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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #1
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Continuous Light for Large Softbox

I'm considering a 1000W mogul bulb on a Chimera Triolet/Photoflex Starlite or a configuration of multiple Lowel Tota Lights for the 54x72 Chimera Video Pro I just bought. What's the best light configuration for large softboxes? Any recommendations?
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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I have become VERY partial to the CFL lights in my Rifa softbox. The light is gorgeous, it creates no heat, and it draws very little power. That would be my top choice.

Not to mention you can buy various color temperatures.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Nguyen View Post
I'm considering a 1000W mogul bulb on a Chimera Triolet/Photoflex Starlite or a configuration of multiple Lowel Tota Lights for the 54x72 Chimera Video Pro I just bought. What's the best light configuration for large softboxes? Any recommendations?
Depends on what you are shooting but to me, a 1k on a large Chimera will be too wimpy for all but the most dark locations or sets. I regularly use a 2k Mighty in my Medium Chimera and it is perfect for lighting up two shots and smaller areas. Did a shoot recently of two photographers at work in their studio and I lit both of them with this setup.

A 1k is not enough IMHO.

The perfect solution is the Barger Bag Lite but you may not be able to afford as it's not cheap.

Dan
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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coolights by richard has a 8u flo mogal socket tube that puts out an equiv of 1000w tungsten.... can get in 5600 or 3200... draws 200w.

you could put a few of these in there.

I have one in a starlight and love it!
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #5
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Most fluorescents I've used are soft already and don't project enough to be use in a softbox, except as Dan noted in a pretty dark situation. Lowel 1K Totas work nicely in softboxes. If you could mount two of them in that box, I think it might be pretty good. For a box that big, though three would be better, maybe three with 750 watt lamps instead of 1Ks.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Most fluorescents I've used are soft already and don't project enough to be use in a softbox, except as Dan noted in a pretty dark situation. Lowel 1K Totas work nicely in softboxes. If you could mount two of them in that box, I think it might be pretty good. For a box that big, though three would be better, maybe three with 750 watt lamps instead of 1Ks.
Well, I guess it does depend on your working distance, but I tend to work close with softboxes. If I want a large light source from a larger working distance, I'll use a silk. The people I am lighting are not pro's, and the temperatures of the fluos, is very welcome.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post

A 1k is not enough IMHO.

The perfect solution is the Barger Bag Lite but you may not be able to afford as it's not cheap.

Dan
My dilemma exactly, I suspect 1K tungsten would be barely sufficient, however going with a higher wattage lamp could prove tricky given the 1200w max rating of the Chimera Video Pro.

The light spread of a Barger Lite is excellent but the amp requirements would rapidly put me over the top of a 20amp circuit. Same if I used 3 Tota lights.

Creating a 1000W CFL fixture by ganging up 5x200W or 8x125W CFL would be an attractive proposition. Given that the size and sockets of these bulbs are larger than the average CFL, I wonder if that many would fit on a Fotodiox C-1600 fixture or similar... Fotodiox.com

At this point I'm also considering a custom solution with a 1K Metal Halide bulb & electronic ballast. Retrofiting a Metal Halide mogul bulb and socket on a Chimera Triolet for example. Has someone attempted this before? On paper it seems very doable.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #8
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I think fluorescents would be OK in a softbox if you use only the reflector, not the diffusion cover. I should have said that earlier, Perrone. When somebody says softbox, I always assume the diffusion on the front. I've used both fluorescents and LEDs a lot for lighting 2-person interviews, and the fluorescents are great undiffused. I have to diffuse the LEDs some.

