Bulb temperature and lighting....

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Existential Angst, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Apropos of the links from Jeff and Gene, I was looking these bulbs

    Note the 65, 85, and 105 W cfl's as well. And I saw mention of 150 W cfls!

    And these umbrellas (which come with 45 W cfl's

    Someone else commented that the 6500K of these bulbs maybe too cool, that
    they preferred the 5500K cfl's, which are more expensive.

    In fitness-type demo video, will there be that much of a difference, esp. on
    Youtube, between 5500 and 6500K?
    The halogen lighting I was using was only 3,000K, and that seemed fine to
    me. Wouldn't lower-temp "warmer" type lighting be prefereable in many
    cases? Would there be a dramatic difference (at least to the casual
    observer) between the halogen and 6500K cfl's?

    Intuitively, I wouild think warmer lighting would be "friendlier", and that
    maybe 6500K cfl's would be too harsh.
    How do assess the warm vs. harsh issue? If it is an issue in what I'm
    trying to do.
    Existential Angst, Feb 15, 2013
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  2. Maybe the answer depends on the type of camera one is using as well. In
    this case, I'll be using the Canon HF M500, supposedly pretty good in
    low-ish lite.[/QUOTE]
    Existential Angst, Feb 15, 2013
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  3. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    If the camera has a manual white balance, you can use a very light blue card
    in place of a white card. Be sure the "warm card" is exposed to the same
    lighting as you will have for your shots. This will warm up the shot.
    Experiment with different shades of light blue. You can get construction
    paper in various shades of blue if you want to do it on the cheap.
    Otherwise, here's a link that explains the concept and offers very high
    quality and precise white balance cards. http://www.warmcards.com/WC1.html
    They aren't cheap. But, if you understand the concept, you can make do with
    your own tinted cards. You might have to prowl both office supply and kraft
    stores to find what you want. Of course, you can also create color cards in
    PhotoShop or other graphics programs. How accurate they are depends on your
    printer, but you can experiment until you get what works for you. The other
    choice is to use a Macbeth chart.
    Shoot the Macbeth chart in the light you'll be shooting in. Then, in post
    you can correct until you get true colors. I like white balancing to a warm
    card. Much less time consuming.

    Steve King, Feb 15, 2013
  4. Very, uh..... cool!! :)
    What a difference, in those sample pics!!
    So balancing to a blue card gives you a much warmer skin tone, almost a
    light tan.
    I gather all you do is point the camera, and let it adjust its electronic
    compensation/bias, whatever.

    The Canon HF M500 has 8 built in choices of white balance: auto,
    fluoresecent, fluorescent H (what's this??), tungsten, daylight, shade,
    cloudy, and finally, custom, where I gather you use the procedure you're
    referring to.

    In that white balance card kit, there's not really a lot of choices or
    gradations, are there? Those will suffice for amateur/prof'l photo/video
    people? I'da thought you'd have cards for the whole color spectrum, or at
    least more gradations within those "groups" of colors shown.

    How bout this:
    I could go to HD and get color swatches from the paint section, in the
    blues and off-whites, yellows.....

    Or do a white balancing off full-screen monitor colors? I found this
    but can't find a way to mix colors, for shades. If I could, could you use
    the video screen for color balancing?
    Existential Angst, Feb 16, 2013
  5. Does this white balance stuff suggest that it doesn't matter what kind of
    light source you use, as you can finagle it later with white balancing? At
    least to some extent?
    Existential Angst, Feb 16, 2013
  6. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    No! Yes. Each to a degree;-) Let's say you have one area of a shot well
    lit with flourescents and another area with lighting dominated by
    incandescents. What do you do? White balance to one or the other and take
    what you get or add gels to either light source to achieve a single color
    temperature across the shot. I suppose there are other choices depending on
    the scene and the effect one is trying to achieve. The problem with white
    balancing to some flourescent lights is that their light output, color-wise,
    is very spikey... is that a word? In other words, narrow bands of intense
    green, for instance. Video is much more tolerant to this, with careful
    white balancing, than film if I recall correctly. As far as having many
    colors of cards for white balancing. You can play with that by buying a
    package of assorted color construction paper. You'll get some dramatic and,
    IMO, mostly useless results. Mostly, I either want to warm up a scene, most
    often, or cool off a scene. I get along with a couple of shades of light
    blue. Remember that, in order to achieve the effect you want, the
    white-balance card must be in the dominant light of the scene, or in the
    case of flesh-tones, where your subjects will be in the shot. Rather than
    shooting a video monitor, which I haven't tried because I often don't have a
    video monitor attached to a computer on set, how about just printing up some
    half-sheets of standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper with different tints using most any
    graphics program?

