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Author Topic: New Light in town?  (Read 5002 times)

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  • tough men are pussys
« on: April 13, 2007, 09:14 »
I've been experimenting with various lights after reading the construction light thread.  Due to the limited area to work in I've been using 7" clamp-on reflectors, with the Ritz camera photo lights.  The problem has been the high wattage (I run off batteries and solar), heat, cost, and short life (3.5hrs).

I've gone through all the commercial brands, from 100-200 watt with ratings up to 1750 lumins.  All incandescent.

At Home Depot the other day, I ran across one of these new curley tube things, florescent type, and was suprised to see that for a 100 watt bulb the output was 1300 lumens.  What was even more interesting was that it was 100 watt equivalent and actually drew only 25 watts.  Thats approximately 2 amps which is really nothing.  The brand is n:vision daylight.  Never heard of them.

Taking a couple quick and dirty shots of the first thing that came into my hand, I was very pleased with how the color was captured, it was more vivid and true to the actual subject:    Better yet, life is 10,000 hrs.

Top photo with the n:vision,   bottom with Ritz photo bulbs

« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 09:24 by ianhlnd »

« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 00:16 »
How did you set up your lights?  How many lamps?  I have these bulbs that I got from Wal-Mart that are almost the same as the ones you have.  They are 100 watt equivalent and give off a really nice white-blue light which I love.  But they really don't seem to be that strong.  In fact every shot I took with them came out pretty bad.  So I'm trying to figure out what it is that I'm doing wrong.  I would love to know how you set up so I can compare notes.

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 13:19 »
Thanks for the tip.  I was pretty unhappy with the regular construction lights that I recently bought but will try these.  There is probably also an Alien Bee or two in my future but it will be great to have a cheaper alternative for shooting "stuff".


« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 05:21 »
Why not get some 2nd hand strobes off Ebay and make softboxes from cardboard boxes and drafting paper?  A decent battery powered strobe in a cardboard box will give you more than enough light for light tent and product shots...

I have three old Vivitar 285's that I use with brollies for a very portable portrait setup, and with some old printer boxes converted to soft boxes for product / light tent work.

No heat, smaller, portable, no mains cables...

If you're curious I'll take some photos of my 'ghetto' soft-boxes for you. :-)

« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 14:38 »
Ian - I've used the flourescent lights as well.  If you look at the packaging, on the back, they will tell you what the color temperature is.  There are various types ranging from daylight balanced to "soft light".  I recently bought 4 of the 100 watt equivalent balanced to 5000k.  The "soft light" bulbs aren't as nice to work with in my opinion.

Try checking out this place for tips and tricks on tabletop....

They have a chart of the differences in lights....

with the "Trumpet Top" being a good looking option.  I also like their underlighting options as well.

Have fun!

« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 16:57 »
Sorry to dig up an old topic, just going through and reading some of the old stuff.  I do have quite a bit of experience with these lights, not for photography though, but I have considered it.

Compact fluorescent (CF) lights have become the standard for large aquariums because they have a nice spread, are fairly cool (temperature wise, still need cooling fans on an aquarium though), and are extremly bright (the trick with aquariums is to pump as much power into a small space as possible, while remaining cool, hence incandescent and halogen are out of the picture, bad heat:light ratio, with MH and HPS lights the ratio is manageable (ridiculous amount of light)), much brighter than is possible out of regular fluorescent tubes.  The light output is very high, I've got 4 55W tubes on my tank, for a total of 14,400 lumens (about 800W incandescent/1000W halogen power), in a relatively small space.  The bulbs come in a variety of color temperatures (always listed), but unless they are the standard temperature (5300K I believe) they can get expensive ($40+ per bulb), but they last seemingly forever. 

If I was to build a continuous burn lighting rig for my studio, this is definitely the route that I would go; much nicer soft spread than halogen without the fire safety concerns (better color temp control too).  But they aren't readily available everywhere so you may have to hunt (any good aquarium shop will have a variety of the more expensive specialty color temps, usually with 1 mirrored side on the tube to direct all light in one direction).  They aren't nearly as available as the small screw in ones (especially the fixtures), same principal on the lights though but much brighter.  They are flat 18" U tubes and take a special 4 pin base. 

Definitely not to be confused with regular fluorescents, these things are bright, very bright, yet cool enough that they don't burn you by touching them (close though, they do get hot).  Just looking at a tube, they hurt the eyes more than an incandescent light bulb would but less than a big halogen shop light, but still in the same league as the halogen.

I imagine a bank of 4 of these above an isolation table would be a great very bright yet soft and safe source of light.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 17:13 by Waldo4 »


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