Jump to content
Seth Baldwin

Arri Fresnel Relevance in 2018

Recommended Posts

With all the latest LED lighting innovations released since 2010, what makes classic Arri fresnel fixtures still such a popular choice today?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're objectively technically better. Even beam, good focusing range, full color spectrum, stable CCT given the voltage doesn't drift, extremely reliable, lamps don't deteriorate - they either work 100% as advertised or go out...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are lightweight so you can easily rig them places, they're already on most trucks, they're a known quantity, they color match each other, gels work on them as advertised, they have a more pleasing light, they exist in inventory (and aren't on order waiting to be delivered), they are easier to figure out power consumption on (no power factor for them and using paper amps you know easily and quickly how much power your pulling) etc etc.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, in short what I've heard is they're popular because they're reliable, paid for, they have a good focusing range and colour spectrum and they don't deteriorate

 

So basically everything most high end LED fixtures can do like Sky Panels and digital sputnik except when it comes to accurately keeping count of power consumption, which I can't imagine is too big of a trade off in comparison to what you get with LED. I'm still lost on why those pros weigh out the pros of LED fixtures. Maybe i'm missing something..

 

Is there any major characteristic about them that will keep them from dying off decades from now?

Edited by Seth Baldwin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Price. And the fact they've already bought them. And sometimes you want to warm as you dim.

And they're easier to work with; in a lot of ways, than big LEDS. The L7, for example, is substantially larger, heavier, and bulkier than a 1K

 

Don't underestimate the needs of budget. An LED is substantially more to rent per day than a tungsten unit; even if you factor in genny costs most of the time (which you'll probably need anyway to power the HMIs which really don't have a LED equivalent.)

 

(edited for clarification on price, e.g. rental cost since most productions rent)

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay yeah, good point, I'm surprised that fixture you used as an example is actually larger and bulkier than a classic bulb fixture, as a lot of other LED brands like Aputure do actually come in much smaller fixtures like the 300d which is close to the output of a 2k. Maybe it's just an Arri thing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could bigger actually be better? A lot of brands seem to be making smaller fixtures with brighter outputs but could that potentially be a reason to stick with classic Arri Fresnel, over the fact they are a larger source?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aperature isn't really a Fresnel. And most of the LEDs fresnel type lights aren't really as good. I've had tons of trouble with the Mole LEDs which we sometimes get for power or DMX reasons, and often they don't match color even if only 3200K or 5600k.

The L-7 is really one of the few actual LED Fresnels whereas the Aperature is closer to a Joker/PAR type light with variable lenses on it. In that comparison, Joker, lets say, to 300D I'd err towards the 300D personally (w a Joker 800, unless I needed a Jo-Leko).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And bigger better depends on application. For example I'd rather use a 150 Dedo -v- a 150 Arri as though they are about the same size the Dedo is Brighter, but I wouldn't necessarily want a 150 tungsten the size of a 1K.

Further, though there was the old-trick of ReGlobing a 10K with a 2K Bulb, to get the larger lens on it which made a pleasing light, thus getting a larger but still "hard" and controllable source.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I've heard that comparison before. Interesting. Even if these LED's try to imitate "real" fresnels, what defines a "real" fresnel if the look is basically the same?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just a type of lens, but in the arri and mole etc case, it's designed to ONLY use that lens, and the whole light is optimized for the lens on it. Also they typically allow spot and flood, which you don't get with the Aperature or a Joker with a Fresnel lens in it, or a 1.2 with the Frosted Fresnel in it. So the main difference between the Aperature and a "real" fresnel light is the spot flood functionality and the optimization for a single lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Aputure 300d's and 120d actually come with a Fresnel attachment which can spot from a 12 degree beam angle to around a 45 degree beam angle. Unless having the fixture optimised to a standard Fresnel actually improves the quality of light, I don't see how that'd be more useful.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Aputure 120d/300d COB lights have a fresnel attachment that is quite good and led lights like the Rayzr 7 are designed from the ground up with a fresnel lens. The Rayzr is allso daylight balanced and it puts out more light than an ARRI 575W HMI while also drawing way less power.

