Published : 26th July 2004
Anyone see or know of any Daylight (5200) Ringlights. I'm looking for a large source (3ft or bigger in diam.) not like the smaller Kino Kamio or LED ringlights that mount to the matte box.
Preferably in NYC in they even exist
Your best bet is probably to just build one, probably using MR-16 bulbs and gelling it over. You can use high-temp gel and almost stick it right on the bulbs.
Oops...just noticed that you wanted a large diameter. That would be a lot of MR-16s.
How about 2' Kinos arranged in a starburst. 6 2x4 Kinos stripped from their housings would put a bulb every 15 degrees in the circle. Hand a grip some foamcore and bailing wire and shouldn't take too long to rig the thing. Make it with some rigging for depth so you can clip 216 or grid cloth about 4" in front of the bulbs and you'll have a big even source with a window in the centre for the lens.
Anyone have a formula for figuring out what size of ring light (or ring light style source) one needs for specific effects at specific distances?
I find that if I build a 4'x4' source with a hole for the lens and put the subject about 4' away I get a fairly nice effect where the face appears to glow and the outside surfaces fall off nicely. The farther away the subject the more the effect drops off.
Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
I concur with Art Adams - a 4' ring is great, but loses its effectiveness about 4' from the camera. For stationary beauty shots, the 4' diameter version works well - I have a 4' ring of 3/4" plywood with a 2' hole in the centre. This hole is large enough to pan the camera without running into the light. I put quite a few PH212 or PH213 globes or Photofloods of whatever wattage corresponds to how much light we need. These lamps mount in porcelain sockets. I staple foamcore around the outside and inside of the ring to hide the bulbs from the lense, and to put diffusion in front of the globes. Vents in the foamcore are necessary - the lamps generate a lot of heat.
We always save the light when we can - saves globes too as the PH globes last only a few hours. It's a simple solution - but very effective. This type yields plenty of light (exactly how much I don't recall) and with the PH globes (enlarger lamps) it is fairly soft. Without diffusion in front of the lamps, the individual globes are more prominent in the subjects eye. I've used tracing paper, 216, 250, opal, full blue, half blue, etc. MR-16 lamps are much more directional, but can have a really nice quality too as found in the DecaPod.
I have a smaller one also made of wood and shrouded with showcard. Similar result, but less room to pan the camera. It doesn't get much use.
I have two lightweight, metal versions that clamp onto a matte box, Arri 4x5 and Arri 6x6. They're not exactly rings as they follow the shape of the matte box. The smaller one also fits Panavision. These use MR-16 globes - the larger version has 12 lamps, 2 circuits, 150 watts each globe. This type is not as soft, but has that shadowless quality because the light comes from next to the lense. With this lamp, I have a small foamcore diffuser that fits over the front - most types of diffusion seem to work well.
A friend of mine who lurks in this forum has a ringlite made of metal that clamps to the iris rods. He uses porcelain sockets with JDR75 or some other type of MR-16 medium screw base lamp inside.
One note - the tiny filament lamps (MR-16) can flicker on camera if used with household type dimmers. Stick with Variacâ€™s. Hasn't happened to me that I'm aware of, but I have friends who have seen it on camera several times.
The KinoFlo ring that Mitch suggests is nice too - very effective with subjects wearing sunglasses as seen in r&b videos of late. I'd make the backing out of wood though instead of foamcore. It's really nice to get the little silver clips that KinoFlo uses to hold the lamps into their fixtures - you can buy them from KinoFlo (Sun Valley, CA) and probably other places. With these you could make a rig that is durable and can go from job to job. Varying the size and color of the tubes (alternating 4' and 2' for example) can create interesting eyelights.
I've used the LED ringlite that's out there - it's effective at times, although the color temperature is quite high, requiring color correction most of the time. Dimmable but in a day interior situation with lots of light you might be wondering if it's on. Very lightweight. It's output is more than the KinoFlo Kamio, but less than the MR-16 version or the 4' light bulb version. It fits on the camera's iris rods really nicely, and doesn't get very hot at all. I've seen people hand hold the camera with this light on the front. I know guys who like it so much they use it mounted in a stand as an edge light, fill light, etc.
A true daylight ringlite that is brighter than either the Kamio or the LED version would be fantastic. Something in the HMI range...
Caveat emptor: none of these ideas are meant to be suggestions - lights aren't meant to be made from wood, paper and foamcore. Lamps produce heat, heat starts fires. Caution and common sense must be taken.
Sorry for the long post, I guess I really like special lights like this.
Ted "running rings around myself" Hayash
Los Angeles, CA