Cine Reflected Lighting System (CRLS) : Has anyone had any experience with it?

Forums Lighting/Cinematography Cine Reflected Lighting System (CRLS) : Has anyone had any experience with it?

  • Post
    focusplay
    Participant

    I’ve had my eye on this type of system for some time, but I need some more information before trying to buy into it. There aren’t any rentals available in my area so it seems the only way to try it is to buy it. I plan on using this system for tabletop work and documentary interviews.

    I have a few questions for anyone who has had experience using the CRLS or KFlect Systems:

    1. What was your experience like? (The Good, Bad, & Unexpected)
    2. Do you feel like this system would work well for someone doing documentary lighting?
    3. For interview situations would the 15cm and 25cm panels be sufficient or would I need the 50cm panels?
    4. Would a Godox SL50w w/ an Aputure 2x Fresnel or a LTM Pepper w/ Focal Spot have enough punch to drive the system or should I just invenst in a Dedolight w/ Parallel Beam

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by focusplay.
Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Replies
    John Brawley
    Moderator

    Yeah !

    I used them quite a bit on the second season of The Resident.

    The concept is GREAT. By using a reflector, the light source distance appears to be from much further away. This naturally feels more natural.

    Think of a light close to a window. The shadows will naturally not be parallel from the window, but will spread outwards. If you have three windows then the light looks weird, because the rays are diverging at each window, maybe even crossing over each other.

    If instead you have mirror’s reflecting lights then you get a more collimated beam of light, the rays are more parallel.

    It works as described. I find it can be a little more fiddly to set lights. It’s sort of like playing advance billiards trying to work out the angles.

    The main downside is that if you have ANY movement in the rigging holding the light it transfers to the light.

    So in the converted stage we had which was really a tin shed in Conyers, the scaffolding would sometimes move a little and that meant the light would move in the set.

    You need very secure rigging for it to all work.

    So I would say, not exactly faster, maybe slower, but a great result, as long as you can lock down the mirrors. I want to explore it more…

    You also need to use the right kinds of light. I had some 1.2K HMI Dedos that were great. A MOlebeam works well, as does Leko / Source 4’s and smaller demos.

    An open face light won’t work too well.

    JB

    Rich H
    Keymaster

    This poor guy. Gonna make him go blind.

    John Brawley
    Moderator

    Yeah that’s a terrible setup.

    His “viewfinder” is in front of the FRONT of his lens for starters….

    JB

    Rich H
    Keymaster

    Ha. Didn’t even notice that part.

    bjohn
    Participant

    I have a small Dedo Lightstream kit specifically for interviews and small music videos. It’s a great system! You do have to spend a lot of time experimenting, but it’s possible to light an interview with just one light and a series of reflectors. There aren’t any instructions provided so youtube videos like the one you linked to are your best bet, along with lots and lots of trial and error. I have the 25 x 25 cm reflectors, which would be adequate for an interview in a small space, but I may spring for one or two of the 50cm ones to cover a larger area. I especially like the fact that you can minimize the number of actual lights you need, and the result does tend to look natural. I can fit my entire lighting kit (minus the C-stands of course!) into a Pelican 1510 carry-on case.

    I’ve only had my system for a few months and have only used it once so far (for a small musical performance video). The first newbie mistake I made when setting up was thinking that the #1 reflector (which is the most mirror-like) would be used as a keylight but that doesn’t work (the beam is way too narrow); instead you use the #1 to bounce from the light source to a more diffuse reflector (#3 or #4). You can either go directly from the light source to a #3 or #4 reflector for your key light, using a #1 to catch some of that light and reflect it to your backlight reflector, or you could go from the light source to a #1 and bounce that light to a more diffuse reflector for the keylight. You can then place other reflectors to catch some of the light and redirect for fill and backlight.