If you had a bank of those fluorescents in a frame with some reflective material, ie., make your own softbox out of the silver reflective stuff, leaving off the diffusing cover, then you might have something that would work well. The lack of heat from cool lights is great on the talent. Of course if you can pull the lights in close enough, as Perrone says, that'll work fine. But generally unless it's a darkened studio, or nobody moves around much, that's not always possible.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alain Nguyen View Post
Creating a 1000W CFL fixture by ganging up 5x200W or 8x125W CFL would be an attractive proposition. Given that the size and sockets of these bulbs are larger than the average CFL, I wonder if that many would fit on a Fotodiox C-1600 fixture or similar...
If you want to use a 125w or 200w bulb, you'll need mogul bases. The fixture you showed wouldn't work (all medium 'edison' bases) and you would find it too front heavy to hold its position on the angle adjustment stand adapter type that the fixture uses anyway. In fact if you use 5 200w bulbs you'll need a very hefty fixture indeed as the weight will be huge. In my opinion, you don't need 5 anyway. 1 or 2 bulbs in a specialized fixture would already be pretty good at around 1600w output equivalent to tungsten behind diffusion. As Bill Pryor noted, no diffusion is necessary for a fluorescent softbox. The real reason to use some, if you want, is to actually cut out some output if its too bright.

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Originally Posted by Alain Nguyen View Post
At this point I'm also considering a custom solution with a 1K Metal Halide bulb & electronic ballast. Retrofiting a Metal Halide mogul bulb and socket on a Chimera Triolet for example. Has someone attempted this before? On paper it seems very doable.
Its on my list of things to do. But we wouldn't use a 1K probably, more likely a 400w. You could even put a cluster of 3 400w and get 1200w actual draw but closer to 4800w output. 5K from a softbox would be impossible in real life because of the heat. 1200w actual draw is definitely doable--as we know you can run 2Kw in a softbox and people like Dan do it all the time.

One thing that is on my checklist though for such a test: can the UV emitted by such a bulb come through the diffusion? My instinct says no, but we still want to check it anyway.

Another thing I'd really like to do is make a super quick fold-down lantern fixture that uses 1 or more 400w bulbs / ballasts to make a low cost, cool light output spacelight. You could hang it off the ceiling of course in a studio or a boom on location. Such a light would make a great fixture for a multi-wall and covered floor cyc stage.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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They would be great if you removed the front diffusers! I'd just pack 3 or 4 CFL's in a big Softbox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Most fluorescents I've used are soft already and don't project enough to be use in a softbox, except as Dan noted in a pretty dark situation. Lowel 1K Totas work nicely in softboxes. If you could mount two of them in that box, I think it might be pretty good. For a box that big, though three would be better, maybe three with 750 watt lamps instead of 1Ks.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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the only other reason to defuse flos is for a clean specular highlight.... for instance if your shooting chrome objects, bottles, or like I've been doing all day today shooting eye wear and the reflection of the light will appear in the lens of the glasses. In fact... I pulled my strobe head out of my broncolor hazylight and put a coolights 8u 200w daylight in there.... fantastic light!
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #12
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FEH! a 575 HMI will put out 2K of tungsten ( 2K + full CTB ). its my favorite light right now. even with full CTO its only a 2/3 stop loss or 1350W tungsten eq

reality is, tungsten is your grampa's lights. CFL / Flo lights work vastly better as do CID. I have a 2X24 40W flo light that runs head to head with my DP 500W + chimera. it works as a great hair light / side fill. its 1/10th the power & heat. I often use it with 5600K bulbs with the 575W. want to get another soon.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 04:39 AM   #13
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the only other reason to defuse flos is for a clean specular highlight....
You got me on that one. Very true.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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Yeah, good point. Some softboxes come with different levels of diffusion, so if you could get one that's as close as possible to gauze, it would be nice.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #15
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Yeah, good point. Some softboxes come with different levels of diffusion, so if you could get one that's as close as possible to gauze, it would be nice.
Or you could make your own like I am about to do...

Some sheer fabric, 4 grommets, a couple pieces of velcro, and vioila! I like my RIFA softbox a lot, but the front diffusion fabric robs me of so much light from the CFLs, I need a different solution.
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