Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Kino Flo Divas

Published : 19th April 2004


Does any one have feelings, experiences, preferences with these lights?

Byron Shah
DP Los Angeles US
LATSE Local 600



Fabulous fixtures : small, lightweight, flexible, and, so far, reasonably robust.

Good color temperature and dimmable.

Good shooting!

Leo Ticheli
Director/Cinematographer
Birmingham/Atlanta



I just used one for the first time. Handy, put out a lot of light for a small footprint, but when I dimmed them they swung way magenta and orange.

Marty Mullin
DP
Los Angeles



Marty Mullin writes :

>Handy, put out a lot of light for a small footprint, but when I dimmed >them they swung way magenta and orange.

I agree. Any radical dimming makes them useless if you intent on keeping correct color without gels. But great otherwise.

Let's just up they prove to be more dependable under the day to day grind than regular Kinos.

Daniel Villeneuve, c.s.c.
Directeur-Photo/Director of Photography
Montréal, Canada



>Does any one have feelings, experiences, preferences with these >lights?

Also, check out the velcro, used to hold the eggcrate. Don't know if we had a bad batch, but on first use, it let loose, and the eggcrate crashed on the table while setting-up the shot.

Fortunately no one around.

Cheers

Martin Heffels

Filmmaker/DP/Editor/Filmschool Techie
Sydney, Australia



Is the Diva's color shift when dimmed more pronounced than when using regular Kinos (or other fluorescents) with a dimmable ballast?

Byron Shah
DP LA



The best feature of the Diva is that it is self-contained. If you have a big 5-ton grip truck than I find the standard fixtures more useful, but for a smaller travelling kit the Diva is far more reasonable to handle. But there are a few competing options that use the same 55w bulbs, including the Pampa lights and the Lowell Caselights.

These units are really nice for small kits--everything fits in the case, including spare bulbs and stand.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



>...Is the Diva's color shift when dimmed more pronounced than when >using regular Kinos (or other fluorescents) with a dimmable ballast?

The dimmer on the Diva is useless. The shift to magenta is quite profound and makes dimming it a gelling issue. Unless you're shooting black and white. I usually have the dimmer taped off so it can't be used.

What's nice about the Diva is the way the ballast is integrated into the head. That can be handy in certain circumstances.

For day-to-day Kino needs the 2'X4 Kino is probably a more useful head.

David Perrault, csc



> The dimmer on the Diva is useless.

I'm so glad this subject came up. I was just about to buy a couple of them...largely on the basis of the dimmer.

Do they have the normal Kino capacity to turn some bulbs off selectively? I'm wondering now if I would be better off with just a 2'x4 Kino or maybe one of the other portable units.

Blain Brown
DP
LA



>The dimmer on the Diva is useless. The shift to magenta is quite >profound and makes dimming it a gelling issue. Unless you're shooting >black and white. I usually have the dimmer taped off so it can't be used.

David, have you metered these with new tubes?

I had some old tubes that were acting up... Metered them (daylight) at :

Full Intensity : 5320K, CC 15m
Full Dim : 4620K, CC 7m

Replaced the tubes, now it's around 5400/CC 4m full intensity, 5200/CC 6m full dim.

George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada



Re : Divas -- I use them as camera fill and love 'em!

Light it up last and just dial it in. I find I like daylight Kinos with eighth minus green as a base gel. Never had any colour shift problems, but I don’t remember running it very low, either. In short, a terrifically flexible and useful unit.

Rob Lindsay
Nashville DP



Mitch Gross writes:

>there are a few competing options that use the same 55w bulbs, >including the Pampa lights…

I've used the Pampa lights quite a few times, they are very nice.

I had to shoot an actor against the black night sky, illuminated by Pampas/ daylight bulbs, (7246 at night in an emergency). I'm always afraid of dimming any of these, however...

John Babl



>Do they have the normal Kino capacity to turn some bulbs off >selectively?


Unless the switches are really well hidden I think not. Just the dimmer, and it is rather useless indeed.

>I'm wondering now if I would be better off with just a 2'x4 Kino or maybe >one of the other portable units.

