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#1 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:18 AM

Hi guys,

this will be a strange question. I am attempting to equip and budget myself for an indi feautre on standard 16mm film that i plan to blow up to 35mm evantualy (more about this in 16mm forum). Now, I have learned that i will be in a hot demand for some good lights, since working with slower stock and trying my best to reduce that grain....

So here we go... since i have really only worked with blodies, redheads, barnies, kenos and similar, can someone tell me more about HMI lights? I understand how they operate and that i will need to run them of a ballast, but wonder how that ballast gets powered (obviously not from a house hold wall outlet)... must i get a generator out too? What is the main difference between the flicker free ballast and none flicker free... if i cannot get the flickerfree stuff. I am to shoot crystal 25fps... Currently i am looking at getting some HMIs and am considering their cost difference when compared to the Tungesten sets, to have them run and all....

How long do the bulbs last in the HMI lights? I hear you cant kick them on and off as easy as the Tungsten lights... From some personal experience, to light an evening interior scene how many HMI lights would you use and which once in particular - 2.5K, 4K, 5K, 12K?? (if budget was no question)... say, you were working with a 200T that needed to be blown up from 16mm to 35mm. What other smaller lights do you tend to use in conjuction with the HMIs to best fill those shadows? Kenos? What spun works best with the HMIs? 512, 520s? All of these questions and many more are on my mind right now, so if you can help in any way, ill be very thankfull!

I plan to rent some of the HMI lights from a lighting company, but wish to have a bit of an idea of what i am getting before approaching them... hopefully you can help me out. This forum has been fantastic thus far as i got a lot of information about the blow up of a 16mm to 35mm.

Thanks all.
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#2 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 11:05 AM

Bulbs last a long time and some HMI units meter usage so they know when to change the bulb.

You can power up to a 1200 Watt HMI off a wall socket if the wiring is newer and can handle 16 to 20 amps

Not every frame rate will support HMI's so get the appropriate info in advance

If the lights are not well manintained you many have flicker.

There are meters which can check for flicker.

HMI's give you lots of light for the amps drawn and run cooler then Quartz.

They have lot's of punch and throw.

Can be tungesten balanced without to much loss in light output. Good strategy is 1/2 CTO Gel So can be mixed with smaller Quartz units.

KINO's are the coolest running. least power hungry and are good for fill or soft key.

Not much "throw" or punch wth kinos

Spun, Opal and tracing paper make good diffusion just becareful of melting or starting a fire-not a good thing


If you are in a room with Fire Sprinklers place styrofoam cups over the heads and keep the lights away to prevent an unexpected.

shower


If you need more amps have an electrician make up a electric range/clothes dryer plug which breaks the 220 volt line into two 120 lines with household plugs on the end. A quick painless pick up of 40 to 60 available amps. Just use the proper gauge feeder and have it made professionally-use at your own risk

Finally don't be stupid with the HMI Ballasts. They can kill you mighty fast- so be very careful plugging in and removing head cables. Even off and unplugged they carry enough active charge to kill you mighty dead. Enjoy
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 11:36 AM

You have a lot of questions here so my first answer would be get yourself an experienced electrician/gaffer so you have someone to confer with and guide you.


So here we go... since i have really only worked with blodies, redheads, barnies, kenos and similar, can someone tell me more about HMI lights? I understand how they operate and that i will need to run them of a ballast, but wonder how that ballast gets powered (obviously not from a house hold wall outlet)... must i get a generator out too?


You can power HMI's off any sort of electricity as long as you just follow the rules of amperage and voltage that you would with tungsten lights. Small HMI's you can plug into a wall if you had to (1.2 HMI and under for US household typical 15 amp outlet - 20 amp hospital grade). if your doing 4k 6k 12k or 18k you need a large tie in or generator.


What is the main difference between the flicker free ballast and none flicker free... if i cannot get the flickerfree stuff. I am to shoot crystal 25fps... Currently i am looking at getting some HMIs and am considering their cost difference when compared to the Tungesten sets, to have them run and all....


