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Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?

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Todd Terry
Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jun 23, 2008 at 2:58:02 pm

HI kids...

This is cross-posted in Lighting Design....

I'm looking for a non-bank-breaking way to supplement our existing HMI lighting... and ran across these little HMI instruments... pretty dirt cheap....

http://www.alzovideo.com/alzo_800_hmi_cool_lite.htm

Anyone have an opinion as to whether these would be useful for supplemental and incidental lighting (specials, dark corners, maybe hair lights) in scenes primarily lit with, say, a bounced 1200w Par or a couple of Joker-Bugs?

I admit, they do look a bit toyish, are really just 150w HID lamps, have no focusing or controllability (other than barndoors).... and I know you "get what you pay for" but when one could buy several of them for the cost of one "real" little 150w HMI, I'm wondering if they aren't worth considering for minor applications....

Thoughts appreciated....


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Wargo
Re: Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 6:09:52 am

I saw some of those on a shoot a few weeks ago and the shooter said they're pretty decent at twice the price. He did state that they've only used them outdoors for fill during interviews. One year old with the original bulbs.

Why not? I'm tempted myself. You could carry a box of them in the van and they don't take up a lot of space.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Todd Terry
Re: Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 2:35:06 pm

Thanks Steve...

Glad to hear someone has seen them with their own eyeballs.

I'm a little surprised that someone is using them outdoors, I wouldn't normally think a little 150w would be all that useful but maybe they're punchy enough to actually do some good.

For the money, though, I was thinking they might be worth trying just for incidental use for interiors.

Thanks!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Wargo
Re: Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jun 26, 2008 at 4:14:18 pm

They were taking the place of a small bounce card under a silk. Didn't need a lot but it did make a difference. Two man crew on an industrial. The lights were about 36" out.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Dan Brockett
Re: Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jul 17, 2008 at 3:23:47 am

Hi Todd:

Have you checked out the Cool Lights as well? Richard is selling a pretty sweet little CDM -150 that is a nice light, daylight or tungsten bulbs available, nice little ballast that rides on the lightstand.

I have seen they Alzos but have never used them hands on.

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Todd Terry
Re: Budget HMIs.... worth a darn?
on Jul 17, 2008 at 5:36:16 am

Hi Dan....

Yes... I've known Richard for quite a while... I have (and really like) one of his 1200w HMIs. I'd say build-quality wise it is probably not quite an ArriSun, but at about a fourth the price is it definitely worth it and you more than get what you pay for.

I considered one of his 150w HMIs, but I need something small to stick on a grip arm on a C-stand to use as a backlight/hairlight, etc., and even his smallest units are pretty big and heavy. He tells me he plans to work on a smaller 70w HMI in the fall (will be about the same size as a 300w tungsten fresnel) which sounds promising.

I did buy one of the Alzo units... just the little bare-bulb and ballast thingy. I'm trying to rig it up in a par can with barndoors and a fresnel lens in front... although it won't be adjustable. I haven't quite finished it yet, but if it all works it will be very lightweight. I will say, I don't think it is quite the equivalent of 800w tungsten as touted... doesn't seem quite that bright to me. And ANOTHER reason I'm putting a fresnel lens in front (aside from focusing the beam a bit) is as a UV shield... I can definitely feel it affecting my eyes, and there is a warning on the bulb package that says "Contains strong ultra-violet radiation, can cause irritation to eyes." I found that interesting considering some of their other complete units seem to be completely open-faced. I will say that the color temp is right on the money, though.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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