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Spacelights...


Matthew Buick
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Another source of quality China Balls is : http://www.lanternlock.com/

 

I've been using several of these for years and they are still as strong and unbent as when I purchased. The cheaper ones just don't stand up to the abuse they get put to (or perhaps my crews are more in the guerilla filmmaking category that I would like :D ) Having a stem that fits a standard c-stand knuckle is a real plus too.

 

They are a lot more expensive than the really cheap ones, but I think they make up for it in longevity.

 

Cheers,

Paul

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Jem makes a great china ball bracket and fixture they call Harps. (there are one or two others that make a similiar item) I think they come in 14 and 19 inch sizes.

 

 

Just to be clear, the metal frame that holds a shade is always called a harp. That's not just Jem's name.

 

This is a table lamp harp (with socket):

30355.f.jpg

 

Speaking of Jem, the "Jem Ball" is pretty cool too.

http://www.jemlighting.com/products.html

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Lanternlock has suspended sales on their site for quite some time now. Not sure what happened there. There are many that have such "harps". I had an idea to make one that was like a trombone so you could select the size for whatever lantern size you wanted. The trouble with most of these is that you buy it and it's limited to one size only. An adjustable harp that allowed anything from a 15" to 30" would be super.

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  • 2 months later...

Got my pair of nylon china balls from the aforementioned website...less than 24 hours after I purchased them online! Too awesome...well, it helps that they're located only an hour away from SF.

 

I set them up and they do look mighty nice. I'm using them on a shoot this weekend, I'll submit my verdict by Monday, probably.

 

:)

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Got my pair of nylon china balls from the aforementioned website...less than 24 hours after I purchased them online! Too awesome...well, it helps that they're located only an hour away from SF.

 

I set them up and they do look mighty nice. I'm using them on a shoot this weekend, I'll submit my verdict by Monday, probably.

 

:)

 

Cool. Let us know what you think about the specular properties. I don't see too much problem but another opinion would be good.

 

That company seems to really be the China Ball specialist. I hope at some point to offer a specialized, inexpensive cylinder shape lantern that actually uses artificial silk like that used in softbox fronts but has a china lantern type frame so its easy to fold down and carry around. Now that would be a cool product. Heat resistant chinese lantern. Pair that with a 150w to 1200w metal halide/HMI in some kind of protection glass beaker and you really would have a poor man's spacelight.

 

We've found china ball factories here in china (big surprise!) that make the balls in real silk as standard. It appears white is possible but a special order item as red is the far more commonly ordered color. 1). I don't know what the heat resistance of real silk is but I doubt it's all that great and 2). The light transmission actually may be more akin to the nylon for those that are concerned about the specular properties of nylon. 3). It certainly doesn't have the "rip stop" characteristics of nylon and if you scratch it you may have a hole that's freying around the edges before you know it.

 

I may try out a silk one though just to see how it shapes up. Could turn out to be interesting if the above concerns like heat resistance aren't all that bad.

 

It may turn out though that artificial silk really is the best material to use for this kind of product.

Edited by Richard Andrewski
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I think Stuart Brereton mentioned them once for "a soft overall toplight". I'm interested, what are they? Where can I buy some? How affordable are they?

 

Kind Regards. :)

 

On a smaller scale you will get the same effect with China Ball.

Space or China's ... excellent lights to create/control your Ambiance.

China Ball is very usefull in its versatility... Ambience/EyeLight/Localized Highlight, ETC.

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The verdict is in, I love'em. They're a little thinner and not as tightly stitched as your basic silk material, but it works as a wonderful soft source and gives you a better output than the paper lanterns.

 

I found myself using them in nearly every shot this past weekend. I was shooting mostly in available daylight in a white walled apartment, so I was mainly using them to boost the fill a bit. So I had in a 250w blue bulb (4800K) with a piece of 1/2 CTB to punch up the color temp to get a tad closer to the bluer skylight coming from outdoors. I also patched up the bottom hole of the chinaball with a square of 216. The light itself was still a little warmer, but I liked it that way.

 

We were shooting very high key, low contrast as this show is supposed to be a mock reality show.

 

Here are some stills of how I employed the china lanterns:

 

IMG_0011-2.jpg

 

IMG_0006.jpg

 

IMG_0013-1.jpg

 

IMG_0017-1.jpg

 

IMG_0019.jpg

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank
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I used a typical paper IKEA lantern, a little over 2 feet wide, with a 200W bulb and ofcourse a porcelain socket. I wouldn't advise anyone to put a higher wattage bulb in them though.

 

I've used standard 6k space lights, and a smaller 1k and 2k space light. These were awesome on the tv show I gaffed because we did a lot of green screen and these could be evenly spaced to give equal light to the walls and floors. Contact Eastern Effects in Brooklyn NY for who makes the smaller space lights.

 

For china lanterns I usually use 1/2 conduit, slotted with a hacksaw to hard mount the ball. In this way you can mount them from a c stand. I hate how they hang around and spin all the time, hard to mask ect. ect. For a 24" ball put a diagonal slice into the conduit 24" from the bottom and notch the bottom as well, and fit the metal expando frame into the slot and notch.

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I'm intriqued by the idea of using the colored nylon lanterns from http://www.paperlanternstore.com/ .

