27th Sept. 2005
I'd never heard of Dedolights until this discussion. I checked out the web site and I'm wondering how dramatic the difference is using a focused beam as opposed to a reflected, scattered or diffused source. I guess what I'm asking is do you have to "get your mind right" (as the captain said to Cool Hand Luke).
Are they capable of a good diffused flood? Does the design limit the applications or can a Dedo kit alone cover you in, say, a small interior or an interview type set-up?
I, like Tom Gleeson, would not use them as key lights but more as an edge or to light a background element like a vase or something. You can put a chimera on a Dedo but I personally like a larger source.
My favourite trick is to key with something larger like my Diva 400 or a Rifa, bottom that key off of the subjects body and then use a Dedo from the opposite side to break across the chest in order to give the body more texture. Then again, I'm not in the ASC as are Roy and Steven.
Dedo's are awesome and I can't wait to add one to my kit. By the way, I have only had experience with the original 100's and 150's
As an owner of a set of Dedo's for a number of years [Thank you Roy Wagner ASC!!] I can only suggest you 'borrow' a set from a local rental house for a weekend and go have fun & play.
They are beyond description!
You will love 'em!
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
Jeff Barklage writes :
>As an owner of a set of Dedo's for a number of years [Thank you Roy >Wagner ASC!!] I can only suggest you 'borrow' a set from a local rental >house for a weekend and go have fun & play.
20 minutes on their web site and I already love them. Question is, would you take a 4 light kit of Dedos to light a location interview you would otherwise use a 650 Fresnel kit to light?
I'm in purchase mode here.
They are the finest instruments I've ever used. I can't call them lights, they are far more. They are like very well made watches. The light output makes them extraordinarily useful when there's not enough power around, not enough crew, not enough time. One kit can light an entire set very well. As for their price, you'll only have to purchase them once, like a fine camera use to be before the $10K throw away digital cameras that we currently rave about.
I use them every day whether on large sound stages or very small sets. They project consistent broad beams of color accurate illumination over and over again. I've never had a failure.
You may contact me directly if you have questions. As you might guess Dedo and Paul are my heroes. If you don't have a lot of money and need something that will do everything they are a great investment. I used only one Dedo kit to light the original night and interior Sony 950/SRW tests that they have shown all over the world.
Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Jeff Oswald wrote :
>20 minutes on their web site and I already love them. Question is, >would you take a 4 light kit of Dedos to light a location interview you >would otherwise use a 650 Fresnel kit to light?
As an owner of both a Dedo incandescent kit as well as a Dedo 400 HMI. I have used these to light interviews and small conferences. The optics of these instruments are amazing. They are versatile, small and rugged.
Steven Poster ASC
>Question is, would you Take a 4 light kit of Dedos to light a location >interview you would otherwise use a 650 Fresnel kit to light?
A couple of 150W Dedos and a couple of 650W Dedos would be infinitely more useful and flexible than 4 650W Fresnels for an interview kit, IMHO.
The Dedos are awesome but personally I use them as a supplement to the "portable" light kit. In the case I fit three 150W Dedos in the space one redhead took. They make brilliant background and backlights. For the key I love the soft look so a chimera on my Arri 650W does that job.
If you prefer a harder key light tap the Dedo top barn door down and you have a nice top chop on the key. Works for Warren Beatty although do not try this at home if the talent is a chair squirmer.
Tom "many ways to skin a cat" Gleeson
I've done a whole series of interviews using a Dedo as a key â€“ usually through a Chimera, I've even rigged two Dedo's through one Chimera to give a bit more power. The fact that they are small and relatively low power means you can key quite closely and not get to much spill - for those times when you want a bit more of an edge than a Diva or Rifa will give you.
Thanks for all the comments on the Dedolights, gentlemen.
I'm sold. But, for my basic portable kit, I'll probably stick to my plan to go with an Arri fresnel kit with Chimeras, then convince the better half that I need the Dedos more than we need a new roof.
That ought to work.
Jeff "Arri fresnels have made me the man I am today" Oswald
I find a Lowell Tota to be invaluable. 800w, compact in size and in a Chimera produces a really nice wrap around effect.
The other great light that lives in my kit, along with an Arri 650 Mizar, 2 Arri 300 Mizars, a Strand 500w Mizar, 2 Arri 150w Juniors (soon to be replaced with Dedo's), 2 Arrilite 650's and the Tota, is an Ianiro Lilliput.
It's small and can take anything from 200w to 650w. But I tend to have it 300w, its very useful if you want a little bit of soft light or bounce and don't want to much coming back or to much heat.
The other lights I'd like would be a 400w HMI Dedo and a Diva but I've gotto much else to spend money on at the moment!
I can only agree with everything positive that has been said about the Dedolights. I own a 3 light 24v kit and one 12v with built in ballast. I use them mostly as accent lights for interviews.
I have never wanted to rely completely on the Dedo kit because if the ballast fails for some reason you lose three lights. Be sure to build in a bit of redundancy with your kit. If you fly a lot with your own lighting kit in the US, at some point you will suffer breakage at the hands of the TSA. They are very good at unpacking and rarely good at repacking!
