WTB: Arri 650 or Desisti Magis 650

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by videoken, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. videoken

    videoken Guest

    I am about to buy a new stand mounted fresnel for my burgeoning video
    production business. I walked into B&H fully intending to buy the Arri 650
    or the Mole 650. The salesman on duty suggested the Desisti Magis 650 as an
    alternative, not the first time someone has mentioned it. I asked him what
    the difference was and he said the Desisti had a greater beam spread at
    flood and a tighter one at spot. So I walked out empty handed and I studied
    the photometric data and damned if the Desisti wasn't only wider and
    tighter, but it produced more foot candles of light at the same distance.

    Not only that, the Desisti is cheaper by about $40. The only thing I am
    worried about is finding accesories for the Desisti. I guess as long as B&H
    is nearby I should be able to pick up accessories, but it would be
    comforting to know other suppliers carried it.

    Has anyone had any experience with the Desisti that could tell me how it
    compares to the Arri?

    videoken, Nov 5, 2003
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  2. videoken

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    Without checking spec sheets - and I have not - if the DeSisti takes
    normally available lamps, and normally available, regularly sized
    accessories like wire scrims and color frames, why not go for it?

    I hvae encountered them in a studio I work from time to time - they
    seem nice enough. And rather well designed in the bargain.
    Alan Lloyd, Nov 5, 2003
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  3. videoken

    Bill Davis Guest

    I'd agree.

    But I would check the lamp specs as Alan suggests. I keep two spares for
    each lamp in my Arri 2x650 - 2x300 kit, and I'm pretty sure I've got a few
    hundred bucks sitting there in glass. Lamp prices and availablility are a
    serious hidden issue in pro lighting.

    Also, you might ask B&H about who repairs them and where that facility is

    A couple of months back I did a dumb thing and draped the cord on an Arri
    150 over the instrument in my grid such that the actual line-cord switch
    sat directly on top of the instrument. After a couple-hour studio shoot,
    the switch itself had badly melted.

    A quick call to Arri in LA and I had a new switch (and a working light) in
    my hands in 3 days.

    But none of that kind of stuff may affect you, and you may find that
    you've saved money and gotten fine instruments.

    And I bet once you start using Fresnels for your medium and longer throw
    situations and see how nice the light looks, you'll never go back to open
    faced lights again! MUCH more flattering for people's faces!

    Let us know what you do and how it works out.
    Bill Davis, Nov 5, 2003
  4. videoken

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    As in check your local shops - but first, take a good look at the
    head, as there's very little about an Arri head you can't fix yourself
    with a middling set of hand tools. That's why I'll spend a bit more
    for their stuff over (for example) LTM Peppers, which are not bad
    until you need to repair them. Then - look out! You'll need to buy
    major subassemblies for almost everything.

    A further word of caution here - the heating/cooling cycles of a mid
    or high watt head will soften the fasteners (a process called
    annealing) and if they're at all seized, they'll likely break and need
    replacement. Had it happen more than once...
    Maybe I'm just lucky - Arri repair parts are a ten minute drive away.
    The same guys also now sell DeSisti, but for the moment I think I have
    enough lights.
    Alan Lloyd, Nov 5, 2003
  5. Consider also the venerable Bardwell and McAliister out of Studio City, CA. In
    business since 1929 I believe, they went out of business years ago but were
    resurrected in recent years. I just bought one of their new 650's. Just as
    durable as a Mole-Richardson and far better quality (I think) than an Arri. Oh,
    they cost $255.
    They list on EBay, or go to:

    Pyramid-Films at (818) 768-5924.

    I LOVE this light. I'm going to buy more.

    Porter Versfelt III - Lighting Cameraman, Producer/Director, Writer
    Atlanta Broadcast Prod. / Versfelt Com.Group, Inc.
    Atlanta, Georgia - USA
    1-678-469-6224 / Web: www.vcgtv.com / E-mail:
    (Ask about our mobile production truck.)
    Porter L. Versfelt III, Nov 6, 2003
  6. videoken

    videoken Guest

    I got the Desisti already. (Just today in fact!) I have it mounted on a
    looking beutiful light stand but I have no opinions to share yet because I
    just ordered my lamps from www.bulbconnection.com (The best and cheapest
    lamp retailer in the country as far as I know! Thanks Steve Guidry!)

    I'll post more opinions soon. Thanks for all the help guys, this NG has
    never steered me wrong yet!

    videoken, Nov 7, 2003
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