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Old Nov 25, 2010, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default What is the best light bulb for a clamp lamp?

I got a Canon Powershot SD400IS instead of the camera on Amazon, I was thinking about the last time I posted, because the seller was very slow in filling the order, and I needed a camera right away. I am looking for the best light bulb to put in a silver hooded clamp lamp for indoor photography of doll and other small objects. I have tried regular light bulbs and full spectrum, but they all seem to add a funny color to the photos. The flash actually has the best light, but there are certain limations to using a flash.
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 7:53 PM   #2
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Daylight or full spectrum compact fluorescent type should do the job, but you may have to set your white balance manually, or use a gray card to set custom WB, if your camera can do that. If no custom WB, just set manual WB and take a test shot. Repeat until you are satisfied. Sometimes, using Daylight setting or Cloudy, will give you warmer tones for doll faces than a perfectly correct setting, and be a little more pleasing to the eye.

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Old Nov 26, 2010, 2:53 PM   #3
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The full spectrum bulb was one for reptiles that I had at home. Where can I find bulbs that best for photography? Is there an online source of light bulbs for photography? The reptile bulb gave things a funny color. What about a plant growing light bulb? Those are easy to find at home depot.
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Old Nov 26, 2010, 6:31 PM   #4
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Many lights have a CRI number. This stands for Color Rendition Index. Look for a number in the high 90s. (the closer to 100, the more like daylight it is) It is usually listed with the wattage and lumens. Unfortunately, not all lights have it listed. If it isn't there, assume that it isn't what you want. It should be easy to find what you are looking for at HD.

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Old Nov 28, 2010, 9:35 AM   #5
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I picked a Reveal light bulb, but still I am not happy with the colors. There is no CRI number, so there has to be a better light bulb for photography. I created an image you can see the colors are much better in the photo that used the flash vs. the clamp light with no flash. The one with the yellowish tint is the light bulb. I did not use color correction in Photoshop, but I will later on. Some people get better macros then me with more details, even though they have comparable cameras to mine. Flickr is very competitive. Natural day light is good, but with bad weather and then I have to worry about the background or the dolls getting dirty.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tropica...ht/5214632612/
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 3:16 PM   #6
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Get daylight balanced CFLs. Mine have a color temp of 6500K which both cameras I've use with them handle just fine. Examples here: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ko...ight-tent.html .

Mine were 100W equiv. but I now see that the same bulb is available as 200W equiv. Bought at Menard's Hardware.

Over the holidays I hope to shoot some more test shots using a white card custom WB and compare.

A. C.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:56 PM   #7
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Those GE Reveal bulbs are a little misleading. While they are maketed as "true natural color" they are not. They are a neodymium glass bulb that emits a bluish tint to filter out yellows, making the eyes and brain believe more natural. A camera isn't tricked. Per GE site, the color temperature of the Reveal bulb is 2700K. You want something at least 5000K and preferably 6400K.

Next time in Home Depot or Lowed, their bulb area usually has a display the demonstrates the color quality of the various bulbs, making it easy to see the difference. Look for a "daylight" bulb.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 10:31 AM   #8
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Someone needs to be more specific, I did a search for cfl bulbs on eBay, then I selected "cfl bulbs daylight" all the bulbs were the corkscrew bulbs, I do use those, but I don't think they make the best light. Someone needs to say the brand name and all the details so I can go out and get that exact bulb. Those photos in the link provided were very nice in the light tent, but it did not say which brand of bulb was used. I am going to look today, but it would be nice not to have to buy so many trails and error bulbs. Anyway, I can never tell when this post get updated, and I had forgotten to check it, I wish it would email me if there was a new reply.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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Since I'm the OP on the tent light photos I'll respond. I really don't like to name specific brands on CFLs because there are many brands out there that are essentially equivalent and I didn't do any comparison testing. I went to the local Menard's Hardare (a midwest chain) and bought what seemed resonable for my needs. The key points I looked for were daylight balanced and a color temp of 6500K. One other element is that I painted the reflectors flat white. Again I simply bought an off the shelf brand of spray paint after looking to see that the pigment was titanium dioxide only plus silicon dioxide as the flattening component.

None the less here's the details on the bulbs. FEIT is the brand.
100w equivalent 23w actual http://www.feit.com/mini_twist/minitwist.html
ESL23TM/D (/3 OR /4 on the end indicates boxed set of 3 or 4)
BPESL23TM/D (/3 OR /4 on the end indicates boxed set of 3 or 4)

200W equivalent 40W actual http://www.feit.com/twist/twist.html
BPESL40TN/D

These are twisted bulbs. Camera was set on auto white balance. Since I now have a new camera with the capability I'd probaly do a custom WB even though I think auto would work fine.

If you set up your member profile correctly the system will email you when a new reply is posted. That's how I knew you posted.

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Old Jan 14, 2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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I have changed the email settings and I can see the chart with the bulbs, but is there a way to narrow it down to one exact choice, so I could maybe buy that one online or in a store? The chart has too many choices and tech data that I can't understand, since I not professionally trained in lighting. I think 100 watts is more then enough, and if I go higher the bulb can get too hot, although I don't think the twisted ones do get hot. I don't mind paying more since I won't be using a lot of these bulbs, I can buy the premium selection.
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