retro fitting CFL/LED bulbs as modeling bulbs

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TomServo
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retro fitting CFL/LED bulbs as modeling bulbs
2 months ago

For years (and years) I have used studio strobes that use a tungsten/halogen bulbs in various forms. Recently I have moved from the traditional optical viewfinder in my Nikon DSLR to an OMD EM-1 with an EVF. Now if I set up my WB for Flash or a measured spec from the flash, while composing the shots I am seeing the images as very orange as one would expect from viewing tungsten light with the WB set to Flash. I didn't think this would be a big deal but it is becoming distracting. I know when I actually view the photos the balance will be correct and i suppose I could shoot in RAW (which I always do in the studio anyway) and just adjust my WB in post, but I'm not a fan of that either.

Basically I want my cake and to eat it too.

Since my lights use a standard household light bulb socket I am looking into using a daylight balanced CFL or LED bulb as a modeling bulb. My issue is that the bulb screws in directly in the middle of the flash tube so space is at a premium there and thus most CFL bulbs with their fat bases (containing the ballast) will be a no-go. I have found a 100 watt CREE daylight dimmable LED bulb at Home depot that may do the trick and I'm going to pick one up today to test fit. They are $20.00 but in a studio flash they will probably outlast the flash tubes :).

I would even be happy if I could find a standard incandescent bulb that had a daylight color temp but the only ones I know of that truly are daylight balanced (and the right size) are BBA quartz bulbs. I don't want to use them in my lights as they are 250 watt and they get very very hot. My lights don't have fans so I don't feel these would be a good option. I have tried out reveal bulbs just to see if they are noticeably closer to daylight but no go. They show very orange still.

Has anyone else tried to do this type of retro fit? I'm interested in what you have found that has (or hasn't worked).

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