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China ball quality of light - fluorescent vs quartz


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#1 Feli di Giorgio

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:53 PM

Has anyone noticed a difference in the quality of light you get from a China ball that is driven with a spiral fluorescent vs a long quartz bulb?

 

The quartz bulb puts out a hard light vs the soft light of the spiral fluorescent. So, I am curious if there is a difference in the quality of the diffused light.

 

As an example, does the quartz bulb give you more throw? etc

 

thanks

 

 

 

 


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#2 Guillaume Cottin

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:12 PM

In my experience and based on my knowledge, there should not be any visible difference between the two, when used in a paper china ball or behind any thicker diffusion. I am speaking only in terms of softness, of course.
Even if there was a slight difference, using a bare bulb will definitely not give you more throw. China balls do not have a long throw, no matter what bulb you use.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:17 PM

The filament in a quartz bulb is very small, hence the hard light characteristics. By comparison a spiral fluorescent has a much bigger light emitting area and so is a 'softer' light. 'Softer' here is a relative term, as both sources are pretty small.

 

China balls don't diffuse the light all that much really, as the paper is thin and often comparatively coarsely made, so it stands to reason that  a hard source will remain harder even inside the china ball.

 

For a much more diffuse source, try a Gem ball, or Chimera pancake.


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#4 Feli di Giorgio

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:17 AM

thanks for the feedback. My thinking was along the lines of Stewart's. Hard light source vs soft through diffusion.

 

A few years back I built a 'lantern' from a lamp I found at Ikea and quartz bulbs. The shade was collapsible and in the shape of a giant hockey puck. It was made from this strange synthetic paper material. It was really brilliant, but unfortunately it went missing in storage.


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:31 AM

I've never much thought about it honestly, but could you not just do a simple test with a 60w equivalent CFL, a 60W standard, maybe a 60W frosted with 3 china balls at some feet away shot with a mannequin head and a dslr?

I don't really see it making that much of a difference. A CFL is slightly larger, yes; but not large enough to really have it matter so long as they are all equally filling the ball up which then becomes the luminary.


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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:13 PM

I would expect that the CRI of the CFL's would be low and if these were used for primary low-buck lighting, that much color correction would be needed in post.  Color temp., depending on brand and price would be all over the map.  The purpose of the paper lantern is to soften and diffuse the light, why are you hung up on the source?  You get what you pay for, usually.  Photo floods aren't cheap and have a short life span, but they are often "best" choice, paired with a paper lantern.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:24 PM

I think Kino is supposedly making CFLs now which if true would be a nice alternative to photofloods; depending on how well they match, and how good their spectrum is:

 

http://www.kinoflo.c...w_Products.html


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#8 Alan Rencher

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:44 PM

Except that you can't dim CFL's.


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