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Arri M18 vs Joker 1600w Zoom Beamer?


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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 11:53 AM

Hi guys,

 

I'm looking into adding a slightly larger (house powerable) HMI to my kit, and find myself a little torn between the Arri M18 and the K5600 Joker 1600 Zoom Beamer. Both are open-faced lights with faceted reflectors, both cost basically the same. So for me it really comes down to output, beam quality and transportability.

 

Obviously the M18 win for output slightly, but it's also a fair bit heavier and takes up a bit more space for transport. I've worked with the M18 before and know the quality of its beam (which is really very for an open-faced light), I haven't used the 1600 Joker though, and don't know if it's as nice.

 

I'm in 240v land, so there's zero issues with running the M18 off household sockets (I know it's a bit touch and go in 120v land).

 

So I'm wondering if anyone's used both of these lights and can offer their thoughts on how they compare?

 

Cheers,

 

Mark


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#2 Ulysse Tassin

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 06:39 PM

Can't really talk about the M18 in particular but K5600 makes great lights. Don't really know about the 1600 joker bug though.

 

I only used the 800 and 400, those are good HMIs. The ballast is great, almost as small as a kino one, but a bit heavier. The 1600 must be a bit bigger but not that much and the zoom beamer seems really great.

 

Since you're in 240v, you could also go for a 2,5/4k hmi (with 2.5k bulb of course) like a LTM cinepar (not in production anymore since LTM went bankrupt). Heavier but more powerful.

 

Anyway, if I were you, I'll rent those 2 lights and compare them side by side before making any decisions.


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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 06:50 PM

Yeah, I'd love to get an M40 and run it with 2.5kw bulbs (since that's absolutely the most powerful light I could run on house power here), but the size of the fixture and ballast would be problematic for my current setup.
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#4 andrew ward

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 09:30 PM

Wanker dps want m18s. They dont care about the light or what it does as long as its called an m18. If you buy a joker tell them its an m18.
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#5 andrew ward

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 09:32 PM

Also the m18 ballast can be used when someone puts coffees on your 1200 ballast and breaks it.
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#6 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 02:53 AM

Wanker dps want m18s. They dont care about the light or what it does as long as its called an m18. If you buy a joker tell them its an m18.

 

Haha, that's actually I think the only way you could readily explain what the Joker (+Zoom Beamer) is. It's already how I explain my Profoto 1.2k HMI (which uses a faceted reflector as well).


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#7 Albion Hockney

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 05:17 PM

yea to be honest if your renting it out I would get an M18. Just like your not sure about the joker right now a DP/Gaffer who hasn't used em isn't sure either but everyone has used the M18 and loves it.


Edited by Albion Hockney, 06 June 2015 - 05:18 PM.

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#8 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 06:13 PM

As would I, but I hardly ever rent any of my gear out (I'm just a DP with a small lighting and grip package, and plan to remain that way), so it's less a consideration of that, and more one of size, portability, output and light quality.

The problem is I live in a lighting wasteland. The general knowledge and variety of fixtures available down here is woeful. So no one even has a Joker that I could look at to assess. That's the main thing pushing me towards the Arri (which I know and trust).
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#9 JD Hartman

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 08:37 PM

Can beat the Joker lights for quality and versatility.  Been on jobs where the 800 was the go to light over any available 1.2k HMI open face.  If I had the bucks burning a hole in pocket, I'd buy the Joker 1600.


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#10 Akos Baranya

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:16 AM

Hey Mark, I just read through your old thread where you were still deciding on what kind of lights to get. Did you end up getting the bigger Dedo's? Did they turn out to be a good investment?


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#11 andrew ward

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 08:56 AM

Its not just Melbourne, ive never even heard of a Joker Zoomer. Theres a reason lighting guys all have the same standard gear. Its only DPs who want weirdo stuff that doesnt do anything better but is trendy.
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#12 andrew ward

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 08:59 AM

I dont even get what the zoom attachment does. It just adds a longer focus throw to an open face?
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#13 andrew ward

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:01 AM

Youd only ever need a joker for an Octo or for Joleko. Cant imagine ever using one instead of an m18. I dont get why its a consideration.
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#14 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:10 PM

Can beat the Joker lights for quality and versatility.  Been on jobs where the 800 was the go to light over any available 1.2k HMI open face.  If I had the bucks burning a hole in pocket, I'd buy the Joker 1600.

 

Appreciate the feedback JD.

 

Hey Mark, I just read through your old thread where you were still deciding on what kind of lights to get. Did you end up getting the bigger Dedo's? Did they turn out to be a good investment?

