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is Intellytech good investments?


John Hovhanes
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hello.  I am taking my first steps in purchasing lighting for filming.  I would like to assemble a universal kit for commercial: vlog, documentaries (interviews), and experiments in low budget: shorts and some experiments with chromakey.  My budget is about 1200-1400 for this moment and I would like to purchase at least two sources of light (kit).  Earlier I leaned towards the used Kinos diva lite (not Led).  Then I read about Intellytech lamps and am considering buying  2 Light Kit Light Cannon X-100 | Bowens Mount + Bi-Color + Fresneel.  + diffuser (for using as “Kinoflo” mode). Please tell me your opinion?  Thanks. 

Edited by John Hovhanes
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It depends what you mean by "investment" and how you're intending to recoup that investment.

Anything other than the big brands is unlikely to attract rental customers; if your clients care what gear you use, you need the brand names. If you're equipping yourself as a lone operator, it's less of a big deal, and you can make money out of whatever works.

In short: depends.

P

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Intellytech has generally worked well for me in the past, when careful about how I implement them. Mainly used the f165 bicolor fresnels. Cons: The build quality is okay, the warmer cct seems a little off. I also noticed (to the eye) ugreen renditions at super low dimming percentage (like 1%), but would like to do testing and comparisons with a color meter. Other than that, it’s pretty great for what you get at the price point.

Dont know about the lights you’re looking at, they could be newer and an improvement color quality wise. 

Edited by Joseph Tese
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7 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

It depends what you mean by "investment" and how you're intending to recoup that investment.

Anything other than the big brands is unlikely to attract rental customers; if your clients care what gear you use, you need the brand names. If you're equipping yourself as a lone operator, it's less of a big deal, and you can make money out of whatever works.

In short: depends.

P

Fine! Thank you for answer. I will explain a little bit: I do not go to rent equipment. Investments i mean in the quality of the result at the output. My clients need the final result, which technique I achieve (in terms of lighting) does not matter to them.

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6 hours ago, Joseph Tese said:

Intellytech has generally worked well for me in the past, when careful about how I implement them. Mainly used the f165 bicolor fresnels. Cons: The build quality is okay, the warmer cct seems a little off. I also noticed (to the eye) ugreen renditions at super low dimming percentage (like 1%), but would like to do testing and comparisons with a color meter. Other than that, it’s pretty great for what you get at the price point.

Dont know about the lights you’re looking at, they could be newer and an improvement color quality wise. 

Thanks to you, too. In this case, I will put the question this way, having a budget of 1200 - 1500 usd now, what would you choose: the old used Kinoflo Diva lite (tungsten) or Intellytech specified by me?

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In this matter, I am only concerned about the quality of light, color and image that I can get. If there is no difference between the light sources  I have indicated, or the difference is minimal, then I think it is better to choose LED? Right? Maybe there is a better solution for the same price instead of Intelytech?

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4 minutes ago, John Hovhanes said:

In this matter, I am only concerned about the quality of light, color and image that I can get. If there is no difference between the light sources  I have indicated, or the difference is minimal, then I think it is better to choose LED? Right? Maybe there is a better solution for the same price instead of Intelytech?

In grip&electric, the grip part plays a larger role in shaping an image than the electric. Do you have a minimally decent grip package available to you? Before investing in lights, I'd get a couple flags, a cutter, a floppy, a diffusion frame, C-stands and a combo with a small boom. Of course, there's never enough grip hardware, but such a set fits into a car and allows you to shoot interiors with some spill/contrast control.

The second thing I'd get is a small to medium sized Chimera with a grid. It doesn't actually do anything special and can be replaced with a frame and flags to control spill, but there's less setup time and bulk. Any light source of at least some 10000 lumens (125 W HMI / 500 W tungsten) is OK as long as you can get a speed ring for it.

Then, with the rest of budget, I'd look for a couple spotlights, ideally with enough power for a day interior. The most useful workhorse lights are 575 and 1200 HMI fresnels. You can get them used cheaply - but consult with a spark (electrician, lighting tech) before buying and have it inspected before use. LEDs are weak (that light is 100 W and the efficiency is a match to HMI at best), heavy, expensive and short-lived. Tungsten is generally practical only in studio, blacked-out interior and night settings. A kit composed solely of kinoflos is limiting, and they're a tad too pricey for the amount of light.

All that said, it might be wiser to buy a very basic (and cheap) electrical kit with par cans, tungsten fresnels, redheads, maybe cheaper fluorescents and rent the punchier daylight fixtures. Camera and G&E equipment rental rates in Moscow are some of the world's lowest. 

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59 minutes ago, Michael Rodin said:

In grip&electric, the grip part plays a larger role in shaping an image than the electric. Do you have a minimally decent grip package available to you? Before investing in lights, I'd get a couple flags, a cutter, a floppy, a diffusion frame, C-stands and a combo with a small boom. Of course, there's never enough grip hardware, but such a set fits into a car and allows you to shoot interiors with some spill/contrast control.

