Collodion with Artificial Light

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Shinnya, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi,

    We did tintype portrait session over this weekend to raise awareness of it. Everyone liked it a lot, and I was so busy making images from 12 noon until 6 pm. It was really a great occasion.

    Now I have a studio space finished, and want to start portrait session in the studio. Unfortunately, there is no windows in this space, and I am thinking of using artificial light.

    Does anyone have experience in using artificial lighting for collodion process in studio? If you could share your findings and type of light you use, it would be great.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
  2. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Use fluorescents that are 5000K or higher. 5600 or 6400 are fine also. 2700K lights such as fresnels are no good. Wet plate is blue sensitive.
     
  3. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Tsuyoshi, Pm me, I just bought some low cost 5000K spiral fluorescents- 16 spiral bulb array that seem to be working very well with wet-plate. Robert
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Robert,

    Can you post the info here about them? I know I'd be interested!
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Jeremy, I have only done a couple of shots with them so I can't give a real good assessment yet but you can get all the details of the light by going to the auction site and just type in Fotodiox. They are the Fotodiox C-1600 16 bulb spiral array. I took a chance on them and bought one, and at 125.00 they are a fraction of the cost of the more expensive fluorescents. I posted a couple of my first plates over at the collodion forum. These were exposure times of about 12 sec with the light at 5 ft away with both baffles on the soft box. I don't think I could build one of these for this price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2007
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Someone posted a link to a spiral bulb supplier in response to a thread I started over on www.collodion.com . I'm planning on building my own light source using said bulbs, after I take Kerik's collodion class and get a feel for how much I really like the medium. I'll be glad to post plans for it after I build it. The bulb selling website is www.1000bulbs.com . They have spiral CF bulbs with output up to the equivalent of 500w.
     
  7. schrochem

    schrochem Member

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    Oh man, now I REALLY feel left out. Robert, I want to check out your photos on the collodion forum, but I'm still an unregistered peon :smile:
    sniff, sniff...

    Scott
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Eric Taubman at the CFAAHP uses artificial light for some of his wetplate work, which is up to 20x24". You might ask what he uses.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Eric uses Kino-Flo light fixtures. They're beautifully made, and have individually adjustable power for each tube, but they're about $1K apiece. They're pretty powerful, at around 8-900 watts per lamp (relative). Even with that kind of output, you're still talking 10 seconds per exposure or so.
     
  10. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Yes 1000 bulbs is the place to buy them. They are the cheapest. Although in my last order to two more of these lights they sent half the biulbs that were a different size. Everything was the same except the newer bulbs they have in stock are 2.7" wide as compared to 2.3" wide which makes it impossible to squeeze them into this tight array. I called them and they are working on sending me the right bulbs. Here is a pic of the light with the right size bulbs. They are 30 watt 5000K . The light is rated at having the same light output as a 1800 watt fresnel. They are bright.... DSCN0044.jpg

    DSCN0045_1.jpg http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=8870&stc=1&d=1193249742http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=8869&stc=1&d=1193249479
     

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  11. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    When it rains it pours. I just received the soft boxes last week for two more of these lights because they were on back order. The new ones have the Fotodiox emblem on them. I just got them out and was assembling one of the new ones and ran into a manufacture defect in the front baffle. The black material the slides over the soft box is the right dimension where this black material meets the white 24" but at the other end ( the side that enters onto the soft box) they tapered it down to 22" it collapses the soft box somewhat. I called and they checked their new stock and concluded that they would have to be remade which can take up to three months. They offered to take the light back if I didn't want to wait. I'll just take the corner stitches apart and add material. And they will send new baffles when they come in. This is why I didn't want recommend something before really having a chance to use them. The light is fine its the softbox that has the problem.
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    If money is no object then the Kino-Flo or the Mole Richardson Molescent fluorescents are quality lights. But at ten times the price.
     
  13. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Robert,

    Do you really need a softbox for this light? Isn't CFL is relatively speaking already diffused? No?

