If you have to choose, hard light is better than soft light – you can simply do more with it. There are a million ways to turn hard light into soft light but none to go the other direction. Believe me, I’ve tried. One of my main evaluative criteria on this blog is how well a light throws and controls a crisp shadow in a small space – 20′ or less. That’s not all I’m interested in, but you have to start somewhere. This research has already led to more interesting places than I ever would have expected: a halogen fresnel is a much more complex piece of work than you might think.
Tungsten is my weapon of choice, largely because of the quality of the light and the smooth unbroken curve of the histogram. It’s better light than any of the alternatives – so far. That doesn’t mean I don’t use Kino’s, HMI’s, and LEDs or pay attention to new developments in lighting technology, but again, you have to start somewhere. We will be testing a lot of other lights as we go along.