Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/06/02

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Subject: [Leica] Making studio lighting?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Wed Jun 2 17:13:43 2004

IN the B&H phonebook sized lighting catalog they sent me 3 of last year a
slew of different companies have come out with them. From what I know of
lights, and I used to sell them door to door is that florescent lights are
long skinny versions of mercury vapor lights which are close enough to HMI
lights. Or visa versa.
The first company which comes to mind is Balcar as this is the lights I've
already been using since 1980. They are not in the B&H catalog but the
calumet catalog. I just got one of those but I don?t know where it is.
Or right from the source

Lowell makes some more basic arrangements but a huge variety to choose from.
I read in cinematographer magazine that a whole film was made with these
long skinny "heads". They seem to "wrap around corners" or something.
The price point seems to be around a grand. About half what hmi's can be
gotten for (which would be cheap for hmi's but I think they can be gotten
for that low now)
There are the Kino Flo Diva-lite's and other Kino Flo's.
One of them I swear to god is called the "photo Flo".  !!!??!:)
One uses 8 lamps! 58 ft candles at 10 feet with ASA 100 you need f 5.6 at an
8th of a seconds it says! Gee maybe with those anti vibration lenses who
400 ASA that's f11 at 8th (tripod???)
and if the light was 4 feet from the model you can shoot at f11 with ASA
And tri x at 4 feet you can do 60th at f8. Gee.
The whole thing is starting to sound barely doable as this is a fixture with
8 bulbs and that is a lot.

Then there is the Gyoury which sounds Russian but who knows?

Which all systems from most companies if you go non dimming you'll save like
at least a hundred bucks and I would go that route myself.
If they had "brightening" I'd pay more for that.

Good electricity is a consideration. I live and work in an old house with
medium old wiring. I have to watch it. My Balcar's only draw 6 amps as they
have transformers. They ask for power instead of demand it as I've been
told. Most use 20 amps I think.

And with a fixture holding f40/t12 bulbs it needs to be well designed to get
into those hard to reach places. And cost some bucks on it's own.

But you can shoot movies with the darn things. I understand the Victoria
secrets catalog is shot with them or HMI' s and a Pentax 6x7. Go figure.
If the model has blue eyes you see more blue.
Same with green.
I bet it's digital now come to think of it.

And unlike what you are supposed to get with strobes and modeling lights but
don't: what you see is what you get.

Some have ballasts which are not in the heads but on the ground.

And so on.

They vibrate much faster than regular florescent lights and of course cost a
whole lot more than even the full spectrum kind. And of course they are full
spectrum. Supposedly. I'll believe it when I see it. You're bound to get
surprises with your films with mercury vapor. No matter how you try to mix
them phosphors; you end up with a concoction.
Eye of newt.

In thunder lighting or in rain.

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon


In reply to: Message from KCassidy at (Kyle Cassidy) ([Leica] Making studio lighting?)