    Let me know how it goes.

    tsuyoshi
     
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  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'm just going to build a light fixture to take nine of those 150w (500w equivalent) spiral bulbs. I figure that should give me the zip to hit under four seconds. I haven't priced it out, but other than the bulbs at $15 each or so, the rest of the fixture should only run another $50-100 or so for the plywood and the wires and lamp bases.
     
  16. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    As A matter of fact I think they will work better without the baffles. I was punching through two baffles at five feet away and was getting exposures around 12 sec. I think without the baffles you can get down to under 6. I'll check in the next day or so when I get time to shoot. Which will probably be tomorrow. The tube fluorescents like Mole Richardson are not baffled so I don't see why these wouldn't work just as well. I know they are more than twice as bright without punching them through two the baffles.
     
  17. jss

    jss Member

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    i attended a wet plate workshop in san francisco. we shot both inside the studio and outside. inside, i believe the instructor setup a large softbox with 4800 watt-seconds worth of daylight balanced speedotron inside. my workshop partner shot this of me using the setup:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Wow! Nice plate! I presume it's one pop from the strobe? What size is it and who did you learn from? I like the quality of light here. Some collodoin work I've seen lit with flourescent light sources give an odd clay-like look to human subjects.
     
  19. mark

    mark Member

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    SO how did people get registered at collodian.com

    I e-mailed the guy a long time ago and got nothing. Do you have to harass him?
     
  20. jss

    jss Member

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    kerik -- single pop, but man.. what a flash of heat! 4800 w-s at that proximity is intense.

    i learned from michael schnidler at rayko. i tried to emulate the look using a #47 filter with a lens wide open and got this: http://schlachet.net/images/tiffen47-with-600v.jpg
    that's a polaroid 54 shot with a nikkor-w 210mm. i'll do the experiment over with older glass next time.
     
  21. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Thanks for the info. I know very little about strobes, but I do have a Speedotron Brown line system laying around collecting dust. I think I'm going to have to start playing with it. Do you know if he had multiple heads inside the softbox?

    Mark - Harassing is probably not a good idea, but try emailing Quinn again, politely. He's a busy man and a genuinely good guy. The reason the forum is "closed" for automatic signups is due to being inundated with spam and Quinn not having the time to deal with the hassle.
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Kerik- your brown line is most likely inadequate to the task without multiple pops. I don't think they made a brown line with more than 800 or at most 1600 w/s. The one Jason was using is a 4800 w/s unit, but you can get away with the 2400 w/s black line units I think. According to Speedotron's website, the 4800 has a guide number of 1000, which is less than a 50% increase in power over the 2400 w/s unit (gn 710). The measurement is not entirely apples to apples, as the flash head used on the 2400 was not the same as the head on the 4800 unit (the head used on the 4800 power supply was built to handle 4800 w/s, whereas the 2400 unit was used with a head only capable of 2400 w/s - the increase in power handling capability may have an effect - it would be interesting to see what the difference would be if they both used the 4800 w/s head).
     
  23. jss

    jss Member

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    kerik -- There were two heads. Each was powered by a 2403CX.
     
  24. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Has anyone tried Speedotron's 10" Fresnel that is 4800 ws? Robert
     
  25. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Oh yeah... you can almost see your bones when they go off. I've got a couple 2000 pack systems left from my commercial days. I'll give them a try though. Thanks for the tip.

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2007
  26. nawagi

    nawagi Member

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    A few choices:

    1) Purchase the cheapest "shop-lite" kits at Home Depot - they put out a ton of UV at a very reasonable price. Big time fall-off though, so be prepared to shoot tight.

    2) Borrow or rent an HMI "Par" from your friends in the TV or film business. While expensive to buy, they rent for $50 - $175 a day in these parts. Put out two tons of UV, and are powerful enough to bounce (ceiling, cards) or scrim and still shoot in a "reasonable" time for portraits. At URI last winter, I was bouncing a 1200 watt HMI par off a wall and shooting 1 - 3 seconds at f16 with good results.

    Have tried BLB and BL UV lamps, but their effective range is so small they are not practical.

    Like the spiral bulb unit above- gets me thinking.

    NWG