Lighting Q and A



I AM SETTING UP A STUDIO WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT AND PRACTICLE WAY TO LIGHT IT

Modern studios and current camera technologies have changes the way efficient image capture can be achieved. No longer do we need huge 5K and 10K lamps in our small to medium studios, but a new generation of lighting tools is now available, and has actually been around sometime. They are currently the most power and heat efficient lighting tools currently available. They are in fact, compact fluorescent fixtures and NOT LED! – Surprised!!?

Lumens per watt in their fixtures (important factor) compact fluorescent lighting tools are nearly 80% efficient. It is not just the compact nature of the lamp that is important; it is the smart design of the fixture the thermal management of it and most of all the colour fidelity of the fluorescent lamp itself. We have a colour critical environment we work with, It is called film or CCD or CMOS chips; creating what appears to these sensory devices to be a continuous spectrum is far from easy and the only system for me, if you care about your image quality is YOU GUESSED IT! Kinoflo. The reason I keep recommending them is down to the level of care and attention they have taken over colour fidelity and fixture design. We have been using them for years on film and drama sets now I use them in studios to great effect in combination with the carful use of hard lights like Dedolights.

So, my advice to you, if you were setting up a studio would be to look at the complete Kinoflo range of fixtures and look at the image quality and shadow characteristics of each lamp. Kinoflo is not just soft light. This is a misconception. It started off that t way with the classic work horse 4ft 4B but the Parabeam and Vista range of fixtures has changed that. For me the Para 200 (110w) can replace a 1K. The Para 400 (220w) a 2K or in a bigger set –up, a Vista 600 (540w) a 5K.

Most video cameras have a sensitivity of between 400 and 800 ISO, so you can light to F4 and still have a good depth of field and a superb image quality, not to mention long lamp life, low power consumption and low a/c bills due to the low heat low-put of the Kinoflo lamps. The talented will enjoy working under them and technicians will also enjoy working with them

I certainly do!

WHAT IS THE BEST DOCO KIT – WHAT DO YOU USE?

The Best documentary lighting kit for me is the one I have used for over fifteen years and never fails me. It allows me to shoot with a tungsten or daylight key light and is extremely cost effective to run. The light quality and control is superb.
My kit consists of the following.
1 x DivaLight 400 with Daylight and tungsten tubes. and a 60 degree honeycomb. An offset arm and a fold down Matthews stand that fits in the case is a must.
1 x Dedo 150w Soft and Small (or mini) soft box and grid.
3 x Classic Dedo DLH4's with inline dimmers.
1 x Dedo DP1 projector and a Zoom lens and a 60m fixed lens and a selection of gobo's.
1 x Dedo DSTFX flexible stand arm to get your true back light where you need it.

Why?

Diva? This highly versatile, punchy, efficient, colour correct ( 4 x 55W compact tubes) 220W universal powered, switchable 2 tubes/4tubes and dimmable plug and play light allows you to shoot in either a daylight or tungsten situation and it takes seconds to change the tubes. It is a great tool in mixed light also as you mix the tubes, 2 x Daylight and 2 x Tungsten, set your camera to 4300K or white balance to the Divalight and key with it and the daylight will not go too blue and the tungsten/fluorescent overheads will not look too yellow either, but skin will still look good. This lamp punches almost as much as a 2Kw open face with diffusion on it so it is effective. The honeycomb controls the spill of the light where needed to give a soft edge beam of light on your talent and that gives you instant control to your backgrounds. If you need to, the Shower cap style "Flozier" accessory turns it into a big soft box when required.

Dedo 150W Soft box?
A great all round soft fill or even small key in a dark hole. Extremely useful. The grid cloth again gives good light control when needed. This head will take a Mini or small square soft box.
The beauty of all the Dedo 24V in line dimmed lamps is that you can swap out the 24V transformers and swap to 12V 100W Lamps and power it in a car off the cigarette lighter, camera batteries or car battery if needs be when you are up the Jungle. A totally invaluable tool.

Classic Dedolight DLH4. This lamp is one of the modern wonders of the lighting world. It carries (as does the Kinoflo lighting system) an Oscar for technical achievement and does more than it says on the can. It is a 150W 24v lamp head that throws a totally clean beam of colour accurate light at a level close to a 500w Fresnel. The optical system collects almost all the light out of the energy efficient 150w bulb and throws it out the aspheric front lens. On spot it is a modern miracle! On flood with a Dedo wide angle adapter it is an amazing wash light. The only down side of this lamp is that it is addictive! Try one and your hooked!

DP1. This projector kit allows you to project Gobo's onto backgrounds and surfaces you wish to texture and colour. It always you create an artificial depth in a room as seen on camera by throwing the gobo out of focus, thereby cheating the eye to thinking the background is actually further away than it is. Superb tool and used nearly every time.

DSTFX Flexible stand Extension. This great little tool in an interview situation, allows you to squeak a stand up to the edge of your frame and bend the arm over to get your DLH4 head right in the position you need it fro a proper back light. One of the best accessories you will ever use.

All you need to complete this kit is a selection of Gobo's, (a pack which I have put together called a "Master Gobo Kit" with Lee Filters is available and has 10 varied gobo's in it) a pack of mixed coloured gels, mixed Blue gels and diffusions, ND's and warm gels for the Dedo lights, and a 42" Multidisk reflector from Photoflex with a support arm and you are set for many years to come.

I have spent many years on the road creating great pictures with these lamps and have had great pleasure using these tools and they have cost me very little to run and maintain due to their rugged nature and construction. Running cost are an issue and your On The Road gear needs to be tough and last. The cases and bags these kits come in are tough too and bounce well in planes, boats and trains and last many years.

My motto is,... Save up, get the best and buy it ONCE! Your reputation depends on your kit. Don't let it let you down. Happy Shooting.


Jonathan trained and worked as a Film Cameraman at the BBC Ealing Film Studios and has many of experience behind the camera. He is an award winning lighting cameraman currently shooting on location internationally. Jonathan also has a passion for his craft and has presented HD and Lighting Seminars all over the world using cutting techniques. He is uniquely placed to comment on new technology and equipment as he is often used as a consultant to some of the most successful manufacturers in the industry.


Jonathan Harrison has been involved in creating the IBC production village lighting seminar program. He well known for his seminars and can be seen at well known international events as far as China and including BVE at Earls Court where he will be delivering a number of seminars at the next event in February – well worth catching.



Tags: lighting | iss048 | studio lighting | kinoflo | parabeam | vista | dedolight | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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