FORUMS: list search recent posts

question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles

COW Forums : Lighting Design

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
walken5555
question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 4, 2007 at 4:12:06 am

I have a small chimera but no honeycomb or fabric grid and want to purchase one. I am confused as to the difference in these. I was looking on the great efplighting.com website and it seems that the honeycombs cut more light, but is it that much difference between the two. And how well do these transport compared to the fabric grids.

And my biggest point of confusion is the different levels of degree. For example the fabric grid is available in at least 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 levels. I'm sure that the level of light falloff is changing here but I don't understand how. And what would be a good basic choice if I am only going to buy one?

Also I have been using my chimera with a Lowell totalight. I am now upgrading my whole light kit, buying some arris or moles (I still am not sure as I have used the arris but am curious about the moles). Anyway, I read that the open faced lights are better with the chimeras than the fresnels. As I am planning on buying some fresnels, should I buy an open faced light and a new speedring along with an open faced light? And if so what wattage is recommended?

I live in New Orleans and normally do a lot of musician (and now post-Katrina) related documentary interviews and verite work.

And a final additional question, in terms of wattage does anyone have an opinion on which I'll get more use out of Arri 300 or 650s.

Thanks for any info and putting up with a rambling posting.


Return to posts index

john sharaf
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 4, 2007 at 2:38:40 pm

Walken,

The Fabric grids are much better for news and doc work, as the honeycombs are fragile and require a case as large as they are and become cumbersome and bulky to store and transport.

As regards your choice of instrument wattage, you've got to know that if you intend to use a light with a chimera, that the chimera really sucks up the output such that they are really best with HMI's and larger tungsten units (preferably open face like 1K or 2K). This relegates the 300 and 650's to use without the chimera and as backlites or hard light key in dark interiors or night work.

JS


Return to posts index

Bob Cole
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 6, 2007 at 3:48:20 am

John is as usual right about using open face units with the Chimera. Your Lowel Totalight would work well with the small Chimera, and it packs small, which is nice.

Re: fabric grids -- mine are 40 degrees which seem to work fine.

-- Bob C



Return to posts index


walken5555
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 7, 2007 at 4:07:20 am

Thanks John and Bob for your input.


Return to posts index

Vincent Becquiot
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 8, 2007 at 9:33:55 pm

I've actually used both grids and honeycombs recently, and yes, honeycombs aren't woth the trouble, unless you have a ton of time on your hands, and a large crew. I found that unless you need a pitch black background, as long as you have a least 8 feet between the talent and backdrop, the light really is barely noticeblae on camera with the velcro grid.

Vince


Return to posts index

Dennis Size
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 9, 2007 at 12:33:06 am

As a long time Chimera user (who's work has been featured in their catalogues), I've bought dozens and dozens of lightbanks over the years -- and probably contributed to the sales of hundreds and hundreds. I'll add my 2 cents.
I would never use a lightbank that didn't have a light control grid; and given my druthers I would only use a honeycomb (my favorite for optimal control being the 30 degree).
DS


Return to posts index


Bob Cole
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 9, 2007 at 1:15:49 am

[Dennis Size] "given my druthers I would only use a honeycomb"

Dennis, could you please elaborate? Is it because the honeycomb is more effective at keeping the light off unwanted areas (e.g. background), or is it because of the character of the light itself?

-- Bob C


Return to posts index

Dennis Size
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 10, 2007 at 12:16:17 am

There's no point in spending all the money for a lightbank and a light source which new would cost hundreds of dollars (or thousands if you use them on 5k's like I do) if you can't control the beam.
You may as well join the ranks of our HOME DEPOT shoppers and buy a tungsten worklight, put a hunk of muslin in front of it, and be done with it. If you put a lightbank on an open-face source you're getting a soft wash of uncontrollable light. You can achieve the same effect much, much cheaper by just buying a used scoop for $100.00 and putting 4 layers of tough spun or a silk, over it's aperture. There will be next to no difference.
The honeycomb does more than just shape the beam, it provides true directionality to the beam ... much more than fabric grids. I can achieve greater falloff without contaminating my backgrounds (very important when I'm dealing with projection surfaces behind the talent. I will concede they are heavier, more delicate, and not as easy to transport than fabric grids -- but that is never a concern of mine. If the easier option is more important to you then go that route.