I think so. I prefer a 4 switch ballast on a 4 bank. The Diva carrying case is rather large too when doing small run and gun stuff. But it's a Diva it has to have large luggage.

BTW it makes for a few questions and pointed ears on the set when you talk about "the diva".

Daniel Villeneuve, c.s.c.
Directeur-Photo/Director of Photography
Montréal, Canada



>I've rented these on several occasions and have always found the >dimming to cause very suspicious colour shifts to the magenta.

Interesting...I own 2 Divas myself, and other than old tubes, I've found them to be largely free of that problem. I wonder if I've just been lucky.

George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada



>...have you metered these with new tubes?...

No.

One of the units I had was brand new so I assume the tube was new...

I've rented these on several occasions and have always found the dimming to cause very suspicious colour shifts to the magenta.

Sure, you can add gel. I just don't think it's worth the hassle most of the time compared to a 2'X4 Kino.

So... I tape the dimmer so it stays at full.

David Perrault, csc



I can't say I dim the Diva's very far down, but I've had zero problems with color shifts. I typically use the Diva's as a soft kick.

My new favourite is the Mole Richardson Biax 8; fabulous key light with about a 2 x 2 aperture, larger with a piece of diffusion over the barn doors.

The Biax 8 seems robust, has switches for each pair of the eight tubes, is dimmable, and compact. With the 8 tubes it has enough punch to work pretty well with windows in the shot.

Best regards,
Leo Ticheli
Director/Cinematographer
Birmingham/Atlanta



George Hupka wrote:

>Interesting... I own 2 Divas myself, and other than old tubes, I've found >them to be largely free of that problem.

I agree. I don't own these but have worked on location w/ cameramen who do. Most of these were video jobs and to my eye there was no shift when dimmed or at least none apparent on the video monitor- and we had them dimmed to about 40-50 percent. I don't consider an 1/8 correction of magenta a big deal and sometimes need to do this w/ regular Kinos depending on vintage of units and/or bulbs etc. I did not put a meter to the Divas, but I don't always trust a color temp w/ fluoro anyway.

The Diva's I've encountered have been relatively new, probably purchased within the last year or so. Maybe earlier models had more color shift problems when dimming???

When others are talking about locking down the dimmer and big horrible color shifts when dimmed...I've never seen this. I don't doubt others observations so can only assume there must be different model years or some such.

John Roche, Gaffer
NYC



Hi,

I just heard, that this whole magenta shift problem with dimmed Kino-tubes comes from the inner-tube-temperature. ie when dimmed, the temperature in the tube gets lower and causes the phosphors to glow more in the magenta side of things.

Has anybody noticed any differences in the colour shift when dimmed outside (where it’s often colder - at least here in Germany) and in an inside environment (stabile temperatures) ?

Best regards,

Daniel Pauselius
Electrician, Leipzig/Germany



John,

You may be right.

I have not seen the significant color shifts described by others on this list. I really like Divas but I check the color temps regularly (with both my color meters) and I keep the tubes warm before I bring the fixture to set. I find that the 55w bulbs require some time to come up to temp before using them. I do see strange color shifts while the bulbs warm up.

I was interested in purchasing a couple of these fixtures in 2001 but when I asked to order them, I was told that production had halted for a short time to correct a design flaw. It seems there was a problem with the auto 120v/240v switching inside the fixture.

I wonder if this has anything to do with others experience with color shift?

Andrew Gordon
Gaffer
Regina, Saskatchewan
Canada



>I wonder if this has anything to do with others experience with color >shift?

As I understand it, the phosphor color output is relatively stable - what happens with temperature change is that the mercury gas in the tube increases pressure as temperature rises and as the pressure goes up, the mercury arc running down the tube (which is what excites the phosphors and gets them to spit out light) gets proportionally brighter. Since mercury has a strong emission line in green (the dreaded green spike), at higher temps, the tubes give off a little more green from the mercury than the phosphor recipe was designed to balance with.

This is a general reminder that if you swaddle your Kinos in gel with no room for the hot air to escape, you can get them to overheat and go a little bit green.

Mark Weingartner
LA based