All of the above are also CRI / TLCI 98+

 

The new generation of led lights seems to finally be good enough to replace traditional fixtures. Quasar tubes in place of fluorescent tubes, high powered daylight balanced LED lights to replace 650w-1000w ARRI's etc.

 

It's going to take a while but it seems inevitable at this point. The only thing that remains to be seen is the quality / longevity / serviceability of these lights.

 

edit: seems like me and Seth posted at the same time.

Edited by Vladimir Cazacu
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't call it inevitable. The costs still exist, the upkeep still exists (and is a bit harder to fix an LED light in the middle of nowhere), and the longevity is still questionable. Many of the Frenels I've used are older than I am, but they still work. I woulnd't bet on an LED light for the most part, lasting as long. I don't mean the bulb, I mean the whole fixture with it's electronics. (i recall a shoot where we had a Mole LED on set, and it worked when we first fired it up, brand new out of box, and then, after lunch, it wouldn't strike at all and we had NO way to fix it. Turned out one of the boards shorted)

This isn't to say you won't be seeing a lot more of them. I rarely order Kinos anymore, and would rather have LiteMats (though I did but a set of kino singles for myself for a steal). I rarely would order a Zip Light anymore (though i like them a lot but the Skypanel is just better). And trucks, often will come with an assortment of LEDs on them now which are making their way to the market, but at the same time, when a piece of kit just works it will continue to be used especially when it's more affordable, predictable, and serviceable then it's "replacement."

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that's one thing I've noticed with a lot of cheaper LED Fresnel fixtures, in terms of quality, there's a lot of poorly constructed brands, many companies all trying to jump on the boat of affordability. Not saying that's towards all LED brands though, it's definitely a very saturated market, however I would still argue that Aputure in particular do make quality built products in comparison to most brands today. I guess we can't truly know until we give them the same decades of use, Arri fixtures went through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no doubt. the Aperture is a nice light and I've thought of buying it a few times. But it doesn't really replace the vast majority of Tungsten Fresnels out there. It's a supplement or a "use instead of." And in that case it shines. For example I'd use it when I need/want a daylight source of about 2K output-- especially useful, for example, as a key in an interview setting in a daylight lit room, or as a strong backlight on a night ext, or, well many situations I'm sure.. But what it's not is a replacement for say a 650 Arri, or a T1 or something like that-- which isn't to say you couldn't use both of them in similar situations or one in place of the other as you can always find some scenario where you could. Rather it's just that they don't displace each other or make one more of less relevant on the whole.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing I can't stand about say the T1 is that you're losing almost half your output the minute you throw on a basic 5500k color temperature Rosco gel, pulling it down to basically a 500w haha, just for wanting the scene to be cool.

Edited by Seth Baldwin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In that case you're probably on the wrong light. Not that we don't correct tungsten to daylight, we do it all the time, but it's always because we generally have to and don't want to and in such situations we'd rather used a 5600K head.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all the latest LED lighting innovations released since 2010, what makes classic Arri fresnel fixtures still such a popular choice today?

Proven technology. Built like tanks. Very little that can go wrong with them. Tungsten just looks better.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could bigger actually be better? A lot of brands seem to be making smaller fixtures with brighter outputs but could that potentially be a reason to stick with classic Arri Fresnel, over the fact they are a larger source?

 

I don't see true Fresnel lamps going anywhere quickly. Whether they are Tungsten, HMI, or LED heads. The quality of light that comes from a large fresnel lamp is so much more complex than a PAR or an Arri M series HMI. The fact the source can be fine tuned to be either very sharp with a clean single shadow or spotted or diffused to soften the edges makes it very versatile on my shoots. For sure LEDs systems are a game changer, but the Fresnel will be on my trucks for a long time to come. I do like want Mole has done with the Tener LED, though I wish they made it bi-color.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, In the Arri camp the 18Kw HMI Fresnel is the go to lamp. Cinemills make a 24kw Silver Bullet. They do a good job of battling the sun. But if you want just brute force a good non-fresnel option is the 100k SoftSun.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Glidecam



    Ritter Battery



    Tai Audio



    Serious Gear



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Metropolis Post



    CineLab



    Abel Cine



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Wooden Camera



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Paralinx LLC



    Visual Products


×
×
  • Create New...