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keying with Kino-Flos?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 08:29 PM

I was looking at some old posts and people talked about how they like to use the smaller Kino units for
fill but not for keying (the word "ugly" was mentioned) but one person said that he felt that the lights
have a "nice, fast drop-off" that shows on "the actor's/actress's face". He asked why not use Kinos as a key
(again referring I believe to the smaller units) but nobody answered. Anybody have any thoughts?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:27 PM

It's just a matter of taste. I key people all the time with Kinos. What I try to avoid, though, is to key one person with a Kino but another person with something else, unless it is a situation where the "key" is a big light coming through a window and the Kino is the fill -- so when you come around and cover the person standing with their back to the window, the big light becomes a backlight and the Kino fill becomes the key, though underexposed -- while in the other direction, the big light becomes the key for the person facing the window.

Kino light has a texture to it, that's all. Some people don't like it. It's not exactly the same texture and color as tungsten or HMI light, which is why you have to factor that into the equation when lighting.

Period movies like "Titanic", "Master and Commander" and "Howard's End" used a lot of Kino lighting on faces.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 12:37 AM

I'm not a big fan of using Kinos. They aren't very practical for the things I have to light though either. I'm frequently having to set up in small spaces and control is a big deal. I can't have too much of the key spilling beyond my subject so I prefer to put up a Chimera as key then flag it off as needed.

It's not a bad idea if it'll be on for a long time, such as in a Press Junket, where you don't want to cook your talent all day long or heat up the room unnecessarily.

But that's just me.... :blink:
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:40 AM

I've also come off Kino's quite a bit in the last years. I don't even bring them along anymore on tungsten jobs. I do use them on HMI jobs, though. For me, nothing beats Rifa-lights - they have more output and are lighter and easier to rig. Or just any old tungsten lamp bounced in some poly will look good if it's controlled. It's just a matter of taste.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:32 AM

Thanks, guys. Those are great points. The "different texture" note is a good way of putting something
that I think I've heard people attempt to express without those words and this makes sense to me.
Also, mixing lights when the sources are presumably radically different - the example by the window-
is a good tip and I'll take another look at those movies.

I do sometimes have people under the lights for a long period of time. Good point there about keeping
them cooler.

I like bouncing tungsten too but usually into Foam-Cor. I'm not sure; what is "poly"?

P.S.: If Kinos don't have the same texture; that makes sense to me, and not exactly the same color
makes sense too, yet if they're rated at say 3200K then how do you say what is the difference in color
between them and say 3200K tungsten units or HMIs gelled to correct to 3200K?
I'm pretty sure that I know what you mean but maybe I need the right words to understand if you have
them.

Thanks for all your help.
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:40 AM

I like bouncing tungsten too but usually into Foam-Cor. I'm not sure; what is "poly"?


Poly boards is foam-core in British - same thing :D
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#7 G McMahon

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:47 AM

I like bouncing tungsten too but usually into Foam-Cor. I'm not sure; what is "poly"?

P.S.: If Kinos don't have the same texture; that makes sense to me, and not exactly the same color
makes sense too, yet if they're rated at say 3200K then how do you say what is the difference in color
between them and say 3200K tungsten units or HMIs gelled to correct to 3200K?


Poly ? Is polystyrene. That is I believe the proper name for the material. The first thing I noticed on this site that pieces of equipment are named differently overseas.

I believe the colour temp aberrations may be subjective. To me HMI?s are far cooler then 5600K. It could mean the colour temp of a kino fixture in comparison to a fixture supposedly rated at the same colour temp.

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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:50 AM

"Poly" is a term I hear more in Europe for what we call "beadboard" -- polystyrene. Just like foamcore but without the paper covering.

I usually use 1/8 CTO on a Kino to match a Kino 32 tube to a tungsten (or a Kino 55 tube to match an HMI). But the color difference is one reason why I don't key one person from a Kino and another person from a different light unless I've established that they are lit by different sources.

But if you are using Kinos for fill, for example, I actually like that they are a touch cooler than the other lights; keeps the redness out of the shadows. I sometimes even add 1/4 CTB to fill light for a cooler look in the shadows.

There are some things that Kinos are very useful at, like taping to dashboards or computer screens (the MiniFlos) or to the counter of a bar. I often dress bars, nightclubs, etc. with bare Kino tubes covered in party gels as a practical source. Ever since I saw "Blade Runner" where there's this shot of Harrison Ford standing under a bare fluorescent tube reading a newspaper waiting for Zora backstage.

The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy used Kinos quite a bit too.

Another area where Kinos are a natural fit is fluorescent-lit locations like hospitals, grocery stores, convenience markets, etc.

I generally diffuse a Kino though if using as a key; that helps take away that "bare tube" sheen you get on teeth, eyes, etc. That's one nice thing about the squarer shapes like a Wall-O-Lite or Image/Flathead 80, they are more like a Chimera effect because they aren't too long in one direction compared to a 4' 4-banker.
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#9 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:54 PM

I find myself using Kinos as solution than as a first choice for keying. In other words, there are many situations (small spaces, etc.) that a Kino is the perfect source because it is very soft for very little depth.

It is just that a 4x4 Kino can have a very unexciting texture to it. I try to either get some distance between the subject and at least diffuse it with opal. I will sometimes put two 2x4 Kinos through a 4x4 frame aimed at somewhat the same area to give the light a little more depth.

I love to key with large Chimeras when space permits, and in tighter places I really like Lumapanels because it is such a large source that is so thin.

I also like Kinos because they do have a fast fall off, so they are not hard to keep off the walls and such.


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#10 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:43 PM

You guys are great. I really appreciate it so thanks to everybody (although I don't know what word you
use overseas to say that.)
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Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery