Can you control Kino Flos as good as Arri Tungstin focusable lights? at

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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:52 AM   #1
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Can you control Kino Flos as good as Arri Tungstin focusable lights?

I have never used any of the newer Flourecent Kino Flow type lights. My film school didn't have any.
I have only used Arri type focusable 1000watt Tungsten lights or lower.
The Arri's, With the barn doors and focusable beam nob on the Tungsten you can put a wash of light just where you want it. Be in control of the light beam - My question is - do any of the Kino flow lights allow that kind of control of the light? Seems to me they look like they would only be good for lighting a wider area with soft light. - Good for a Key light or Fill light -but you would still need some Tungsten lights to do more detailed lighting work.
Is this true?
Tyson X
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 01:08 PM   #2
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Across the board, an instrument with a fresnel lens is going to be more controllable than an open faced instrument. Additionally, an instrument with a point source (like a single 'small' bulb) is going to be a more defineable source than something like a bank of fluorescents where the light source itself may be four feet long.

Both have their place, but they inherently produce different kinds of light.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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Tyson, your thoughts are correct. There is a place for both types of light. Soft light is a lot like natural sunlight indoors where reflected light is the primary source, but you can't get the same control as that from a hard source. Of course, egg crates and flags can help tremendously with big fluorescent sources.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:01 PM   #4
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If you want a point light source that's got the same advantages of low power and color temp as the Kinos, HMI lights are what you need. If you limit the power to 150W the price can be very reasonable as they can be built using off the shelf ballasts. Lupo do one such fresnel.
Beyond 150W the price goes up dramatically.
HMIs are good when you want bulk light, I've built a 150W HMI china ball using Osram and Ikea parts.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:28 PM   #5
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OT - Bob, where would you suggest I look in Oz for an affordable 150w HMI? Thanks.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:54 PM   #6
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Anyone, anywhere can do what Bob suggested. I wrote two articles on this subject recently:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Electrical Safety:
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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As Marcus pointed out, both soft and hard lights have their place in video production / filming. A good mix is necessary for balance. A soft light is any type of light with a broad, large surface. A fluorescent is naturally this and its cool and energy efficient too, which is why many like it so much. A softbox is a large surface of course, no matter what the light source is in it, even a fluorescent which becomes even larger and more diffused behind a larger reflector and diffusion material.

Something like a "Fisher light" is a huge tungsten softbox that sits on the grid in a studio above the action and blankets the set with softlight. They're used a lot in car commercials and green screen stages (like on "300" the movie). Spacelights are really just big cylinders of diffusion material with a hard light of high wattage of some kind in them; just another type light used on large sets or green screen stages.

A hardlight is anything with a small pin point of light source in it against a reflector (or even without a reflector for that matter--our sun is the ultimate point light source set against a black background).

A fresnel has a point light source and a "fresnel" lens which helps focus the light too by moving the entire assembly inside (reflector and bulb at a fixed distance to each other) back and forth on a sled.

A par or a spotlight is a hardlight too and are a bit similar to each other in some ways, but the spotlight has a magnifying lens to focus the light into a well-organized, concentrated shape (usually round) for drawing attention to a subject on a stage whereas the par has a choice of much simpler lenses for different effects.

Hardlight is currently produced by tungsten, HMI/metal halide and Xenon with infinite variations on each. One thing to remember, you can soften up a hardlight but you can't "hard" up a softlight. Just no way. I try to sell only efficient lighting thats why I chose fluorescent for softlight and metal halide for my future "hardlight" products. They are two technologies which give you more lumens per watt than tungsten which is pretty much limited to 20 or below per watt. Of course LEDs have their place too as a soft source with panels of them but someday may give a hard source with single high wattage versions of 60w or larger.

The reflector you choose behind the light has a huge impact on the hardness of the light too. Is it a complete mirror? Well the light becomes even more magnified and intense. Is it stippled or hammered? The light becomes more diffused. There is at least one HMI par that has an interesting reflector that actually diffuses the light to the point that it becomes a soft light.

So why do we need both? Well sometimes we need well defined shadows. A broad source makes for soft shadows. A point, hard light makes for hard, contrasted shadows. A good example I like is when you're projecting a cucaloris somewhere like on the wall behind a subject, a softlight can do it but it doesn't look the same. A hardlight is far more efficient for projecting a recognizable pattern on the wall like simulating light coming in through a window and seeing the window frame on the wall. A soft light would just give you a random scattering of some undecipherable pattern on the wall. The hardlight makes it look like a window because of the definition it's capable of. It's what we're used to seeing because the sun coming through a window really is a hard light so it defines the window frame so well.
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