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Old May 28th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #1
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Kino Flow or Arri?

Hi there. I am going to purchase a light kit, but am unsure of whether to go with Kino Flo or Arri. I know that the Arri kits are Tungsten, and that I will get more lights for my money, but the Kino Flo are attractive because fluorescents use less power and are cooler than Tungsten kits.

I am shooting horror films and drama mainly. I want to achieve a soft, creepy look. My budget is around $3000 cad. Keep in mind that this is just my first kit, a sort of bread and butter one that will allow me to do nice three point lighting.
The films will be shot with an EX1.

I was looking at these kits:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ungsten_5.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ersal_Two.html

If I buy the Kino Flo kit, I will need to purchase some fill lights, so it will be more expensive. Not coming from a background in cinematography, this all seems rather daunting. Any and all advice is much appreciated.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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Rent before you buy.

You really need more lighting experience before spending that much money. Everyone's needs and tastes are a little different, so it's difficult to have a conversation about "what's best for horror and drama".

I happen to think that a kit of perhaps 2 650w Fresnel and 2 Arrilite (and some reflectors, c-stands, flags, sandbags... etc.) is incredibly versatile for its size... but there are plenty of people to say otherwise, and they're not wrong. A hard light can always be made soft with diffusion or reflectors, but the only way to make a soft light hard is to move it further away...
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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I have the Arri kit less the 1k Arri-lite. It is amazing and versatile. We shot a feature with this kit and it we dropped every light, bent every post, and tripped over every cord and all the fixtures still work (bulbs needed replacing though).

My favorite of the kit is the Chimera. Absolutely quintessential for a fill and I leave the 650 setup with Chimera at all times. This in my mind emulates a Kino. What you buy with Kino is the interchangeable color temperature bulbs, cool to the touch use and minimal weight. All of these are for sure a plus but does it justify the price? Depends on your budget and DP, skill-base.

Seth is completely right about getting the bounce, c-stands, sandbags, maffer's, ect. These items are almost as important as the lights themselves. That is great advice also to get your hands on the equipment before you plunk down.

-C
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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You're comparing apples and oranges there. Fluorescents are softlights. They're great but more limited in what you can do. You might consider one 4-bulb fluorescent for a softlight to use with fresnels or other hard lights. You might want to check out http://www.coollights.biz . It's a reputable place and the owner posts on here periodically. You can get lot more lights for your money there.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #5
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Interesting. I would rent, however, I don't know of any equipment rental houses in my area. Also, I figure that if I get high quality lights, such as the Arris, the only reason they would not give me the results I need would be due to my lack of lighting experience, and not from any limitations inherent to the lights themselves. That being said, I don't want to screw around with cheap Lowel stuff, when I can afford better quality gear.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Dickson View Post
Interesting. I would rent, however, I don't know of any equipment rental houses in my area...
Where in the Great North are you located, Spencer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Dickson View Post
...Also, I figure that if I get high quality lights, such as the Arris, the only reason they would not give me the results I need would be due to my lack of lighting experience, and not from any limitations inherent to the lights themselves...
Well, that's an interesting thing. It's kinda' true, but a good lighting camera operator sees with his/her eyes how the camera will see the scene, and will supplement existing lighting. A well-lit scene results more from knowledge & skill than equipment.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #7
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Vancouver island B.C.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #8
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Well, that's a big island. If you are in/near victoria, you might contact this co., I think they do rentals as well as production services:
http://www.pastiche-productions.com/

Of course Vancouver is a huge production centre, if pretty inconvenient for a day rental. But some Van rental cos. probably ship out to Victoria (does the ferry service carry package freight?) Or, combining a weekend rental with a trip to Vancouver could be worthwhile research.

Another reason to rent - hanging out at the rental counter and talking with the staff about who is using what equipment for what kind of productions can be very educational.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer Dickson View Post
Vancouver island B.C.
Spencer:

If you have never shot with Kinos or any fluoros, you may be surprised at how quick the falloff is on those instruments. You have to get them pretty close to the subject to be effective and soft.

To me, for horror, I like a lot of shadows and harder light anyway but it sounds as if you may find a tungsten Arri kit a little more versatile. I have both but use the Arri kit 80% of the time versus 20% for the Kinos. But then again, I shoot mostly docs and interviews, not horror movies.

Best of luck,

Dan
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #10
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You guys are very helpful.

I don't venture into Vancouver often, mostly because driving in that city makes me want to pull my hair out, but that place in Victoria is interesting. I'll give them a call. I think I am going to go with the Arri kit.

If I buy that kit though, what other peripheral things will I need? Bounce boards, gaffer tape, ac cables etc? Do I need a balast for it? What about a system that can dim the overall light levels?
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #11
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IMHO, the perfect utility light kit was a mix of instruments. I own a 4 piece Ianiro redhead kit for larger lighting assignments but my go to kit is my 5 Lowel Prolight kit (less wattage in tungsten equals less heat) with a Lowel Rifa softbox for diffuse light. I will likely get the fluorescent option for the Rifa this summer.

And the discussion of fluoros being soft light is bang on. Virtually useless for hairlight without EXTREME flagging.

For three (four) point interview lighting:
- I use an umbrella bounced hot light (typically on the far side of the face - very slimming) for key;
- Softlight down a stop to a stop and a half from keylight for fill (near side of face);
- Hairlight from key side and above, sometimes gelled for effect (straw for blondes, purple or blue for brunettes);
- Background light I'll normally put a coloured gel on and flag or use barndoors to cut for a slash.

Fluoros would be great for base light to bring up the overall lighting and then create "hot spots" with smaller tungsten instruments.

In terms of what else to get:
C-stand with 40" arm for extending hairlights;
Sandbags;
Gels (correction and effects);
Extension cords (duh!);
Umbrellas and holders;
Gel frames instead of using clothespins;
Dimmers are problematic; The cheap ones don't allow for constant colour temp (as voltage drops, so does temp. Also useless on fluoros which are ballasted) and the expensive one can cause RF interference/buzzing in audio.

Of course, all this dissertation is fairly specific to seated interviews. If that's not what you do, please disregard <grin>.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #12
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I am shooting features and music videos.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #13
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Ah, then baselight from Fluoros will do you well, young Jedi! Get some fresnels for focusing as well then.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #14
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For horror, Fresnels would be the most versatile lights, lots of control and you can soften as required with diffusion etc.. Fluorescents aren't that easy to control and you need lots of flags, but are great as part of a lighting package.

For a one off production renting makes sense. Ask about a deal on the rental package, discounts are extremely common.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #15
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I cannot afford to rent a lighting kit, because I am not shooting one-off features. They are being shot mostly on weekends, and typically take us around 5-6 weekends to finish shooting. It is not cost effective for me to rent gear.
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