CFL lighting

Started Sep 2, 2011 | Discussions
cberry Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
CFL lighting

I'm thinking of going the CFL route with regard to DIY studio lighting.

I'm looking at:

Background floods. - Construction CFL floodlights with home made barn-doors and gels

Soft-box - an array of 9-16 CFL tubes

Beauty light 3 CFL tubes in a plastic dish

I'd like to know the typical power ratios that I'd need for the soft-box and beauty light.
Anyone have experience with these?

cb

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JohnLindsey New Member • Posts: 7
Re: CFL lighting

CFL construction lights can be really ugly.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/742096-REG/Interfit_INT291_Super_Cool_lite_4_One_Head.html

There are photo quality CFLs, but they cost more and for a reason. I pulled the Interfit at random after sortling on price. There were a number of options that will end up giving you a better light than a cheap CFL.

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Pom_ZJ Regular Member • Posts: 196
Re: CFL lighting

Try building a Plywood-Panel of 16 sockets with 4 switches that control the combination on the back, each one to control any 4 of the pattern you like to turn off or on leave enough room on the side for foam-core softbox. Any 6500K = 100W CFL should do just fine (do custom WB before shoot).

Good luck on this project cause I never build one before just got the idea from Photoflex site. My CFL lighting consist of Floor standing lamp from Walmart (with flexible shaft in the middle)....Pom

Pom_ZJ Regular Member • Posts: 196
Re: CFL lighting
GHwell Senior Member • Posts: 2,008
Re: CRI index

It needs to be 90 or above for pure light wave lenghts. This means hardware light bulbs do not work well. Expect to pay $10 to $15 each for a 30 watt bulb that meets this standard. I use a complete set of westcott spider lights. They also do not put out much light so expect to shoot high IOS settings 600 or up

Chris26p New Member • Posts: 6
Re: CFL lighting

Not all CFL are equal regarding color rendering, it is not just a matter of white balance.

For photographic use, I would recommend using something like OSRAM FQ 965 Biolux (T5). It emits a continuous light spectrum very similar to sun light. It is recomended for animals (fish, reptiles...) and is probably good for maodels too!

It can be used with dimmable electronic balast also sold by OSRAM.

Other brands also make similar CFL with CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 9 (more than 90% color accuracy) and color temperature of 56 or 65 (5600K or 6500K).

Best regards,

Chris

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OP cberry Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: CFL lighting

Thanks for the responses. seems that it's a lot easier to go for used flash-guns/chinese equipment.
cb

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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,386
Re: CFL lighting

cberry wrote:

Thanks for the responses. seems that it's a lot easier to go for used flash-guns/chinese equipment.
cb

Don't do that.

I bought cheap studio lights the first time and it was a complete waste of my hard earned money.

We buy new DSLR's every 3 to 5 years yet we try to save money by buying cheap studio strobes. Quality studio strobes will last you for more than 20 years. Buy quality from a reputable company with a good reputation for quality lights and for customer relations.

It is better to have one good light and modifier than 3 cheap crappy ones.

You can't beat Paul C Buff or their lights for reputation. Adorama and B&H also have good reputations as do their house brand lights, Flashpoint and Impact. All these lights have common and popular speedrings so you can buy lots of light diffusers and accessories from third party suppliers at prices less than those from the manufacturer. The quality of these modifiers may not be as good, but when combined with quality lights they are fine for most amateurs.

Buy 300 Ws to 400 Ws lights for a small studio. These should be adjustable down to at least 1/16th of full power, and 1/32nd is better. You need to control the power of all your lights so don't waste money on those cheap screw base non-power adjustable "background" lights. Buy all your lights the same so you have the greatest flexibility and backups if necessary.

A 3'x5' softbox is the most universally useful for the main and fill lights, but if you can't afford them get a 60" umbrella for your main light and a 43" for the fill/background light. Be sure the umbrellas are white with a removable black backing to help control stray light. You can always block off part of a modifier to make it act like a smaller one should that be what you want to use.

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OP cberry Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: CFL lighting

Sailor Blue wrote:

cberry wrote:

Thanks for the responses. seems that it's a lot easier to go for used flash-guns/chinese equipment.
cb

Don't do that.

I bought cheap studio lights the first time and it was a complete waste of my hard earned money.

We buy new DSLR's every 3 to 5 years yet we try to save money by buying cheap studio strobes. Quality studio strobes will last you for more than 20 years. Buy quality from a reputable company with a good reputation for quality lights and for customer relations.

It is better to have one good light and modifier than 3 cheap crappy ones.

You can't beat Paul C Buff or their lights for reputation. Adorama and B&H also have good reputations as do their house brand lights, Flashpoint and Impact. All these lights have common and popular speedrings so you can buy lots of light diffusers and accessories from third party suppliers at prices less than those from the manufacturer. The quality of these modifiers may not be as good, but when combined with quality lights they are fine for most amateurs.

Buy 300 Ws to 400 Ws lights for a small studio. These should be adjustable down to at least 1/16th of full power, and 1/32nd is better. You need to control the power of all your lights so don't waste money on those cheap screw base non-power adjustable "background" lights. Buy all your lights the same so you have the greatest flexibility and backups if necessary.

A 3'x5' softbox is the most universally useful for the main and fill lights, but if you can't afford them get a 60" umbrella for your main light and a 43" for the fill/background light. Be sure the umbrellas are white with a removable black backing to help control stray light. You can always block off part of a modifier to make it act like a smaller one should that be what you want to use.

I was looking at a YN-565 TTL flash and an umbrella as the main on an off-camera bracket with my Metz 28cs2 as a fill - maybe on it's own or with a mylar covered dog's bowl. my lounge has buff walls so permanent black backing would be fine - no?

cb

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OP cberry Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: CFL lighting

a cheap soft-box solution:
http://www.grphotographic.co.za/p05002/Umbrella---Softbox-Reflective-101cm.aspx
Surely this would work well with a TTL flash?
cb

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GHwell Senior Member • Posts: 2,008
Re: too expensive

you can get a good impact umbrella from B&H for under $40.00 stand & bracket should come to around $125 for good stuff. Check aut there package deals on impact brand. It is there private label, it is good as my westcott stuff.

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