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Old May 22nd, 2013, 06:16 AM   #1
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Kino Divas

Anyone uses Kino Divas? Any thoughts to share. I have the Diva-Lite 401 Two Light Kit and because I am not very experienced using lights I always have a hard time figuring out how to work with them. Also I do get a pink tint in my shots, after reading a bit figured you have to let them run for a while so they achieve proper color temp.
Any specific set up tips? Or anything? I probably need to take a lighting class but always find that they used different lights and what works in class doesn't work for me. So, I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with these lights or similar.

Thanks
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: Kino Divas

Hi Kathy,

The Divas are great lights. I often use the Flozier to further soften the output.

The pink/purple tint comes if the tubes are cold but they should warm up after a few minutes and the tint should go. If not, you may need new tubes. You should always have the lamp bases (where the tubes connect to the case) above the lamp tips. This prevents mercury collecting at the electrodes which can also affect the colour temperature.

There's lots of good guides to interview lighting on here so I would search this forum for starters. For 3 point lighting I tend to use a Diva 400 with Flozier as my key, a large white reflector for fill and a diffused Dedo as a backlight.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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Re: Kino Divas

Hello Kathy

I use the 400s all the time. One of my best lights. The two fixture kit can become a bit too much light when used in interview situations. The trick is to learn the extra tools already in the fixture. the Egg crate , the gell frame and the Flozier. As well as the bulb select and how far open or shut you have the doors.

As mentioned I started playing around with just one fixture at a time and a bounce for fill.

It helped me by having just two center tubes on and working with a round product as the subject. In my garage with no other lighting in the room. Camera and 17 inch monitor, and 5 in one Flexi fill bounce.

Try to not use the Dimmer, but cut the light with diffusions and by backing the light away from subject.

The tubes do take some time to get up to temp
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: Kino Divas

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Originally Posted by Craig Chartier View Post
Try to not use the Dimmer, but cut the light with diffusions and by backing the light away from subject.
Dimming shouldn't affect the characteristics too much, although it can cause noticeable colour shift at very low output. The problem with moving the lamp further away is that it becomes a "harder" source. I would rather keep it close and dim it. If you are getting colour shift when dimming, you may need new tubes...or just have better eyes than me! :)
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Old May 24th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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Re: Kino Divas

Hey Kathy,
I have been using my Kinoflo Diva 400's and 200's for many years now and they are very useful. They do have their quirks and strengths like any tool. I have a selection of 1/8 and 1/4 CTO to warm them up as well as opal, 216 diffusion along with the Flozier and the egg crate to modify the light. Black wrap is also useful as they leak light from the side and controlling that is important. Daylight and Tungsten Bulbs as well.
To my eye the light is a bit Harder using the 400 compared to a similar sized Chimera. I feel I end up using a little more make up on the subjects with the Diva than I do with a Chimera. It may be the way the Flourescent bulbs generate light. Definitely not as soft as a bounced source or a longer kinoflo. But the size is great to carry around and they can be used in many different ways. The built in dimmer is a big help as well. Of course they generate a lot of light for little power, are not hot and can change color Temperature by changing the bulb so I love having them.
Of course two lights doesn't cover even the most basic 3 point lighting concept unless you can use a reflector as your fill like Mike mentioned.

PS I think you are also in NYC if you want to contact me.
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Old May 26th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Kino Divas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
Hi Kathy,

The Divas are great lights. I often use the Flozier to further soften the output.

The pink/purple tint comes if the tubes are cold but they should warm up after a few minutes and the tint should go. If not, you may need new tubes. You should always have the lamp bases (where the tubes connect to the case) above the lamp tips. This prevents mercury collecting at the electrodes which can also affect the colour temperature.

There's lots of good guides to interview lighting on here so I would search this forum for starters. For 3 point lighting I tend to use a Diva 400 with Flozier as my key, a large white reflector for fill and a diffused Dedo as a backlight.
Thanks Mike.
Is it possible to use the second kino light as a backlight?
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Old May 26th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Re: Kino Divas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier View Post
Hello Kathy

I use the 400s all the time. One of my best lights. The two fixture kit can become a bit too much light when used in interview situations. The trick is to learn the extra tools already in the fixture. the Egg crate , the gell frame and the Flozier. As well as the bulb select and how far open or shut you have the doors.

As mentioned I started playing around with just one fixture at a time and a bounce for fill.

It helped me by having just two center tubes on and working with a round product as the subject. In my garage with no other lighting in the room. Camera and 17 inch monitor, and 5 in one Flexi fill bounce.

Try to not use the Dimmer, but cut the light with diffusions and by backing the light away from subject.

The tubes do take some time to get up to temp
Thanks, I guess I still need experimenting. I am off to buy Flexi fill bounce
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Old May 26th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: Kino Divas

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Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
Hey Kathy,
I have been using my Kinoflo Diva 400's and 200's for many years now and they are very useful. They do have their quirks and strengths like any tool. I have a selection of 1/8 and 1/4 CTO to warm them up as well as opal, 216 diffusion along with the Flozier and the egg crate to modify the light. Black wrap is also useful as they leak light from the side and controlling that is important. Daylight and Tungsten Bulbs as well.
To my eye the light is a bit Harder using the 400 compared to a similar sized Chimera. I feel I end up using a little more make up on the subjects with the Diva than I do with a Chimera. It may be the way the Flourescent bulbs generate light. Definitely not as soft as a bounced source or a longer kinoflo. But the size is great to carry around and they can be used in many different ways. The built in dimmer is a big help as well. Of course they generate a lot of light for little power, are not hot and can change color Temperature by changing the bulb so I love having them.
Of course two lights doesn't cover even the most basic 3 point lighting concept unless you can use a reflector as your fill like Mike mentioned.