They're cheap enough that I think I'll buy two or three colors (as well as some whites) and run some cheap tests with my miniDV camera. I'll probably hang Source Four Ellipsoidal socket caps with 575 watt HPL lamps in them. Obviously my first tests will be outside so if I set one on fire I'm only out one S4 cap, not my shop. :D

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I'm intriqued by the idea of using the colored nylon lanterns from http://www.paperlanternstore.com/ .

They're cheap enough that I think I'll buy two or three colors (as well as some whites) and run some cheap tests with my miniDV camera. I'll probably hang Source Four Ellipsoidal socket caps with 575 watt HPL lamps in them. Obviously my first tests will be outside so if I set one on fire I'm only out one S4 cap, not my shop. :D

 

575 is a bit over the rating for them. I think mine said not to use over a 300w bulb in it. So for sure be careful with that. It's just one more reason I think metal halide/HMI is a great way to go inside these things. A 250w is under the rating for the lantern and puts out around 1000 to 1200w worth of light at around 22,000 lumens. If you're used to playing around with electronics, it's no problem to put one of those together.

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The verdict is in, I love'em. They're a little thinner and not as tightly stitched as your basic silk material, but it works as a wonderful soft source and gives you a better output than the paper lanterns.

 

I found myself using them in nearly every shot this past weekend. I was shooting mostly in available daylight in a white walled apartment, so I was mainly using them to boost the fill a bit. So I had in a 250w blue bulb (4800K) with a piece of 1/2 CTB to punch up the color temp to get a tad closer to the bluer skylight coming from outdoors. I also patched up the bottom hole of the chinaball with a square of 216. The light itself was still a little warmer, but I liked it that way.

 

We were shooting very high key, low contrast as this show is supposed to be a mock reality show.

 

Did you use you own socket and cord or the ones they sell on the site? if they're your own where did you get them?

 

Were there any problems with the nylon and heat? I contacted the site and they said to not use more than 100w in them :blink:

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I'd love to hear the specifics too of hookup.

 

Manufacturers and retailers are always more cautious about recommendations and pushing the limits of their products. When customers ask me about this or that type thing and pushing the limits most of the time I give the politically correct answer too--it's just something we do automatically because we live in a litigious society. When I bought my first nylon china balls a couple of years ago though from that same source, the sheet of paper that came with them clearly said 300w limit for the size I had of 24". The limits are smaller for each successively smaller ball though which makes sense if you think about it.

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I got the 18" and 24" for a reason, really. I used the 18" for any bulb under 500, and I felt pretty safe with that since the heat wasn't at all intense so there wasn't any danger of the ball melting.

 

But for the 500 watt bulbs I used, I definitely felt I had to use the 24" (which is VERY noticeably bigger than the 18"), and when touching the ball I didn't feel any heat at all, so I felt pretty secure with that decision.

 

I'll post some photos of my fixtures and rigging once I pick up my equipment from the location. We shot late into the night on Sunday, so I didn't have the energy to pack it into my car and haul it back home.

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  • 3 months later...
They have 6 1K nook lights placed around a wagon wheel type shape, all pointing straight down into a silk cylinder, the bottom can have diffusion and gel clipped in. It uses Soca cable, which is AC bunched up into one cable and given different heads in which you need male splays (turns the soca cable into 6 individual AC heads) to connect to a distribution box, where you can control each lights output. They are really cheap to rent, not sure how much they are to buy or where to buy them. I'd call a local rental house that has them and find out where they buy them.

 

hi, chayse ! i just joined the party late. but please tell me whether the nook lights are daylight or tungsten ? and another friend in this thread says that he uses a blonde. are'nt blondes 2k open faced tungsten they are called 'multi' in chennai, south india ? much friendship, rajkumar

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hi, chayse ! i just joined the party late. but please tell me whether the nook lights are daylight or tungsten ? and another friend in this thread says that he uses a blonde. are'nt blondes 2k open faced tungsten they are called 'multi' in chennai, south india ? much friendship, rajkumar

 

Nook lights are tungsten.

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i have just picked up on this thread a space light is a at least a 4k lamp used in studios in a large number to give a great overall soft top light , a china ball is something else .

 

Yeah, it started out talking about actual spacelights, then somehow veered its way into chinaballs :)

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Nook lights are tungsten.

 

wow, thank you, dave ! so that means spacelights would normally come with tungsten lights , right ?( gosh! the color temp looks so much like daylight to me in a photograph) i have'nt seen or felt one myself as they may not be available so easily at south indian rental houses. but i read that ravi.k.chandran , chennai's own(my home town too! :P ) and among india's top dop's used them for all its worth in bollywoods' 'savariya' ! thank you once again, rajkumar

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Just for the record, people have been calling space lights 6 1k nooks. It may be more accurate to say that they typically (in the US anyway) have 6 1k globes called FCM's. The same type of bulb popular in 1k nooks. But not 2k nooks. They have FEY's.

 

Typical 6k space lights either have two curcuits powered by 60 amp bates plug or you can get a Socco type lamp that can be controled from a dimmer pack.

 

Or one can get lower wattage bulbs that are the same length as an FCM. I don't know the codes off the top of my head.

 

And for what it is worth, there is a smaller 2k space light available. Perhaps there are others available.

 

Best

 

Tim

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