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Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-20-2005, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Well, the time has come that my best friend and I have decided to try to make a business out of our hobby. He is planning on doing actor's, musician's and comedian's headshots and promotional material and working with companies that need editorial portraits at various locations.

We've been discussing the Hensel Porty Premium so that we can control the lights with the radio controller, because we are sick of our cords. The question though is whether we should get a soft-box or the Mola Beauty Dish. Does anyone have any experience with this system and would you suggest box or dish? What brand softbox and what size or what model of dish?

We're planning on spending about $5000.00 on this system and a few other little things we would like.
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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-20-2005, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you considered the White Lightinig or Alien Bees sets with have the wireless radio control and the portable battery packs, etc. They are generally lighter, and I find easier to use. They have a nice beauty dish also. And with the money you save, you could get some other neat items.

Cheers,
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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-20-2005, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Porty is a great unit (I have heard), I have three Hensel Integras (Mono Lights) and love them. Mitch 9here on GG) has a Porty set-up.

I have never used the Mola, but I can tell you first hand the Hensel Beauty Dish is awesome, it works as well as my large Photflex MultiDome.

Here is a Hensel Beauty Dish shot:

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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-20-2005, 11:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Greetings! Before you plunk major dollars, consider renting the equipment you'd like to have and others that are similarly priced/features. You'll find what works for you without too much capital and save yourself headaches down the road. There should be a couple of local camera stores in the Chicago area that rents pro lighting equipment. Get to know the people in the rental department and pick their brains. You'll want to know what works under real world usage and abuse. As for Mola beauty dishes working with Hensel heads, you might want to contact them first before you buy their dish. You'll have to have them fabricate the attachment to work with the Hensel heads. Don't know if there's a universal adapter, but, give them a call.
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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-21-2005, 07:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Whether the Mola Dish would even work with the Hensel was one of my concerns. However, I've decided that I'll just go with the Hensel or Alien Bee dish, depending if I go the cheap route.

I'm not a fan of renting things, but I need to at least pick the renter'r brains like you suggested. I also need to spend some time in Helix and Calumet's showrooms.
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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-21-2005, 01:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i recently acquired a mola "euro" beauty dish (33.5" dia.) and i gotta say i love the freakin' thing!
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Re: Hensel Porty and Mola Beauty Dish
Old 07-30-2005, 10:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hensel makes their own beauty dish which is excellent. Two in fact, a silver (more specular) and a white (softer).

I've been using Hensel Porty for shooting fashion on location for a little over 2 years and it's excellent. Modelling lamps are not quite the same as a Profoto 7A (my opinion the gold standard for people work, Broncolor the gold standard for product photography) but you can work without plugging in, and it's 1/2 the price and lighter than the 7B.

If you're going to get serious about multiple head set-ups, go with 1 pack for each head and forget the stupid fixed assymetrical design pack that Hensel came out with (one of their few stupid designs).

Best of luck to you.
 
 
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Never buy lighting gear without having rented it first. Or borrowed from someone first. Seriously. Gear that seems like fun and looks good in a demo, or in literature, or according to the word of others is often a downright pain in the butt to work with on a day-to-day basis for a great variety of reasons.

Lighting (and really most photo gear) you really want to date before you marry.

Another thing... on location and in a pinch, umbrellas stand in nicely for beauty dishes. Not quite the same intensity of light (quantitatively and qualitatively), but an umbrella is essentially a lightweight, poor-man's beauty dish.
 
 
Amen, brother!
Old 07-31-2005, 10:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been shooting Dynalites for 20 years and love them. But not those @#$%!!! Uni 400's.

Had I rented Uni's I would have never purchased them. They are prone to blowing up a circuit or something if you shoot too fast. Two out of my three untits are down constantly.

I just get too excited and when I see something I shoot.

On the other hand, I have a friend that swears by his White Lightnings and their Vagabond battery system. He shoots for several major clients and was recently telling me about using it in a salt mine.

Bruce
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