I have found Guy Holt's article for ScreenLight & Grip's E-Newsletter to be very informative on this subject. As he points out in his newsletter article and in other forums, when discussing the important differences between Kino Flos and LEDs, we have to be careful not to confuse two separate issues. The green bias of Phosphor White LEDs is a separate issue from the appreciable drop-off of wavelengths over 600nm in the output of Phosphor White LEDs. Where it is these longer wavelength colors that are so critical to rendering flesh-tones accurately, their absence in White Phosphor LEDS affect the rendering of flesh-tones. The side -by-side comparisons in his newsletter article demonstrates clearly that skin-tones are significantly altered by the steep drop-off of long wavelength colors in LED light sources. Where it is possible to correct the green bias of White Phosphor LEDS with minus green (magenta) gels, it is not possible to correct with gels for this color deficiency of LEDs. By comparison, once the discontinuous color spectrum of Kino Flos is corrected with gels, the remaining spectral distribution is nearly continuous and contains a greater proportion of the long wave-length colors that are so critical to rendering flesh-tones accurately.
James is absolutely right. the bottom line is that color gel packs, camera white balance, or digital intermediate timing canít bring out a color if it isnít there to begin with. Simply by nature of their discontinuous spectral distribution, even high CRI Phosphor White LEDs will never accurately reproduce colors on screen regardless what you do on set or in post. Kino Flos, on the other hand, have a much more continuous spectrum. Once you filter out their green spike with minus green (magenta gel), they are able to render flesh tones more accurately than LED lights.
well, thanks for all the replies. Rented a KF Diva kit for my shoot last nite and really really like the results. Did a custom color balance first. Would like to compare with 3rd party (alzo, coolight, etc) at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost to see if there is any difference in light quality.
If purchasing, may simply invest in a cheaper housing-ballast but get the better KinoFlo bulbs
I'll share two bits of advice. First, stay away from Alzo. They have good customer service and refunded my money on a purchase, but the fact that I needed a refund in the first place was the issue. Their CFL bulbs are not rated by their own manufacturer with the color temp they claim on their Ebay auctions and website. I have also purchased the Diva-style 55 watt lamps from them and their color temp was wayyyy waaayyyy off. I also tried one of those metal halide lights that they claim is a daylight substitute. Color temp was actually accurate, but the fixture failed after a month. Maybe I just got a lemon, but after going 0 for 3, they are off my list.
Second, buy Kino Flo True Match lamps and any generic fixture. The dimmable 4 or 6 lamp versions buy Cool Lights or Stellar work great with those and are much more affordable than a Diva.
Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately both Stelar and Coolight are out of stock of the more popular 4 tube portable fixtures.
Not sure I really need 6 tubes for interviews.
There is a studio version of the 4 tube coollight available.
In their favor they come with their own bulbs, 55 watt biax (PL 2G11) type bulbs.
Are the Kino Flo bulbs really worth the extra expense?
And should I get the dimmable version (almost $200 more)?
I've read that using the dimmer isn't really useful because of the color shift...
And finally, if going the 3rd party route, what would you recommend for cases, assuming I wait to go with the portable when its in stock?
Last edited by James B.; 08-12-2011 at 02:20 PM.
The 455P / PMD will be in stock within a month and a half. Just waiting on some other items to be finished before we ship the whole batch to our US warehouse. As far as tubes go most customers just use the Cool Lights tubes that come with the fixture. Only about 3 customers out of several hundred have confirmed that they use Kino Tubes so most find our tubes to be just what they need.
Dimmer or no dimmer really is a personal preference. Yes some color temperature change after about 40 to 50 percent dim, but not so much that it causes a huge problem.
If people are looking for a travel case, they usually go for a Pelican / Storm type. Otherwise, for around town use, ours are just fine. Hope this helps.
I own 2 Kino Flo 4-banks and 2 Kino Diva lights. When it's time to shoot an interview I grab the Arri Hybrid H-3 kit. It's amazing quality. And it can be powered using RED brick batteries:
I have try a lot of lights for my interviews (Chineese, tungstene, K5600,...), and I have PAR Leds 600 and 1200 from Coollight, and 150w CDM too.
I am waiting for some kino from Cool lights too, but I dont like fluo a lot, I won't use them myself.
Here are some considerations about what I use today :
I have to say first that most of the time, I don't use the Red for interviews, but a couple of GH2. And I often only have 5 or 10 minutes to make the whole set, and we are only 2 operators. With the Epic X and Canon lenses, it should change.
- K5600 Joker 400 with Chimera +/- eggcrate + Focal spot is great for about all needs, very light and powerfull, but are expensive
- K5600 Black Jack : so great for lighting behind the subject, and so easy to carry !
- CDM 150 watts from Cool light are interesting because they are real fresnels, not heavy and inexpensive but you have to wait 10 minutes before restrike and the color of light move a bit.
- Led PAR 600 : I never go outside without 1 of them at least. Powerful, can be used as keylight, battery powered,... (OK, OK, maybe on the chart, it wont be perfect, but for me it not bad at all)
- Led 1200 bicolor : better construction than PAR 600, the ability to change the ratio cold/hot light is great and so fast... The weight is less than 2xPAR 600. And I will get soon the battery adapters.
I can do some test if you want
Thanks again for all the replies. As mentioned, ended up renting a KinoFlo. Wanted to share the results. As you might be able to tell, NOT shot with a RED, though saving my pennies for one!
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