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Old August 31st, 2010, 06:11 PM   #1
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alternatives to Kinoflo Diva lights?

As much as I like Divas, I can't get over the price tag, especially since I have a pretty good idea how much the components cost. Still, I need to get two.

I've seen knockoffs from name brands and no name brands. Just wondering if anyone has experience with whatever else is out there in similar package.

Thanks!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 09:22 AM   #2
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Hello Dylan,
I have worked with a lot of different kino's and purchased 2 of the 4' models for the company I used to work for. When I went freelance and started spending my own money I looked to Cool Lights and bought 3 of their Diva style fixtures. 2 four bulbs, with and without dimmer and 1 two bulb with dimmer. I also bought the 256 led which makes a nice backlight and I have been very happy with my purchase. I would like to get one more 4 bulb for green screen work and I could use a few other things but the quality of the fixtures is good and the light output seems comparable to diva's. The outer shell is stiffer and heavier than the kino but that, and of course the price, is the main difference.

mb
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:43 AM   #3
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I second Mark. I built my own Kino Flo Diva 200s from scratch. I bought the best ballast I could find, I found some suitable, wooden housings (I investigated Coroplast, the stuff the Divas are made of, but it was too expensive to buy and shape it and to build in the wings and fittings). I ended up buying Kino Flo tubes and a Kino Flo lollipop. When all was said and done, not counting my hours of research and labor, I eneded up spending about $250.00 ea.

Coollights sells their version of the Kino Flo Diva 200 for roughly around $276.00, a much better value than doing it yourself. My take on it is that I spent about two days total in researching, buying the parts, assembling and testing the fixtures. My labor is worth generally between $500.00 to $1,000.00 per day. So buying the Coollights is by far the best value. The Kinos are great if you have unlimited budgets or are working in Hollywood on high profile shoots or are a rental company. But if you are just a regular person, working in production, the Coollights are the way to go.

Dan
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Old September 1st, 2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Exactly what I need, thanks!
And surprised they are that cheap!
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #5
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Love my Cool lights too, 4 bulb flo without dimmers, great lites but a caveat / weak link has been the "lolly pop" ball and socket used to lock the light in position. At least that's the goal but mine locks tentatively and with much fiddling.

Anyone used a Diva or other lolly pop assembly with their Cool Lights?

thanks
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Old September 14th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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If I recall, I think Kino charged me about $90.00 ea. for their lollipops. After all that I researched about using baby plates, grip heads, etc. I came to the conclusion that it was money well spent. You can do it cheaper, but other solutions will not let you easily and quickly position your light at the exact position needed.

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Old September 14th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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Guy Cochran from dvestore.com is hooking me up with something interesting. Like Divas/Cool Lights, but even more affordable and very light. I'll have a test and pics up shortly after I get them. They aren't on his website yet, but, fingers crossed, they look great.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Guy Cochran from dvestore.com is hooking me up with something interesting. Like Divas/Cool Lights, but even more affordable and very light.
I'm liking this already. Can't wait to see what Guy has cooked up!
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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Can you guys explain Pros and Cons of Kino Flo's vs Others?

I have 2 Diva 401's and the Barfly 200 2-light kit and absolutely love them. The Barfly's are perfect (for me) for travel as they are small and yet output a good amount of light.

I like to test gear before purchase and my local Abel Cine lets me borrow just about anything for testing (so far, the only thing he hasn't let me borrow is a SRW-9000 :( They can get Dedo's, Litepanels, Kino's, Arri's, etc but not Coollights so I have no way of knowing how they work.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #10
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There are tons of inexpensive flo lights out there which can be used to supplement tungsten and HMI lights.
Here are a few of my flo lights.
Attached Thumbnails
alternatives to Kinoflo Diva lights?-my-cheap-flo-kit.jpg  
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Old September 20th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #11
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It's simple Steve. With fluorescent lighting especially, there is no fresnel lens or focusing mechanism between the light emitting tube and your subject. With a tungsten fresnel light, you have very different beam qualities between, say, an Arri 1k fresnel and a Mole 1k fresnel. With Kinos and the like, they all essentially are the same as far as how the light affects the subject. In my homemade Diva 200s, I used a higher quality, more expensive ballast than Kino Flo uses in their Divas and I used a highly polished reflector element that increases the perceived output of my "Divas" vs. the real thing. These factors mean that Kinos, Coollights, Lowel Caselights, Mole fluoros, etc. all pretty much function the same, you are just paying for features like dimming, cosmetics, stand mounting quality, etc.

Kinos are the industry standard, they work really well and kind of invented the video fluorescent. If you can afford them, they are probably overall the best to own. My "Divas" look professional but not as good as real Divas. My "Divas" have no barndoors like a real Diva. My "Divas" have a case made of wood versus real Divas are lighter because the housings are made of Coroplast.

So basically, it boils down to, if you have the bucks, by the real Kino Flos, they are outstanding, totally accepted by any professional gaffer/DP, clients will like seeing that Kino Flo logo on the light, etc. They are great. If money is tight, you are cheap or you want to stretch your dollar like having two lights for the price of one Kino, lights like the Coollights. Flolights, etc. could be a superior value for some users, myself included. I would rather have two Canon T2i instead of one HMC150 for my shooting. I would rather have two HPX170s than one HPX370s. I was able to build my two "Diva" 200s for less than half the cost of one real Diva 200. Just depends on your priorities.

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Old September 30th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #12
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I think that Dan has expressed it really well.

I would like to add that Kino Diva Lights are reliable. You take 'em out of the case, bung 'em on a stand and they work. With home-made or cheap copies the barndoors are sometimes a bit weak or they sag or droop, the fittings can't be done up tightly or they break. The tubes are loose in the fittings and one doesn't come on until you push it.

Most of the time, if you're setting up yourself and you've got time, it's not a problem. The difficulties arrive if someone decides to give you a "help" and suddenly they're standing there with a part in their hand which shouldn't be detachable! Or if you have to set-up super-fast, you need gear which simply works and doesn't need to be handled with special care.

I bought a pair of Diva lights a few years ago and then got a deal on a couple of kino-copies. My logic was that I would use the copies for day-to-day crap and save the expensive Kinos from rattling about in the car. Stupid. After a week the copies were on ebay and the Kinos back in the car.

If you can afford proper Diva lights (ie Kino Flos), then you should go for them, they're just lovely to use!
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Old October 16th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Kiger View Post
Love my Cool lights too, 4 bulb flo without dimmers, great lites but a caveat / weak link has been the "lolly pop" ball and socket used to lock the light in position. At least that's the goal but mine locks tentatively and with much fiddling.

Anyone used a Diva or other lolly pop assembly with their Cool Lights?

thanks
I have them also and I wondered also if the diva assembly would work on the cool light. Your right about it being the weak link on a great light.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #14
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Hard to argue with Dons quote above "Kinos, Coollights, Lowel Caselights, Mole fluoros, etc. all pretty much function the same, you are just paying for features like dimming, cosmetics, stand mounting quality, etc. Kinos are the industry standard, they work really well and kind of invented the video fluorescent. If you can afford them, they are probably overall the best to own.

Meanwhile, I need to research using Diva lolly pops on my nice Coolights...

Any real world how to advice would be appreciated :)

thanks
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Old November 10th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #15
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Are the new lights from dvestore.com online yet? what's the verdict? Thanks
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