Cheap, low-wattage studio lighting (part 2)

The florescent bulbs and light kit arrived this week and it was good to see the results of my research. I only found one problem in that the 105W (400W incandescent equivalent) daylight-balanced florescent bulbs were so large the base of the bulb prevented them from fitting into the fixtures.

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I expected they would be bigger than usual, but (in the photos) its amazing how much larger they are than a standard 15W (40W equivalent) florescent bulb. To reiterate, the part you screw into the fixture is a standard (E26) Edison Screw type cap, the same type found on most home incandescent and CFL bulbs.

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I was able to solve the problem for less than $5 at the local big box hardware store with two $2 fixture extenders, and luckily the rod of the reflector umbrellas just barely clear the big bulbs.

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The fixtures are made to carry 250W so it is fine that my bulbs only draw 105W each. The adjustable mount for the lamp fixtures, however, are a little precarious. They are not made to support the weight of these larger bulbs along with the umbrellas so I had to tighten them more than usual. In the future I may find a better solution, but for this project they will do fine.

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Here are some initial tests with the kit and bulbs. These were shot with one light in Camera Raw with a Canon G9, ASA 100, f/3.2 @ 1/13 between 6-10′ from the lights.

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And these at  f/4 @ 1/13 with both lights at around the same distance.

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