I have been a Lighting Cameraman now for 21 years working in all forms of Television Production, and the one thing I can say that has happened to the TV industry over this time is that it has become much quicker!
With tapeless workflow post production has become faster. With smaller HD cameras that are much more sensitive to low light & also the quality of light productions have become much faster as well.
Where in the past it was acceptable to gel lights & change bulbs, I feel it has become a game against the clock with lowering budgets and the need to shoot more content in the same amount of time.
I also feel that with the advent of LED has come more issues with bad colour renditions, especially on skin tones. Cheap LEDs cause Magenta & green issues that are extremely hard to remove & make your rushes look bad & bad rushes means you may not get asked to shoot again for your client.
The Select 30 changes all this! It’s without a doubt a Cameraman’s friend.
Here’s how it helped me;
I was recently asked to shoot a series of commercials in 4K using the new Sony FS7 camera. It’s a great camera that is very light sensitive and produces upto 600 mb/s images.
The shoot was to take place in several locations around London and included many mixed light conditions that would involve mixing different sources from daylight, tungsten & fluorescent. It wasn’t a high budget piece & we had a compact crew including a Camera assistant & a Spark.
I had a fairly extensive lighting kit including:
- 1 x 2.5 kw HMI
- 1 x 1.2 kw HMI
- 1 x 2kw blonde
- 3 x 800 watt redheads
- 2 x Kinoflo Diva light 401
- 3 x Dedolight Tecpro LED panel lights
- 4 x Dedolight DLH4
I was then lucky enough to add the new Kino Flo select 30 to my lighting list & this became the game changer!
I used the Select 30 in many different ways. in one scene I would use it as a soft key light working against a bright window the power of the Select 30 would allow me to adjust the colour so that I could warm up the key light on the actors skin. The power of the light meant that I didn’t have to overexpose the outside daylight or ND the window.
I then had a scene that was showing a person who was meant to be working in a bleak office so I removed the ballast off the back of the Select 30 using the velcro straps & I ‘flew’ the unit above the actors head using a C stand & boom arm weighted with a couple of sand bags. In this scene I also wanted to keep the light off the back wall which would normally mean I would have to use a flag on another stand in the small set cluttering up the valuable floor space. Not with the egg crate on the Select 30 though. When you add the egg crate to the front of the Select 30 there is no side spill ! Fantastic.
Before I mention all the features of the light I want to talk about the quality of the light, which is to me probably the most important aspect of any light. The Kino Flo Select 30 is a 3ft bicolour LED light which has an opaque diffuser in front of the LEDs, that gives an amazingly soft quality of light. To me it feels like the sort of light that you get from a Dedolight 5ft Octodome “ The Portable Window!” but with the aforementioned egg crate & the barn doors you have control over where the light falls. Probably the other most important aspect a Cameraman wants…Control! This light is perfect for working with faces, or products. I would use this to Key an interview or add a delicate fill with its dimming capability down to .2% without colour loss. I used it to fill a space with light and I would also use it to light a product for a pack shot.
The removable ballast on the Select 30 has a really easy to read display with buttons that can be set to give you a quick colour temperature from 2700 – 6500 kelvin, or with a quick turn of a dial you can set the colour temperature precisely. So no more changing tubes or gelling lights & the beautiful thing about this is that the colour temperatures are true. With a TLCI of 98 the Kino Flo Select 30 has no Magenta or green cast……Or does it? Well this is one of the most amazing aspects of the Kino Flo Select 30. With the Kino Flo Select 30 you can adjust the hue of the light so that if you’re filming under green fluorescent lights or with magenta LED’s you can adjust the colour of the Kino Flo Select 30 to match these other lights. White balance & hey presto your colour cast has gone! As you can tell I really love this light.
The Kino Flo Select 30 was very quick to set up and change as I required to make my images look as good as I wanted them to & when I watched the finished commercial back in 4K on a huge screen I was really happy with the results. This light lets me work as quickly and efficiently as modern day productions require.
Whilst writing this review I am currently waiting for the delivery of my very own unit – I know this will be my go to light for the next 15 years as the Kino Flo Divalite has been for the past 15 years!