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CRI test, Cheap CFL lights vs Tungsten - Colour test


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Cheap CFL bulbs are convenient, efficient and economical - but they typically have a lower Colour rendering index compared to Tungsten based lights and other more expensive lighting systems. 

Just how much of a difference is there? 

You decide


(additional images/stills on my website: http://www.tommajerski.com/critest.html )



Shot on the BMCC 2.5k in Raw mode. Samyang 35mm 1.4 lens with no ND or filters. 

White balanced perfectly before the same colour grade was applied in Davinci Resolve 10. 

Debayered to UHD for better youtube viewing quality. For best results, set it to 4k quality and video on a HD monitor.






White balanced exactly to the same point before applying a simple Contrast + Saturation grade.

Debayered to 4k for best youtube viewing quality:
Select 4k Streaming 

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Very nice test, well controlled. My takeaway is that CFLs, even the cheap ones, aren't nearly as bad as a lot of people on the internet have led me to believe. At first glance, it is hard for me to even tell the difference, but upon close examination it becomes more apparent. The slow wipes between the bulbs were very helpful.

I'd defeintely be interested to see more tests in this style, that introduce some more factors. Perhaps higher quality CFLs? I personally use warmer white balances in a lot of the work I do, so I'd be interested to see how the CFLs hold up in WB conditions that aren't totally neutral.


Awesome test!

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Been playing with led lighting too.  Tried even outdoor flood light.  Good lights - except a green color cast, and they had banding.  Solution, changed the driver.  Thinking of changing the chip to a 90+ cri too.  Some led light bulbs are good, others not so good as they band.  Keep up with the good work.  Cheers.

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