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-   -   Sleep deprived musings... (poll) (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/photon-management/127891-sleep-deprived-musings-poll.html)

Jeff Koenig August 12th, 2008 08:42 AM

Sleep deprived musings... (poll)
Ok, so I've been up all night (again) and the following starts rattling in my brain, so I thought I'd bring it up here and see what responses I get.

Here's the scenario:

You find yourself transported to a magical world where variables are nonexistent, color temperatures between lights are all exact, and the simple questions really are simple. In this world, you have two options for your light kits, both equally priced: the first consists entirely of 3200k lights and CTB gels, the second is entirely 5600k lights and CTO gels. Which would you rather have?

(For the sake of this magic world scenario, I'm only concerned with color balancing gels, not effect gel colors or in-betweens like CTS. You can have those, too, if you want them.)

So, if everything else were equal, what's your preference? Cool lights you can warm, or warm lights you can cool?

Shaun Roemich August 12th, 2008 09:28 AM


I'd take the 5600K solution as balancing to daylight is a far more common issue for me. You can always turn off offending 3200K instruments and make EVERYTHING 5600K but you can't turn off the sun.

Jeff Koenig August 12th, 2008 10:10 AM

Moles on Ebay
Didn't want to start a new thread for this, because of its temporary nature, so I just hijacked my own. Some film company is unloading a whole bunch of Mole's on ebay right now, no reserve.

I won't be able to take advantage of it, but others here might. Today is Tues august 12 and most of the auctions have either 2 days or 4 days left (if you're reading this after august 17, 2008, don't bother clicking the link).


And don't forget about the original post poll. ;)

Perrone Ford August 12th, 2008 10:27 AM

Daylight balanced for a number of reasons.

1. The likelihood of having to set up lighting outdoors, or in a room with a window is VERY high. Not having to run around with gels, losing F-Stops, and playing those games is worth the difference in price

2. If you enter a room with practicals at 3200k, it's rather trivial to either turn them off, use motivated lighting when they are off frame, or replace them with 5500k CFL bulbs. MUCH easier than gelling tungsten lighting fixtures

3. Modern cameras seem to work better with daylight balanced lighting. It keeps the noise out of the blue channel and gives a cleaner image.

4. If shooting tungsten balanced film, a simple matter of placing an 85 filter on the lens sorts out the issue with a minimum of fuss.

5. Getting the warm glow of a indoor practical is trivial when everything else is running at 5600k. If everything is balanced to 3200, then trying to find and even warmer bulb with the right kelvin difference can be more challenging.

Yep, I'll take the daylight balance any day.

Jeff Koenig August 12th, 2008 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by Perrone Ford (Post 919604)
Daylight balanced for a number of reasons.
5. Getting the warm glow of a indoor practical is trivial when everything else is running at 5600k. If everything is balanced to 3200, then trying to find and even warmer bulb with the right kelvin difference can be more challenging.

Great point on #5, Perrone, and not something a lot of people would consider, I think. (Really, they were all good points, but #5 was an argument I didn't see coming.)

I didn't really expect anyone to argue the tungsten balanced side, but I figured there may be those who hold that preference.

This whole tangent came out of the semi-recent emergence of daylight balanced, affordable lighting (LEDs, fluorescents, and quartz metal halide lamps like the Cool Lights 150 fresnel).

With the ability to build a light kit using 5600k lamps (at a fraction of the cost of HMIs), is the time coming when our beloved tungsten Arris and Moles (and Lowels, I guess) eventually fade into oblivion?

At this point, you can almost put together a workable 5600k kit for the price of a tungsten kit (and many of those 5600k lights are switchable to 3200k!). I can't imagine we're more than a few years away from that reality. And at that point, when all things are indeed equal, why would anyone want to buy tungsten?

Here's the link to the Cool Lights fresnel. It supposedly outputs 13,000 lumens and is the equivalent of a 650w tungsten while only pulling 150w. It's less than $500. Harbinger of the future? Horseman of the apocalypse (for tungsten)?


Perrone Ford August 12th, 2008 11:10 AM

I think we'll see tungsten around for quite some time yet. If for no other reason than the fact when shooting on location, sometimes you simply cannot change all the practicals. I think of my building, which is historic. When I have to shoot in certain rooms, I simply cannot touch the lights. And they are mostly tungsten. There is often the need to push around a bunch of warm light. Like outdoor scenes involving fire light. I'd rather have some tungsten sources than try to gel everything.

And while the price of daylight sources is dropping, I'm still not seeing anything like my Tota, or DP lights at anything close to their price range. I did buy my RIFA with the 3 CFL fixture so I could change it from daylight to tungsten, but not everything can do that. LED is still pricey when you need enough of it to light a large room. And Fluorescent is still cost prohibitive for many shooters. Especially when you start adding light controls.

Daylight will get there, but I think it's going to take a little while yet.

