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HMI battle: 800W joker or 1200W Arri Fresnel?


Dominik Bauch
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For a booklight scenario, which of these 2 would you recommend?

 

1. Joker Bug 800W

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/192705-REG/K5600_K0800JB_Joker_Bug_800_Watt_HMI.html

Seems pretty pricey and lower output than the Arri below, bulbs are pretty expensive too. There is a 1600W version but that's a big step up price wise. Seems relatively compact and light and it is a PAR.

Would you say that when used as a bounce light it would be more efficient than a fresnel?

i.e. would the 800W joker have similar output when bounced off beadboard to the Arri 1200W fresnel?

 

2. Arri 1200W HMI Fresnel.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/583781-REG/Arri_Compact_1200_Watt_HMI.html

More power than the Joker but much bigger. Also a little more expensive but worth it to get some extra juice for use in certain daylight situations.

 

Which of these 2 would be more useful?

Output is a big deal but interested to hear any real world experiences with the lights.

 

 

 

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Depends, each light can be used for a variety of bounces or used direct.

 

Joker can be converted to a joe leko or a bug light/hmi lantern, but there are lots of little screws that can lost or damaged. Joker can run off a DC battery source. Personally I prefer using the Arri 400 Joe leko. It is much easier design swapping back and forth between a leko and conventional.

 

The 1200 is workhorse that can be used on a bounce or direct for smallish windows and such

 

What kind of work would you primarily do? Sometimes renting the lights you need when you need them, can be cheaper than owning in the long run.

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The 1200 Arri but go with a Par. You will likely have more interest from rental houses willing to rent that out for you than the joker. But ask around the houses near you. See for yourself what's a better investment. The Arri for sure will provide you with a better resale value after it's life. Build quality tends to be better.

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Thanks for the feedback. My main concern with the HMI's is how fragile the bulbs are. Replacing bulbs due to breakage can get expensive fast. Had also been looking at LED's but the sheer power of these is hard to beat in an LED...

Good call re renting lights, might be the best way to go to narrow down which the best ultimate investment would be. Hard to find definitive info online. I've used a bunch of lower wattage Jokers and Arri HMI's on set but not these exact models.

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I would suggest the new Hive 1K Plasma light. The Par version is called the Wasp. It's more powerful than either of those lights by a wide margin but competitive in price. In fact it's the most powerful fixture available that can be plugged into a regular outlet. More punch than an ARRI M18. I find that when making a proper booklight you need two things: A lot of space and a lot of lumens. A booklight really eats up the foot-candles when you bounce and then diffuse.

Edited by Mitch Gross
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I would suggest the new Hive 1K Plasma light. The Par version is called the Wasp. It's more powerful than either of those lights by a wide margin but competitive in price. In fact it's the most powerful fixture available that can be plugged into a regular outlet. More punch than an ARRI M90. I find that when making a proper booklight you need two things: A lot of space and a lot of lumens. A booklight really eats up the foot-candles when you bounce and then diffuse.

Mitch, looking at the Arri photometrics, the Wasp 1K's output is basically the same as the M18. Granted, the photometrics on the Hive website are not particularly detailed, so it's hard to tell if I'm comparing like for like, but that's certainly the way it looks.

 

M18, Full spot @ 50ft = f16 (800 ISO 24fps/180 deg)

Hive Wasp 1k Full Spot @50ft =f16 (800 ISO 24/180)

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It sounds like you're considering purchasing, so you're thinking the most likely use case is book light. If it's a book light a 1.2 fresnel or par is the way to go. If you're buying and you want something that fills one use case, and has potential for other things, I'd go 800 joker with a source 4, lens and bug a beam. But then again until I fell for the sky panel, a joleko was my favorite light. So I'm biased.

 

TL;DR 1.2 for book light, 800 joleko if you can only afford one light in that price range.

 

*edit: if you're buying used. Newer lights like the M18 is versatile in different ways.

Edited by Michael Collier
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Mitch, looking at the Arri photometrics, the Wasp 1K's output is basically the same as the M18. Granted, the photometrics on the Hive website are not particularly detailed, so it's hard to tell if I'm comparing like for like, but that's certainly the way it looks.

 

M18, Full spot @ 50ft = f16 (800 ISO 24fps/180 deg)

Hive Wasp 1k Full Spot @50ft =f16 (800 ISO 24/180)

 

Yes, sorry. I meant to type M18. I'll correct that.

 

Note that the HIVE 1K Wasp is both less expensive and uses considerably less power than the M18.

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Beside the light that come out of the units, there is a Sound Problem.

 

Jokers start to make sound after a few years.

From the head, not the ballast/choke.

 

Arri Heads don't make noise, sometimes the ballast/choke does, but you can block that sound easily.

 

So that should be a big enough reason to avoid the Joker.

 

Light wise I really like the advise given somewhere on this page to opt for a 1200 Par, which gives you through the lenses much more possibilities. And a good light.

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Beside the light that come out of the units, there is a Sound Problem.

 

Jokers start to make sound after a few years.

From the head, not the ballast/choke.

 

That's interesting, I haven't encountered noise issues in any 400 or 800 Jokers I've rented. Going to have a look inside an 800 head this week and see what could possibly be the source of any noise.

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Hi JD,

 

I work more and more at a Lighting Rental Place here,

and it is complaint Number 1.

 

We fall back onto the ancient Dedo 400 watt as a replacement.

 

And we have many heads opened, and on three of them had literary everything inside substituted.

The problem persisted...

It's not the ignitor, which is ludicrously expensive, but then at least we would have known what caused the problem.

 

So far, it remains a mystery...

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