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Old August 18th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Daylight bulbs to replace tungstens?

I have an Interfit 3200 lighting kit that I've added nice Bowens brollies to. The problems are the heat of the 500 watt bulbs and in many situations I have daylight coming in so the balance can be all over the place.

I've seen some 85w (roughly 450w equiv) daylight flourescent bulbs and was thinking that these may be a good alternative however not having one to look at am worried that they may not fit as they look pretty fat in the photos.

Has anyone here tried swapping to daylight bulbs and if so, are they up to it?

Cheers!

:)

Mike
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Old August 18th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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The 85w bulbs are also very long if its the 4U or 6U type configuration so the distance between your socket and the umbrella might not be adequate. Otherwise, some work fine and have good color rendering and others are not so great. Even if others chime in and say that it will physically work, you still may just have to try it out to see if you like it with possible disappointing results on color or flicker. Otherwise, many are using these kinds of bulbs every day for photographic / video work and are satisfied.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #3
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You need to look at the clearance around the socket to know if it will fit. Photoflood bulbs have a very long and narrow neck near the socket. If your light is designed with exactly these in mind, there may not be enough clearance for the ballast. Also, an 85W fluorescent is not as bright as 450W. It is more like 300W equivalent. Don't get me wrong, it is a bright light and I like fluorescents, but you will lose one f-stop of exposure. If you want to switch to fluorescents, your Interfit fixtures might work with smaller fluorescents then you could use them as accent and background lights.

I think that you will find that you need at least one big and bright dedicated fluorescent fixture. What I have seen recommended around here in budget lighting is the coollights.biz PL55 fixtures that are similar in configuration to the famous Kinoflo "Diva" fluorescents. Gary Moses has given good review to the Fotodiox C-900 fixture that uses 9 small compact fluorescents. It is essentially a square with 9 sockets and a 5/8" light stand mount. They also have a 16-socket model. The Coollights.biz models have barndoors and nice yokes.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 06:08 AM   #4
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that's true, didn't mention that output is more like a 300w equivalent tungsten so it may not be as bright as you're used to.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Lowell are selling those "85" watt CFLs for use in their softboxes along with an adaptor system so you can fit 3 of them where you had 1 inkie.
We've bought a small Made in China kit that uses one per small softbox and they work quite well. The CFLs are a bit fragile, that's a lot of glass.
Apart from that they are pretty good and unlike the 1KW lamps in the Lowell boxes will not burn the material.
The difference in sockets is about all I'd worry about, haven't seen any flicker problems so far. The lamps are ES which is good, holds the lamp much better than the damn BC fittings that are the norm down here.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I had thought of using gels to change the light's colour but with the Interfits there aren't any simple ways to use those with say a white difuser brolly.

I suspect that I may need some new heads that could work with my stands etc.

Cheers :)
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