Matt - first of all you referenced a tube fluorescent spectrogram, not a CFL; and I'm familiar with the
finest of them, either European or domestic. Try designing a continuous spectrophotometer if you understand the nature of this problem so well. The problem with CFL's at the moment is that they're being rushed to market as quickly as possible, with spectral improvements being an afterthought. All of
them are being made in China and marketed mainly on a price-point basis. Hypothetically, one could make them with the same mix of phosphors found in quality tube color-matching fluorescents, but that
might be awhile. I've been to recent trade shows specifically discussing these things, and personally
use a bank of different light sources in my own darkroom color station, just like the multiple booths in
an advanced lighting store. You also seem to fail to understand the basic distinction to how color is
concocted in these things, which has an inherent limitation. I can't speak for what might be distributed
in Europe at the moment, but in this country anything with GE on it seems to be going downhill in quality, not uphill.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
Well Drew, I believe I do understand the issues very well indeed. I am, as I say an experienced professional lighting cameraman and, as it happens, also a lecturer in TV production with lighting as one of my specialities. That means my training and qualifications embrace electrical engineering disciplines as well as the more obvious areas associated with imaging. - Then there's the 30-odd years I've been actually doing this for real and making a living!
- I also sit on SQA qualification design teams; and research and write course and assessment material at college level; bit more involved than hangin' out a trade shows chewin' the fat!
I really have absolutely no idea why you think designing a tool to measure certain characteristics of light is either within my wont, field of expertise, or would be a remotely useful exercise?? And I can only suggest you go back and read what I wrote...
I didn't cite just any old tube spectrogram but a Kino Flo - quite deliberately to counter your assertion...
Kino flos are Compact Flourescent Lamps; they may be a highly specialised type, but they do exist and thus the notion that CFLs are not suited to studio is can be demonstrated and evidenced as a vacuous one.
Had I cited the spectrogram of a standard tube flouro (of the type we've almost all been living with all our lives) it would be every bit as discontinuous as most CFLs! Often MUCH worse!!! - I FULLY understand how colour is 'concocted' as you put it; it's one of the topics I lecture in! And as any of the students who have to sit through some 15 hours of lectures on the topic will tell you; one I can get into qute a bit of depth on!
I can assure you that relatively small CFLs ARE routinely used in professional imaging (i.e. studio) contexts. Guerilla film makers may well choose to source lamps intended for horticulatural use to good effect. However specialised CFLs for imaging that are designed to substitute Photofloods are also available... There is nothing remotely "hypothetical" about these things... And I'm utterly amazed that anyone with a serious interest in lighting for imaging should be apparently unaware of this!
Now; on the 'domestic' issue I was under the impression this was an international forum. It may have escaped your notice; but I am writing from Scotland - NOT the U.S. (no you don't fall off the edge of the world if you keep sailing east past the big lady with the ice-cream cone) - So what is 'domestic' to one member is foreign to another. C'est la vie!
So I'll use that term 'domestic' as meaning 'for home use'; which is my understanding of it.
CFLs arrived here (IIRC) in the late 80's; exhibiting all the horrible effects and artefacts people are citing.
By the early-mid 90's the authorities were giving away CFL's of the type Wikipedia (bizzarely) claim are "one of the most popular types in Europe". Again; not particularly satisfactory units. They do still sell them, very cheaply (typically under £2 or less) - And the government still give them away to pensioners and those on state benefits...
But I don't know who they're 'popular' with! Useful for outhouses, attics and basements perhaps; but apparently even charities can't give them away! things have moved on a bit!
"Price Point"? There are always those who'll buy cheap no matter how often they have to repeat the exercise I guess. In practice most people will happily pay a few quid for quality bulbs that suit the fittings they've invested in; particularly since these things last many years normally... Light bulbs are no longer something you include in your monthly grocery order.