    Steve King, Feb 17, 2013
  7. Good idear, tho, eh? Altho I haven't been able to find a full-screen color
    generator that allows you to mix yer own colors.

    how about just printing up some
    Mostly because of my jihad against the effing ink cartridge ripoff.... lol

    My next visit to Home Despot, I'm going to pirate paint swatches, stitch
    enough of one color to make an adequate target for the camera lens, light
    source, and see what happens. Another good idear, eh?? lol

    Heh, HD owes me a lot of money, anyway....

    Also, I see stuff around the house that resembles the warmcard thing. For
    example, the pale yellow on Post-Its, a thin blue plastic bag that can be
    made richer or pale-er by doubling it up, or putting white sheet behind it,
    etc -- stuff that construction paper proly won't have.
    I'm sure that all this requires experimentation, even under tha best of

    I am pleased that the canon allows white balance, tho.
    Existential Angst, Feb 17, 2013
  8. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    Windows Paint. Everyone has it, right. Launch it. Grab the corner of the
    work area and drag it as large as it will go. Click on the eye-dropper.
    Choose a color. Click on Colors in the menu bar. Then...
    To create custom colors
    1.. In the color box, click the color you want to change.
    2.. On the Colors menu, click Edit Colors.
    3.. Click Define Custom Colors.
    4.. Click the color swatch to change the Hue and saturation (Sat), and
    then move the slider in the color gradient to change the luminescence (Lum).
    5.. Click Add to Custom Colors.
    Now that you have the color you want. Click on the spilling paint can.
    Click on the work area. Bingo. Full screen, almost, even color. Print.
    Do again as many times as you want. Pay the ink people. Do again.

    Steve King, Feb 17, 2013
  9. Very neat! I use Paint quite a bit, mostly because I don't have enough
    remaining brain cells for CAD..
    I'll try white balancing off the screen, tho. Printing in b/w drives me
    crazy, so you can imagine what color does to me.... LOL
    Existential Angst, Feb 17, 2013
  10. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    If you are shooting an interior in a room with lots of windows, and
    therefore lots of outside light mixed with incandescent light, you might
    find that your auto-white balance will decide it is either inside or
    outside, neither of which might be correct for the subject of the shot.
    That's when the Cool or Warm card comes in handy to do a manual white
    balance to achieve the look you want. I guess you could always haul a
    laptop around to use the screen. Seems to me spending a few pennies to
    print out the card is worth more than the stress on my back to carry a
    10-pound sledge hammer and a railroad spike, when a thumbtack will do,
    metaphorically speaking. (Grin)

    Steve King, Feb 17, 2013
  11. It may not be a metaphor..... I think my laptop DOES weigh 10 lbs.... LOL
    Existential Angst, Feb 17, 2013
  12. Existential Angst

    Brian Guest

    While talking about lighting and white balance there are times when using a
    incorrect white balance effect can give a pleasing effect. Also in most
    cases a incorrect white balance setting cam be corrected in most video
    Brian, Feb 18, 2013
  13. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    On 2/17/2013 9:00 PM, Brian wrote:> While talking about lighting and
    white balance there are times when using a
    It's always best to correct as little as possible. In fact color
    corrections can be very complex.

    Color temp originally referred to the smooth spectrum you get from
    heating a surface to a certain temperature. CFLs are notoriously spikey
    in their spectrum,so they calculate color temp figure that approximates
    a certain temperature. Some colors will naturally fall in the spikes and
    be more pronounced.

    Some CFLs will have a better Color Rendering Index (CRI) than others. It
    costs money to tweak the phosphors to have a high index. Something here:


    Now the link I sent earlier has bulbs with a CRI of 91,pretty good.
    Gene's quick search link does not say what the CRI is. Iffy.

    Will it matter? If you are a perfectionist it will make your job easier.
    Color correction can be maddening. And we are starting to fiddle. Just
    to give you some idea how maddening it can be, shadows,midtones and
    highlights can each have different corrections.

    But, you are not going to get everything right. Not by just reading usenet.

