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Newbish question on flourescents


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:18 PM

I'm having a bit of difficulty determining the difference between fluorescent, warm white and cool white. I mean, I know one is more green, more orange and more blue than the other. But with our eyes always adjusting to make every light look pure white I just wanted to make sure.

I know this is an inexact generalization, but can we talk about some places that employ each of these different lights? Like your average Walmart, that's cool white probably right?

When I think of just a straight up fluorescent light I think dingy and green, like in a Saw movie or like in some old automotive repair place.

Also, when it comes to gelling tungsten to fluorescent, I read in one book it said use plus green and Full CTB. While another source said just use plus green. But what if it's tungsten to warm white? Or tungsten to cool white?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:38 PM

There is generally no de-facto this is what will be in x location light. It's situations like this where you'd want a color meter to determine how the light is. You'd get one variable for it for the green spike, and another for the kelvin temperature and gel your other lights appropriately or gel the floros-- whichever is faster normally.

Warm White is supposed to be closer to 3200K -v- cool white; but the age of the bulb and ballast as well as it's cri can really skew how it looks on film.
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#3 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

Also, no two flourescents are going to be alike. I gaff on a reality tv show and we spend a lot of time in storage units. Most of them have cool white tubes, but the age of the tube, brand of manufacture, ballast, etc are all variables. We just keep half a dozen varieties in stock and try to match as close as possible. Some people like to gel kino's to match, but I have found that even if you do manage to get the color temp right, it still looks wrong since kinos have such a high CRI.
I guess you just need to figure out what look you need to have and find the solution that works best.
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#4 Jimmy Gilmore

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:45 PM

If you have control over the environment, best option is to remove the bulbs and put what you want in so everything matches. When you go into a store or office with lots of fluorescent bulbs, look carefully and you'll see that they're all different colors. But some DPs do really fun stuff with them with the right material. Check out Chungking Express.

FWIW. It's inefficient to gel from tungsten to whatever the color temp the fluorescent is. You're looking at full CTB + a quarter and or a half green. A kino with mixed tubes (3200 and 5600) and a quarter or half green would get you in the neighborhood. And flag anything ambient that is going to directly hit faces/skin tones. That's how I would work.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:02 AM

Sometimes I'm not sure what's "a DP doing really fun stuff" and what's someone just shooting available light and ending up with something cool.

But it is cool. White.

Oh, I'm hilarious.

P
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