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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #1
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Tungsten or Daylight for light kit?

i am about to purchase a lighting kit and my primary use for it will be weddings (receptions), shooting commercials (lots of inside stuff but inevitably shoot in rooms with windows) and finally product/food shots with a still photography camera.
what would be best tungsten or daylight temperture lights? i know i can gel them and etc. but just want to know if you guys were in my shoes what would you do?
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Daylight balanced... EVERY time.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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from my research i am assuming daylight always cuz they are brightest kind of lighrt and can always be geled to match temperature needs without compromising brightness whereas gels on a tungsten would cut down on brightness...?
still learning.
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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No matter what when you put a gel on you will lose light. Using CTO to match tungsten losses less than putting CTB on tungsten lights to match daylight.

I would recommend daylight balanced as an only light kit but each has it's usage.

Garrett
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Old May 20th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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If you shoot an entire show in rooms with no windows, then it makes no difference whether you go daylight or tungsten. If you shoot any of your production in rooms with windows, you are going to want daylight balanced, and therefore the daylight lights have the advantage.

No to mention that our cameras are STARVED for blue light nearly all the time, and it's a primary source of noise in our footage. I want all the blue I can get in my sources.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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good points guys. thanks for input.
that is what i mean, that gels on a tungsten will make the brightness suffer more than gels on a daylight 56k light...
i was starting to think tho that i could just do my best to avoid all windows like i been doing but it has really been holding me back i think.

so are tungsten lights really only good if there is NO sunlight AT ALL?
if a room is partially lit by sunlight (coming thru windo for example) thats when a quarter gel is used?
so again, the daylight 56k would be preferred choice so even with gel the light won't be diffused as much as a tungsten? am i thinking correctly here?
or would you use no gel at all and just keep it daylight temp?

thanks for your patience. i am gonna look back on this thread in a year and feel like a dumbass lol.
don't worry i am still using the "search function" like crazy...
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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Geling a Tungsten to Daylight or a Daylight to Tungsten loose a lot of light each way. However, I believe it's better to start out with Daylight. The reason is that when you need a Daylight balanced light you might need to fight a window for exposure. In that case you'll need as much light as possible. If all the ambient light is Tungsten the light output can be lower because you usually won't have really strong ambient light.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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Lights, lenses and microphones are like golf clubs.
You get a better coverage range if you bring a full set with you.
That being said, the most economical way to build a set of lights is to do it over time, purchasing high quality used lighting instruments, and adding low cost new 55w pl Flo lights which can run daylight or studio balanced tubes.

All the Best!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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all great info guys!
i am gettin my learn on like crazy. 2 days ago i new a 1/4 of what i know now.
love this board....
all of the experiences here are priceless.

yeah, i have come to realize i will be adding more and more equipment as time goes on. i have "gotten by" for too long with too little. i really wanna step it up!
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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I think a lot depends on the power of your available kit. If power output is limited, then I agree - go for Daylight. The trouble for me, is that if you have things like Arri or similar Fresnels, or Redheads, then Tungsten is the standard - so CTB works for me. If you have nice fluorescent kit, then the daylight tubes make sense - but then you still need CT to use them with incandescent sources.

If I only had light sources that offered lamps in both, then I'd go daylight - but I don't, so I'll stick with Tungsten, and blue them up if necessary.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #11
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Hi Jason,

One thing that I'm not clear on is what type of lighting you're going for? Are you looking for more soft lights or hard lights? If you're looking at LED or FLO's then the cost differential isn't that much of a consideration. But, if you're looking for hard lights, then you'll generally pay a lot more for daylight

I've shooting more narrative story types of projects when I need lights so I have a small kit consisting of daylight balanced Fresnels and soft boxes when I want them. I also am not opposed to mixing lights. You can get some really cool effects using a 3200K practical with daylight balanced lights.