Older magnetic ballasts are not flicker free and you must shoot at HMI safe shooting speeds or you will get that dreaded flicker. Flicker free ballasts are electronic ballasts that basically change the AC wave so it is on all the time (that's the rough explaination). They change the ac wave from rolling to square hence the other flicker free term "square wave ballast" (google it for a better definition). As I understand it, flicker free ballasts may be flicker free from 20 to 30 fps all the time (check with the manufacturer) in the silent position and flicker free all the time in the flicker free position. HMI's are more expensive than tungsten but you get way more light out of them than their tungsten equivalent.


How long do the bulbs last in the HMI lights?

a long time. No need to worry about them unless they blow up or get green.

I hear you cant kick them on and off as easy as the Tungsten lights...

Some HMI's, especially large ones will not restrike when hot. You have to wait for them to cool a few minutes. It is always best to pan off a large HMI off when someone says turn it off, then when they say turn it back on and it won't fire the electricians don't look like jerks to the unexperienced eye. And production wonders what the hell is going on when they have to wait for a light to turn on and an inexperienced gaffer or DP tells his boys to change the head and creates a big display, then by the time the new head gets in place the hot head has cooled enough it comes back on. Been there too many times.

By the way, HMI's and especially the large HMI pars are very powerfull and can easily start a fire or burn your hand or forearm in moments if you are using them without lenses. For safety sake, if you are not familiar with them, get experienced electricians. That is good advice too if you are using large generators.

From some personal experience, to light an evening interior scene how many HMI lights would you use and which once in particular - 2.5K, 4K, 5K, 12K?? (if budget was no question)... say, you were working with a 200T that needed to be blown up from 16mm to 35mm. What other smaller lights do you tend to use in conjuction with the HMIs to best fill those shadows? Kenos? What spun works best with the HMIs? 512, 520s? All of these questions and many more are on my mind right now, so if you can help in any way, ill be very thankfull!

I would say all these decisions are based on your tastes , the set (especially the size) and what you are doing. There is no real best not knowing what you are doing and how.

Good luck

Tim
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#4 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 01:47 PM

Hi guys,

this will be a strange question. I am attempting to equip and budget myself for an indi feautre on standard 16mm film that i plan to blow up to 35mm evantualy (more about this in 16mm forum). Now, I have learned that i will be in a hot demand for some good lights, since working with slower stock and trying my best to reduce that grain....

So here we go... since i have really only worked with blodies, redheads, barnies, kenos and similar, can someone tell me more about HMI lights? I understand how they operate and that i will need to run them of a ballast, but wonder how that ballast gets powered (obviously not from a house hold wall outlet)... must i get a generator out too? What is the main difference between the flicker free ballast and none flicker free... if i cannot get the flickerfree stuff. I am to shoot crystal 25fps... Currently i am looking at getting some HMIs and am considering their cost difference when compared to the Tungesten sets, to have them run and all....

How long do the bulbs last in the HMI lights? I hear you cant kick them on and off as easy as the Tungsten lights... From some personal experience, to light an evening interior scene how many HMI lights would you use and which once in particular - 2.5K, 4K, 5K, 12K?? (if budget was no question)... say, you were working with a 200T that needed to be blown up from 16mm to 35mm. What other smaller lights do you tend to use in conjuction with the HMIs to best fill those shadows? Kenos? What spun works best with the HMIs? 512, 520s? All of these questions and many more are on my mind right now, so if you can help in any way, ill be very thankfull!

I plan to rent some of the HMI lights from a lighting company, but wish to have a bit of an idea of what i am getting before approaching them... hopefully you can help me out. This forum has been fantastic thus far as i got a lot of information about the blow up of a 16mm to 35mm.

Thanks all.