That said, I have only had a ballast failure once in 7 years and the TSA was not responsible. Not for the want of trying.
>I can only agree with everything positive that has been said about the >Dedolights.
I guess I am the lone wolf. While they work well in certain circumstances, I don't think they are as magical as others do.
BlueSky Media, Inc.
> a kit of 2 x 650s, these are better as keys as they have a larger lens so >are a bit kinder on talent, not quite as spotty and fantastic for throwing >across a room for a splash in a corner.
Two days ago I said that I have never used the 650's. Later that very day I saw some being used and they were awesome. I might eve be able to key one of them.
Roy Wagner ASC writes :
>They are the finest instruments I've ever used.
Hard to beat an endorsement like that. Especially with ASC in the signature. But Roys enthusiasm is not hyperbole. Dedos pack more light per watt at the least amperage of any instrument I know. (If LEDs come to mind, donâ€™t bother. Apples and oranges. Not even in the same league.)
Visit their website www.dedolight.com for a primer on the physics.
I have a kit of 4 Aspheric2 DLHM-4 heads with built-in dimmer, lamped at 150watts. They have performed as key, fill, base, backlight and gobo light as required. With the optional lenses and accessories, the versatility is extraordinary. Kind of like having a fresnel and leko in the same instrument. One thing Iâ€™ve really enjoyed is cutting custom gobos out of blackwrap to suit an individual look.
The 400HMI, that Steven Poster ASC mentioned as part of his kit, is the one Iâ€™m lusting after right now. Iâ€™ve seen it in action and dearly want one. My kit is just under one year old and Iâ€™ve only had one problem: the hot lead at the power switch failed and had to be replaced. It appeared to be an arcing problem. I donâ€™t know any Dedo owner who isnâ€™t satisfied with these amazing instruments.
I am not, nor have I ever been employed by Dedo. I do not receive money or any consideration for promoting their products.
Director of Photography
Does Chimera or Photoflex make a speedring for Dedos? Or must the unit itself be spud mounted on a Chimera?
Cinematographer - Seattle/L.A.
> Does Chimera or Photoflex make a speedring for Dedos?
Chimera makes one that has a (approx.) 5x7 front screen. It comes with two diffusions, a Chimera cloth, and a quarter grid. Price including speedring is around $180.
BTW, usual disclaimers apply... I don't work for Chimera. But if they want to send me free stuff for saying great things about their products, sign me up!
I've had my kit for 5 years and have been using them for about 5 years before that. I find there is nothing better in close quarters where spill is problematic, I have no black wrap in my basic package as a testament to this.
They are great bounced off cards (more control with the sliding dimmer if needed), great as accents and edgers as well as distant fill. I also have a kit of 2 x 650s, these are better as keys as they have a larger lens so are a bit kinder on talent, not quite as spotty and fantastic for throwing across a room for a splash in a corner. Unfortunately the 650s are a little heavy for light weight rigging, they make autoploed spin etc. The cost of ownership is minimal as the 150w bulbs go on and on and are dirt cheap, the 650s are dearer but I haven't changed one yet . Very cool to the touch also.
I have a sliding dimmer as well as a couple of purpose built transformer so that I can get the 150 heads more than ten meters away from an otherwise central transformer. Very very happy with my Dedos and look forward to adding more should the need arise.
Director of Photography
High Def./Standard Def./Film
Aaton Xtr Prod owner operator
Walter, you're not a lone wolf here. I think your right. Dedos are not the end all - be all of lighting. Rather, we who have decided that Dedos are must - haves in our kits, simply appreciate that these instruments do what they do so extraordinarily well. I wouldn't light a rock concert with them. . .but perhaps a chamber ensemble.
Director of Photography
I've owned a 3x24V-150W Dedo "kit" for several years now and I agree with Walter and Nick, while they are beautiful fixtures with a very clean beam, angles don't begin to sing when I open the case.
The only things I might add that haven't been touched on yet would be:
1) the transformer makes all the difference in the world with their tungsten kit.
I'll usually set it up next to the camera or monitor and when it comes time to do final tweaks on a product shot it's great to be able to remotely bump the fixtures intensity up or down (without dramatically changing colour temp.)
2) Projectors - you really need a 150W unit to get enough punch but the little pattern projectors are really handy, take up little space, take size M gobo's and Dedo even make a slide holder so you can use the fixture to project an image (this has limited applications but can be VERY effective at times).
3) Price. These are great fixtures but you're gonna pay...brother you're gonna pay. Back-in-the-day when I bought mine the 3x Dedo lights, cables, 24V transformer, 1x projector with zoom, 3x Manfrotto stands and a Pelican 1600 case ran me $5000-ish CAD. That's a lotta dough for three lights. You can pick up 6x200 Peppers and 4x420 Peppers with stands and a couple cases for a similar price.
I'll jump in here one last time. How many digital cameras will you have to buy to stay current in the amount of time that your Dedolights will remain solid "current" state of the art fixtures.
I recommend to everyone to stop buying cameras, buy equipment that will pay itself off.
Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography