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Super cheap Arri knock-off

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Rick Wise
Super cheap Arri knock-off
on Oct 19, 2015 at 11:01:59 pm

One of my online lighting students asked if it is OK to get this $120 650 Fresnel Arri knock-off under the brand name of Limo: http://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Photography-Television-Continuous-AGG1026/.... I suspect the answer is: highly dangerous. One Amazon reviewer/client tells us nothing is grounded. Anyone have any experience with it?

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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john sharaf
Re: Super cheap Arri knock-off
on Oct 20, 2015 at 12:37:52 pm

As a rule, I'd be very careful about buying something like this. Lighting equipment CAN last a lifetime and is a valuable asset for any cameraperson or filmmaker. When you consider how many years you can use it and the residual value as surplus of even the highest priced lighting kit it proves how ill advised buying crap is!

One thing to look for in buying lighting kit is the UL certification. Not only does this tell you the unit has been laboratory tested and found to be safe, but it's often a requirement to even use the light in certain venues. I've been challenged in the past on just such things.

That's not to say that all knock-offs are bad. I'd suggest you look seriously at the FILMGEAR kit. The comparable light at Adorama is listed at $385 including a four-leaf barn door, which usually costs more than $100 by itself. Yes, this light IS a knock off, and yes it IS made in China, but under the direction of the US Distributor, whom I happen to know.

He is Ron Dahlquist who is a pioneer in the lighting business in Hollywood. Over his long career he was a lighting technician on the Lucy Show, head of the Electrical Dept at Paramount, founder of Keylight Rentals, which was one of the largest light rental vendors in Hollywood after the studios started to close their on-site departments. He was the gaffer of the King Kong remake and many other mega movies. Needless to say, he knows his stuff, and safety and quality are his trademarks. The current line of FILMGEAR kit is extensive and they continue to innovate.

One of their newest products is LED tubes, like Kino Flos, but brighter and also dimmable without changing color. They last essentially forever with a stable color and output. Many studios and rental houses are now specifying FILMGEAR kit BECAUSE of the high quality, reliability AND the better pricing.

Of course there is always a tendency to buy the name brand, and also to look for the cheapest possible solution. This product and others of its ilk fill the gap quite adequately.

Due your due diligence. Whatever you spend is a dear amount. Compare the products and decide for yourself if spending a little more will be better for you in the long run. I would not buy lighting kit by mail order that you haven't looked at and touched yourself!

Good luck,

JS



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Rick Wise
Re: Super cheap Arri knock-off
on Oct 21, 2015 at 6:02:03 pm

Thanks, John. All excellent points. Another source for well-made Arri knock-offs is Cool Lights. They are roughly twice the price of the Limos, but properly grounded and cabled.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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