 

Hey Akos, I got two 650w Halogen Dedos in the end, they're terrific, not quite the same thing as a DLH4 upscaled 4x, but they've got a terrific spot-flood ratio, and a lovely precise beam that's great for crisp shadows, or creating splashes of 'sunlight'. They give you a fair bit more control than a conventional 650w fresnel. And having that control makes a big difference for my work I find.

 

I never got the 1.2k HMI Dedo, that would have been awesome, but it was bought out by a filmschool two days before I walked in to buy it :(

 

Its not just Melbourne, ive never even heard of a Joker Zoomer. Theres a reason lighting guys all have the same standard gear. Its only DPs who want weirdo stuff that doesnt do anything better but is trendy.

 

Haha, how can it be 'trendy' when no one's ever even heard of it?! :P

 

I dont even get what the zoom attachment does. It just adds a longer focus throw to an open face?

 

It does the same thing the Arrimax reflector in the M18/M40/M90 etc. does, it's a zoomable, faceted reflector - so it gives you a focusable hardlight, but with a nicer beam, and better shadow quality than a conventional open-face reflector like a Blondie or Redhead.

 

Youd only ever need a joker for an Octo or for Joleko. Cant imagine ever using one instead of an m18. I dont get why its a consideration.

 

It's a consideration, because it takes up half the space that the M18 does (and does basically the same thing but with 12% less output). Which gives me more space to fit other lights in the Ute.

 

I'm not a lighting company, so I don't have to worry about have the conventional brands/fixtures that other DPs want to rent, I just need lights that can work for the pictures I'm making. And smaller, lighter fixtures, allow me to have more lights with me on set.

 

I love the M18 though, I know what it does, and I know it works a charm. The question is simply whether I take a chance on the 1600w Joker, for the sake of saving space for transport (which is a limited resource for me only having a ute with a canopy - and not wanting to move to a van).


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#15 andrew ward

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:39 AM

If its something different to the standard its trendy.

Jeeze. They make it sound like it has some amazing attachment. But its just a flood/spot knob? Such a ripoff. Must cost them nothing to make.

Oh is it that much smaller? If its a similar price and it fits bettet yeah get it. If you add a joker bug attachment later, that would be mega useful.

Also, since youre into weird stuff and dedos; the 400w dedo is always useful and tiny if youre rich in the future.
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#16 andrew ward

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:40 AM

Oh and if you have the joker you can Octo it. Youd use that every day.
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#17 bob bates

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 09:55 AM

Mark-

I am a fan of both Arri M series lights and Jokerbug's and I've tested the Joker 1600 zoom.  I own Arri M1.8 & M40 and wanted to add the 1600zoom to my package as well.  At this time, I have not purchased one, I'm sticking to the Arri M1.8 because I already own it and it's easier for me to continue down that same road of having the same equipment; ballast, head feeders and scrims.  The Joker 1600 zoom is a very nice light and sounds like it will fit your needs very well.  The benefit that might serve well for you is how compact it all is in it's case.  I come from a production company background and know the importance of trying to load into a vehicle or moving around a factory or office building quickly.  One other great thing about the Joker's is they are backed by K5600 which I've had GREAT customer service with in the past.  Good customer service goes a long way in my book.  If I have any issues at all, I know I can reach out to someone there and they will take care of me, mail me a replacement part or service my fixture(s).  

 

disclaimer:  I do not work at k5600, just a proud owner of their products.


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#18 Brian Stevenson

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:08 PM

Same price but the Joker comes with everything the M18 has plus a 1600w lamp, a hard travel case, and three scrims.  That's over $1000 of extras!  You'd need to buy all those things if you get the M18.  Just sayin.  Personally I'd want the M18 but I'm not the one shelling out the money!


Edited by Brian Stevenson, 10 June 2015 - 05:10 PM.

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#19 Ed David

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 02:22 PM

I use both a lot - joker 1600 is much better for travel - smaller.  But overall Joker build is not the same as Arri - Arri seems to make all their lighting really strong and better for renting.

 

But you can't beat a joker 800 for jo leko or just traveling small with it - a lot easier to handle and to fly with if you need to.

 

and the m18 can sometimes be finicky - no HMI is perfect - all about the ballast.  

 

but really - yes if you can - try to test both out at the same time - I would be curious about the difference in quality of light.  


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#20 Larry DeGala

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 02:03 PM

Joker line is not too bad. Most kits at JR Lighting are always out. I don't work for JR lighting or for Joker. But I know they work, and they're always at the job site.

http://jrlighting.co...atalog.php?id=1
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