Cinematography : Tools I like to use by Ken Willinger, Soc

Ken Willinger, Soc

Tools I like to use

I saw this at NAB last year and bought it on the spot. I've not been big on LED light, though it's getting better all the time, but it does have a tendency to be harsh. This diffuser is very lightweight, get's very small, is easy to use and is pretty inexpensive. And it really softens that harshness. Got any nice inexpensive tools you like?

Introducing the Airbox, an Inflatable Solution to Light Diffusion
Introducing the Airbox, an Inflatable Solution to Light Diffusion
As much as the right camera plays a role in getting cinema/professional quality images, lighting also plays is a key factor. Getting that much desired diffusion applied to your light source to avoid h…
Amanda Toney

Thank you for sharing this!

Ken Willinger, Soc

Haven't been on this site for a while. Long enough to have actually aquired a few new tools. The latest is the Wescott Flex 5600K 10x10 Mat. This light is so lightweight and flexible and has great color rendition and completely dimmable without color shift. I've been using it on almost every job I go out on now. Because it's flat and flexable it can be mounted almost anywhere. I've set them to run off Anton Bauer batteries, so they'll run for a long time. They are incredibly bright at full power. Really... surprisingly so. If using them to key or fill a subject, like most LED lights, I think they need some diffusion to soften them. They don't get hot. I've found that when traveling they pack up so small it's hard to believe you have everything! Wescott is known well in the photography world. This is one of their first forays into the moving picture world, where the gear really takes a beating. The stuff is so lightweight I wonder how it will hold up. But so far so good. These are not a cheap lighting solution. I think they run at about $700. But well worth it from my perspective. I'm certainly getting my moneys worth!

Jacob Ayers

What I use is plastic bags... Very professional....

Curt Apduhan Cinematographer

Hello Ken. I agree with the "harshness" of LED instruments in general but from what I have experienced, its more about the size of the LED instrument than the actual LED light diodes. A large, diffused light source placed close to the subject will always provide a softer light than that same light source placed further away from the subject. So your recent discovery of the Wescott Flex 10x10 Mat softened with a diffusion panel placed close to the subject would provide a pleasing soft light. I would bet dollars to donuts that if you took that same Wescott Flex 10x10 set up and place it further away from the subject, the light quality would be more specular thus a bit more harsh. To soften my 4x4 Kino Flo's with the desire to create a natural appearing soft light I had Jiro at Modern Studio Equipment in North Hollywood make me a couple of "diffusion floppies". They are essentially the same as a solid floppy but I had the solid black replaced by full silent grid cloth. When I place two of my "diffusion floppies" side by side either vertically or horizontally in front of my Kino Flo 4x4's, it creates a large light source that provides a very acceptable "natural" looking light. What I love about this set up is that it requires not frames and large stands. A couple of c-stands with short arms is all I need to create a large soft panel. Thanks for the post! Here are my newest toys to soften light - "DIFFUSION FLOPPIES"

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