Well,
It's a matter of scenario and mood,in case you need big sources or strong sources like HMI's.
I am using them a lot when I want to blow up windows or mimic a strong sunlight comin thru them.
I rarely use them in the set, (not that I haven't done it), I remember one set that had so huge windows that it was obvious that I couldn't stop them down because of the large area I wanted to cover and a bright sun outside, so I used some 6K cinepar's thru a large diffusion frame for fill.
Also note that the bulbs life is not so big like the tungsten ones and if you read the manufacturer's specs it is reduced if you are turning them on and off.
Actually OSRAM recomends a 20minutes switching period between on and off.
One thing that u don't have to worry about them is that they don't have a ''spring'' type bulb as they are producing light by an arc, wich means they don't blow up if you accidentaly kick them, like the redheads and blondes do.
The output of an H.M.I lamp compared with the same wattage tungsten one, is 3 times more.
Cinepars are reccomended and flicker free ballasts. Cinepars have as the word says, a PAR lamp, that u can change it's beam with the set of crystals that come with every fixture.
Flicker-free ballasts are noisy ones, so if you are doing a ''synchronous'' sound shooting, u have to take them out of the set or as much the cable allows u from the scene.
Some Arri fixtures and other brands maybe, have a ballast that can accept either 2,5K-4K bulbs for the same fixture, so u can just have spare bulbs, I am usually doing this, I have the 2,5K on and the 4K bulb on the truck, in case want some more light.4K cannot be powered up by house sockets so u will need either a generator , or an industrial light house.
What else...
As for the colour correction, use a colour meter and check them before u rent them, have some minus green and plus green gels with u.The light itself needs some time to give it's full power, I believe the new generation bulbs, need about 2 minutes to give you full output.
So wait before u take a reading.

Dimitrios Koukas
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#5 Mark Broadbent

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:52 PM

I plan to rent some of the HMI lights from a lighting company, but wish to have a bit of an idea of what i am getting before approaching them... hopefully you can help me out.


Hi,

I see you are in Brisbane.

Best bet is get yourself over to Premier Lighting and have a chat with Darren or David. If they arn't too busy he will happily pull out their various HMIs and fire them up for you to see for yourself the output and differences between PARs, Fresnels etc.

*disclaimer - I don't work for Premier but when I was just starting out they were extremely helpful and encouraging, and still are.

Cheers,

Mark
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#6 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:19 PM

Wow,

thanks for some great answers guys!!! There was a lot there I didnt know... I think all my questions were answered more or less, with some real good words of wisdom.. "They can kill you mighty fast"... :D

I best go in and talk to Premier Lighting, as Mark suggested - so they show me a lamp or two. (I actually helped them on few productions, assisting Ross and I think Gary once in unloading their truck and set-ing up few HMIs for a short film - Michael Noonan film...) They told me about paning off the HMI when being told to "switch-off" and stuff, which was actualy very practical on this particular shoot as we were asked to flick it back on 30secs after that,... so thanks for that advice Tim.
I pretty much carried the lights from the truck to the set and back, with all the C-stands that had 512 and 520s on them - and didnt ask too many questions to avoid being in a way too much... regret that a bit now, as i had all that i needed to know right there in front of me... I guess I did get to see a HMI in action, powered of the generator that was in the truck, and learned a bit about other stuff like what a spider is and hollywood, etc..

I was looking at purchasing some HMI lights at the moment, hence the post. I am being offered a nice Lee MEI 2.5Kw, with bubl and balast and thought of getting it to save some rental costs. Shooting an indi feature is going to be a 40 day exercise and renting from Premier would probably set me back a fortune... i guess i shouldn't fear askign for a quote and maybe few other questions, as they are such a great bunch of guys...

If the production budget was an issue (as it always is) and you got asked to pick the lights for the entire shoot in advance, what would be the safe margin of stuff you get? Could i look into getting 2.5K HMI x 2, 5k x 1 and some 4foot kenos with Day and Tungsten tubes? If i had this for the entire 40 days some other stuff i could rent on day to day basis... what do you think? I realise you'd need to know the script and the desired look of the scene as well as the size of the room, etc... but would this be a minimum one could work with?

