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Old May 20th, 2003, 07:48 AM   #1
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Fluorescent Lightbank or Tungsten Softbox? Opinions?

This subject is *almost* being addressed in my other light threads, but since it isn't quite coming up I want to address it here. All this light stuff has come after searching threads and not finding too much on this... so here it is.

I want your opinion/experience on fluorescent lightbanks vs. tungsten softboxes... I keep hearing about the notorious "green spike" on the cri for fluorescents, but I don't see much in the way of negative input on Kino Flo... so I figure that IN REALITY that green spike isn't really that significant... it's pretty narrow. Also a light pink gel could eliminate it completely if you could chart it, but I doubt too many people worry about it... The perks are higher lumens with less watts and the ability to choose either daylight or tungsten color balance...

The converse is the tungsten softbox which is legendary for high-quality soft light... Since I don't have much REAL WORLD experience with a tungsten softbox all I know is what I read...

From what I found there it seems like people either use a fluorescent lightbank OR a softbox and perhaps only own one or the other...?

At this point I suppose some of these lighting topics are getting tired, but somebody will read these at some point and it will help them make a decision... just as it's helping me now... so thanks.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 02:27 PM   #2
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Standard fluorescents such as one would buy at Home Depot do demonstrate green spikes, but Kino Flo tubes are fully color corrected and clean. That's why they cost so much!

The primary advantage of Kinos over a tungsten/softbox setup are:

Profile--the Kino is much flatter, thus better suited for tight interiors

Heat--the Kino doesn't put out any, again good for interiors

Power--the Kino uses less for the same output.


Advantages of the tungsten/softbox setup:

Versatility--the head can be used outside of the softbox as a punchier source, bounced, etc.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 10:00 PM   #3
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InterestingI had an interesting visit to Channel 7 in San Francisco a year ago. The set manager told me that the only Pro flourescent lighting fixture they had was way up in the corner. And that it was present only for political reasons. Everyone including the talent hated the 'flourescent' look, whatever that is.

They use light boxes designed for still photographers with strobes and put up with the occasional fire because they so like the look.

I have no opinion one way or the other.

BTW, 'Grow' flourescent lamps are fairly uniform in their spectral output. I used to use them for lighting a copy stand. No particular color problems IIRC.

Another light that seems to work OK is the OTT light, a sample of which my wife uses for sewing. About $50 for the folding 18 watt I think.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 10:53 PM   #4
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I should point out that the infamous green spike is barely a problem for video, but much more of an issue for film, which is more sensitive to the mired shift.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 12:18 AM   #5
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I just got my new Kino in last week, have not had much time to shoot with it yet but it will get some use in the next few weeks. I purchased the 4 Bank 2'x4, this was sufficent for the shoot I am working on and I love the light output, it is so soft and just wraps around everything. Plus the ballast is very versatile.

I got a deal on the bulbs too, they arent the standard safety coated Kino bulbs, the dealer had 3200k Movie Tone (I think GE) bulbs for $10 a pop, they look great and dont cost $25 a piece!

Chris
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Old May 26th, 2003, 05:06 AM   #6
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Chris, if you want to have some fun with the name of your unit, I've heard some gaffers use the following nicknames: 4 foot Kinos = "man" 2 foot = "boy", 4 bank = "fat" and 2 bank = "thin". Thus your unit is a "fat boy"!!
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Old May 26th, 2003, 05:09 AM   #7
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Anyone got a link to making a softbox for a lowel tota?

Thanx

Zac
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Old May 26th, 2003, 07:47 AM   #8
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LOL, thanks for sharing Charles, I kinda like that!

I just need to be careful, the owner of the property for the shoot I am curently working on is a rather "large" guy... asking someone to go "grab the fat boy" may land me in a heap of trouble!

Chris
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Old May 26th, 2003, 10:28 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Zac Stein : "Anyone got a link to making a softbox for a lowel tota?"

This isn't a link to a how-to, but check this out if you are looking to purchase an inexpensive soft box for a lamp with barn doors:
http://www.backstageweb.com/lcd.htm

If you are clever enough, you can probably come up with a way to attach it to a Tota (if you must), but be certain to use a much better stand than the flimsy Lowel thing that they sell with the Tota. And use a sandbag.
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Old May 26th, 2003, 10:33 AM   #10
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I have manfrotto stands with big f^& off sandbags, should do the trick.

Zac

ps. tota's are ok for softboxes?
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Old June 6th, 2003, 11:40 AM   #11
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for building your own...
I got this link from the Terence Curren article about building your own edit suite over at dv.com.

http://www.tcpi.com/

Apparently they offer 6500K (among others) color temps on several of their models. According to the article, they are flicker free too.
Very low wattage use compared to incandescent.

the article refers to the lights in reference to color correction in post, but I'm thinking one could use these lights for on site use also. And they are not very expensive relative to 'pro' kits.
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