Garrett
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #12
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its a tough decision for me cuz it will be many gigs before i have enough money to spend on more lights.
i was thinking that since most of what i do is indoors i should naturally get tungsten 32k lights but windows are always inevitably near...

my original train of thought was that when shooting somewhere with daylihgt coming in, i could always use it almost as a key and would just have to use my light kit as "fill"and use reflectors so was thinking i would need less daylight 56k light.
whereas, if shooting all interior and no daylihgt coming in i would need as much light as i could get to fill the room and therefore would want a tungsten kit.... does that make sense?

how much light will i lose going from tungsten to daylight using gels? is there a standard measurement of loss? say if i was using a 500 watt flo light and geled it to daylight?

thanks a bunch everyone. i am leaning towards daylight light kit cuz i value all these responses jsut playing a bit of devils advocate to make sure i make the right decision. thanks again.
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Hi Jason,

One thing that I'm not clear on is what type of lighting you're going for? Are you looking for more soft lights or hard lights? If you're looking at LED or FLO's then the cost differential isn't that much of a consideration. But, if you're looking for hard lights, then you'll generally pay a lot more for daylight

I've shooting more narrative story types of projects when I need lights so I have a small kit consisting of daylight balanced Fresnels and soft boxes when I want them. I also am not opposed to mixing lights. You can get some really cool effects using a 3200K practical with daylight balanced lights.

Garrett
i am looking mainly at LED and/Flo's cuz i like the low weight and low heat they produce. i will also use them for a little bit of still photography as well. in most of my work i think i use soft lights 8 out of 10 times. weddings, and product shots...
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #14
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My rule of thumb is...

When converting tungsten to daylight you lose about a stop and a half, converting Daylight to Tungsten (depending on the unit) you lose about half a stop.

It may be a wee bit either side of this but I find that it's accurate enough for my needs.

I too would start out with daylight but, if you're using tubes, adding a set of tungsten tubes later on isn't going to break the bak.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #15
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Jason,

I'm just offering a slightly different perspective here. You've been mostly concerned with learning about color temperature. Which is certainly necessary information.

One subject, however, that has NOT been covered, is what you're going to experience with light INTENSITY in real-world field situations. (not sure why it's seldom talked about in these forums, but it's not.)

By selecting daylight (a totally defensible choice, btw) you're admitting that you're going to be working your lights IN CONJUNCTION with natrual daylight more often than not.

And that's going to present some challenges. Primarily because natural daylight is SO DARN STRONG, even when it's simply coming in through a window in an otherwise dim room. In that circumstance, it's VERY hard to overcome said exterior light with any form of affordable "kit lights." The sun is just too strong.

So putting color temperature aside for a second, your challenge will be getting ENOUGH light to bring any interior exposure up enough not to have the exterior leakage dominate things.

This is difficult on a budget. The pros will simply call for HMIs or pull some 10ks off the big grip truck. Not so easy to replicate with a beginners light kit.

So why tungsten is still used so often? Probably because a 750k fresnel with a 1/4 CTB can highlight something in a daylight infected room from a modest distance (say 10 feet) from lamp to subject. That's virtually impossible with Fluorescent fixtures - they simply do not "project" the light as well. LED (daylight balanced) is better at pure projection - but has other limitations when compared to that "old school" tungsten fresnel. (FUNCTIONAL barn doors?)

I'm not saying that daylight is the WRONG choice at all. What I'm saying is that as you're learning about this stuff, you need to realize that the AMOUNT of light your instruments generate and the ability to project that light efficiently where you want it will be as important as the color temperature of the light you're generating.

So don't get frustrated if you get your daylight fluorescents, drag them to the church, and find out that the pastor won't let you put them anywhere NEAR close enough for them to do the job of lighting the wedding party during the ceremony. They're weakness (short effective throw) makes the color temp advantage irrelevant for that particular job.

OTOH, a few good tungsten fresnels can be placed 30 feet away and STILL bring the wedding parties faces up against the church background.

Something to think about.

YMMV.
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