    I suggest to the OP that he just moves on. Whatever you do will be
    better that what I assume is the current atrocious lighting. Don't get
    hung up in the weeds until you know more.

    I'm not a perfectionist myself, I just want to get the job done and have
    to fix as little as possible. With that said lighting that is adjusted
    to be a little warm will have a more pleasing effect than correcting
    towards colder.

    BTW, I've very much enjoyed reading Steve Kings posts on this. Kudos.
    I'm an amateur myself.

    Now, get er done.

    j, Feb 18, 2013
  14. Heh, before I move on.....

    Is there any advantage to shoe-mounted lighting, like the link Mike sent
    earlier on:
    From a floor/space/navigation pov, this would be pretty convenient.
    Or is this kind of lighting more for live, "caught in the act" type stuff?

    I was also looking at some 23 W cfl's, Feit's at HD, whose temp is 2700, for
    general ambient lighting. Big diff from 6500, and, from what I'm gathering,
    incompatible, temp-wise.

    I will wind up experimenting on all this stuff, but a head start could save
    some time/$$. I'm not against light panels, umbrellas, reflectors, and all
    that, but given the amount of activity in these demo's, instructional vids,
    that equipment takes up some valuable real estate.
    Yeah, the warmcard stuff was an eyeopener for me, will proly help quite a
    Existential Angst, Feb 18, 2013
  15. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    In general, on camera lighting is the least desirable.
    Larger sources will make your lighting more forgiving and more set and

    j, Feb 18, 2013
  16. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    If you are really stuffed for space, then a couple of LED panels,



    (no recommendation,but I think those may be not quite enough light for
    you) I see these used fairly close and as fill for outdoor ambient.

    I see the pro and semi pro crews using them everywhere. Hot lights are out.

    My impression is that you are cash tight, CFLs, or even some used hot
    lights would be a better value for you.

    j, Feb 18, 2013
  17. But.... but.... it LOOKS so cool!!
    OK.... appreciate the heads up on on-camera lighting.... I gather it is
    more for on-the-go type stuff.

    So I'm going to start with a bunch of HD-type very warm 23 W cfl's (2700 K),
    a dozen for about $26

    I have almost a dozen lamps in this space, so mebbe I'll luck out, and have
    usable light.
    If that doesn't work, I'll try the higher-output 6500K cfl's from
    loadstonestudio.com, AND their 3 pc umbrella light kit, and see how that
    turns out.
    I won't mix bulb temps.
    And then I'll warmcard the camera (if nec), and see how stuff turns out.

    I can't imagine that stuff not working.

    And actually, with my Danon HV-20, I shot "viewable" demo's with a bunch of
    100 W incandescants....
    Well, viewable to me, at any rate.... the only real problem with those
    demos was, well, me.... lol
    Existential Angst, Feb 18, 2013
  18. Cash tight = *hemorrhaging cash* ?
    My li'l studio (almost 600 sq ft) is right above my machine shop, where I
    build all my apparati. I can't even count the number of orifi in my body,
    bleeding dollars.... **even on a diy basis**. This land of opportunity
    stuff seems a bit over-rated..... And the complexity, of even ostensibly
    simple stuff, is mind-numbing.
    I call it gratuitous complexity, borne of a neurotic demand for perfection,
    but then that's just me....
    Hopefully I'll get a bit of a break with this lighting stuff, ito photonic

    *Greatly appreciate* all the heads up I'm getting here.
    Existential Angst, Feb 18, 2013
  19. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    Thank you. I am as much of a perfectionist as my budget of money and time
    will allow modulated by the demands of the end result, who's going to see
    the shot on what and why they are interested. It's all relative.

    Steve King, Feb 18, 2013
  20. Existential Angst

    j Guest

    Here is what I suggest you do.

    Go to HD and buy 8 of the plastic lamp sockets. They run a buck and some
    change. Take a board and mount 4 of the sockets a foot apart, all in a
    row. What you will wind up with is a line radiator 4 feet long. You can
    add a gentle trough like (or wide open V) scoop made out of either sheet
    metal or white mat/poster board, if you wish. Even a large flat card
    would help.

    You can hang those vertically from the ceiling several feet off the
    floor. Add more if needed, possible one in the center.

    I've got a small scoop I made here with 4 such sockets in a square and
    with a wooden scoop that I can add gels to the front. Makes a nice
    directional but not too hard light. You will benefit by having even
    light top to bottom.

    j, Feb 19, 2013
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