[Frameworks] Filmo / DIY lights

David Tetzlaff djtet53 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 11:18:19 CST 2012

Re: DIY lights. that strikes me as a lot of money for a floodlight, and I would go with CFLs. Maybe I wrote this before, but I'll repeat.) These should come in "Cool White" "Bright White" and "Daylight" varieties at your local home-supply store. The "Daylight" ones sometimes spec the color temp., sometimes not. Sometimes its 5500K, sometimes its 6500K, and these numbers aren't necessarily accurate -- that is, lamps from different manufacturers with the same CT spec will often clearly not be the same color. Also, they have to warm up for a few minutes before they reach full brightness and stable color. 

BUT, they're like $9 for a 120W-200W lamp. (http://tinyurl.com/73t7hdc, http://tinyurl.com/84rnznh) You can find even brighter ones online... or perhaps in specialty electrical/lighting supply stores - where professional electricians go to buy stuff, though they do cost more. You probably won't find anything over 150W (or maybe even over 100W) in a 'big-box' discount store, though. Anyway, if you get several of those R-40s, or put several of the conventional twist lamps in cheap clamp light reflectors with a little diffuser material over them, you should have a nice CHEAP broad.

Or you could use the flat square lamps (http://tinyurl.com/7km948z) in fixtures like this (http://tinyurl.com/44vdqf5), and create a DIY Kino-Flo for a lot less than the 'real thing'.

The Home Depot links are for reference only. While they only sell the brighter lamps in quantities, I'm sure there are places to get them individually.

At one point, I bought samples of all the available "Daylight" 'light-bulb-type' CFLs and compared them for color, trying to figure out which was the most true to it's spec. But I forget the results and you'd probably encounter different brands anyway, depending on where you live and what your local stores stock.

But the bottom line is that, depending on cloud cover, shade etc., daylight isn't a constant CT either, but daylight stock shot outdoors usually turns out nice regardless. By the same token, I think the variances between any "Daylight" CFLs are not so large that one kind would give lousy results with 100D while another would be good. One of my former students did a lot of 16mm test shoots with "Daylight" fluorescents from Home Depot a few years ago (I think he was using negative, not reversal, FWIW), and they came out looking very nice. He was using tubes, not screw-in lamps, not that it matters. The thing is, modern "Daylight" fluorescents are a world away from the old standard institutional fluorescents (still the most common tube fixtures) which don't have an even spectrum and yield that icky green cast with film (avoid those like the plague). But the "Daylight" ones don't do that. Some CFLS are specifically labeled as "Full Spectrum," and priced somewhat higher, but my tests and online 'research' suggest that these are not functionally different from the "Daylight" versions.

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