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Source lights, wattage, bulbs


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#1 Chris Raleigh

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:20 AM

Hey guys. New to the board here. Long time watcher, first time participant :P


I have a question regarding bulbs and source lights. I am working in a large, large Manhattan loft which involves some chandeliers (which are very weak, probably small 40 watters - gives us barely any fill), and a few large standing floor lamps (my main concern here), which are outputting 100 watts each.

The loft is long, and huge, with high ceilings (probably going to china ball up there eventually) and a warm overall look to it. This is due to the fact that the 100 watt lamps are currently being used by 60 watters.

60 watts is not bad - We did some initial tests using only one Arri 300 diffused and it came out fairly decent - but still muddy and dark, little contrast. We used an EX1 with a Letus Extreme(can't remember the settings or the lens we used but it wasn't particularly fast as I recall) so the light loss was not favorable (we may use a RED later but this test setup gave us a good lower end idea)

My specific questions are [these are highly subjective of course due to lack of specific details but...]: Am I going to notice a great increase from 60 to 100 watt? Obviously I will get more light, but is it a fairly negligible increase due to the loft being as long as it is. As I understand it the lumens output will be greater than having a 60+40 in general. Do 100 watt bulbs come in different lumens themselves allowing me to purchase a 100watt at higher lumen?

Secondly, what about CFLs? If I understand correctly, a 26watt CFL = 100watt but with even more lumens. If this is true, should I just get the CFL anyway (if the look is ok)? Furthermore if we do go CFL, can I get an even HIGHER wattage CFL in these lamps since the heat is FAR less than regular bulbs? How high can I THEORETICALLY go from a 100watt lamp with a higher CFL equivalent? Am I approaching this the wrong way?


Finally, has anyone here worked with or knowledgeable in CFLs as source lights? Do they flicker at certain shutter speeds? Do they present major issues with colors? I know they now come in warms and cools, but what does this mean for me. Is a warm CFL drastically different when shot or is it an aesthetic look I can decide?



Thank you anyone and everyone ;)


PS - If anyone would like to get some stills of the test shoot (I would greatly appreciate anyone serious who would like to see them) PM me and let me know. I don't want to put up photos of a preproduction location without the proper legalities out of the way :blink:

Thanks again!

Chris
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#2 Chris Raleigh

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:55 AM

Couldn't figure out how to edit so I will just say that I am referring to the practical lighting on set as source lights.

Also, as anyone can tell, I am not a DP by trade so my knowledge may sound a bit laymen :(
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:51 AM

The wattage ratings on standard light fixtures are based much more on heat concerns rather than electrical load. Therefore you can safely put a CF drawing 28 watts of electricity and rated with light output equivalent to a 150 watt incandescent bulb in any fixture rated at at least 28 watts.

Since the smallest light fixtures are usually rated for at least 60 watts you could screw Edison socket twofer adapters into their sockets and run two 28 watt / 150 watt equivalent CF's into each fixture and have no risk of an electrical or heat overload.

One problem would be color temperature and the green spike in fluorescent outputs (due to the fact that the actual arc inside them is not unlike a mercury vapor streetlamp). I'd only use one brand and type of CF for all the on-set lights, filtering out the green spike is done on camera with a Tiffen FL-D or FL-B series filter. I suggest using GE CF's only. They're made in a series of three color temperatures, Soft White, Reveal, and GE Edison (basically warm to cool) . Buy one of each filter and one of each CF and test with a model to decide which (white balancing each) combination you like the best. Pay closest attention to skin color...that's where you separate the sheep from the goats in matching and filtering color temperatures.
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#4 Chris Raleigh

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:13 PM

Thanks Hal
Great and succinct response. Very informative!

Will the 28 CFLs and filters pose problems with the 40 watt chandielers above us? I know this requires some testing of course on our part, but in general should it blend nicely with the proper filter and CFL used?

Also, is 28watt CFL (with an equivalent 150watt output WOW) as high as we can go safely? That sounds like MORE than enough light but its always good to know if we needed an extra boost.

Furthermore, would you recommend going this route over photofloods?


Let me know if you wouldn't mind me sending you some small stills to check out at your discression


Appreciate the help. I will pass this along to the DP asap

Edited by Chris Raleigh, 01 March 2009 - 01:15 PM.

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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:58 PM

Thanks Hal
Great and succinct response. Very informative!

Will the 28 CFLs and filters pose problems with the 40 watt chandielers above us? I know this requires some testing of course on our part, but in general should it blend nicely with the proper filter and CFL used? I'd expect them to be pretty much overpowered by the CF's, They'll probably "read" (be visible onscreen) but not contribute to the lighting.

Also, is 28watt CFL (with an equivalent 150watt output WOW) as high as we can go safely? That sounds like MORE than enough light but its always good to know if we needed an extra boost. I haven't seen anything stouter but the idea is to error on the side of safety by never putting more CF wattage in a fixture than its incandescent bulb rating

Furthermore, would you recommend going this route over photofloods? Definitely, much more "bang" for the buck.


Let me know if you wouldn't mind me sending you some small stills to check out at your discression. Certainly. Testing is ALWAYS your best approach...no guessing once you're in production.

Appreciate the help. I will pass this along to the DP asap You're welcome; Go forth and make beautiful pictures!


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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:07 PM

Chris,

Your Message Inbox is full, I can't send you a reply.

Have a look at the Kodak "Designer" lighting demo at: http://motion.kodak....lighting360.htm for some ideas on lighting a low key interior space.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Opal

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

The Slider

CineTape

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine