Fluorescents for B+W film

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by maddog50, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Hi, I shoot strictly B+W film and have access to fluorescent lights in 2X4 and 2X2 sizes. They are either T12 or T8. Does it matter what the temp. of the bulb is for B+W? All the threads I have found here It seems that people were using Color film. I am just starting to do some studio shots , kid portraits and pics of various Antiques I have. I do have 4 umbrellas, both the shoot through and conventional with a couple of homemade Lite panels to shoot through. I am just looking for an inexpensive way to light B+W. Thanks
  2. no, the colour temp for black and white will make very little difference, in fact it might be arguable that the cheaper warmer toned bulbs might be better, as they will show red blemishes less.
    the one thing to keep in mind is the frequency of the bulbs. if you are in the states, your power has a 50hz frequency, in europe it is 60hz. thus, if you use a magnetic ballast on the tubes, your lights will pulse to the frequency of the power. Thus, you either need to use a shutter speed either below the frequency of the bulb, or a multiple of the frequency (i.e. in europe below 1/60th then 1/60th, 1/120th... etc.). Otherwise you get odd banding in the light like when you video an old TV.
  3. Thanks I am in the US and these lights all have Electronic Ballasts.
  4. Actuall, line power in the US/Canada is 60hz, not 50. fluorescent bulbs can have peaks in their output that can have major effects on black and white images.
    Here are a couple of links on spectra from assorted lights.

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