DS


Return to posts index

walken5555
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 10, 2007 at 3:34:48 pm

Thank you for elaborating. This might seem like a trivial question, but I've never actually handled a honeycomb and am debating on which is better for me. I definitely want control, but I do a lot of doc work and am wondering exactly what it's like to move a honeycomb around (how portable is it?)--how much does it weigh? Are you able to put it into some kind of a case with your other lights (an Arri or Mole sized hard case for example)? Or is this something more to equip a truck with?

And I'm still not clear on what the different degrees do. I understand that several people say 30 degrees or 40 degrees are fine for them, but what is the actual difference between these and say, 60 degrees?

Thanks in advance.


Return to posts index


Dennis Size
Re: question on chimeras...and a bit on arris and moles
on Apr 10, 2007 at 4:23:42 pm

A lightbank with a silk will take an already wide source and make it very soft --- but to do that it makes it wider. As we all know a big (wider) source of light, close to a subject will be very soft. Unfortunately that wide wash often "sprays" all over, and where we don't want it; and needs to be shaped and controlled. The Chimera honeycomb is a metal (aluminum) grid of honeycomb-shaped openings that are "honed" to direct a beam of light through their tiny apertures, effectively narrowing the beam to as tight as a 30 degree spot or as wide as a 90 degree beam. The 60 degree grid works very effectively for 2 people. A 30 degree from the same distance will only light one of those people -- successfully keeping the light off the other person -- allowing you to light him/her separately. See the advantage? Plus the light fall-off is so great (it's still a softight source afterall) the background is barely affected -- assuming your subjects aren't right up against the wall.
Obviously reducing a soft wash of light through tiny 30 degree openings costs lumen efficiency, and you will find you need a stronger source if you require brighter output. If you needed a rough guestimation -- a 30 degree honeycomb, on a 5000w fresnel, will yield about 40 footcandles on a subject about 12'-0" away.
Because they're metal they have a certain amount of durability but the honeycomb grid is very thin metal and can be easily "mashed" -- reducing it's efficiency. It's similar to the cooling grill on the back of an air conditioner. It doesn't take much pressure to crush it.

The honeycomb normally comes in a 1/4" plywood box an inch bigger all around than the grid itself. It should continue to be stored and transported in this case for safety. Since it's mostly air and aluminum, the honeycomb itself is not that heavy -- depending on how big a grid you have -- but it's plywood box could be considered by some to be cumbersome. The honeycomb velcros to the inside of the lightbank like all other accessories. On the large Daylight banks you'll find you have to safety tie the end of the light bank up to insure it maintains it's focus, as it has a tendency to sag.
Hopefully this answers your questions. Feel free to ask more if it doesn't. Check out the Chimera website for specs and photos of honeycombs in action.
DS


Return to posts index

Bob Cole
best explanation ever
on Apr 10, 2007 at 4:32:43 pm

Thanks Dennis for the explanation of honeycombs. The only thing I can say to Walken in favor of fabric grids is (1) they're easier for small-crew location work, and (2) nothing says "We've wrapped!" like the sound of the Velcro'd fabric grids getting ripped off the Chimeras.

But thanks to Dennis's explanation, I know more about where I'd want to use a honeycomb grid in place of fabric.

-- Bob C



Return to posts index

P. J. in Hollywood
Re: best explanation ever
on Apr 13, 2007 at 10:54:05 pm

All this talk of Chimeras is great. They are also expensive. A Chimera and speed ring for a 2K can set you back $500. Nothing controls a light, however, like a flag on a C stand; the stock in trade of grips.

Just for grins and giggles, check out the Barger-Baglight at: http://www.barger-baglite.com/buzz.htm They're intensity is controllable by just switching one or more lights on or off.

Try double diffusion with: 1) diffusion clipped to the outside of the barn doors and 2) a knife blade frame in front of that, on a C stand (which) gives a great control without spending $500 on Chimera, speed ring, etc. Now you can flag the light off of the back ground or other tallant as needed.

Short on C stands? The C stand can be eliminated by using a Mathews Mafter clamp on your light stand and a grip arm to hold the knife blade frame. Don't forget the sand bag.

Chimeras are great for creating a large soft semi-controllable light source but they are really costly, especially for a 2K or larger.

A 4ft by 4ft Mathews knife blade frame, on the other hand, costs about $100 and lasts forever. You now have a choice of diffusion types, depending on your diffusion needs. Chimeras, however, are not so cheap and long lasting. Flags are usually necessary in any event.

It all depends on if you are doing an interview or lighting a large studio set for a four person cast.

Just a thought.

Best wishes,

PJ



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]