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Briese Lights

Published : 28th March 2005

Has anyone worked with these lights?

Adapted from still photo applications, they work both tungsten incandescent and HMI, the globe bounces off a parabolic (I think) reflector, which can be then diffused with grid cloth or similar and then controlled with eggcrate or the like.

It produces a lovely light, known around here for its inexplicable wrap. It is also a very expensive rental, from $600 per day for the small (72" 2K tungten/1200 HMI) version.

Sorry for the ambiguities, I'm hoping for specifics as well as field recommendations.

Best

Byron Shah
600 DP LA


class="style9">> Has anyone worked with these lights?

I work with them pretty regularly.

In fact, I was using two of them today on a music video. One of them is the largest model (the 330) which is about 8 or 10 feet in diameter.

Beautiful light, especially when spotted in all the way. Very directional, but soft. You don't always need to use the diffuser because it looks great "hard". Unfortunately, the they're kind of a pain in the ass to use.

The rigging to a stand (and the fixture itself) are a bit wanky, the flood spot mechanism is difficult, the setup can be a little confusing at first, and the ballasts are 220v. On the plus side the fixtures are very lightweight, so much so that I wouldn't recommend using them outside on a windy day. They're also pretty efficient for a bounced source. With a 400 ASA rating, and a subject distance of probably 10 feet, we were getting a f8 with a 2k globe.

I haven't seen them yet, but the owner told me he's finished a 7k Xenon model that's pretty amazing.

Craig Kief
Gaffer/DP
Los Angeles Based


class="style9">>Unfortunately, the they're kind of a pain in the ass to use. The rigging to >a stand (and the fixture itself) are a bit wanky, the flood spot mechanism >is difficult, the setup can be a little confusing at first, and the ballasts are >220v.

I would agree with these points. I work with an 8-footer that one of my DP's purchased. It takes either a 2K tungsten globe of a 2.5K HMI globe.

You get a lot of bang for your buck (meaning wattage) with these lights. They're incredibly bright for the wattage.

The quality of the light is unparalleled. There's something about the way this light falls on a face, especially a female face, that you simply can't quite get with any other light. Hard to believe, I know, until you actually see it.

An advantage is that you can run this light off a putt-putt with a 220V twist-lock outlet.

Outdoors you can use these hard metal scoops instead of the big umbrella and get just a godawful amount of light, albeit in a narrow beam, out of the 2.5K. I mean it's just an amazingly bright shaft of light. We use two of these "hats", one of them is harder than the other, but both throw quite the beam.

One of my main gripes with this light is the fact that the head cable is only about ten feet long, which means you're constantly dangling the damn ballast off a stand or tying it up to a goal-post rig so it can be close enough to the head. But it's a nice small ballast, doesn't weigh hardly a thing, and has excellent dimming qualities.

But the umbrella itself is difficult to set up, especially outside in the wind. I have a difficult time remembering exactly how to do it, but fortunately my best boy remembers better than I do.

Also if you want to gel them you have to tape 16 feet of gel to an eight by frame and tape it in the middle. Or have somebody try to piece together an eight-foot round gel which can be clipped to the umbrella. Either way's a little extravagant.

If anyone's really interested I suppose I could e-mail them a photo or two of this light and its effect.

Phillip Badger
Gaffer, LA
http://home.earthlink.net/~badger111/index.html


>>Beautiful light, especially when spotted in all the way. Very directional, >but soft. You don't always need to use the diffuser because it looks >great "hard".

Craig,

Thanks for your response.

A few questions :

Do you use the Briese mainly as a key/beauty light?

When you shoot with 2 is that simultaneously and in what configuration?

What is the closest approximation of the Briese light?

Much obliged

Byron Shah
DP LA


>> A few questions: Do you use the Briese mainly as a key/beauty light?

Hey Byron,

Yeah, that's really what it's designed for. I suppose you could use it for other things, but I don't know why you would considering the expense and hassle. I did use it once as a fill light outside on a music video.

The director and DP wanted to have a Steadicam back pedal in front of the band while they walked down the street. I did exactly what Phillip described, hooking the 220 twist lock up to a putt putt, after which we rolled the gennie down the sidewalk, and hand held a small Briese. It was quite a sight on the crowded streets of downtown L.A. Especially when they threw the playback system and another small gennie for it into the parade, plus the Director, DP, AC, and half a dozen PA's yelling at people to get out of our way!

>>When you shoot with 2 is that simultaneously and in what >configuration?

The other day we were using the large one as a 3/4 key, and had a smaller one (about 5 feet in diameter) over camera as a fill.

>> What is the closest approximation of the Briese light?

Good question. I would say it's probably a book light with a 1/2 soft frost for the diffusion, and a fresnel punching through the centre at 1/2 spot or greater. This is one place where the Briese has the clear advantage.

For all of that gear, you're asking for a lot or real estate, time, and manpower. The Briese is just one stand, one head, and one ballast.

Craig Kief
Gaffer/DP
Los Angeles Based


Who rents these lights?

Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/


Art Adams wrote:

>> Who rents these lights?

You can get them through Briese. Fellow named Brent at 323 960 1188.

My DP buddy will consider renting his out as well. Contact me off list if you're interested. It's an 8'. The main thing is you need someone familiar with setting up the light and using it. It's a bit idiosyncratic and can be damaged if handled incorrectly.

If you get one from Briese, they're good about sending a guy out to set it up for you.

Phillip Badger
Gaffer LA


The web site has some photometric info - check under floods and scroll down to HMI under the model you want

http://www.briese-studios.de/eng/licht/start.html

thanks

Rolfe Klement
www.creativesunshine.com


They do put out a lovely quality of light, but they are not without fault.

They main problem is colour correcting the 2.5HMI to tungsten balance. When I used the dichroic provided, they light seemed green, I checked it with my CT meter which read 3.8k. I only noticed this because my background lighting looked different.

It was a royal pain in the arse to gel, and I was pissed off that it had to be done in the first place for a lamp costing 300 a day. Having said this, I have never seen a soft fixture with so much punch. It's like putting a 20k through a quarter grid cloth...with no heat.

Dan Bronks
DP
UK


>>They main problem is colour correcting the 2.5HMI to tungsten >balance.

The versions here in LA don't need a dichroic. They come with a 2500 HMI lamp, and a 2k tungsten. The ballast switches between the two.

Craig Kief
Gaffer/DP
Los Angeles Based



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