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Old December 10th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #31
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He also has a very nice softbox that uses a single 200 watt 5500 or 3200 fluorescent folded tube lamp. To me this looks like a better thing than the other softboxes that use multiple twisty bulbs. Two hundred watts is significantly more than the output of one 2-lamp CL-255. I'd assume the softbox reflector might not reflect as efficiently as the CL-255, but with the extra wattage, that setup might be at least the same and it's definitely cheap enough to try out.
Is there a reason you're comparing a 900W light with 200W light? Also, there is a marked difference in the size of the lights. The Kaeser lights are a "broad source" at 32"x32" (or 42"x42").

A "soft light" doesn't make them comparable does it? Unless I'm missing something? A broad source gives a beautiful soft "wrap around" light that a light that is not broad can't achieve.

So here are the differences (in my opinion) between the two:

1. 900W compared to 200W
2. Can go from 300W-900W in increments of 300W
3. A truely Broad Source compared to one that is not.
4. The shape of the "box" has a lot to do with the quality of light. That is a lot of the light bounces around inside the box before it comes out (along with the light that comes out directly) and this is what really makes "soft boxes" what they are.
5. Being a broad source, the light fall-off is less than a light that is not a broad source.

Of course all of the above except for No. 2 are really qualities of a "softbox" and not just a soft light. I've seen marked differences between a 32"x32" and a 42"x42" at a friends studio, and was shown the difference between a "soft light" and a "soft box" and then the difference a broader source makes over a light that is not so broad.

I think each light has a use but they are not comparable. What do you think?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #32
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That's not a 900 watt light. The 200 watt fluorescent is a 200 watt fluorescent light. You'll notice that Kaiser publishes a tungsten equivalent. If you do the same with the 200 watt fluorescent, it's going to come out close to 800 watts. Those kinds of figures are misleading if people don't read the fine print. Lots of those multi-twistylamp fixtures use 24 watt fluorescents, some go a little higher. I'm not knocking them, I just think the 200 watt folded tube lamp in the softbox is about the same thing and a more consistent color temperature.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #33
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Go away for a few days and people are talking nice behind your back ;-). I'm in the USA now kids! Great to be back if only for 2 months. I can finally have a real hamburger now.

Santa's coming in this year with a 40 foot container and a couple of smaller containers so he's bringing lots of goodies to everyone that's been good this year.

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

Bill's right about the 200w bulb. Its an actual 200w bulb. I don't post that equivalent business out front to mislead people like some do. The 200w bulb should yield about 700w tungsten softbox equivalent IMHO. All these self-ballasted CFL's (as we've talked about before) have a much smaller ballast than you can have in a separate ballast unit and thus, they are not as efficient at "power factor" or actual output as opposed to theoretical output. Because Kaiser publishes the equivalent spec only we don't know actual wattage I think and thus are not really sure what we're getting there. I say tungsten softbox because people should not believe that these are equivalent to a 700w fresnel. I like to compare apples to apples, etc. Soft light has its own qualities and its best to compare a flo to a tungsten softlight so you know what you'll be getting: something with a shorter throw than a hardlight (like HMI or tungsten). All softlights have a shorter throw and thus should only be compared to each other and not to a hardlight. Thus when people say "tungsten equivalent" (and I've even been guilty of it before when I'm busy and typing fast and don't put in the "tungsten softbox equivalent" to make it a more correct comparison) you should realize that it's best to put in the "softbox" after tungsten--even if they didn't.

Just to be sure we all understand. A broad source is a soft light to clear up any confusion on the subject. It's soft because its broad. 24 x 24 or 32 x 32 -- doesn't make a difference -- they are both broad. One is broader than the other but we could have used a 32 x 32 softbox if we wanted to. I chose the 24 x 24 for the sake of portability. We may indeed carry other softboxes in the near future and probably will with popular demand. Don't be afraid to tell us what you like! We will eventually have some multi-spiral units as well. Are these more broad than a single 200w bulb? Of course, but they all yield a soft light. You're not going to get hard shadows out of any of these type bulbs.
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