Lighting Tests with HMC150 at

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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Winnipeg , Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 43
Lighting Tests with HMC150

In packing for a short shooting trip to Chicago next week, I've been playing around with different light bulbs to see what gives me most bang for the buck.

I've got a Smith & Victor 4 light Photo Kit (ya, stills.. it's no Lowel Pro suitcase, but I'm tapped with this new 150) and I'm really wondering if I want to take any of the 250w bulbs that came with it. They are long neck tungsten, old school screw in types.

Problem comes in that I have to check my gear, and with the rough handling, not sure if I want to risk those 250w bulbs.. they are about $5 each. And at 20hrs rated lifetime, pfffttt.. that lifespan is NOT good for video, the bulb could die at any moment.

So I looked around the house and the store, found a few different types to try. Here is a link to a gallery of test images, and waveform/scope's under different bulbs.

Yfrog Gallery

Just for information, here's what the setup used.

All tests were on default scene file, nothing was tweaked. Iris was at full open, with 100% zebra filling the top white card. WB was 3200k Preset, Shutter 1/100. Lamp was 6ft from objects. Objects used were things that most HMC150 owners have, a blue Panasonic battery box, the component cables, some 4x6 Photo paper, and some red/black/white packaging from Office Depot.

Bulbs used were the following.
Sylvania tungsten 250w Photo ECA 3200k $5.50
Globe EnerSaver halogen 100w (claimed) 72w (used) 1,200 lumens 3,000 hours $2.50
Globe tungsten ValuPak 100w 1,100 lumens 1,000 hours $0.25
Phillips Par20 halogen 50w indoor/outdoor flood 530 lumens 2900k 2000 hours $4.00
Rona Frosted Indoor/outdoor tungsten 40w $?
Noma Mini Spiral Soft White compact fluorescent 40w/10w , 60w/13w & 100w/26w. 2700k $2

There are two pictures of the 250w bulb. I'm using different lamps because when I got around to the 100w CF, it's base was too big for the smaller lamp I had been using. The picture with the S on the tag is slightly dimmer than the one that used the smaller scoop. The lamp's reflector size is important, but not really a factor in these tests..

Sorry the pics are all messed up in order...

Ok.. lets go this order:

250w tungsten : Great image, good colours, and assuming the photo paper is pretty true white, this is the ideal shot. Bulbs cost, but you get most light for the buck.

100w halogen : Shaped like a round bulb, but has a smaller halogen bulb inside. Feels solid, best light of all the 100w tests. Half the light as the 250w. Reds are a bit high, and blues are quite low. For sure need colour correction with this.

100w tungsten: Reds are as strong as the halogen, but blue is very low. No doubt this bulb is down in around 2400k.

100w florescent: Rated at 2700k, Reds are actually pretty bang on, blue is very low. This is a good bulb to use if you can get a slight spill of natural light on your subject (very slight).

50w halogen: This blows me away. It's brighter than any of the common bulbs, by a significant amount. Reds are high, this renders like a bright tungsten. This par has it's own reflector, so lamp type isn't a factor here. This seems to aim the light. It might be a little hot on a face, I've yet to test that, but.. wow.

Verdict: 50w halogen. Feels like a solid piece of glass, it's bright and has a slight warm tone to it. Most light per-watt choice. I'll look for a 75w version, that would be very nice. Because of it's lens, this might be a better choice for an umbrella or diffused.

2nd pic: 100w halogen, casts a general wide light. Best used without any bounce or diffusion.

However: A 3 bulb array of the 100w CF's would compete very well against any of the other bulbs (including the 250w), based on power used (75w) versus heat. If one of those 3 is a daylight-leaning CF, you could get a very nice CRI at 3200k. Lamp choice is important here, you need to reflect as much light as possible to your subject.

And there is my little test. Goodnight !
Greg Paulson is offline   Reply

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