Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

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Adam Langdon

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Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 3:16 am

So, every time i use tungsten bulbs for interior shot, everything tends to look washed out in that yellowy-orange hue.
I want the shot to look realistic, so i'm usually around 3600K, but am i doing something wrong?
Should i jus WB correctly and then color/grade?

(believe it or not, i'm not a newbie, but i feel like one.)
(i'm specifically using the "InstantC" LUT and FilmConvert)
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Denis Kazlowski

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 3:29 am

It's not a very specific question, what camera are you shooting with and to what codec or cinema dng setting?

This would help. Standard edison bulbs tend to live between 2400 to 2800 so if shooting compressed 3000k would alleviate some of it, I'd think.
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Nick Gombinsky

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 4:05 am

InstantC will paint the skin and warm tones orange, and the shadows cyan... If you want it to look realistic, I'd use a standard 709 curve. Also, YMMV, but tungsten lights are usually in the 2800-3200K range. 3600K will make it all look orangey.
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joelfrances

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 4:45 am

I think it could be various things. On the shooting side, sometimes if they're old tungsten bulbs they can shift in colour temp. Also, if you have some lights on dimmers (like Dedos) and drop the strength they can warm up even more. If you haven't already, you could try white balancing off a white card with the same lights with Blackmagic's AWB feature and see if that gets you in the ball park (skin tones etc). I do usually just do a custom wb dial in though by eye (with a in camera monitoring LUT).

Post wise: InstantC is quite a heavy look from memory..as Nick said. Also, some looks like InstantC favour either indoor or outdoor but don't do both well. Start neutral then push it from there.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 7:16 am

Adam Langdon wrote:So, every time i use tungsten bulbs for interior shot, everything tends to look washed out in that yellowy-orange hue.
I want the shot to look realistic, so i'm usually around 3600K, but am i doing something wrong?
Should i jus WB correctly and then color/grade?

(believe it or not, i'm not a newbie, but i feel like one.)
(i'm specifically using the "InstantC" LUT and FilmConvert)


Adam, it is a little bit hard to help here without any example pictures and some more specific information of what you are talking about.

1) Which camera are you using? I assume it's the Ursa Mini with 4.6k sensor because you are mentioning the InstantC LUT from Frank.

2) Are you using any IR filtration?

3) Are you using real tungsten lights or is it LED/ESL with warm color tone?

4) Are you underexposing?

The problem with all those LUTs and FilmConvert is that you have first to bring your shot into a certain exposure range otherwise just applying a LUT will lead to awkward results.
As others here wrote the InstantC LUT is a heavy look LUT and I found it crushing the blacks during my tests - so if your shots are already underexposed, it will get worse.

While higher output film tungsten light has 3200K, real household tungsten bulbs typically sit at 2800K and both produce some heavy infrared which has to be blocked with BMD cameras.
Otherwise you get washed out reds.
Robert Niessner
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rick.lang

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 10:07 pm

I’m not an expert in this, but I think your LUT should be at the end of your node structure and balance and grade your image before the LUT is applied (if you must use a LUT). You may have the temperature set too high as mentioned. If you’re shooting raw, dial it back in the Colour camera raw tab to 3000 and see if that works better.


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Iain Philpott

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 11:25 am

I shoot a lot of stills beauty and increasingly more and more motion. Historically I have used HMI's however with budgets getting more and more squeezed I've switched to shooting a lot more tungsten. I have found that unless the tungsten is there as a practical filtering with full CTB on the lights and adjusting the colour temp down to 4000k is far superior than just altering the camera colour temp. And thats the same on RED as well. I find the closer you can get the light source to 5600 the 'cleaner' the skin tones and shadows look.
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Nick Gombinsky

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Re: Getting Tungsten lights to look...better

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 12:00 pm

Iain Philpott wrote:I shoot a lot of stills beauty and increasingly more and more motion. Historically I have used HMI's however with budgets getting more and more squeezed I've switched to shooting a lot more tungsten. I have found that unless the tungsten is there as a practical filtering with full CTB on the lights and adjusting the colour temp down to 4000k is far superior than just altering the camera colour temp. And thats the same on RED as well. I find the closer you can get the light source to 5600 the 'cleaner' the skin tones and shadows look.



I think this is because of the bayer filter, which is historically known to be daylight balanced, generally. Depends on the manufacturer. But when in doubt, just shoot everything in 5600 and add a daylight filter to the matte box.

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