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Old September 7th, 2002, 12:31 PM   #31
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The best advice on dimming lights, is to arrange them in banks and switch the banks on or off to get the intensity you desire.
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Old September 7th, 2002, 05:46 PM   #32
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Nathan, are you saying then to forget dimmers? i.e. Just use some certain wattage and use more lights if you need it brighter?
Also my understanding of wattage and all that is nil, so if I stick a 200w bulb in my 500w worklights will that work, or will I need to do something to the lights to be able to use a 200w bulb in it? (Assuming there is no physical problem putting a 200w bulb in)
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Old September 7th, 2002, 05:52 PM   #33
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You'll have no problem putting a 200 watt bulb in a 500 watt socket. Just like household bulbs. You can put a 50 watt bulb in a lamp that had a 100 watt bulb in it. The other way to reduce light is to move it further from your subject.

If your lens aperature is at F8 and the lights are 5 feet from the subject and you move the lights to 10 feet, your aperature will be F4. You lose 2 stops of light.

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Old September 7th, 2002, 09:26 PM   #34
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Thanks for that Jeff (re-reading that I notice how stupid it sounds). Now to source some known colour temperature bulbs for my work lights.

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Old September 8th, 2002, 01:42 AM   #35
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I picked up a few 500watt type flood lights. They're made by "The Designers Edge" (L-27 white) (Home Depot). They are your standard outdoor 500 watt type fixture you would mount in your driveway but they are a nice white finish with a "eybrow" style hinged face, pebbled decorative tempered glass. The light projected from it is excellent! Very soft and bright with absolutely no evidence of the filiment of reflective backing. Just perfect flood light! (10,500 lumens @ 500 watts!). The tempered, pebbled glass that comes with it is an excellent diffusion!You could use any type of bulb wattage at whatever CT you want I'm sure. I mounted the 3 I have to some light stands and now I'm set for 3 point lighting! Pretty cool and very inexpensive! I'm going to get some hinges and metal and make barn doors for 2 of them (key & back light), the fill light I'll leave as is. Once I get my Graffic Eye 3 zone remote dimmer switch I will be very happy!
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Old September 8th, 2002, 01:22 PM   #36
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"Putting a dimmer from Home Depot on a light--any light--and turning it down will alter the color temperature. This is why photographic lights with dimmers are so expensive. They have the capability of lowering the output without effecting the color
temperature."

All dimmers will change the colour temp, they may also cause a (singing) noise.

Colour temp may also be different depending on the manufacturer and the wattage of the bulbs. I've seen references showing the work light halogens to vary from 2800 to 3100 K. The lower temp lamps also seem to have a lot longer life.
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Old September 8th, 2002, 01:45 PM   #37
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Maybe I'll just use lower wattage bulbs instead of a dimmer.
But even if I dim the lights and then do a white balance should I not be ok? (as long as there is no other light source of course!
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Old September 8th, 2002, 02:02 PM   #38
 
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Adam, I would think that doing a white balance would work fine. My only question would be: What is the intention of using the dimmer? The very few times I've been on shoots where a dimmer was employed was *during* the take to achieve an effect.

You could also use a scrim(s) to lower the intensity. The pro scrims I've seen come in 1/2 and full stop increments. I use the scrims to fine tune my lighting ratio, especially in tight spots where I don't have room to move the light(s) further from the subject.

Just a thought.
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Old September 8th, 2002, 02:24 PM   #39
 
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Sorry for the back-to-back post . . .

I just went to The Home Depot web site and looked for the lights Adam was talking about--couldn't find them (drat). What I did find was the "industrial twin head" worklights. These are similar to those used by the DOT when working on the roads at night.

At 1000W, through a Tough Spun in front of one or two of these and I'd think you could light quite a large area. At $69 you can't beat the price for the volume of light. The end result would similar to PARs but a whooole lot cheaper!

Now all I need is a situation where I need to light half a city block to put this to the test. Come to think of it, this could be used as simulated sunlight coming through a window, too--where ever you needed a large, single-source light. The possibilities are endless!
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Old September 8th, 2002, 02:30 PM   #40
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I suppose I really don't need a dimmer! Having lower wattage bulbs on hand would be better! From what I've been researching I need my fill light to be less wattage compared with my key & backlights. I've been a wedding videographer for a number of years now but haven't used 3 point lighting as I've mostly used the on-camera light. Now, I must say, it's getting fun!
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Old September 8th, 2002, 02:57 PM   #41
 
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<<<-- Originally posted by Adam Wakely : From what I've been researching I need my fill light to be less wattage compared with my key & backlights. . . . Now, I must say, it's getting fun! -->>>

You're correct. When using the classic three point lighting, the fill is just that--a light of less intensity that will "fill" the shadow areas and allow some detail to be seen.

I agree with you, Adam, this is a great deal of fun!
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Old September 8th, 2002, 03:17 PM   #42
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Here's a link for adding those barn doors to your home made lights!

http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/barn/barndoors.html
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Old September 8th, 2002, 03:23 PM   #43
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It doesn't work well changing bulbs to control light intensity. The bulbs and fixtures are very hot, they are hard to handle with gloves, and the handling will reduce the life of the bulb. If the heads are chep enough, you may just want to have a head or two with lower wattage bulbs. Then just switch heads if you need more or less light. The downside will be more to carry around.

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Old September 8th, 2002, 07:26 PM   #44
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Dylan...did you find out anything about the different wattages of compact flourescents?
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Old September 9th, 2002, 09:32 AM   #45
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"At 1000W, through a Tough Spun in front of one or two of these and I'd think you could light quite a large area. At $69 you can't beat the price for the volume of light. The end result would similar to PARs but a whooole lot cheaper!"

A lighting setup using 1000 watt lamps will stretch any circuit. One 1000 watt lamp will pull 8.3 to 9 amperes depending on voltage. There are a few tricks like using a 3 wire 220 setup using two recepticles ( of different phase)but that's a tough one for some to figure out.
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