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Archive 2012 · My DIY Kino Flo's
  
 
gintasr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Got insipired by Peter Hurley a while back and loved his Kino Flo setup. Unfortunatly, I did not want to spend close to 3k on a kino system so I made my own instead.

Total cost was about $350 for both.


REAR

IMG_3807.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr


DETAIL

IMG_3811.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr


REMOTE BALLAST

IMG_3808.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr


SETUP

IMG_3813.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr


RESULTS

IMG_3849.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr



Jul 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Those are great! As someone who rents kino flo once in a while I'm amazed at how expensive they are and how shoddily they are made I'm impressed....


Jul 12, 2012 at 01:21 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My DIY Kino Flo's


What bulbs did you use? Did you do anything special besides remotely wire the ballasts? I can't figure out how you spent $350 unless the bulbs were really expensive.



Jul 12, 2012 at 01:31 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Also, Did you use a dimmer? I don't see any signs of one.


Jul 12, 2012 at 01:37 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My DIY Kino Flo's


The bulbs are Philips TL950. They are color balanced and have one of the highest CRI's on the market. The ballasts are electronic Philips as well - so no flicker. No dimmer on these, just on/off switches for individual ballasts.

The $350 added up because of all the small little tid-bits. It required special connectors to sustain the 600V the ballasts put out. Then there were other things like the COREX sheets, aluminum reflectors, project box, etc... Between actual item costs/shipping/tax it added up to around $350.



Jul 12, 2012 at 02:48 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Here is a list of most of the stuff used:



Project Box: http://www.polycase.com/dc-96p

Connector: http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70214573

Connector: http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70214199

Receptacle: http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70214182

Connector: http://shop.litegear.com/products/lamp-holder-for-t-8-snap-on-type

Clip: http://shop.litegear.com/products/lamp-clip-for-mounting-t-8-lamps

Crimp: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104018

Reflector: http://www.shineretrofits.com/us-energy-sciences-kwn-02b04-ea-2-lamp-t8-4-ft-medium-wrap-fixture-miro4-mirror-aluminum-reflector-retrofit-kit.html

Bulbs: http://www.1000bulbs.com/product/4722/F-32T8TL950P.html

Ballast: http://www.1000bulbs.com/product/379/BA-ICN2P32N35M.html

Switch: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062523



Edited on Jul 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM · View previous versions



Jul 12, 2012 at 02:51 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My DIY Kino Flo's


One more....


IMG_3884.jpg by gintasr, on Flickr



Jul 12, 2012 at 03:07 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Wow, thanks for the detailed parts list! I may bang out a set of these.




Jul 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My DIY Kino Flo's


What kind of meter readings do you get from them?



Jul 12, 2012 at 03:17 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Full EXIF is on flicker. At 2.8 and ISO 100 at about 1.2m you are looking at about 1/100s. It's a good output - you can shoot wide open without problems and you can easily sync with flash (for blowing out bg) if you stop down.


Jul 12, 2012 at 03:24 AM
 

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gintasr
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My DIY Kino Flo's


I will post a detailed step by step on how I made these when I have a bit more time


Jul 12, 2012 at 03:27 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · My DIY Kino Flo's


It all looks pretty straight forward but I'm sure the step-by-step will help. Any plans to make grids? Maybe a piece of this cut in half and sprayed silver:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=202653781&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=202653781&ci_kw={keyword}&kwd={keyword}&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googleads-_-pla-_-202653781&ci_gpa=pla



Jul 12, 2012 at 03:45 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Yeah I have looked at that at home depot. I'll probably give it a try one of these days.


Jul 12, 2012 at 03:54 AM
HappyCamp
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Any good reason to not just use some shoplights that take two T8 bulbs?

I was thinking about doing something similar but just buy some shoplights and bulbs and put them on light stands.



Jul 12, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · My DIY Kino Flo's


HappyCamp wrote:
Any good reason to not just use some shoplights that take two T8 bulbs?

I was thinking about doing something similar but just buy some shoplights and bulbs and put them on light stands.


I have seen that done, with a stud attached to the fixture so it can be mounted on a c stand..
The Corex plastic panels help out by reducing weight, but there's a reduction in rigidity too.



Jul 12, 2012 at 06:49 AM
HappyCamp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Joe Edelman did a couple video on his setup:

1st Video:
http://youtu.be/mtsKPaLMP7o

2nd Video:
http://youtu.be/9MmsLGqS-rY

I think he is using the old magnetic style ballasts since he mentions shooting at 1/125th in order to eliminate flicker. I think with the newer electronic ballasts that should not be an issue.



