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Buying a Kino, Diva 400 vs 4x4bank

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jason banker
Buying a Kino, Diva 400 vs 4x4bank
on Sep 1, 2006 at 9:39:27 pm


I have been doing my research on Kino lights and am close to buying. After seeing these lights in person I have a few questions for people who have experience using them.

My main goal is having a nice soft light that I can use as a key for a low budget HD feature film. The crew will only be 3-4 people and I need to drag lights from location to location as quickly as possible.

Obviously the Diva 400 is a smaller light and seems ideal for a portable easy setup light. But I have read that there are problems with the light temperature of tungsten beening rated at a lower level. Also having the ballast on-board weighs down the unit for overhead use. Then there is the issue of flexibility with swapping for standard flo lights to match the practicals when on location.

The 4x4bank seems less ideal for a small crew but I haven't tried lugging it around? The advantage is that it has more punch and covers a larger area. With 75w bulbs now avalible, it seems like maybe more bang for the buck, and I believe you can use standard 4ft flo bulbs in this unit? But there is no dimmer, and instead can only select # of bulbs which might not dim the light enough?

I am curious what Kino users think is a better way to go in my situation?

Also is it worth having a 2 Kino setup (maybe 1 4x4bank and a Diva, or 2 Divas)or should the fill ideally come from a different type of light?

Thanks for your help!

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john sharaf
Re: Buying a Kino, Diva 400 vs 4x4bank
on Sep 1, 2006 at 9:57:09 pm


I advise buying two (or more units) of the same type either conventional or Divas, as the color will more accuratelky match unit to unit. The Diva is about twice as bright as the conventional and has the built in dimmer, so it might be more attractive to you, but there is no four foot Diva, and the alrge unit is a great device, both as a large source and it has the ability to accept practical 4 foot tubes such as is used in the overhead flourescents found in many office, schools, hospitals and other "practical" locations. This way you can "poison" your 4Bank with the same units that are in the ceiling and by white balancing and using your unit on the floor get some source light in the actors' eyes.

As I'm sure you realize, there are scores of different lighting units, many with distinct uses and advantages; it's difficult to find general purpose units that will excell in all uses, this is why feature films have 40' trailors with hundreds of lighting units. There may be particular units that are mosr appropriate for your film, base on its content, style and locations, and you should consult with an experienced DP or gaffer who might be useful in helping to specify the best kit within your limited resources.


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Dan Brockett
Re: Buying a Kino, Diva 400 vs 4x4bank
on Sep 2, 2006 at 5:44:53 pm


I agree with John, either could be the right instrument for you, but you have to accept each instruments limitations. Interestingly, I was on the set of a hot new ABC TV show less than ten hours ago and besides the large cylindrical space lights that lit the whole stage, they were using a Diva 400 as a key for a few scenes in addition to a Kino 4x4 as a larger, softer fill. They had a sheet of 216 clipped to the Diva and the 4x4 was punched through a large sheet of Opal Frost.

Both are good instruments, they are just different. For me, if I was shooting small narrative scenes with a small crew and moving a lot and doing a lot of setups, I would lean toward the Diva. If I had a larger crew and fewer setups, a couple of 4x4s would be nice. Another option, get both a Diva 400 and a Diva 200. The 2000 makes a nice fill source when matched with the 400.


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