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My Gear


  1. At the CCW convention I saw some really cool new lights at the Shadowstone Lighting booth (I was giving a talk on lighting reality TV). One was the new Tungsten HMI Joker from 5600k and the other was the new LED baby zip light from Mole. You can read more and see pictures on my little blog here -http://www.lightingforcinematography.com/lighting-news/
  2. Now... I say this is a "strange issue" and maybe it is more common than I think but I'm hoping someone can help me out! I picked up a used Arri 1200 Compact HMI with a magnetic ballast on eBay a few weeks ago. Today, we were setting up for a shoot and realized a strange quirk with the light. Just for the record. The lamp is brand new. The 50' head cable is brand new. Fuses are good. Everything seemingly checks out. So, the problem: With the light attached to the head cable, it will not strike. The solution: Remove the head cable and attach the light directly to the ballast - turn it on. Voila! It works. We run the light for 2-3 seconds then power off, add the head cable, turn back on. Works fine - the light will run problem free for hours. Right now, we've just determined that the light has "character" and needs a little extra love to work properly. We we're just fortunate to come across this strange fix as we really needed the light for this shoot! Now, we're looking for a more elegant long-term fix. Any ideas as to what is causing this? Admittedly, I don't regularly work with HMIs - typically tungsten, kinos and LED. Any advice/help is greatly appreciated! Cheers!
  3. So I'm relatively new to working with HMI's. I have used them when necessary over the years, but always rented and obviously didn't have to worry about maintenance due to that fact. Recently decided to pick up a 1200w par to keep on the truck. Got a decent deal on a Sunray 1200 with Sunray electronic ballast. Anyways, I'm starting to have issues with striking it. It will strike intermittently. Sometimes on the first attempt, sometimes I just can't get it going. It will occasionally strike and start warming up, only to die out 10-20seconds later. I'm hoping it's just an old globe, but with my lack of experience there I just don't know. Does this sound like familiar symptoms to anyone who works with them more often than I do? Also, if anyone has a couple other pointers on keeping your HMI running well, please feel free to share. I know electronic ballasts are very susceptible to moisture. I keep most of our equipment on the truck which is of course not temperature controlled. Is that likely to cause an issue with humidity and temperature changes? Thanks in advance.
  4. Hawaii based production company and rental facility: Complete camera, grip, electric, and expendables. Alexa, Epic, Canon, Sony HD camera systems. Pro lenses & accs. ARRI, Mole, Kino. K5600, Dedo, Lite Panels - HMI, Incandescent, Flourescent and LED lighting. 1 Ton, 4 Ton, 5 ton G&E Pre-loaded trucks. Generators/Distribution. Fisher Dollies, sliders, cranes. Experienced union and non union crews. http://www.sightandsoundhawaii.com Bill Maheras Sight & Sound Studios, LLC 66 Queen Street, Suite 1705 Honolulu, HI 96813 ofc. 808-599-7600 FAX 808-599-7601 cell 808-754-0080
  5. Hi I'm thinking about picking up a power gems eb 125 used. This is not the slim most recent model but the bulkier one that I believe came right before. Does anyone know if this model has power factor correction? Sometimes I need to be able to plug into a 15a circuit which is why I want this. I've attached a picture thanks
  6. I have developed a new HD Plug-n-Play Pkg. that enables the paralleling of two Honda EU6500 inverter generators to generate 100 Amps of power. A complete system consists of two modified Honda EU6500s, a Paralleling Control Box, and one of our Transformer/Distros (either 60- or 84- Amp.) Parallel operation of two Honda EU6500 generators made possible by our new Paralleling Control Box) The generators require modification to interface with our standard Paralleling Control Box, which syncs the frequency and equalizes the load between the generators. Our proprietary paralleling control circuitry uses the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the generator's inverters to control the load sharing. The phase angles of the two generators are synchronized using open loop architecture. The final function of our control box is to switch the outputs of the inverters to a common bus after their frequencies are locked in step (same phase angle and time base.) 
