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Buying a 2K fresnel


Jan Tore Soerensen
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Good evening. I am looking to buy a bigger light to my kit, and concidering options, I think a 2K tungsten fresnel will be best for my use and budget atm. I have looked at some Aputure lights for their portability, but I dont think the higher cost can be justified, since we are talking $400 vs $1400.

 

Looking at options on ebay now, which brands should I be looking for? Arri is definitely an option, but there are some Altmans and other less known brands as well. Any inputs here?

 

How do we feel about these LED fresnels in here?

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I mean the benefits you're getting out of the Aputure 300d is pretty worth it. 2K tungsten's Fresnel are that expensive for a reason, first, the size of them, meaning the material costs and the fact they're not LED. I gotta say almost every pro ways out the cons of choosing the Aputure 300d over a 2k tungsten Fresnel.

 

- You don't need to purchase a generator just to take it outside

- It's almost twice the size so it's easier to transport

- You can easily attach accessories to it

- It doesn't get any where near as hot as a real 2k

- It's remote controlled

- It's like half the price.

 

You're really comparing those pros to the simply con that it's cheaper. I gotta say with my experience with aperture in particular, you get more for what you pay for.

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Moles are kind of the go-to 2Ks round if you can find them; but as a tungsten unit; most "name" brands are roughly the same. There may be differences in the fresnel and the reflector; but it's generally not enough to make or break a specific unit.

That said, I haven't touched/used a 2K Fresnel in AGES. It seems today's style of shooting has gravitated towards large soft sources, and in such cases a 2K Open face will give you; generally more light output for bouncing/pushing through frames.

They do get HOT, and here in the US at least, often will pop breakers and melt hubble connectors (as M18s sometimes do as well). But, well, they are cheap, sometimes as cheap as $100 or so on ebay.

That all said, were I to be looking to get a new-er unit today, I'd be gravitating towards LED. I haven't used the Aperature, personally, but I do hear good things, and the initial outlay to buy it, I think, will quickly be made up even by the fact that you won't really need to worry about new bulbs (about $30 for a CYX Globe), Scrims, Appropriate 2K Variances/Dimmers, larger stands, and the Gels you'll go through when you need to correct it.

They also seem to go for about 1000USD on Amazon.

That all said; I'd recommend renting out a 2K and an 300D first, before you buy either; and comparing them side by side to see which really works best for you. Also, if you don't need it (e.g. you can rent when needed) I see little reason to buy it. Rental is almost always a better idea as you can pass that rental cost on to the client, in the same way you'd be charging, ideally, for your own units, without the burden of upkeep and insurance being on you when they're not out working.

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As to 1-2-5K fresnels...

Arris use bolted aluminium castings. Easy to disassemble and don't rust.

Mole and LTM are made from welded/riveted sheet steel. Heavily used lights selling cheaply sometimes need a welding job and almost always a repaint.

Sachtlers are cast aluminum. Harder to service than Arri, probably a bit stronger.

Strand/Ianiro/Desisti are bolted/welded sheet steel. Got a very complicated focusing mechanism with pulleys and cord. Well-designed as pole operated studio lights, not so a location lights.

If you buy one, make sure the electrics are intact: switch doesn't get hot, insulation isn't damaged on cabling inside the lamphouse, all crimped connections hold strong and grounding is there (test with an ohmmeter). Or better yet ask a film electician to inspect it.

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I mean the benefits you're getting out of the Aputure 300d is pretty worth it. 2K tungsten's Fresnel are that expensive for a reason, first, the size of them, meaning the material costs and the fact they're not LED. I gotta say almost every pro ways out the cons of choosing the Aputure 300d over a 2k tungsten Fresnel.

 

- You don't need to purchase a generator just to take it outside

- It's almost twice the size so it's easier to transport

- You can easily attach accessories to it

- It doesn't get any where near as hot as a real 2k

- It's remote controlled

- It's like half the price.

 

You're really comparing those pros to the simply con that it's cheaper. I gotta say with my experience with aperture in particular, you get more for what you pay for.

I`m actually referring to used vs. new. You wont get a 300d used, but there are plenty of tungsten units for sale online. As to the LEDs pros, I totally agree.

 

Moles are kind of the go-to 2Ks round if you can find them; but as a tungsten unit; most "name" brands are roughly the same. There may be differences in the fresnel and the reflector; but it's generally not enough to make or break a specific unit.

