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Old Feb 12, 2003, 7:53 PM   #1
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Default Studio lighting bulb type

I have built my own studio lights with reastat swithches (I know they will not work with flouresents) they have standard lamp sockets and are rated up to 600 watts. A standard light bulb leaves a reddish tone to the picture, can you use regular bulbs or do you have to get a special kind of bulb. I have seen in other postings about halogen bulbs bought at hardware stores. I shoot a lot of old tack( horse related items) and use the lights for efect. Thank-you
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 7:16 AM   #2
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I see many probs. with your idea. Don't underestimate the amount of light you need (not the same as watts), its eveness of illumination, its whiteness (colour temperature) and your camera's sensitivity.

Tungsten light bulbs with rheostats are bad news, they are inefficient from a light output view and rheostats will keep changing the light temperature.

You should look at mains quartz halogen floodlights from 1000 watts upwards, less if objects are small and you can get the light in close. You can use less watts with low voltage halogen, e.g car headlamp bulbs, but even illumination over the shot area will be a problem. If this tack stuff is on horses they might get a bit warm - but they'd probably like that!

Your pictures look red/orange 'cos your cam thinks the bulb light is daylight. But if your cam is set to auto point and shoot, then there may not be sufficient light for it to 'white balance', or you need some white card in the scene to help it.

If you stick to halogen, no rheostats!, your cam may have manual white balance settings to suit the light.

You know when you have enough light, if your cam is not at maximum aperture, and the shutter is faster than 1/60-1/80 sec for a normally exposed picture. VOX
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 12:54 PM   #3
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Many years ago I bought two 500 watt halogen lamps the ones you normally put on your wall to light up your garden, often come with a PIR.

I mounted them on two home made wooden posts about 6 foot high. I wired them with normal household plugs.

My memory of this experiment is it was rather good - I was using 35mm. I sometimes used a slave flash behind the subject to wash out any shadows. The room I used them in was rather small though and conveniently had white walls and ceiling. I did a bit of experimenting with the angle of the lights etc.

The nice thing about all this, is it's dirt cheap - these lights are 4 each that's almost free.
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 6:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info.
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 6:54 PM   #5
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I tried a similar thing with a 120 watt halogen car headlight bulb in a reversing lamp reflector, connected to a small Yuasa gel lead acid batt. in a shoulder strap. Worked well with an old 1Mpix cam that wouldn't autofocus. Tended to blind the subject a bit, so could only light them up for a few secs to take the shot. Horses have blinkers don't they?

The biggest problem was ironing out the hot spots, by re-shaping the reflector. Which is why I mention that eveness of light is important - and difficult to get.
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