The second thing I'd get is a small to medium sized Chimera with a grid. It doesn't actually do anything special and can be replaced with a frame and flags to control spill, but there's less setup time and bulk. Any light source of at least some 10000 lumens (125 W HMI / 500 W tungsten) is OK as long as you can get a speed ring for it.

Then, with the rest of budget, I'd look for a couple spotlights, ideally with enough power for a day interior. The most useful workhorse lights are 575 and 1200 HMI fresnels. You can get them used cheaply - but consult with a spark (electrician, lighting tech) before buying and have it inspected before use. LEDs are weak (that light is 100 W and the efficiency is a match to HMI at best), heavy, expensive and short-lived. Tungsten is generally practical only in studio, blacked-out interior and night settings. A kit composed solely of kinoflos is limiting, and they're a tad too pricey for the amount of light.

All that said, it might be wiser to buy a very basic (and cheap) electrical kit with par cans, tungsten fresnels, redheads, maybe cheaper fluorescents and rent the punchier daylight fixtures. Camera and G&E equipment rental rates in Moscow are some of the world's lowest. 

thanks for the detailed answer!
What models of HMI would you recommend based on my budget?

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56 minutes ago, John Hovhanes said:

I also found this option https://shop.kinoflo.com/diva-lite/r-kit-dv400-120u.html#product_tabs_review_tabbed and it seems to me that at this price is a good deal? No?

These are very old model lights now .. I had one years ago and it quite hard to sell second hand ..  great light and a good price, the problem might be how long they continue  making the bulbs .. there newer models are all LED.. plus you have to change the bulbs to change the color temperature ..  TBH I wouldn't buy into this old technology,especially as I doubt they even make the bulbs anymore .. hence the price drop .. go LED, Bi color .. that can be battery operated if needed.. 

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Speaking about bi-color - does it actually save time? I don't find myself constantly readjusting CT - at most, I'd change gel once after looking in the monitor. Neither do I understand the need for battery power here. LEDs, with few exceptions, don't have the output to be used on EXT, even on a cloudy day or with an overhead silk you need at least a 200W HMI parlight to do something with contrast - and a 200W can be battery powered too. At 100 lm/W it's just as efficient - and much, much more efficient optically. In an interior, you'll have a couple of 16A circuits in newer buildings and 10A in Soviet ones. And when you don't - there are rentals lining up to give you a truckload of battery-powered lights for a dime. Owning more batteries than you need on day-to-day jobs is a waste of money - they quickly lose their resale value, and heavily used ones cost nothing. By the way, you budget is just enough for batteries only if you feel like going that route.

As to lamps - I can still get HMI200/GS, which's been discontinued for 20 years or so, and not as widespread as T12 and T7 CFL Kinoflo lamps that are used outside film industry as well. There are things to avoid - sealed beam and 250W HMI etc - but they're all rarity nowadays.

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On 8/29/2020 at 2:21 AM, John Hovhanes said:

thanks for the detailed answer!
What models of HMI would you recommend based on my budget?

DeSisti fresnels and parlights, LTM Cinepars, LTM Prolight fresnels, open faces by Rolf Bloessl made under the brand of Cine-Mobil rental. With Arri you pay premium for 'Arri' letters. There are also riskier variants like "Юпитер МГЛ". In any case, consult with a gaffer before buying. 

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1 hour ago, Michael Rodin said:

Speaking about bi-color - does it actually save time? I don't find myself constantly readjusting CT - at most, I'd change gel once after looking in the monitor. Neither do I understand the need for battery power here. LEDs, with few exceptions, don't have the output to be used on EXT, even on a cloudy day or with an overhead silk you need at least a 200W HMI parlight to do something with contrast - and a 200W can be battery powered too. At 100 lm/W it's just as efficient - and much, much more efficient optically. In an interior, you'll have a couple of 16A circuits in newer buildings and 10A in Soviet ones. And when you don't - there are rentals lining up to give you a truckload of battery-powered lights for a dime. Owning more batteries than you need on day-to-day jobs is a waste of money - they quickly lose their resale value, and heavily used ones cost nothing. By the way, you budget is just enough for batteries only if you feel like going that route.

As to lamps - I can still get HMI200/GS, which's been discontinued for 20 years or so, and not as widespread as T12 and T7 CFL Kinoflo lamps that are used outside film industry as well. There are things to avoid - sealed beam and 250W HMI etc - but they're all rarity nowadays.

Well my comments were regarding the light mentioned by the OP .. he wasn't ever talking about big units for daylight ext .. but yes bi color lights do save time .. sort of obvious  ....   especially if they are all rigged up high and you can adjust by remote ..  battery power can be very useful.. also for  pretty obvious reasons ..   small spaces hard to rig power ..  locations with without power ! ..  and just for ease .. you can pick up a light on. stand and just move it .. and its alot faster .. maybe when you do more lighting, you will learn how convenient they are before dismissing them ....    you can own batteries for sure ,they will last about 3 or 4 years .. put them on the invoice make your many back 100 times ..or rent them with the lights, its really not a big deal.. no one is worrying about the re sale price .. you don't sell them !..   

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