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  1. #1

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    Halogen work lights for B&W

    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. #2
    DWThomas's Avatar
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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. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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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 Ian Grant; 01-13-2009 at 03:08 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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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
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #5
    CBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWThomas View Post
    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
    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. #6
    df cardwell's Avatar
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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. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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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. #8

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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. #9
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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. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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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

    Ian.

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