Shaun Roemich August 12th, 2008 11:51 AM

Like Perrone, I bought the Rifa softbox with an eye to adding the 3 - CFL fixture for daylight balanced light at a fraction of the wattage and heat as tungsten. I haven't bought the receptacle yet but it's coming SOON.

I like the focusability of my tungsten light kits. I can cut light easily with barn doors and I can get the specularity I'm looking for on reflective surfaces. But the battle against daylight from windows or cool white fluoros is starting to be won with energy efficient fixtures that are becoming increasingly affordable.

Richard Andrewski August 14th, 2008 06:01 PM

We see mostly people buying daylight today--probably about 65% daylight 25% tungsten 10% both sets. The CDM 150 fresnel has indeed been helping to tip the balance so to speak. There just haven't been that many affordable daylight - hard light options until now and a lot of people need that hard light for various reasons.

Most that get the tungsten colored bulbs are doing so because they have a legacy of tungsten fixtures they will continue to work with. Those that have no kit or lighting usually start off with a total daylight kit unless they intend to have a few tungsten fixtures as part of the kit which is common for hair and rim lighting. Studios today for the most part have that legacy of tungsten too so they're picking the 3200K bulbs.

IMHO, as the price of ballast-oriented lighting continues to come down, more and more studios will be balanced to 5600K rather than 3200K though--particularly ones being built and equipped from scratch.

Another reason I didn't see mentioned to go with 5600K over 3200K is that gelling down from 5600K means less light loss than gelling up from 3200K to 5600K.

Jeff Koenig August 15th, 2008 12:01 AM

Actually, I'm doing just that - equipping a studio from scratch. Part of what inspired the musing.

I'll probably end up with both, though I am heading primarily towards daylight. Unless I hear something bad about them in the next couple of weeks, Cool Lights stands to get a fair chunk of money from me.

EDIT: Lol - I just realized who I replying to. :D Wrote the above without looking at your sig line, Richard. Don't suppose you happen to do package deals? (kidding). If you're curious, I'm currently looking at the CL655 (daylight), a couple of the CL-MF0150 (daylight), the 1k tungsten fresnel, and a couple of the 650w tungsten fresnels.

Obviously you're biased, but how do you feel your fresnel lenses and heads compare to arris and moles?

Richard Andrewski August 15th, 2008 10:18 AM

As I often say, if you get 90% of the functionality for 50% or so of the price then its a winner and thats what we go for. Our lenses are great though. All borosilicate glass. The metal halide fixtures all have UV protection in the lenses too. One thing I look for in a great fresnel lens is the ability to project and define shadows well. Some lenses today have a bit of diffusion in them and I think that makes no sense. They've forgotten that a fresnel is in the spotlight class of fixtures and as such should be able to project well for those times you want that. Like for "cookies" or other such things where the ability to define a sharp edge is a wanted feature. You can't do that with a fixture thats been diffused even a little.

Our studio model fluorescents have been popular but the new location fixtures we could hardly keep on the shelf they went so fast. And the CL-MF0150 has been well-liked too. After all, where else can you find something in HMI class for under $500. The only real sacrifice there is since its cold start you don't get to restart the bulb right away if you turn the unit off. Hardly anyone has said that was a problem and were really happy to get a daylight fresnel for not much more than some comparable tungsten units in the 650w range go for.

Christopher Witz August 15th, 2008 12:29 PM

I must chime in here and say how fantastic Richard's CL-MF0150 are.... here's a shot from a still shoot I did recently using them....


Richard Andrewski August 15th, 2008 06:38 PM

That's a great example of what I was just talking about. We've seen Chris post in here a lot but I didn't know until recently that he had 20 years of experience as a photographer as well as being a videographer too. I'm going to post some of these pictures in our site gallery.

While soft light is very flattering there are times like in that picture when it just wouldn't give the same effect and you actually want great definition and detail as I was saying. Thats why its so important that a fresnel lens give you a great shadow and sharp details (with no fuzziness or double shadows) so those that know how to "paint with light", so to speak, can implement what they are wanting or imagining.

You can add diffusion if necessary, but you can't take it away from a lens that has it built in.

Eric Stemen August 16th, 2008 02:29 AM

I also agree that Richard's lights are great.

I bought a portable 4 bank dimming florescent, along with a 150W metal halide from Cool Lights.
I did have a problem with the 4 bank, but Richard took care of me and now it is working great!!

I really want to get another 150W Fresnel and a 2 bank florescent.
Any idea how much longer you will keep your lights on sale for Richard?

Richard Andrewski August 16th, 2008 05:36 PM

I didn't have any particular plans to change the price of the portables by too much if any. So you still have some time yet. The portables should be back in stock by October. The CDM 150 is in stock now.

Jeff Koenig August 17th, 2008 03:23 AM


It appears your products are not only appealing but well recommended. I'm currently in the messy and grueling stage of raising funding, which while never easy is at least going well. Expect to hear from me in September or early October. I can't wait to begin working with your lights!


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