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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #1
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I just ordered twp 6400K flourescent soft boxes for corporate work. From my understanding these simulate daylight or overcast light with a blueish hue. I hope I didn't make a mistake, as I also want to bring out beautiful skin tones. Should I try to balance the two by white-balancing with a light blue card?
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:47 AM   #2
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Good GRACIOUS! 6400?? i hope you don't have to match to any other lights!

Generally, I try to buy lights in the 3200-3500k range to match tungstens, or in the 5600k range to match daylight. 6500k might match northern dawnlight in the winter... That's REALLY blue. I'm going to bet you'll be buying other tubes or looking to gel those lights with some CTO or bastard amber or straw to get them back down a bit.

Skin tones took fine with most light as long as it's full spectrum. What daylight balanced light tends to do is help the camera be more noise free since most cameras seem to be balanced to daylight. I know when I have something critical to shoot, I am trying to shoot at or near 5600k as much as possible. I love the color I get with that.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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Should I draw that blue out with a light blue card, or should I swap the bulbs for warmer shots? I'll often be using these outdoors in twilight shots, but I want to do warm shots as well.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #4
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6400K could be very useful as cloudy or shade light is often equal to or above that. Many cameras use 6300 as their outdoor preset. Differences in color temperature at the blue end of the scale are often not as significant to matching as at the red end of the scale where small differences are pretty noticeable. Definitely plan on having different levels of CTO to make the lights warmer. I usually like to balance my cameras color temperature a little higher than the lights color temperature so the light looks warmer
After you use them a bit you will probably figure out whether you want different bulbs or gels to get the results you want
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #5
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That's pretty blue. Most daylight fluorescent bulbs like those sold for Lowel's Caselights and Kino Flos are 5500K. However, I actually ran across an office with incredibly blue fluorescents that checked out almost 7000K on my color temperature meter. So if you run into something like that, the bluer bulbs would be useful. I think that would be rare, and if I were you I'd get 5500K bulbs.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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Exactly. There might be a place for 6500k bulbs, but I'd think it would be the exception rather than the rule. Kino's, Caselights, HMIs, etc., are all coming in around 5500-5600k. Most of the Fluo's I run into are around 4200K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
That's pretty blue. Most daylight fluorescent bulbs like those sold for Lowel's Caselights and Kino Flos are 5500K. However, I actually ran across an office with incredibly blue fluorescents that checked out almost 7000K on my color temperature meter. So if you run into something like that, the bluer bulbs would be useful. I think that would be rare, and if I were you I'd get 5500K bulbs.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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The good news is that it should be easy to get bulbs that color balance for 32k and 56k for your setup. You will need replcement bulbs anyway.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Exactly. There might be a place for 6500k bulbs, but I'd think it would be the exception rather than the rule.
I seem to recall that one of my monitors has a 6500K color temp setting. Perhaps these bulbs are meant to be used in a room with such a monitor for accurate photo work?

Just speculating.

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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #9
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Hi Greg,

No actually the answer is much simpler than that. 6400K is the standard for daylight in regular commercial lighting around much of the world and especially China where all those bulbs are made these days. Regardless of CRI, most of the bulbs you find on the commercial market are either 2900K (commercial "warm white") or 6400K (commercial daylight) unless you custom order another color temperature and can make a huge order for thousands. So, whoever made that softbox just (probably) bought the default bulbs because they were less expensive and easier to find. I say probably because it could have been a willful decision but I can't think why you would offer 6400K when you know its not the photographic standard for daylight.

It is interesting to note though that Osram standardized on 6000K for most all HMI bulbs they make. Philips and GE and most other HMI clone makers followed suit. So for some reason, perhaps related to fighting daylight (the slight extra blue would really help in punching through normal daylight), they standardized on something a bit higher than our normal camera 5600K settings that our equipment all is calibrated to.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:49 AM   #10
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Makes sense to me and thanks for the additional info. BTW, you had two virtually identical posts show up so I deleted one of them.


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Old October 30th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #11
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Thanks guys.

Just received them. These suckers are insanely blue. I have a reflector with a gold option that warms up the reflection and I have a boom stand on order for the hair light.

Solutions:
1. Plan on white-balancing to blue rather than white and buy only a slightly warmer hair light.
2. Buy a very warm hair light and use the gold reflector to balance the shot, white-balancing to white.
3. Spend $160 for 5500k replacements.

Also, thoughts on the hair light?
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Old October 30th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #12
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Easiest thing to do is buy replacement bulbs. Or, you could try some 1/4 or 1/8 CTO gels. That would be the cheapest way to go.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #13
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Hey, question: The two soft boxes are 18x32. I plan on using them side to side, with the reflector on the other side and a hairlight on a boom overhead (haven't bought).

The soft box bulbs are 125 watts, 110v, 6400k.

What if I replaced just one of the bulbs with a 105 watt 4100K? Would that balance things out or create a confusing read? I could use the warm on for the face shots?
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:46 AM   #14
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I have a friend who has mixed daylight and tungsten bulbs half-and-half in Caselights for a result that's somewhere between 3200K and 5500K.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 11:00 AM   #15
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I'd love to see their work if you have a link.
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