Kino flo basics - $1000 day rental package at

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Old November 30th, 2005, 03:24 AM   #1
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Kino flo basics - $1000 day rental package

It seems I will be able to get a significant discount renting directly from Kino Flo. I have always been intimidated by kinoflos because I have never used any, and because they seem so off the beaten path from more traditional lighting instruments--weird and specialized and expensive. For that reason, I have not educated myself beyond the very basics.

I have adopted a practice and style of soft lighting, generally avoiding the use of hard lights altogether.

I was told yesterday by an operator (who has operated for, among others, Storaro) that one uses kinoflos in pretty much the same way as a softbox; they have less throw, but they fit in small places.

The shoot will be on location in a house, so that space consideration will be valuable. The camera will be stopped down to the extent that I think maybe 4000W will be needed in that room (I am uneducated and uninformed about light meters, etc., so I can't really talk about the amount of light needed in much more precise terms). Can people give me a high level overview of kino flo products and accessories, and the kind of package I might put together for less than $1000?

I would like to understand how kinoflos compare and contrast to other kinds of lights, how you can control them, use them together to achieve different effects, and how (and to what extent) you can modify them by using accessories, etc.

The rental list is here:

Last edited by Steve Watnet; November 30th, 2005 at 01:21 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #2
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The DP that I use the most loves Kinos. We use them on all of our shoots in addition to other lights. We use them on talent all of the time. They are great for fill and key lights. You can also use them to spread an even amount of light on a background. Instead of useing a flood setting on a 2k you could replace that with a kino. One of the biggest advantages that I have seen is that they produce less heat than some of the more traditional lights. We just shot a commercial in a tight location and used all Kinos up close and it helped our actors tremendously.

Kinos also come in handy for lighting green and blue screens.

As for adjustments, you can change how many lights are on or off from the ballast box. If you have a 4 bank, you can run 1, 2, 3, or all 4 at once. They also have doors on them so you can control spill.

I don't know what your needs are but I am sure that the guys at Kino will help. If not, try U.S. Grip and Lighting over in Burbank. They mainly rent Kinos and they are really helpful at getting their clients what they need.

Good luck!
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Old November 30th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #3
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Are they all the same, just with different strength/wattage?

Are the main variables output, and whether or not they have a grid on or not?
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Old November 30th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #4
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As I recall, they are all about the same strength per bulb length. For instance, a 2bulbx2' will be half as strong as a 2x4' fixture. They can be dimmable, but only with their own ballasts that use PWM (pulse width modulation). Do not put them on a rheostat style dimmer. They use about 20% of the electricity per lumen as tungsten fixtures, so they don't get very warm. You will probably need to specify which color temperature you need.

It is also possible to make a DIY "kinoflo" with a fluorescent fixture with "electronic" ballast. The electronic ballasts work on a very high frequency that prevents flickering. You must also use bulbs with a high CRI (color rendering index). I recommend using 90 CRI or higher, but fill lights can probably get by if they are in the 80s. Don't use anything lower than 80 or it will be missing too many color frequencies and will probably have a nasty green spike. The better bulbs don't even have a green phosphorus, so you don't need to worry about green with the good ones.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 09:09 AM   #5
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Kinos are great tools. One important thing to understand about them and soft light in general is that it is harder to control, and thus tricky to use if you are looking to create a low-key environment in a confined space--the problem is that the light will spill onto walls, ceiling etc. If this is a concern but the other advantages of Kinos are relevant (power consumption, low profile physically, cool running) definitely plan on using the egg crates and have plenty of large flags (4x4 floppies, blades etc) available to box in the units to minimize spill.

For the high light levels you are describing you should get a few Image 80's; these are 8 tube units that allow each tube to be turned on individually, which functions essentially as a dimmer. From there on down, 4x2's are useful for mounting above windows to simulate the feel of exterior light coming through; Divas are small units with a lot of punch; mini-and micro Flos are great for hiding in small spaces for a little twinkle or pool or eyelight (can be rigged aboard the camera, for instance). The 4 bank and 2 bank units allow you to remove both the tubes and wiring so that you can use the tubes "raw", taped to the wall or under a bartop etc.

What are Kinos not useful for? Creating a well-defined pool or splash of light (use tungsten units like Fresnels or Lekos for this); providing a powerful source (high-output units like HMI's or Maxi-brutes are a better choice); maintaining a tight beam (as described above, they are a broad source).
Charles Papert
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