Daylight balanced fluorescent and film

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Kekhotep, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Kekhotep

    Kekhotep Member

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    A man that I respect for his darkroom and photography work told me that daylight balanced fluorescent bulbs will not work well with film (I shoot with a Mamiya RZ67). He's a tad old, so I'm just not sure if he's right on this one.

    Please share your knowledge.

    Thank you.
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    There are lots (kino, movietone, true match) that work just fine. Some cfl's may not show 100% accurate color. You/he need to be more specific.
     
  3. Daniel Haskins

    Daniel Haskins Member

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    I'm not sure how it would do with slide film, or Kodak film, but I've shot Fuji 160S under daylight fluorescent bulbs, and even mixed with actual daylight, and it came out just fine.

    This shot here was made with bulbs from a cheap 10 pack:
    [​IMG]

    It might depend on how cheap your bulbs are, as some of the really cheap ones might flicker different colors, I'm not sure.
     
  4. Kekhotep

    Kekhotep Member

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    To be more specific, he said with film, I need strobes. But, in magazines I'm seeing that people are using dbfs. Any suggested manufacturers?
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    At Kodak we used Deluxe Cool White fluorescent bulbs for pseudo daylight.

    PE
     
  6. Daniel Haskins

    Daniel Haskins Member

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  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  8. Kekhotep

    Kekhotep Member

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  9. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    The link you gave me are for softboxes. The quality is very soft. It's good for product shots. So what kind if work do you like to do? What quality of light do you like? Do you like specular or soft light? What do you shoot? Is there a particular look you're looking for? But most color film is balanced for tungsten or daylight. But I think most fluorecsent light kits are balanced for daylight. The color temperature is about 5000k.
     
  10. Kekhotep

    Kekhotep Member

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    I want to use it for portraiture.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I would definitely get a more specular light instead of soft boxes. As for light sources, I've used strobe and hot lights only. I haven't used fluorecsent lights for portraiture. Maybe an APUGer might have some experience with them. I would get at least 3 lights. A main light, a fill light and a hair or a separation light. I have a set of Smith Victor hot lights and I recommend them. If you shoot color portraits, make sure the color temp of your lights match your film. I don't know how the color of CFL is. You need good skin tones with your lights. Good luck!
     
  12. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    You can buy daylight balanced bulbs. I use them to evaluate color prints. I also have the tungsten equivalents.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/19239-REG/General_Brand_BCA_Lamp_250.html#features

    My main issue is that the fluorescent bulbs don't have enough wattage to push out enough power. I've started to see some better ones but I don't know if they come in the correct color balance. Either use straight tungsten with a filter over the lens or try these.
     
  13. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Something that needs to be considered is the quality of the color emitted by a fluorescent light. So-called "color temperature" is not really enough information to tell if a light will be good. Often what is specified is (if I recall the terminology correctly) "correlated color temperature", but the problem is that most fluorescent lamps do not provide a very good match to so-called "black body" emission, even if the correlated color temperature matches what you want. Instead they have various peaks and valleys in the emission spectrum, which can cause funny color casts, even if the color temperature matches what you want.

    A specification that relates to the quality of light produced is called the "color rendering index". A color rendering index (CRI) of 70 would be bad, and a color rendering index of 98 would be pretty good. A lamp with a high color rendering index provides a close approximation to a black body emitter as far as visual inspection applications are concerned. (I am simplifying things a little in this discussion but it is pretty close to correct.) Both daylight and tungsten light are very nearly blackbody emitters, albeit at different temperatures. They both have high color rendering indexes. (In fact I think they both rate at 100.) Therefore, if you select a fluorescent lamp with a color temperature near that of a tungsten lamp, and if the CRI of the fluorescent lamp is high, then colors of objects examined under the fluorescent lamp will be very close to those observed under a tungsten lamp, i.e. they will be very close to being true colors.

    Similarly, if you select a fluorescent lamp with a color temperature near that of daylight, and if the CRI of the fluorescent lamp is very high, then colors observed under the fluorescent lamp will be very close to colors observed under sunlight, i.e. they will be close to being true colors.

    Notice that I have not said anything about photography under these lamps. There is no guarantee that photographic results would closely track visual results with regard to color matching. I am not aware of any good studies on this. However, I think it probably a reasonable assumption that photographic results with most color films would be at least roughly comparable to visual results, i.e. fluorescent lamps with a high CRI would likely give better colors in photography than fluorescent lamps with low CRI, and results using high CRI lamps would probably be reasonably close in color balance to a black body emitter of similar correlated color temperature. In other words, a daylight balanced fluorescent lamp with a high CRI would likely give rather similar photographic results to daylight lighting, and a tungsten balanced fluorescent lamp with a high CRI would likely give rather similar photographic results to a photography under a tungsten lamp.

    Very likely most residual color mismatching under high CRI lighting could be pretty well corrected using rather minor filtering.

    I would love to see some authoritative discussion of this by someone who really knows their stuff.
     
  14. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I would as well. I have a potential (legal) photographic need for indoor artificially generated daylight as close as is reasonably possible to the real thing. But it differs from the OP's stated need and I do not wish to hijack his thread.

    So I will just follow along for now hoping for some additional authoritative input...

    Ken