Again, thank you for the great posts! They were actualy very educational - something my film collage forgot to teach about :blink:

Cheers,
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#7 Mark Broadbent

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:27 PM

Could i look into getting 2.5K HMI x 2, 5k x 1 and some 4foot kenos with Day and Tungsten tubes? If i had this for the entire 40 days some other stuff i could rent on day to day basis... what do you think?


As soon as you look at 5Ks you limit yourself to either a generator or a studio/location with high amp 3 phase power. With a 2.5K you can run of a standard circuit but probably won't be able to run anything else so you will have to make sure you have access to multiple circuits. Also HMIs don't like running of fluctuating generators. They have to be synced to 50Hz or they probably won't strike. In Brisbane look to Generator Hire Service as they do a lot of film work.
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#8 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 11:18 PM

Hi Mark,
Just watched you reel on the web... you shot that war movie with two fellows in the pit - the flashk?

You know, that was the first film Nick Oughton showed us in the 1st year of QCA - back in 1999... and ACE of course... :D

I remember seeing that film and thinking, dam this collage is good! If I can make something like that by the 3rd year, I did well... It had an impact on me, I think it reminded me of some other film I once saw, something with two kids in war a japanise kid and an american kid... same kind of thing...

How small is this world :D

Since collage i've tried to learn a bit from Tony Luu, hanging out on his sets... and making my own shorts and stuff... Now im making an indi feature on 16mm - trying to get them QCA contacts back on... If you dont mind me adding your e-mail to the "news about the feature group" i could do that...

Cheers mate

PS> thanks for the generator info.
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#9 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 04:43 AM

Hi Mark,
Just watched you reel on the web... you shot that war movie with two fellows in the pit - the flashk?

You know, that was the first film Nick Oughton showed us in the 1st year of QCA - back in 1999... and ACE of course... :D

I remember seeing that film and thinking, dam this collage is good! If I can make something like that by the 3rd year, I did well... It had an impact on me, I think it reminded me of some other film I once saw, something with two kids in war a japanise kid and an american kid... same kind of thing...

How small is this world :D

Since collage i've tried to learn a bit from Tony Luu, hanging out on his sets... and making my own shorts and stuff... Now im making an indi feature on 16mm - trying to get them QCA contacts back on... If you dont mind me adding your e-mail to the "news about the feature group" i could do that...

Cheers mate

PS> thanks for the generator info.


Is there any 5k HMI there?
Never heard of this.5k and 10K refers to tungsten fixtures, while 2,5K, 4K ,6K and 12K and 18K to hmi's
As far as I know.Maybe this is a new one?
But anyway I believe u are limiting your budget and the flexibility of your lighting.
Are u shooting with a daylight stock?
Then u need the HMI's more, but if you don't, you are just renting two huge sources (2,5K), in compare for kinoflo's u will use to fill in.
I would sugest 1 x 2,5K cinepar _ 2 x 1200W cinepars and the kinos.Also some redheads, some 1K fresnels.

Dimitrios Koukas
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#10 Mark Broadbent

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 04:49 AM

Is there any 5k HMI there?
Never heard of this.5k and 10K refers to tungsten fixtures, while 2,5K, 4K ,6K and 12K and 18K to hmi's
As far as I know.Maybe this is a new one?


I took it as a 5K tungsten. Don't know of any HMI other than those you listed above 2.5K.
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#11 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 05:00 AM

Is there any 5k HMI there?
Never heard of this.5k and 10K refers to tungsten fixtures, while 2,5K, 4K ,6K and 12K and 18K to hmi's
As far as I know.Maybe this is a new one?
But anyway I believe u are limiting your budget and the flexibility of your lighting.
Are u shooting with a daylight stock?
Then u need the HMI's more, but if you don't, you are just renting two huge sources (2,5K), in compare for kinoflo's u will use to fill in.
I would sugest 1 x 2,5K cinepar _ 2 x 1200W cinepars and the kinos.Also some redheads, some 1K fresnels.

