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Old May 27th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

When ever I shoot with Kinos or LED ights my white balance never looks as true as when I am shooting either outdoors, or with HMIs or Tungsten.

The white balance with KInos and LEDs is normally pink/magenta.

Does anyone else have this issue. Anyone got a way to sort it out?

Cheers, Tim.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #2
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

Are you using high cri bulbs designed for video/film?
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Old May 28th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

Are you using a preset or custom white balance?
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Old May 28th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

I use the Kino flo branded tubes and do a white balance (not preset) Skin tones always look pink/magenta especially when compared to white balancing when using a tungsten source.

Is anyone one else experiencing the same issues ?

Cheers, Tim.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

I usually use a Panasonic Camera (P2 500 and 170's mostly) with mine but have similar issues with the color. I have resorted to carrying 1/8 and 1/4 CTO to use as I feel necessary with my Diva 400's and 200's. Also I have returned to using my tungsten based chimeras more often when I want warm and soft light.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #6
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

I read somewhere that although the color temperature of kino flos and leds may be technically correct, the entire spectrum range may not necessarily be equivalent as compared to true tungsten or daylight. The end result would be an apparent color shift that is very difficult to correct in post.

My first experience with this phenomenon was with LED lights. Skin would always look somewhat greenish/cyan, so I tried correcting it in post, but resulted in a skin tone that seemed to lack yellows and reds. When I switched back to tungsten lights, all was well again.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 06:04 AM   #7
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

This is a known problem with LED-fixtures. They tend to have a greenish colour cast, and that's why some manufactures include a light magenta filter in their standard equipment. The same with fluorescent light: it does never emit a complete spectrum, so there's always an unbalance. Light sources like the sun, tungsten or even a wood fire, will show a more complete spectrum.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

A few words from Alan Roberts who tests for the BBC and EBU:


"I've been measuring lots of light sources lately, and I wouldn't touch anything that cheap with a barge pole. The science is a bit hard to explain succinctly, but I've got a measurement set which can assess such sources for video use, and have written an IBC paper on it for this year. The EBU is setting p a working party to validate it before adopting the method formally. Then the CIE will have to listen.

The problem with cheap LEDs is that the spectral output derives from a single blue LED, with a part-covering of an orange phosphor. The phosphor absorbs some of the blue light and re-emits it as orange, 'white' is the resulting colour. BUT, there's a big hole in the spectrum between the blue and orange, there's no far blue and no far red. So colour rendering is very odd.

Lamps like these are ok as fills, but not as keys. Don't expect to be able to use them as an alternative to other light sources, because you'll get all sorts of colour shifts that you can't correct in post. No single post colour-correction will make the pictures right. They're ok for interviews for News or for wildlife, where colouring isn't all that important, but not for anything serious"
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Old June 17th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

I've been using Divas quite a bit lately for a variety of shooting, and have been much happier with the GE Cinema Series bulbs than with the KinoFlo bulbs. To my eye, they seem to give a nice light. For certain clients I also use the WarmCards (from Vortex) and balance with a Warm 1/2.
Though the light spectrum pruduced by Tungsten units is obviously smoother than either Fluorescent of LED sources, the lack of heat plus power efficiency have been major factors in using Divas and LEDs for most of my shoots recently.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

Tim,
I have found with my Kinos is to replace the bulbs when they have a shift like that. Usage will change them over time.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

Kinos were originally designed to render accurate color for Kodak film stocks. This was no small feat, but Freider was clever enough to get that nuances in color were critical for filmakers, so just making a flourescent that went on a light stand wasn't going to cut it. The problem with trying to create any artificial light source that mimics a full spectrum like tungsten or daylight is that you are shooting at several moving targets from a moving platform. Fuji and Agfa films respond differently, heck different Kodak stocks responded differently because, while they were designed for the spectral output of either daylight or tungsten, changing them to make them less grainy or faster shifted the way they responded to artificial light sources. I doubt the film stocks Frieder was using to "calibrate" the gases in the original kino tubes even exist anymore. I think Kinos helped cause lighting manufacturers to pay more attention to the CRI, or Color Rendering Index of their lamps. Notice it isn't a spectrum reproduction index, but I'll stick to the original point.
If you are anal about color (which most DPs are), the best thing is to pay careful attention to how your camera responds to different light sources so you can adjust accordingly. Your f-800 will white balance to every light designed for production, but each light source will vary in how it blends the spikes in the spectrum it outputs, so there can be some surprises. Mixing your light sources will reveal differences you can't easily see (as you have already noticed). I love the way kinos work as a hair light or side light that is just slightly more magenta than my typical tungsten key. I have yet to find an LED top light that didn't make people seem pale, but I have seen lots of footage from LED lit events that looked great. Kino's will change color as they get older, the outside temp will affect their color. Their color will change if they are unable to cool sufficiently. The newer kinos must also be oriented so the contacts are at least slightly downhill. I love Kinos, and even good old tungsten lights will vary depending on their age or the glass of the lens.
Sorry this is so long, but I could go on. Shoot tests, learn your camera's nuances, be wary of all artificial light sources and keep in mind we all live in mixed light, so if perfection isn't possible, it isn't always necessary either.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #12
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Re: F 800 -White Balance issue with Kinos

Thanks everyone one for all the great info !! I have been playing with my camera setup and have been trying different gamma tables ( Light illusion) etc as well as trying different globes. I still find that tungsten or HMI lights still give me the best colour rendition.

Has anyone tried the new plasma light sources yet ?

Cheers, Tim
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