Jul 12, 2012 at 06:56 AM
gintasr
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · My DIY Kino Flo's


HappyCamp wrote:
Any good reason to not just use some shoplights that take two T8 bulbs?

I was thinking about doing something similar but just buy some shoplights and bulbs and put them on light stands.



Shop lights will work provided that they have an ELECTRONIC ballast. The downside with shop lights is that they will be missing a efficient polished aluminum reflector. Florescent bulbs do not have much output, and without a good reflector your will be wasting a lot of light and bumping your ISO up. Another big downside is the weight, my version is like the real KINO system - the the fixture is on corex and only have the wiring contained making it extremely light. Since the reflector is aluminum, and I have it bolted on to the corex using some washers, the actual fixture is very rigid, and the folding barn doors provide protection for the tubes and reflector when not in use.

When building these, my goals were:

1 - See if I can make the system almost identical to the Kino for a fraction of the price.
2 - See if i can create a remote ballast to remove weight from the fixture.

Again, you could make this system any way you want. You can wire your ballast to the actual fixture and be done with the build much quicker and spend less for parts.

All in all, the most important aspects of a DIY fluorescent setup for photography boil down to BULBS and BALLASTS.

You want bulbs that are color balanced for daylight with a high color rendering index (CRI) to prevent the green tint you usually get from fluorescent lighting (All the samples posted above are auto white balance). I found the Philips TL950 T8 are EXCELLENT for this application. I would also suggest using a T8 system because of this bulb and because T8 is actually more efficient and has more output than the older style T12 system. It also reduced weight because T8 requires smaller and lighter ballasts, reflectors and bulbs.

For a ballast, you MUST make sure it is ELECTRONIC, otherwise you will be getting flicker and your exposure will vary frame to frame. The electronic ballast will let you use any shutter speed without a hint of flicker.



Jul 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Jay Connor
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · My DIY Kino Flo's


gintasr

Thank you for showing your DIY project - It looks great

Would love to see a video of you making them if you have the time

And I think I missed the link to the corex sheets

Also you mentioned 600 volts ballasts but the link to the ballasts i believe were 277 volts

Thanks again
Jay



Jul 12, 2012 at 09:50 PM
gintasr
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · My DIY Kino Flo's


Jay Connor wrote:
gintasr

Thank you for showing your DIY project - It looks great

Would love to see a video of you making them if you have the time

And I think I missed the link to the corex sheets

Also you mentioned 600 volts ballasts but the link to the ballasts i believe were 277 volts

Thanks again
Jay


I'll see about a video if i have the time/patience.

The corex sheets can be purchased at a local sign store (I bought mine at SIGN-A-RAMA) - usual in 4'x8' sheets for around $30... just cut to size and your done.

The 277 that you are referring to is the INPUT voltage, it is listed as 120/277 meaning standard voltage from your wall outlet here in the US or Europe. The 600V is what comes out of the ballast and goes to the bulbs. That's why its important to make sure your connectors and wires are rated for at least 600V if you are making a remote ballast. It is also equally important to GROUND the aluminum reflector AND ballast as well for obvious safety reasons.



Jul 13, 2012 at 12:57 AM
HappyCamp
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · My DIY Kino Flo's


gintasr wrote:
Shop lights will work provided that they have an ELECTRONIC ballast. The downside with shop lights is that they will be missing a efficient polished aluminum reflector. Florescent bulbs do not have much output, and without a good reflector your will be wasting a lot of light and bumping your ISO up. Another big downside is the weight, my version is like the real KINO system - the the fixture is on corex and only have the wiring contained making it extremely light. Since the reflector is aluminum, and I have it bolted on to the corex using some washers,
...Show more

Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure you will be hard pressed to find any ballasts for T8 bulbs which are not electronic. All that I see are electronic. Now if someone does want to use magnetic ballasts (T12) I think they can get around the flicker problem by shooting at 1/125th of a second or slower (not my preferred method).

I think I will keep my eye out for some T8 fixtures with shiny reflective surfaces. This looked cool:
Six Light T8 Fixture at Home Depot but expensive at $85. A local store sells some two-light T8 shop lights for $12 each, but I'm sure that six-light fixture is going to put out a lot more light.

I'm just trying to be cheap. Your system looks a lot nicer than me using some shop lights Also your lights are much lighter than the shop light route.



Jul 13, 2012 at 06:29 AM
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