Dimitrios Koukas


thanks for that info Dimitrios. I'll do some reasearch on what you suggested, for that definitely sounds like an easier option. Ill also see what the guys from Premier Lighting say... I will shoot most of the stuff with 200T... I only got about 4 daylight scenes in the entire 90min and for them I could just go out and get a nice HMI as a main light source... it should be cheaper doing it your way?

I really never used HMIs myself... and thought that was what I should get to achive the best result out of the 200T 16mm film that i intend on blowing up to 35mmm. However, choosing 2.5K as my biggest light will definitely be something I am happy to work with.

PS. Sorry if i did say 5K HMI - my bad :unsure:
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#12 timHealy

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 06:56 AM

Lav,

I wouldn't buy any film equipment unless you have a trust fund that you are living off of or you know you can rent it on job after job after job. It may not pay if you only get one job then th elight sits in your garage or basement.

Talk with your rental house abount rates. In NY or LA it is typical to pay 1 or 1.5 the day rate for a week on a movie. You can also get a good rental if say you tell the rental house you need the equipment for a monday shoot. They usually aren't open on a weekend so you can pick up friday morning and shoot friday, sat, sun, and monday, return on Tuesday and pay for one day.

Tim

PS someone mentioned using a 2.5 HMI on a house hold plug. Maybe you can do that in some countries but in the US forget about it. It won't work for long if it does at all. Come to think of it 2.5 HMI's aren't being used much on the films I am working on. They just jump from 1.2 to 4k. It is much easier and a few less lights to worry about.
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#13 Mark Broadbent

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 07:51 AM

PS someone mentioned using a 2.5 HMI on a house hold plug. Maybe you can do that in some countries but in the US forget about it. It won't work for long if it does at all.


That was me. Lav, like myself is located in Australia.
In Australia we have 240V power so a 2.5K runs fine on a 10A circuit. Most houses with semi modern wiring run 10 or 15 Amp circuits.
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#14 timHealy

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 02:11 PM

I don't know the history of the development of electricity here in the US, but residential homes usually have single phase into a house and most household appliances use 120 volts AC.

Three phase is mostly commercial.

Too bad we don't use 220 like there and europe because wiring can be smaller for everything.

Typically, the only things here you may find in homes that run off 220 are electric clothes dryers, electric kitchen stoves, and large air conditioners. Perhaps some electric heat (which can be expensive) and water heaters (but typically they use natural gas).


best

Tim
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#15 Riku Naskali

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 04:00 PM

That was me. Lav, like myself is located in Australia.
In Australia we have 240V power so a 2.5K runs fine on a 10A circuit. Most houses with semi modern wiring run 10 or 15 Amp circuits.

Actually it shouldn't run on a 10A circuit... Here in Finland we have 230V and 16A circuits in bathrooms so we can use 2.5kW's with domestic power.
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#16 Mark Broadbent

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 05:04 PM

Actually it shouldn't run on a 10A circuit... Here in Finland we have 230V and 16A circuits in bathrooms so we can use 2.5kW's with domestic power.


2.5Ks have been working fine for me for the last 5 years that I have been shooting with them :)
Having said that most locations do have more. Usually 2 or 3 X 16A. We just use 10A as a general rule of thumb to give ourselves a buffer. The draw from a 2.5 is actually 10.4A however they are always rated in the specs (listed on the head) as 10A fixtures.

Cheers,

Mark
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#17 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 01:02 AM

Hi guys,

I am not on no trust found and am actually struggling in renting this gear :unsure: and am therefore hoping to find a best solution for me...

I have come across some Hamilton & Baker lights that use 2.5K bulb in them and am wondering if i should get them?? I think I can get two of these and save me some rental cost. I also think I will be able to sell them afterwards... just wondring what you thought of these particular lights??

I also think they are able to take 5K bulb, but am not 100% certain on this. Perhaps someone can confirm this?? If I had 2.5K bulbs in two of these lights, could i manage to run them on a modern house electronics here in Brissy, Australia - say if I get them sourced out to two different circuits?

