Fluorescent Lighting for Digital Photography - Pistolsmith

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Old 07-29-2002, 08:45 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
Posts: 705
Fluorescent Lighting for Digital Photography

We have had several discussions on lighting thus far, but we have not touched on what may be a very worthwhile type of lighting for our purposes -- fluorescent lighting. While fluorescents have been used for television studio lighting for some time now, they have not been used for conventional (silver halide) still photography, because of all the negative effects associated with them. There are some differences with digital photography. The better digital cameras can use software to balance for gray on a gray card for almost any kind of light. I have been interested to read how fluorescent lights are now being used by professional digital photographers in their work. They are widely used with medium and large format digital scanning back cameras.

One of the bigger reasons for wanting to use cool lighting (as opposed to hot lighting - tungsten, etc.) is the fact that the CCD chips used in digital cameras do not like heat of any kind. Fluorescent lighting is defintely cool. With the long life of fluorescent lighting in general, there likely would be some economic advantage as well. Mind you, these are not the same cheap cool white tubes commonly thought of as fluorescent lighting, but rather, they are special flicker free color balanced photography tubes. I don't know how successful you would be, if you bought the regular fluorescent "daylight" tubes that are available at Home Depot, and tried a budget lighting alternative, but the idea might be worth exploring further, as those bulbs are (relatively) inexpensive, and just about everybody already has fluorescent fixtures on some sort.

If you want to see what is available for professional fluorescent lighting, you can check out Calumet Photo, or take a look at the lighting company North Light for a few ideas. Several articles on the subject stated Balcar is the best producer of photographic fluorescent lighting equipment. You also might want to check out Bulbman for ordering and getting advice on lighting suitable for digital photography.

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