The E.U. (and remember the O/P is in Sweden) from upon their tower of Ivory issued a dictat that many domestic incandescent bulbs are to be phased out. In reality? - Only the 'standard' bulb of 60W+ seems to be disappearing at any great rate. Specialist incandescent bulbs are exempted; and all of CFL, Halogen and LED substitutes...
So - It seems (from this thread at least) the situation here in bonnie Scotland and much of the rest of Europe is rather different from the U.S. For one our CFL's aren't going off like firecrackers. Secondly good quality CFLs are producing outputs that are quite satisfactory for most purposes; with surprisingly contiguous spectra...
For studio use? Well I generally don't light studios with domestic light bulbs! And in that context (as I said) if it's your preference there are CFL options.
For existing light photography? Well I'm repeating myself I know; but they're destined to become part of the landscape; we just need to deal with it - but it's not great issue...
Bad/average CFLs are no different to bad/average flouro tubes; and we have 60+ years of experience with those to fall back on in terms of filtration techniques etc...
As for GE??? Is that brand even sold in Europe?? (joke) Leaders in the field here seem to be Phillips. But I buy all our household bulbs from Ikea as their units seem to be the most compact and most stable in terms of rendering and colour temperature...
With a big part of my own family hailing originally from Hong Kong I'm no racist; but I do believe there is a big problem with Chinese junk being imported and marketed solely on price. THEY can (and do) do better when the market demands it - But that's an argument for another time and another place...
I can't say it's something I've ever actually observed in the U.S. But reading some of this stuff is like going back a dozen years... "rushed to market as quickly as possible"??? Something that's been around for 20-odd years is being "rushed" to market???
Honestly??? You must be having me on???
You have to remember that Drew and the rest of us are coping with household lighting whereas you are getting the cream of the crop so to speak. At Kodak, we had several sets of lighting relating to normal conditions and critical conditions. The latter required a special "Deluxe Cool White" if we were to get proper color rendition.
The final level was exemplified by the Viewing Cabinet made IIRC by MacBeth. It had special lights and a special viewing angle to check out our prints for quality. Otherwise, the results were not accepted.
Ikea bulbs are "cream of the crop"? You should give them a try, I'm sure there is an ikea in your part of the world.
I prefer the compact fluorescent bulbs for judging the colour prints and in general. But they are no good for the darkroom as the phosphor coating takes a while to stop glowing, so i use the incandescent bulb there. I'm in uk by the way.
Matt, thanks so much for all the light-related info.
Last edited by iranzi; 08-29-2011 at 11:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Yep, thanks for all the info. Ikea light bulbs will be convenient to buy here in Stockholm.
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CFLs are an interim technology. The future of domestic lighting is LED.
I have recently made an observation. I sometimes work as a sound engineer for a PA hire company. I was recently at a show which was lit completely with LED lighting. There was also a big TV screen next to the stage. It seemed that the LED lighting worked really well for the video - probably because it is all done with red, green and blue LEDs which are the correct wavlengths of light for the red, green and blue sensors in the video camera.
For domestic and office LED lighting, look here: http://www.activeled.com/products/pr...details/?P=680
I should point out that standard GLS 100W, 60W, ES and BC bulbs are still available from stock in the UK.
60 Watt bulbs are still available, but it won't be allowed for retailers to sell them in two days time after the first of September 2011 http://www.eaem.co.uk/news/light-bul...recycling-rate and all the higher Wattage ones will be phased out over the next two years.
Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw
Last edited by benjiboy; 08-30-2011 at 10:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Well, the 100W bulbs were "banned" in 2009 but are still available to buy.
Originally Posted by benjiboy
Things are apparently different on this side of the pond. Ikea is a junk store where students go to get flimsy stuff for apartments. Phillips imports 100% of their domestic lighting bulbs from China, sells them mainly through Home Depot, and the quality is horrible. GE is equally bad for non-commercial lighting. The Reveal brand of GE is one of the poorest in terms of bulb life. CFL's have been on the market here only a few years and the choices are very limited. No need to get frazzled. I too have a history of working as a color consultant and giving seminars on this topic, and of studio work too. T