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Old February 5th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #1
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Florescent Studio Lighting

I've posed a question for lighting in a greenscreen scenario and was recommended this as a good solution: http://www.pclightingsystems.com/DF/11500-kit.html

This is the system I'm leaning toward--especially for greenscreen. However, I won't be just doing chroma keying. I also will be doing a regular family show (like story time on the living room couch with the kids, reading to the kids, telling stories, etc.).

I plan on having the green screen "set" dedicated to one wall, and the family/cozy house shots on another wall mostly. All in the same room.

As I described in another post, I live in HOTTTT phoenix and therefore need to use fluorescents--no halogens if I don't need them, which is actually part of my question.

Do you feel that the setup above (see link) would serve both purposes--greenscreen+subject AND family room story-time scenes? Would the florescents make it look too "officey," or can I mimic tungsten's "warm" look exactly by adjusting my white balance? Would I need any real tungsten lights for the family scenes or is it okay to go all florescent?

Would this light system serve both purposes fine, or are there other considerations that I am overlooking?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #2
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A concern I have with this system is that I will be turning everything flat with so much light. Is this a valid concern? I'm sure I could always use less, but this is where I hope you all can assist!

Thanks again.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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You can light with all fluorescents, but it's more difficult to get any modling when using just softlights. When I was looking at fluorescents, I didn't hear any good things about that company. My preference would be to go with individual lights from Coollights or Flolights.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:11 AM   #4
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that's a serious amount of light. i have to say i'd like to see what a couple of 4k equivalents do to a room...

i agree with bill. i don't know about that particular company in the link, but i think you may be better served putting together a kit of your own. inevitably, you're going to want some hard lights in your kit, at least for backlights and accent lighting.

on a side note: bill, i read your review of the flolight led 500s over at dvfreelancer. thanks for the great read and taking the time to put that together. i think i'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a couple of them, but wanted to ask how they were holding up for you. are you still happy with them?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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You could start a tanning salon. :-)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Henry Cho View Post
that's a serious amount of light. i have to say i'd like to see what a couple of 4k equivalents do to a room...

i agree with bill. i don't know about that particular company in the link, but i think you may be better served putting together a kit of your own. inevitably, you're going to want some hard lights in your kit, at least for backlights and accent lighting.
Can you actually make fluorescents act as "hard lights?" Or do you have to go the tungsten route?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #7
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Could something like this act as a hardlight? http://www.flolight.com/fb110.htm
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Old February 6th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #8
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No, that's a basic fluorescent light. I have shot lots of interviews using just fluorescents, and if you get them in close enough, you can get all the modeling you want, but for larger areas it would be difficult.

As to the question about the 500LED lights--yes I still like them. No problems. One thing I've come to like is that they are "harder" than fluorescents and I can use them almost as I would a fresnel. Notice I said almost. They don't replace fresnels or other hard lights, but they are more directional and focused than an equivalent fluorescent. If you use them in close for an interview, say 6-8 feet away, as you would a 2-bulb fluorescent, then you need to diffuse them or the light will be a bit harsh.

The really cool thing about these lights is that I have 3 of them in a small canvas bag I got from http://www.vtarmynavy.com



I put a piece of cardboard in the bottom, and at present have the lights separated by bubblewrap. I plan to glue some 1/2" foam to something stiff to make separators to keep the lights from rubbing against each other, although that won't really hurt them. I have a lightstand bag with 3 stands in it and can carry this bag with lights and the stand bag in one hand--so basically I can walk into a location with all my lighting needs in one hand for an interview shoot. I also got some small canvas bags to keep the power supplies and their cords in to keep them from getting jumbled up.

When I switched from a 2/3" chip to a 1/3" chip camera, I got into small and light for most of the shoots I do these days, and these 500LED lights fit right into that. I still use fresnels and open face lights when necessary. There's no one light that works well for everything, but for location interviews and things like that, a set of 3 of these 500LEDs or the equivalent fluorescents would be just about perfect.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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lloyd,

here is a 650w equivalent fresnel at coollights. it looks pretty nice, the lamp generates no heat, and the price is pretty much on par with high quality tungsten fresnels.

http://www.coollights.biz/clmf0150-c...snel-p-63.html

bill,

thanks. yeah, the portability is what i really like about them. well, that and the 40w draw :).
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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lloyd,

here is a 650w equivalent fresnel at coollights. it looks pretty nice, the lamp generates no heat, and the price is pretty much on par with high quality tungsten fresnels.

http://www.coollights.biz/clmf0150-c...snel-p-63.html
Looks cool, but I'm not sure if I fully understand all this yet. Is this a florescent light, or just the equivalent of the color temp. of a florescent?

You say there's minimal heat, so I assume, then, that when you say it's a 650w equivalent, that means it's a florescent that is comparable to a tungsten 650w but with different color temp.? Is that correct?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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After reading it more, I understand that it is NOT a florescent, correct? But you can buy it with different bulbs to copy whatever color temp. you want, is that right?

So if I have a mostly florescent fill lights, I can order this unit with a bulb near the same color temp as my florescent set. Is this correct?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #12
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lloyd,

richard a. of cool lights frequents this board, and would be able to address specifics regarding this light. the 150 in the link is technically an hmi light, and it looks like you can get both daylight and tungsten balanced bulbs for the light from cool lights.

all that aside, i would also make sure to allocate some resources to reflectors, flags, and other light controls.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #13
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It's an HMI, but the cheaper though equally efficient lamp. It is not as cool as a fluorescent but won't get as hot as the equivalent tungsten fresnel. This light would be a great addition to a set of fluorescents.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #14
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lloyd,

all that aside, i would also make sure to allocate some resources to reflectors, flags, and other light controls.
Thanks for your help on this. Pardon the ignorance, but what are flags? And what do you mean by light controls (dimmers?)?
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #15
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To understand what this unit does, you must understand the difference between hard and soft light and what the uses of both are.

If I were making a DVD on film lighting the first chapters would be on hard and soft light and what they are used for and how you produce them. Hard light gives you definition and projection when you need it. More well-defined shadows. Soft light gives you diffused or lessened shadows and does not have the throw or projection and therefore features are less defined--but sometimes you want that. They both have their place in any studio or lighting kit. That's why we wanted to offer both hard and soft light and both in energy efficient choices too.

Metal halide is the "fluorescent of hard lights" as I like to say. Gives you a 4 to 1 leverage over tungsten for wattage draw to light output--like fluorescent. But gives you a hard light--unlike fluorescent which can never be hard. You can soften up a hard light but can't harden a soft light.

You simply can't find a more cost effective hard light substitute at this time. While the fixture gets hot, a CDM bulb puts out a cool light because there simply isn't the infrared component of tungsten in the light itself. This is why tungsten lights are used as the basis of heat lamps as well as for our uses too--so much infrared output.

What the CDM 150 is is actually a more advanced version of an HMI without the hot restart capability. The CDM bulb's life is more in the 6000 to 8000 hour range and HMI is in the 750 to 1000 hour range. In addition, you can get color temperature choices whereas you cannot with HMI. HMI is always daylight range and thats it. I also like the fact that the obligatory ignitor that you find with all metal halide variants can be kept in the ballast with the CDM class and thus, replacement of a defective unit usually means a ballast swap out only whereas with an HMI, the ignitor is in the head and you never really know which is defective so you have to swap out both head and ballast.

In addition to all this, we can get the ballasts more inexpensively and thus the fixture itself is more inexpensive too. Hope this helps.
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