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Dimming large softboxes


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#1 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 01:28 PM

I recently purchased two X-Large DynaPhos softbox kits from Amvona.com. They are quite big, taking up to 2000W bulbs, with the softboxes being about 46" X 36".

If I use these in a smaller setting, I will of course need less firepower, and I'm wondering what my best options are.

The way I see it, I could use a lower wattage bulb. But would the large size of the softbox make this unreasonable? Kinda like putting 5 year-old behind the wheel of a ferrari?

Or, I could get some dimmers. But I have heard the using dimmers affects the color temperature.. anyone care to comment on how severely? Also, dimming a 1000W or 2000W bulb down to the equivalent 250W seems pretty major... would it take a particular kind of dimmer to safely and effectively accomplish this, or would any do?

Appreciate the advice,

Jaxon
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 03:00 PM

If it's a softbox with multiple bulbs, just put half of them on a different switch so you can kill 50% of the light. Combine that with a dimmer, and you should be covered. That or cut some ND gel to fit over the bottom of the box.
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#3 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:26 PM

If it's a softbox with multiple bulbs, just put half of them on a different switch so you can kill 50% of the light. Combine that with a dimmer, and you should be covered. That or cut some ND gel to fit over the bottom of the box.


These just have one bulb each.

Can you address the issue of dimmers' affect on color temperature? I was surprised to hear this but I haven't tested it myself.

Thanks for the advice.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 07:21 PM

These just have one bulb each.

Can you address the issue of dimmers' affect on color temperature? I was surprised to hear this but I haven't tested it myself.

Thanks for the advice.


The color gets warmer the more you dim it.

You could cut some blue gels to cover to compensate, but you'd want a color temp meter if you needed to get back to 3200K exactly, to determine the right strength of blue gel. Hence why ND gel or a scrim or net may be easier.
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