Ill still try and get myself set-up along the idea Dimitrios suggested:
  • 1200W cinepars x 1
  • Kenos - I will rent from Premier (4foot)
  • Redhea kit I could borrow from a source - but not on daily basis
  • and these two Hamilton and Baker lights with 2.5K bulbs (one for each) and one 5K bulb to interchange
If anyone can suggest something, weather it be against the Hamilton & Baker lights or for, it would be appreciated. I kind of just want to have some lights that I will always have on me, for the production is shot on deferred payment with actors and crew and will be hard to schedule around - so we might end up having to rent lights for a period of over 40 days... you know what i mean... so i thought, if i own at least 2 lights myself, i could save a boundle. Do let me know if these lights are no good though... they have 20Amp connectors on them...

Many thanks guys!
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#18 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:16 AM

Hi guys,

I am not on no trust found and am actually struggling in renting this gear :unsure: and am therefore hoping to find a best solution for me...

I have come across some Hamilton & Baker lights that use 2.5K bulb in them and am wondering if i should get them?? I think I can get two of these and save me some rental cost. I also think I will be able to sell them afterwards... just wondring what you thought of these particular lights??

I also think they are able to take 5K bulb, but am not 100% certain on this. Perhaps someone can confirm this?? If I had 2.5K bulbs in two of these lights, could i manage to run them on a modern house electronics here in Brissy, Australia - say if I get them sourced out to two different circuits?

Ill still try and get myself set-up along the idea Dimitrios suggested:

  • 1200W cinepars x 1
  • Kenos - I will rent from Premier (4foot)
  • Redhea kit I could borrow from a source - but not on daily basis
  • and these two Hamilton and Baker lights with 2.5K bulbs (one for each) and one 5K bulb to interchange
If anyone can suggest something, weather it be against the Hamilton & Baker lights or for, it would be appreciated. I kind of just want to have some lights that I will always have on me, for the production is shot on deferred payment with actors and crew and will be hard to schedule around - so we might end up having to rent lights for a period of over 40 days... you know what i mean... so i thought, if i own at least 2 lights myself, i could save a boundle. Do let me know if these lights are no good though... they have 20Amp connectors on them...

Many thanks guys!


Hello,
If your current is 240V then us hould use a socket with 16Amps or more to light a 2,5 KW.
As for the type is: Volts multiply by Amps , eguals Watt.
So you have Watt divide by Volt equals Amps.
Remember though that you shouldn't go with the limits of the fuses.
AQnyway, as I previously said there aren't any 2,5KW changeable to 5KW. (If we are talking for HMI's.
U have 2,5KW, changeable to 4KW.
Hamilton lights? The only ones I know are for marine/aquarium insalments, I am not sure if they have anything to do with filming, unless it's underwater, or you will use them for specific reasons,or over frames of diffusion.
Anyway,
the list that I have suggested you was with one 2,5 KW and 2 x 1200W cinepar's among with the kino's, redheads, fresnels 1K and blonds.
Since your stock is tungsten, be sure to have much of CTO correction gels with you all the numberes 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and full.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#19 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 09:53 AM

Hi Dimitrios,

In regards to those Hamilton lights I was talking about, here they are here http://cgi.ebay.com......AMEWA:IT&rd=1
Unfortunately I did not get them, as there is still a bit till my production commences and I wish to have a crack at finding the set-up you did suggest, rather then the lights that were on this auction. I might consider eBay as one way of getting some of those lights, if the right gear will come along...

Just curiosity wise, what do you think of those lights and the price they went for anyways?

Thanks mate,
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:23 AM

Hi Dimitrios,

In regards to those Hamilton lights I was talking about, here they are here http://cgi.ebay.com......AMEWA:IT&rd=1
Unfortunately I did not get them, as there is still a bit till my production commences and I wish to have a crack at finding the set-up you did suggest, rather then the lights that were on this auction. I might consider eBay as one way of getting some of those lights, if the right gear will come along...

Just curiosity wise, what do you think of those lights and the price they went for anyways?

Thanks mate,



Hi,

The link seems broken!

Stephen
  • 0


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