    I’m using one Dedo LED with the parallel beam intensifier. Between the Dedolight’s own focusing ring and the parallel beam attachment this little 40-watt LED packs a surprising punch. No noise when using the dimmer, and you can adjust colour temperature.

    In addition to the 25cm reflectors I got a few of the tiny ones (7 x 10 cm), which are super-portable and I’ve tried them a bit in the field to reflect light into the face of a backlit subject. The diffuse reflectors are best for that purpose. I could also see using the small reflectors in music videos but haven’t experimented with it yet.

    For interview setups this video is reasonably helpful: https://youtu.be/-C0bHgkRGw8

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
    focusplay
    Participant

    @JohnBrawley Thanks for the insight! When you get a chance to explore more I’d love to see one of your lighting breakdowns with the system 🙂


    @bjohn
    So the parallel beam adapter works with the 40W? That’s a pretty compact setup… hmm very interesting!

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by focusplay.
    bjohn
    Participant

    So the parallel beam adapter works with the 40W? That’s a pretty compact setup… hmm very interesting!

    Yes it is! Here’s what I bought:

    DLED4-BI (40-watt focusing LED)
    DPBA-714 (DLED4 parallel beam adapter)
    DT4-BI-U (DLED4-BI power supply/dimmer

    Not cheap (those three items alone cost me more than $2,600 Canadian) but being able to do interviews with just one actual light is a pretty powerful value proposition for me.
    My girlfriend and I are musicians as well and we are starting to work on some performance videos. For a duo, doing traditional music, this setup works well.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
    focusplay
    Participant

    So the parallel beam adapter works with the 40W? That’s a pretty compact setup… hmm very interesting!

    Yes it is! Here’s what I bought:

    DLED4-BI (40-watt focusing LED)
    DPBA-714 (DLED4 parallel beam adapter)
    DT4-BI-U (DLED4-BI power supply/dimmer

    Not cheap (those three items alone cost me more than $2,600 Canadian) but being able to do interviews with just one actual light is a pretty powerful value proposition for me.
    My girlfriend and I are musicians as well and we are starting to work on some performance videos. For a duo, doing traditional music, this setup works well.

    I’d love to see an examples you have! 🙂 I agree the value proposition of only having to bring a single light for a basic interview is VERY compelling. With travel restrictions tightening I also am looking for a package that can be checked in no more than two bags. Thoughts?

    bjohn
    Participant

    I’d love to see an examples you have! 🙂 I agree the value proposition of only having to bring a single light for a basic interview is VERY compelling. With travel restrictions tightening I also am looking for a package that can be checked in no more than two bags. Thoughts?

    I’m still a newbie at lighting and our first attempt wasn’t in a controlled environment (mixed lighting with indirect sunlight coming in through a large window, ranging from cloudy to clear over the course of the day). The lighting worked well enough but it’s not a great example. And due to COVID we haven’t been able to do the interviews we were hoping to do this spring and summer. The youtube link I posted a few posts above of Pete Burns is a good example of using this system in a studio-based interview.

    I actually thought about using the reflectors to bounce the sunlight coming into the room and not even bother with the Dedolight, but the problem of course is that the sun is not a stationary light source. I’d have to be constantly adjusting the reflectors as the sun moved over the course of the day.

    Depending on how many reflectors you use and how large they are, you could fit everything into a Pelican 1510, which is carry-on size. If you were traveling you’d need to rent C-stands on location or bring them in checked luggage. The light is small and light enough that it can mount safely on a C-stand, no special light stand necessary. You’d need a C-stand for the light and at least two or three other C-stands for reflectors, plus either hire a boom operator for the mic or put your mic on a stand (another C stand would work). You also need articulating arms for the reflectors, which are small and will fit into the Pelican along with everything else.

    Personally if I were flying somewhere and needed lighting for an interview I’d probably rent lights or hire someone to do lighting, as it’s a lot of gear to lug around in addition to your camera and sound equipment. I don’t anticipate flying with mine.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by bjohn.
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