Moles, any truth to that?
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#2 Ari Davidson

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:36 AM

Arris are generally a brighter light than Moles, any truth to that?


In my experience, Old Richardson's are usually beat to s*** while the Arri's are babied. That being said, if their treated right they'll perform the same (usually). Although at my studio we compared a Mole 10k to an Arri 5k, and the Arri just about doubled the output. The Mole is also about 70 years older Posted Image
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#3 Dane Cannon

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:33 AM

Although at my studio we compared a Mole 10k to an Arri 5k, and the Arri just about doubled the output. The Mole is also about 70 years older Posted Image

The 5k was a stop higher than the 10k? Or are you saying they were equal?
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#4 Jaron Berman

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:21 PM

they should be almost identical. Don't forget (if it's used) to clean the mirror - that can eat efficiency pretty quickly. The only fresnel I've seen that has any efficiency advantage over the others is the p5600 alpha because of the reflector material....kind of a moon-rock ceramic that actually reflects more light than polished aluminum. other than that though, arri/mole/altman/ all basically the exact same when clean.
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:19 PM

Generally speaking I prefer Mole for Tungsten Fresnels and Arri for HMI especially their pars. Except for Blondes and Redheads. I never really liked Mole Mickies and Mighties and prefer Ianero blondes and redheads. Prefer the Arri blondes and redheads too. And am interested to see if the new Arri HPL open face redhead is any good. The new Arri Blonde and Redhead (HPL version) should be more durable as they appear to be made of metal instead of some composite plastic. That stuff melts if there is not enough air or someone wraps it in black wrap.

I have seen Arri tungsten that appeared a bit more blue (or the Mole was a bit warmer) side by side on location. But that was not a brand new side by side scientific laboratory comparison.

Best

Tim
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

In my experience, Old Richardson's are usually beat to s*** while the Arri's are babied. That being said, if their treated right they'll perform the same (usually). Although at my studio we compared a Mole 10k to an Arri 5k, and the Arri just about doubled the output. The Mole is also about 70 years older Posted Image


All lights get beat to poop if no one takes care of them. If the rental house sends them out in a pile of lights and If electricians throw them around and then give them to teamsters who may or may not throw them around and may or may not pack a truck right.

It is to Moles credit that can last so long even when they are beat to poop. Moles designs are tried and true since the beginning of filmmaking.
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#7 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

I prefer ARRIs. I own two Fresnels and even my 650w throws a nice beam.
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#8 David Ross

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:24 PM

I own and rent both Mole and Arri. I find Mole easier and less expensive to maintain than the Arri's. However I like the light output of the Arri's better than Mole.My rental clients kind of know the mole stuff better so they tend to order it more. Both are rock solid and good investments.I say investments because both of the moles and Arri's I own are 5-15 years old and make me money every week.I tried once to buy some cheaper lights and they were broken within a month.

Best regards

David
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#9 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:38 AM

They both are good workhorses. Both are relatively inexpensive to maintain and have a great lifespan. Provided you do your research if buying used you can't go wrong.

To be getting more output out of a Arri 5k than a Mole 10k the Tener must have have some serious issues.

Rolling maintence on your gear is probably the best thing you can make sure you do to keep everything in check. You can spot and prevent problems before they happen on set and you can extend the lifespan of your equipment dramatically. If your going to own gear, expect to maintain it.

Just on HMI, a lot of people focus on the lamps, and forget all about the ballasts. Most of the Arri Electronic ballasts are great pieces of engineering. Over time in heavy use, all ballasts need a bit of work done, but Just for an example We have four ballasts that were purchased back in 1994 that other than feeder cables needing replacement they have had all but one problem, where a control card was replaced.

This compared to 5 powergems ballasts ranging from 9 years to 14 months old that are in the truck im currently working in. Every single one has had to go into the shop for repairs in the last two years, with problems ranging from needing firmware/software reinstalled to replacing cards to a complete rebuild, and in Australia getting PowerGems parts can take months. Which if we didn't have spares would mean costly cross-hiring of replacements.

Edited by Matthew Parnell, 29 January 2012 - 08:39 AM.

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#10 Dane Cannon

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:28 PM

You can spot and prevent problems before they happen on set and you can extend the lifespan of your equipment dramatically. If your going to own gear, expect to maintain it.


What type of maintenance do you normally do on tungstens fresnels? Oil the track, check for frayed wires, clean the reflector and the fresnel... anything else I'm missing? Also, I do own an Arri kit with 300s and 650s, but for the inkies I prefer the Moles.
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

With the Moles you want to repaint them as the paint chips badly to prevent rust.
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#12 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:34 AM

I start with wiping down the outside, getting rid of dust and bugs from inside the lamp and a general physical check of the chasis. I then check the wiring, lampholder and the base of the globe for any signs of arcing, burns and cracks or perishing in the ceramics etc. While the globe is out a quick wipe/polish of the reflector and then a wipe over of the fresnel.

Keeping on top of loose screws is important Lamps and ballasts particularly in a truck, where even when strapped down they vibrate a lot. An occasional tightening up does the trick. Medium strength locktite can help as well in some cases. Don't forget to check your Par lenses as the screw that hold them into the ring can loosen off as well.

Your flood-spot rails are pretty important to maintain. Particularly on Ianero/Strand/Quartzcolor lamps which are prone to having issues. From experience they aren't as heavily engineered as the Arri and Mole stuff and unless the rails are clean, can seize, jam and pull out of alignment, and then the worm gear can be easily bent without a huge amount of force on the flood and spot knob. I try not lubricate the flood and spot rails unless they are seized or really bad. Obviously if you are getting rust, lubrication with light oil might be your best option, but otherwise i find If you oil them, the oil acts like a dust magnet and you get more seizing and problems as the dust globs together and jams things up. I tend to use a small amount of graphite powder on the rails and then work that in using the flood and spot.

Also electrically testing (PAT testing) you gear is important. Keep your testing current and up to date.
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