That said, I haven't touched/used a 2K Fresnel in AGES. It seems today's style of shooting has gravitated towards large soft sources, and in such cases a 2K Open face will give you; generally more light output for bouncing/pushing through frames.

They do get HOT, and here in the US at least, often will pop breakers and melt hubble connectors (as M18s sometimes do as well). But, well, they are cheap, sometimes as cheap as $100 or so on ebay.

That all said, were I to be looking to get a new-er unit today, I'd be gravitating towards LED. I haven't used the Aperature, personally, but I do hear good things, and the initial outlay to buy it, I think, will quickly be made up even by the fact that you won't really need to worry about new bulbs (about $30 for a CYX Globe), Scrims, Appropriate 2K Variances/Dimmers, larger stands, and the Gels you'll go through when you need to correct it.

They also seem to go for about 1000USD on Amazon.

That all said; I'd recommend renting out a 2K and an 300D first, before you buy either; and comparing them side by side to see which really works best for you. Also, if you don't need it (e.g. you can rent when needed) I see little reason to buy it. Rental is almost always a better idea as you can pass that rental cost on to the client, in the same way you'd be charging, ideally, for your own units, without the burden of upkeep and insurance being on you when they're not out working.

Thats great advice! Maybe an open face light is what I`m looking for. Sadly I cant rent and test here. No rental options.

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Two 1K lights are more versatile than a single 2K (unless you want a single source to simulate sunlight)

what specifically do you need the instrument for?

Thanks for the input! I need versatile lights for all types of shooting. Simulating sun- and moonlight, creating soft keylight on talent and for interviews, filling up scenes in day and overcast situations etc. In addition to a 2K some 600-800w will be purchased. Probably some sort of LED panel just for convenience aswell.

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I had a shoot yesterday in which I used an ARRI L10 to bounce light off an 8' bounce card rigged 7' in the air and then used a Celeb 400 and Celeb 200 on each side of the talent as a key and fill respectively. The biggest complaint I had from the talent was that she was too cold, it was about 15ºC where we were shooting. I never thought I would get the complaint that the LEDs weren't hot enough.

In all seriousness, the fact that the 300D has the same output as a the L10 without the weight or 2K without the heat is just crazy to me and I'll probably be picking one up. An LED light will future proof your kit whereas a tungsten is, in my humble opinion, investing in outdated technology.

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I highly recommend a 2K Mole, but most require a junior spud stand to hold it. If you don't have a junior stand (aka combo stand), then your cost for the light will go up because you'll need to buy a stand. The different spud on the light creates other problems; you'll need a junior spud pipe clamp for grid work, a junior spud plate for screwing it onto a pancake, etc.

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  • 2 months later...

I highly recommend a 2K Mole, but most require a junior spud stand to hold it. If you don't have a junior stand (aka combo stand), then your cost for the light will go up because you'll need to buy a stand. The different spud on the light creates other problems; you'll need a junior spud pipe clamp for grid work, a junior spud plate for screwing it onto a pancake, etc.

 

In other words, you'd actually have to start owning some real sturdy grip gear.....heaven forbid.

The combo stand also comes in handy for when you need a rock steady mount for your Source4 leko or menace arm.

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I went this route last year, ebayed a bunch of old tungsten fixtures. 1K-5K . Desisti fixtures can be had for much cheaper than arri on ebay. They are useful to have lying around, for projects that don't have rental budgets and so on. One problem with this is that for them to be really useful, you need a full kit of C-stands, flags and so on because rental houses where I am are loath to rent out just a few accessories like that. You also need a couple of sturdy combo stands, but there is nothing wrong with that.

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Baby pins are such a stupid invention. They're fine for grip, 4x4 frames and such, but for lights? What a nightmare! Nothing holds still, even tiny lightweight flex lights spin on the bloody things!

I wish all lights had junior pins.

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Baby pins are such a stupid invention. They're fine for grip, 4x4 frames and such, but for lights? What a nightmare! Nothing holds still, even tiny lightweight flex lights spin on the bloody things!

 

I wish all lights had junior pins.

 

You could remove the pins from your stands and have the recessed section knurled. Could be done using even the smallest of metal lathes. You'd increase the grip immensely.

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