PS I think you are also in NYC if you want to contact me.
I have not tried used Flozier, I will next time. Thank you
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Old May 26th, 2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: Kino Divas

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Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
Is it possible to use the second kino light as a backlight?
Quite possible, though not ideal in all situations.

An old-school TV-style approach is a 3-6" fresnel tungsten with barndoors, that is, a small, highly focusable, highly controllable fixture. This allows you to put the backlight only where you want it, and to aim it generally towards the camera with a great deal of control to not create *lots* of lens flare.

OTOH, as a general-purpose soft instrument the diva is fine, and if you use the honeycomb/eggcrate and barn door... and aren't fixated on backlight directly on the camera-subject line, it can work well. Because of the size of the source it does have more versatility than the fresnel for cine-style looks, its light can look more like a window above and behind.

It's really about the aesthetic you're trying to create. I've done a number of news anchor desk shoots with two mini 3" tungsten fresnels for back light (on a dimmer), and a couple of diva-like flos for key/fill. Being able to dim the backs is real handy in a small space, and if their color goes a little warm that's not a problem for backlight. You can't get much more newsy than double backlights...

OTOH, for most "natural" lighting looks, a hard backlight is pretty much out of consideration, it looks too artificial, too TV, too staged. That's where your Diva as a back can look fine, paying close attention to how intense the resulting rimlight is.
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Old May 26th, 2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: Kino Divas

Hi Seth,

To be honest, I am such a novice that I am not sure what lighting I am after. I am looking for something more dramatic, I don't want the scene to look flat. I have not been using backlighting at all so far, just either one or two lights. The results are just OK. Looking for better options. Right now I am thinking of trying One kino diva with flozier as a main light, a reflector as a fill and second kino diva as a backlight.
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Old May 26th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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Re: Kino Divas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
...I am not sure what lighting I am after. I am looking for something more dramatic, I don't want the scene to look flat. I have not been using backlighting at all so far...
Well, yes, in most image aesthetics we're concerned with providing a sense of depth in a medium that only displays in 2 dimensions.

You're going to need to come back to "natural" looks. IMO a good place to start is 3-point lighting, which is what you're wanting to test. Key, fill, back. Sometimes background, too.

There is no substitute for spending time with your lights, looking at a monitor. If there is a way for you to get some pro guidance as you're getting started in lighting you'll get further faster.

IMHO there's a limited amount of help from all the text we can type. You gotta' see. But, here goes.

3-point lighting is an artificial and contrived look, but it provides a good starting point for understanding the concepts underlying all forms of lighting.

The function of the key light is to create highlights. A typical starting point for position would be 45-deg to the side and 45-deg up. A key light might be hard or soft (like your flos at close range). In contemporary use, keys are getting softer.

The function of the fill light is to control shadow density. It is almost always a soft light. The closer a large source is, the softer, the further away, the harder. Harder, deeper shadows from less fill are usually more dramatic, the hardest looks are associated with film noir and horror. More fill tends to fill those shadows with detail, at a certain point they don't look like shadows any more, but highlights that aren't as bright as the highlights from the key. A typical starting point for position would be somewhere between 0 and 45-deg to the side of the line between camera and subject, and up to 45-deg up from the eyeline of the subject.

"Starting point" because everybody's faces are shaped differently. The more chiseled looks with heavier eyebrow lines will tend to make your lighting look harder. Soften it up.

Pet peeve - avoid hitting your subject with light from two sides in such a way that they have "raccoon" eyes, with shadows at the inner corner of each eye.

Back lights can really help with dimensionality in a couple different ways. First, the lighting from in back suggests a depth to the scene. Second, if the line between a subject's dark hair or clothes and a dark background is hard to distinguish, putting some backlight on the shoulders to add a lighter rim and on the head to add a highlight in the hair will really pop the subject out from the background.

However... as mentioned above, these are artificial looks. Learn these principles with 3-point lighting, and you'll have a good handle on the concepts needed to create looks that are more natural.

Two parting thoughts: The inverse-square law (look it up) states that intensity of a light will vary with the square of a change in distance of that light to the subject. The usual translation is that changing the position of the light a little bit will result in a lot of change in its intensity.

Second, watch the shadows. Look at shadows. Understand shadows. Analyze the position of lights by the shadows they cast. Where would a light have to be to produce no shadows at all?
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Old May 28th, 2013, 06:04 AM   #12
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Re: Kino Divas

Seth, thanks so much for this great explanation. I need a lot of practice to learn all of this. Specially, to see the shadows. I shot something not too long ago where I only noticed shadows when I looked at it on my computer :(. A lot of times I feel like I am so rushed when setting things up that I never get a chance to really double check everything, and all things being so new to me it all feels so overwhelming and shooting by myself doesn't help. Anyway, thank you. Any recommendation on reflectors?
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Old May 28th, 2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: Kino Divas

Do look critically at other people's work, if you see something you like you can try recreating it.

I'd suggest dedicating some learning time *with your lights and cam* outside of your shoots. You need practice.

For reflectors, it depends on what you have to hold them. They must be positioned at various heights and angles to work right. If you have a reflector arm on a c-stand the flexifill style aka. 5-in-1 work just fine. With just a C-stand a 4x4' or 3x3' piece of white foamcor (find it at art supply stores) works well. It's a big piece of stuff to carry around sometimes...

In outdoor use even the slightest breeze can make big trouble.

I use matte white about 95% of the time.
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