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Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps

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Peter Burger
Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 1:36:02 pm

Hello, everybody!

Recently I'm working most of the time on corporate films and documentaries, where it's not always possible to shut off the available light (that mainly consists of energy-saving lamps) and then relight properly.
Despite careful w/b it seems to me, it's almost impossible to get a neutral picture out of our 7D and T2i, which almost always leads to massive colour-correction in post.

I'm curious, how do you deal with that greenish tint of energy-saving lamps? What are your experiences/stategies?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 4:11:49 pm

Hi Peter -

Generally it's done by putting a color correcting tubular sleeve, or actually gelling a light panel over the bulb(s) (be it a fluorescent or other color temperature fixture which doesn't fall within the white balance you're going for). If you're referring to compact fluorescents, you could always fake a tube by just taping some gel around the bulb, since they don't get hot.

You first want to find out what the color temperature of the particular bulb is before you can know what correcting gel to put on it; also, of course, you want to bear in mind what your primary light source is (daylight, tungsten, fluorescent softbox, etc.) before you know what to match to.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Peter Burger
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:00:47 pm

Thanks, Joe!

Obviously beeing too concentrated on writing understandable english, I forgot to mention, that trying to gel the light-sources was one of our failures...
So you're pointing out our big problem. And that is: To find out which correction-gel to put on the lamps, since it seems that every brand of energy-savers has it's own kind of green. Is there a more or less correct way of measuring the color temperature?

A second (minor) problem is: When shooting in large rooms (like hotel-lobbys, restaurants etc.) there are so many lights that cast (different) color into the shot. We'd have to carry a truck of gels with us... So our only solution til now is to frame the shot as close as possible and do w/b every time there is a significant change of colour visible.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:15:09 pm

Yeah big budget shows will actually replace every lamp in every fixture if they have to to get the temp right. Ahhhh to have time and money...

As far as color timing in post - have you tried Colorista II from Red Giant? It has the best auto color tool I've ever used inside of an NLE. Get's my 7D problem footage to a very clean neutral state painlessly. Then I can color as I want for that scene.

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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Peter Burger
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:32:54 pm

Thanks, Lance!

I know Colorista and quite work a lot with it. I wasn't aware of the new features in Colorista II. Sounds fantastic! I will check it out.


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Chris Wright
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 9:44:38 pm

color finesse has a grey eye dropper for white balance and it comes with AE.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Peter Burger
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:58:55 pm

Thanks, Chris!

I've just taken a look at the plugin and was asking myself, why I didn't use it before. I will test it with our next project. Seems to be very powerful.


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Peter Rummel
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 7, 2010 at 11:17:06 pm

An easy way to deal with the fluorescent green spike is to use an FL-B (or FL-D) filter on the lens, and then white balance normally. This really does a nice job in dealing with the problem. But if you have mixed light sources it doesn't really work. And if you're using lights yourself you have to use a plus-green filter on them.



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Peter Burger
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 8, 2010 at 7:59:10 am

Thanks, Peter!

Will try that. FD-L filters are the ones, that have a slight magneta tone, aren't they?


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Chris Wright
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 8, 2010 at 2:10:29 am

the easiest thing in the world is simply use a chip chart/color card for each shot. that way, no matter what lights you're using, or what camera settings you have(i.e. accidentally), simply use the grey eye dropper on the "white" chip chart portion and bam! no guessing. the white and black points get easily set also. the best part is, all your cameras will match, even if they used completely different light temperatures! cuts post-prod down 'bout 400%.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Peter Burger
Re: Greenish tint of energy-saving lamps
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:08:51 am

Thanks again Chris!

Seems to be the way to do it! Manual w/b + colour chart + Colour Finesse. Will also take a look at Colorista II, recommended by Lance and get a fdl, as Peter suggested.

Thanks to everyone! I really appreciate your contributions!


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