(As demonstrated here, our new HD Plug-n-Play Paralleling System can power a 6K HMI as well as 2-2k and 2-1k Fresnels) To provide power that is readily accessible in industry standard outlets, our Paralleling Control Box is outfitted with both a 240V Bates receptacle, as well as a "Hollywood Style" 240V Twist-lock receptacle. The 240V Bates pocket is there to power larger HMIs than has ever been possible before on Hondas (4k - 9k ARRIMAXs.) The "Hollywood Style" 240V Twist-lock receptacle is there to supply power to either our 60- or 84- Amp Transformer/Distro. The Transformer/Distro serves several important functions in this system that enables two EU6500s to be paralleled (use this link for details), but its' primary function is to step-down the combined 240V output of the two generators into a single large 120V circuit (either 60- or 84- Amps) that is capable of powering more small lights, larger 120V lights (5-10k Quartz) than has ever been possible before on portable Hondas. Each of our Transformer/Distros is likewise outfitted with an industry standard 120V Bates receptacle so that you can use standard distro equipment, like Bates Siameses, Extensions, and Break-Out boxes to distribute power around your set, breaking out to U-Ground Edison Outlets where ever needed. Our 60A Transformer/Distro provides 120V power to smaller lights while a 6K HMI operates at 240V) 
 An added benefit to using a Transformer/Distro to distribute the combined power of the two generators is that, no matter where you plug into the Transformer/Distro on its' secondary side, it automatically balances the load on the generator's two legs (which is critical for successful paralleling of two machines – use this link for details.) This feature also makes electrical distribution on set incredibly simple: you just plug in lights until one of the generator's load indicators reads 6000 Watts and the Transformer/Distro does the rest. But, the most important benefit to be gained by using a Transformer/Distro, the one that makes it possible to parallel two EU6500s in the first place, is that it isolates the generators from high neutral return currents that can lead to dangerous neutral “cross-current” between the two generators that can overheat their inverters (use this link for more details.) By reducing the dangerous neutral “cross-current” created by two generators operating in parallel, our Transformer/Distros make it possible to operate more lights, or larger lights, on portable Hondas than has ever been possible before. Given the high sensitivity of HD camera systems these days, just about all the light you will need to obtain good production values can now be operated on our new HD Plug-n-Play Pkg. (use this link for more details.) Contact me if you want to retro-fit your Honda EU6500 for parallel operation without modification. Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston
  7. I am just wanting some reassurance on a generator / HMI set up so if anyone can share some knowledge, please do! We're going to be powering two Film Gear 2.5kW HMIs off a Honda EU65is genny which is advertised as 6.5kW but is actually rated at 5.5kW continuous. We'll be running 32amp extensions from the generator into a K9 32amp > 4 x 16amp box and the HMIs from there. I'm fairly new to working with HMIs and have read a lot about crystal sync, etc. so just wanted to double check this sounds correct to you pros out there. I'm based in the UK if that makes any difference. Thanks, Josh
  8. I am DPing a music video in the near future that will be shot entirely at night in a forest. The concept is to have an industrial yet gothic feeling rave taking place in the forest with numerous people dancing and milling around. We are going for a very abstract and neon look, reminiscent of "Only God Forgives". Saturated colours are important and it's not important to have a sense of realism with moonlight or anything. I am hoping to light the scenes with Arri M18 1800W HMIs and KinoFlo 4 banks as well as various practicals in the form of industrial fluorescent lights and festoon lights. The practicals will be gelled red and yellow and dotted about the clearing. I am planning on rigging the HMIs above the clearing on our tallest stands as the budget doesn't allow for a condor or similar. I am hoping this will give a nice toplight and was wondering what I should be diffusing these with? I will bring in the Kinos with egg crate and diffusion for close ups and may also use small battery powered LED panels for background interest and tight spots. I would just appreciate any general advice or suggestions on this.
