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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    London
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    34

    Cool lights for 10 x 8 B&W?

    Has anyone used cool light (flourescents) for large format black and white? All the websites talking about such equipment seem to think they were best (only?) suited to digital photography.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Valley Stream, NY
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    Flourescent lamps work perfectly well with B&W film. They present some color balance issues to the color film photographer that can be handled by judicious filtering. To the digital color photographer, color balance issues are, to a great degree, moot. White balance can be handled in camera, or by the photo editing software of your choice.

    While I have not used flourescents for large format work, I have used compact flourescent lamps for macro work. A pair of 25 watt CF lamps in reflectors does yeoman duty for this sort of thing. For large format work, the challenge will not be the quality of the light, but rather, the amount you'll need. Instead of working distances measured in inches, you're measuring feet. Instead of working with apertures of f8 to f/5.6, you're now working with apertures of f/16 to f/22 or smaller. There are some photographic lighting appliances built to accept multiple, very large, compact flourescents. These might be just the thing you'd need to accomplish your goals: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t.html#reviews. Each of these fixtures can put out about the equivalent of a 300 watt tungsten lamp. That's not too much, but considering that it is cool light, you can move it much closer to your subject without hazzard.
    Frank Schifano

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    London, England
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    Kino Flo's and such the like are fantastic. They will need to be quite close in to give reasonable exposure times on LF, hence the suggestion I think, that they are better suited to digital cameras, or film cameras which use quicker film and lenses. Dedicated Fluorescents do not have the same colour issues as fluorescent tubes in an office or industrial setting will, and of course is not really a concern with black and white film.

    It really depends on your shooting style. If you crop in tight and like the soft light look, and can deal with slightly less DoF, then why not? If you need wider a DoF or wider framing, then shooting a more powerful light through a large difusion screen might be more suitable.

    You can rent Kino's from Calumet on Drummond Street (and many other places), something I would certainly recomend you do before buying. Test and decide yourself.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    I have been thinking of getting some studio lighting equipment for an amateur home studio. I am wondering about the practical differences between high CRI (color rendering index) fluorescent lighting and studio flash.

    One book I have on portraiture advocates the fluorescent lights. The author says that the light levels of this lighting tends to close down the pupils of the subjects and gives better eye color. Other sources say the fluorescent lights are not bright enough, and one should use studio flash.

    I hope this is not hijacking the thread, but can some of you experts elaborate on the comparison?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Montgomery, Il/USA
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    You may find that opinions are like other portions of the anatomy. Because in one persons opinion fluorescents aren't bright enough doesn't mean they're not bright enough for your purposes.
    Lighting with B&W is so flexible almost anything will work including candlelight.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.



 

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