Halogen work lights for B&W

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by ZachInIsrael, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. ZachInIsrael

    ZachInIsrael Member

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    So I'm planning on some macro work and I don't have enough lighting, so I had thought to stop by Ace and pick up some Halogen work lights, they are fairly cheap and produce a good amount of light.

    Will they work well for B&W work?
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    They work for color (with tungsten film) don't know why they wouldn't work for B&W. Main hazard is they get extremely hot.

    DaveT
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Back in the UK I have a pair of these work lights each has two heads with 500W bulbs. They give a lot of light, generate a huge amount of heat and are quite useful when I need a continuous lighting for video & stills work.

    However they aren't as good as dedicated photographic/video lights, the light can't be controlled as easily. I have a large 4ft square diffuser panel that I could use with one of them. For critical work I have access to Red heads & Blonds (Beard lighting) these take a range of accessories, including diffusers, barn doors etc. For stills I prefer flash & have a number of heads & even a strobe (stroboscope - that can give repetitive flashes at very short intervals - great for photographing dancers etc).

    So halogen work lights are useful as long as you realise they are also limiting, I do use mine for Colour & B&W work on odd occasions, but I really bought them for video work.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2009
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    As Dave mentioned, they get very hot. If you place any kind of diffuser in front of them, keep it a good distance away, and don't leave the room with the lights on.

    Vaughn
     
  5. CBG

    CBG Member

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    As DaveT says, they'll work, and with correct filtration, work wonderfully - in terms of color balance. All tungsten based light sources produce a true full spectrum output so there is no essential issue with the color of the light.

    However, they may be a hand full to control effectively. As a temporary workaround, sure. As a permanent lighting kit you may find them somewhat restrictive. There are a number of lighting units that are relatively affordable, that are more versatile. Arris, Totas, Moles, and too many more recent items on the market to remember. Craiglist and eBay might be useful. Some theatrical lighting shows up regularly too.
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Tungsten lights produce one heck of a lot more orange light than blue,
    which is like shooting B&W through an orange filter.
    Test them. You might like shooting through a color correction filter..
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    These halogen lamps are nowhere near as bad as Photo-floods and B&W film is fine with them and doesn't really need a filter.

    Ian
     
  8. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Q.: if you want to macro why not get a couple of small halogen spots/lights ?
    Better to control and a lot less heat. Some office lamps use them and come with a transformer and stand.

    Peter
     
  9. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The color response can be an issue with B&W. Depending on the spectral response of the particular emulsion, you can lose up to a stop of speed. That doesn't mean they won't work, just that some B&W film isn't quite as sensitive to tungsten light as it is to daylight. Test, or if you don't want to test, you may want to consider giving a slight overexposure. Last time I worked with TriX 320 under tungsten, I found it was about 1/2 stop off on response compared to daylight.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Quite correctb Jason, at one time when Photofloods were more common than studio flash film manufacturers recommended two film speeds one for daylight the other for Tungsten. Just checking the FP4 datasheet it says 125 ISO for daylight, but years ago it used to also say 80 ASA (ISO) for Tungsten, that was pre ISO days :D

    Ian.
     
  11. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Just test it, that's all.
     
  12. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I made a quick test: one shot without filter and the other with a TD filter.
    The background is a light green micro-fiber cloth.
    The immage was scaled-down, nothing more, no adjustments.

    The diferences are less dramatical as with color though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2009
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    What's a TD filter?
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Tungsten - Daylight converter it's a Blue filter better known as an 80a

    Ian
     
  15. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Some more comment about hot lights and macro photography ... I remember years back reading a tale of woe where some guy set up lights to photograph stuff on his model railroad. As he tinkered around composing and metering, he was dismayed to see some of his plastic models beginning to sag before his eyes!

    One needs to be a little careful with hot lights, halogen or photoflood. I am a mere hobbiest and not shooting for commercial color work, so maybe what suits me isn't up to serious pro work, but I have currently abandoned hot lights for daylight color temperature compact fluorescent bulbs, mostly in soft boxes. I haven't shot a whole lot of color film with that rig, but what I have shot looks good to my eye. The bulbs are pricey, but assuming they're not dropped, last a long time and are much cooler in operation as they use way less power.

    Another .016 ¢ (after taxes)

    DaveT
     
  16. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Sorry guy's, the TD filter should have been mentioned as a FL filter, with halogen-daylight I had even less diferences.
    Tubelights were used reading : +20M etc

    Peter
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Peter, the FL filter converts Fluorescent tunes to Daylight balance so is innappropriate for Tungsten halide bulbs :D

    Ian
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Don't think flash is safe in macro photography though. I have seen steam come out of bugs that were flashed at close range. Horrific way to die.
    Flash units too can put out more power, and heat, than would be good for many things.
     
  19. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Dear Ian, I used flurescent light as the light-source with a 20M filter FL on the camera, sorry for the misunderstanding