  9. Hi everyone! Im investigating solutions on how to light a 60+ street party (people sitting by tables under a tent without walls in the middle of a suburban street) from early dusk until nighttime. My main concern is kelvin, in camera and on the lights My strategy so far is to use 1.2 and bigger HMI lights (5600k) on background housing and gardens, to give depth to the pictures of people sitting at the table. For the actual table/people-lighting, I plan on using china balls from the roof of the tent, gelled with half CTB somehow, to end up at 4300K. Other paper/lamps and globes will be left at 3200, to give warm hotspots and bokeh around the set. In camera kelvin will then be set at 4300k The set needs to be quite clean of stands and able to shoot 360. The china balls will be a part of the decoration as well as main light for people around the table. Will be shooting on 4x c300 My main concern is that my background will still be bluer than I want it. This party should have a very warm feel to it. Am I better off doing everything except practicals and decor at 5600k and in-cam? Thanks for any input! Best regards Howard
  10. I was wondering what kinds of striking loads do different HMIs have (1,2 kW, 2,5 kW.. and so on). I have been taught that, for instance, 4kW HMI needs a 6 kW power source because of its initial spike in drawing electricity. Can one calculate the initial strike load? I understand that older ballasts use more power when striking than new ones. Also, if one cannot calculate the initial load (for some reason or other) is there a general rule of thumb to go with? Cheers, Ella
  11. Hi Guys. I'm gaffering a shoot in a big old country home which itself runs off a 7.5kVA generator. I want to use a 1.2k HMI to try and keep power to a minimum so first question is do I actually need a synchronising crystal generator to ensure I don't "hurt" "blow" the light. This will also be my first time hiring a genny and so I don't know what the socket options are. All the lights I'm hiring use the standard edison UK 3 pin (I think) and so I don't know if the genny has the same output sockets or if I will need some sort of adapter? Cheers, Chris.
  12. Hello all. I'm filming a commercial in an office setting and and am wanting to be able to have a nice dramatic feel on the main subject. My thoughts were to shoot a couple 1.2k HMI Pars through the two windows. Also to run a hazer to bring out the shafts of light coming through the blinds. Couple of questions: Are the 1.2's going to be enough punch to give me my desired look? Should I bounce them into anything or shoot it through a diffusion? If so which would be best? Also, will bouncing it or shooting it through diffusion effect how the shafts of light look? Also, what's the best method to lighting such a large space without using the overhead florescent lighting?
  13. Hi I just bought a used joker 1200 par. They don't make the light anymore. For now I'm going to look into its compatibility with a ballast I already own or the possibility of having an adapter cable made to work with its pin configuration. I called Joker and they were nice enough to tell me that it has the strand/ltm pin configuration and that power gems made a ballast for the light at one point. Does anyone have advice on where to find a ballast to run this light and what I should be looking for? I'd like to find a used electronic ballast. I was checking out the arri knockoffs sold by photolight on ebay they seem ok or is that a bad idea? Anyone have experience with those?
  14. Hello Cinematography community. I am a still photographer that uses a scan back camera to capture my still photos. Because each photo is scanned over time (verses the instant capture of a DSLR) I use continuous light sources (verses flash). One of those sources is a Briese 2500watt HMI which I bought new, have had for a while, and used for only 1,080 hours. I'm looking to sell it and for those who know of this German brand, it's not something you drop on craigslist. Any suggestions on where best to post this item for sale? Thank you. Mark
  15. Hi all, I'm currently prepping to DP a short film that has some night exteriors in the woods. We're shooting on Red One MX and have it in our budget for a 6K HMI par, but I've never worked with such large lights. Given that we won't have a professional gaffer or electrician on set, is this realistic or even safe? What kind of genny would you recommend for this type of light? A condor is out of the question so we would be placing the light on a tall stand. My main goal is to provide enough background and rim light such that the scene doesn't suffer from a low-budget student film look. Best, Arman
  16. So a while back I bought a used desisti 1.2 hmi fresnel paired with a lightmaker electronic ballast off ebay. I asked around before buying to see if it was a good idea and people I trust seemed to think so. Not long after buying I learned that these lightmaker ballasts have a really bad reputation. I've been using the light and so far no problems. I'm paranoid that it will die on a shoot. This would be really bad because often this is the kind of light that creates the ambiance of the scene and it's impossible to replace with a different light if it dies and could screw up a production. I am thinking of getting a magnetic ballast as a cheap and reliable alternative. Does this make sense? Also will I have to re-fit the header cable in order for it to work or is it possible the connector will be the same? I'll include pictures of the ballast I own and one I would potentially buy. one I own is on bottom
  17. I'm shooting a short period drama in February 2013 in Thurso, Scotland. This is right at the top of the country! I was wondering whether anyone could give me some advice on shooting in such cold conditions. General tips/lessons learned/ dos and donts. I've never shot anything in sub zero temperatures and gale force winds - the last thing I want is to be losing/ breaking a HMI or camera. Just want to be really prepared so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dan
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