Stacking Kino’s

As we all know Kino Flo’s are great when you need beautiful soft light in close quarters. From car and house interiors to everything in between. Another great advantage to Kino’s is the fact that they operate so much cooler and draw much less amperage than tungsten and HMI units. They are simply perfect for conducting interviews on location. How many times do you find yourself in an office the size of a sardine can where all the plugs in the room are on the same circuit? Using bigger tungsten units will most likely monopolize the 20 amp circuits and would raise the temperature into the 90’s. Not to mention the fact that you would crowd the room further by having to use more grip to try and soften up the light. This is where Kino’s really shine!

I recently gaffed some healthcare tv commercials and as usual we needed to conduct both patient and doctor interviews. I decided to stack (2) 4×4 Kino’s and then put them through a 4×4 frame of 250 diffusion. This gave me a bigger, softer source in a relatively small space. Matthews sells whats called a K-stacker for stacking Kino’s but I came up with a way to do it on the cheap by using a c-stand and an extra grip head. This allowed me to forgo using several stands and keep things compact in the small shooting environment.

By stacking (2) 4×4’s I’m able to have essentially a 2K softlight which gives me an extra stop or two depending on what ISO we’re shooting at. In this particular case we were shooting with the EPIC at ISO 800.

2 Kino’s on a c-stand. The bottom kino has a 1/2 grid flozier or what some refer to as a “bra”.

By putting an extra grip head on the arm you can fully adjust where you want your bottom kino to be…

Grip head used to secure the bottom kino.

Here is an example of one of our interviews using the stacked kino’s as a key light:

(2) 4×4 Kino’s stacked and put through 250 diffusion from camera left.

As with any situation in lighting there are infinite ways to create different looks and configure your lights. The next time you need soft light try thinking of different ways you could configure kino’s to achieve your desired effect. The sky’s the limit!

Michael Lang


~ by Michael Lang on June 13, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: