With daylight balanced neg film anything within 4800k to 5500k should be aok. 5000k would be the best. With T filtration or T balanced film 3000k -3400k should be fine.
I've used halogens for portraits and interiors with great success. If shooting with neg film the colour temp is not a big issue to overcome. Simply use a T balanced film or on camera filtration. I have also shot chromes using these lights with success.
Strobes are better in that they are cooler and allow for a wider range of film or faster film speed. The lights you are looking at would be cooler (produce less heat), but appear to be too weak.
I would be fearful of the colour temperature claims of most fluorescents unless you are buying lights made for and marketed to photographers.
Martin go over to the large format forum and check the current thread titled " Flash or Continuous lighting?" I think the points mentioned are valid.
Originally Posted by menglert
Most of your questions have already been answered, but I'll chip in anyway.
CRI (Colour Rendering Index) is not an easy property to draw hard-and-fast conclusions about. It is determined by comparing the appearance of eight semi-saturated colour patches in the light under test and in incandescent light of the same CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature). CRI is an average value across the spectrum, and it doesn't tell you how well any particular colour will be reproduced. Some colours could be better than others.
However, CRI is a moderately good guide to how well the spikes have been smoothed out. The higher the CRI, the more smoothing there is. Tubes with a CRI of 85 are used for photography, particularly with tungsten-balanced tubes (eg Osram/Sylvania Studioline tubes, as used in Gyoury lights). Video/digital tends to cope a little better than film when the CRI is marginal. Daylight-balanced tubes are available with CRIs of 90 and over, and these are usually good for film and video/digital.
The colour balance (CCT) is a different issue from the CRI, as already pointed out. You'll be better off with tubes with near daylight balance, in general.
The rough numbers I gave should indicate that it is going to be difficult getting plenty of depth of field at a workable shutter speed with just two 105 W lamps. Though it is worth knowing about, flicker shouldn't be an issue. The self-ballasted lamps that you are considering usually have electronic ballasts that work at a much higher frequency than line frequency. The larger of the lamps you gave the link to are definitely self-ballasted with electronic ballasts.
Banks of Osram/Sylvania Studioline Daylight 55 W tubes can be turned into good soft sources for portraiture without diffusion being necessary. Those tubes are quite widely used for photography.
If you decide on flash, I'd consider getting old Dyna-Lite D series packs and heads, or something like that, from eBay.
Last edited by Helen B; 12-03-2006 at 12:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Just to chime in again, I use flo sources (almost always Kino Flo) for motion picture, and video, on a regular basis.
The advantages are low heat, low power consumption, and light weight compared to hot lights. The disadvantages are flicker, low output in relation to the size of the unit, bulk, and they are decidedly more fragile, harder to handle, and harder to control.
For stills, I can't really think of a situation where a cheap monolight like an Alien Bee wouldn't handily outperform any flo.
Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate the help and suggestions. I'll check out the forum suggested over in LF also. Most likely I won't invest the money in this set up because it doesn't seem to be sufficient for my uses. So, its probably better if I put it off for a while until I could afford a decent flash set up.
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experiment. for very little $ you can pick up a pair of 4' long fixtures w/ lights at your local home improvement store. They also work well in garages too.
post your results.
FWIW, I use a big home-made soft box lit with 12 screw-in fluorescent bulbs when shooting LF portraits. It is a perfect light source, at least if shooting for BW. If nudity does not offend, visit my web page at www.mcnew.net/portraits -- the key light for all of the images there (all shot in 4x5 and 5x7) is this softbox.
Beware the admonitions to use the daylight-balanced lights -- I found them harsh for portrait work. If you stick with the warmer bulbs you get at the hardware store, you'll get a flood of light with a greenish tint, which actually is quite flattering in a B+W portrait.
I made my softbox with a big plastic under-bed storage bin, lined with aluminum foil. You can make the entire rig for maybe $100 if you can get a deal on the bulbs.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
So, on a related note, what are everyone's thoughts on Martin Schoeller's "big heads" series? Here are a few examples:
In my opinion the shots look clinical; they are clearly not intended to flatter. As I recall, Schoeller used kino flo banks for these. Notwithstanding the unusual cat-like catchlights, the highlights seem a rather cold white to my eye. Looking at the kino flo site's gallery, all of the skin tones have that same cast:
Good point. I was referring to colour when recommending the daylight-balanced tubes, you are referring to B&W, I think.
Originally Posted by Sanders McNew
As far as the cold results with Kinos go, you can have what you want. I suspect that the examples referred to are exactly as the photographers wanted. If you wanted them warmer, you could have them warmer.