The eagerly awaited Kinoflo “Select “ range of high quality, colour tunable soft LED lights have arrived here in the UK and boy, the wait was worth it. This now includes the Divalite LED and Celeb range of heads
Kinoflo have slipped into the world of LED lighting like Cinderella into her slippers. The light quality, design care and product finishing is clean and neat as we have come to expect from them, and the touch pad interface and software is for me, spot on… once you have worked out where everything is, as with any software. There is a lot to talk about on this new range of lights so I will attempt to keep it concise and in a logical order… for a dyslexic!
There are currently two lamps in this system, the Select 20 & 30 versions and are 2ft & 3ft long respectively. Not quite the 4ft 4 Bank size I had hoped for…. But watch this space. More to come.
The light panel/diffuser dimensions for the Select20 are56 x 26 cm and the whole fixture is67 x 33 x 9cm and for the Select30 are92 x 20.5cm, and the whole fixture 103 x 27 x 9cm for the Select30. Total depth closed with the barn doors is near enough 16cm on both lamps.
For me, the two foot version is almost equivalent to the all time classic DivaLite400 which still holds it’s own in the fluorescent market today, but again , watch this space as I believe they are going to release a new DivaLite LED version this autumn and it will be superb and another “Must Have” light in your kit and it will nock spots of everything in the market place with its features.
The electronic ballast/colour control unit that comes with the Select range pulling .65A & 1.3A at 150W respectively, are completely removable if required and can be attached to the lighting stand or used remotely on a header extension cable where required. The ballast is of universal voltage and is also equipped with an 18-36V input, giving this lamp a huge scope of possible uses.
The Kinoflo Selects have a standard five pin XLR cabled or built-in Wireless DMX capability using the “Lumen Radio©” system and all you need is a Lumen Radio Dongle plugged in to your DMX desk and you are ready to go. Look no cables.. and it works well.
The lamps currently in ten bit mode, uses six DMX channels in total to control luminance, colour temperature, green/magenta shift and R/G/B mix. In a twelve-bit mode it requires seven channels for ultra smooth dimming.
I must though tell you about the most important button on the ballast. No it is not the On/Off button but the “Lock” button. This disables all other buttons which is essential. (and sadly not incorporated into some lamps I could mention) All you need is to have a lamp in a rig or above your head with a specific setting and you accidentally touch a button or nock the colour or dimming control and all is lost as you have no idea where you were. This button is an essential fit to modern software driven tools and the Select system has it.
Now, the most important bit. Light output and control!
The quality of light, which you all may know if you know me, as I am hyper critical, is paramount with any LED source and the Select output is as close as you can get to a black body radiation source as I have seen even at this price bracket.
It is clean and tracks the black body radiation curve (known as the Plankian curve) pretty spot on and not only does it do that through the dimming range which is extremely complicated to achieve electronically speaking, but tracks also through the complete colour temperature range that it covers, that being from 2700K to 6500K. It does this continuously and silky smooth with a very clever 10 bit dimming smoothing curve. If you require 12 bit dimming, this is also available in the software options but will require and extra channel on a standard DMX board.
Colour Temperature is selected in the software and smoothly transits from 2700K-6500K either quickly on the select knob, which once pushed in once, allows extremely fine colour tuning to your liking and is then storable on any of the four preset buttons. These preset buttons are factory set with 2700K, 3200K, 5000K & 6500K respectively, but fully customizable to your liking and reset to factory preset with a push of a button.
High quality colour is achieved with these fixtures by utilizing not one but two “White” led chips to obtain accurate colour temperatures and tracking, where other manufacturers only use one, which is possibly not the best way to do it.
One of the big issues in recent years has been the differing spectral sensitivities of camera sensors across the range of camera manufacturers giving rise to erratic colour rendering of different light sources and skin tone reproduction. Kinoflo have intelligently addressed this issue and have incorporated a Green/Magenta hue shift in the software that allows you to either tweak the light fixture so as to match the colour shift in the camera either to the green or magenta to achieve a clean image or to match colour shifts in other light sources that may have a colour shift already and you wish to match it to obtain the correct colour balance between mixed light sources. Brilliant. This is not an electronic filter pack to adjust a crap light output in the first instance. Who on earth would do that??
Who on earth carries the whole Lee filter swatch in the back of the truck?
YOU DO! No more wading through old rolls of decrepit, stuck together, torn and degraded filter rolls or rushing back to the van to get a roll of cosmetic High light , the dynamic colour tuneability of the Kinoflo Select lamps allows you to very cleverly chose between hundreds of lighting filter colours, select from Kinoflo Designed colours embedded in the soft ware already, and in the RGB colour mode create your own designer colours.
If you down load the app called “ShowTool Swatch “ Or “Stagehand” open it and select a colour gel you fancy and enter the Hue angle in degrees and the Saturation percentage, it will get you that particular colour created. Genius.
Have you ever wanted a specific colour to do a wall wash with and then to drop a gobo on top of, or use as a Sodium street light effect through a window or as a kicker or even key light over the top? You can now. This colour picker/generator gives you an infinite number of colours filters to chose from and to create your self in a very simple software program embedded in the ballast of the Select lamp.
A-haaa! I hear you say, but gels give a different colour rendering if you put them in front of a Tungsten lamp as opposed to a Daylight lamp. Correct.
So… Kinoflo have put a White Point selector in the software so you select what colour temperature lamp you are effectively putting this filter in front of, ranging from 2700K to 9500K
Cunning these chaps from California. They don’t just sit there all day discussing different ways to roast coffee or where the next Sushi lunch is going to be, they have more than seriously thought through this lighting tool and its design and incorporated the intelligent features smart and creative image makers need and they work, and they work very well.
I have not yet mentioned THE most important aspect of these lamps, that being the texture and quality of the light that oozes from these fixtures. It is delicious. The diffusion material that the LED’s radiate through is light enough to integrate the individual point sources (unlike most) and yet get a good strong output for the fixture size, weight and portability aspect and still gives a deliciously flattering, strong but all enveloping soft dream like coat of photons on the subject.
The texture on skin, especially close up is astounding. I love it and really enjoy using these lamps to generate glossy images with. Combine that light quality with the honeycomb grids of 90, 60 & 45 degrees that fit tightly to the panel and has no side spill like the Diva and 4ft 4Bank, and you have one superb lighting tool that has total controllability and in it’s class is second to none.
This is a lighting tool that is an “iPhone” tool of our trade. A Smart Light and a must have in your kit, as it gives you so much bang for your buck on many levels. The build quality and light stability brought about by intelligent heat control of the circuit boards is a major plus for this lamp. The software is updateable via a Mini-B USB data port allowing future developments in colour creation and other features to be added F.O.C. I am told.
The Kinoflo Select, Celeb & Divalite LED series lamps give you totaly consistent, acurate and clean variable colour temperature. Any colour, any hue, any level, from any voltage anywhere any time, with delicious photographic colour rendering and skin tones. What more could we need? A bigger one please? (ooh, and a smaller one to fit on top of the camera, and one to shoot in cars with and, and and.)
I have invested in a lot of camera and lighting kit in my thirty years plus on the road and you have to choose wisely as there is a lot of rubbish out there nowadays and you want your kit to last and pay for it’s self. Some of my Kino kit is over twenty years old and still going and still delivering. It is dependable lighting tools you need with multiple and practical uses on mains and battery power and these tools do just that.
Your lighting tools and images are your reputation. See it, use it, believe it.
A superb light to use and a pleasure to review.