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Lighting
Old 06-12-2007, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was just wandering what i need to look for in studio lighting? im looking to buy a couple of lights, but i dont know what i need. Right now i have nothing, and am on a $200 Limit for lights. Do i need strobes, or will continuous lights? what is the difference between using umbrellas and soft boxes, and which is better? any information you have will help, and if anyone is looking to sell lights please let me know. Thanks
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-12-2007, 09:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most would probably say that strobes are the way to go and I suspect that the majority of the photographers on G1 use strobe systems. But you are not really going to be able to buy much of anything for $200. At the most you could get one light and it would be underpowered and slow to recycle. So you probably will have to opt for hot lights. You can put together a reasonable three light outfit for $200 if you shop around or make your own.

What you really need to do is to get a good book on lighting that tells you all about the lighting and the modfiers (softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors and the like). I'm surprised that this is not being covered in your photographic courses at school. But you can pick up one of several books that will go into complete detail about all the lighting choices and the pluses and minuses of each.

Here is a link to an example of a typical cheap hot light setup:

http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Victor-7...1700043&sr=8-8

For books, just type in "photographic lighting" and Amazon" and any of the books shown will have good information.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-13-2007, 01:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can step up your budget slightly, I'd suggest Alien Bees. Great light, powerful, dependable, and can take a lot of abuse.

http://alienbees.com



If you're stuck with that as a budget - try out a Sunpack flash. Not the wimpy ones, the ones with a long handle. The 544 or 555. Or even the j something or other. You won't have much control in terms of modifiers, but they're highly portable.
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-13-2007, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christian View Post
If you can step up your budget slightly, I'd suggest Alien Bees. Great light, powerful, dependable, and can take a lot of abuse.

If you're stuck with that as a budget - try out a Sunpack flash. Not the wimpy ones, the ones with a long handle. The 544 or 555. Or even the j something or other. You won't have much control in terms of modifiers, but they're highly portable.
I used both the Alien Bees and the Sunpak and can recommend them both. The AB's would be better if you can up the budget. I've been using the Sunpak Flash (Potato Masher is what we always called them) for more years than I can remember. You'll need to probablly find a used one however as I think they all sell for in the $300 to $400 range now days.

You can use them in light modifiers if you keep the model close. I had build some softboxes and reflectors using PVC pipe for use with the Sunpak. Dean Collins was selling a book back in the early 80's called Tinkertubes which detailed building these kinds of things. After he died his heirs put the book up on their website as a free download in pdf format. Here is the link, if you want to check it out:

http://www.software-cinema.com/page/tinkertubes

Click for larger version
Re: Lighting 


Cheers,
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:23 PM
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post
Most would probably say that strobes are the way to go and I suspect that the majority of the photographers on G1 use strobe systems. But you are not really going to be able to buy much of anything for $200. At the most you could get one light and it would be underpowered and slow to recycle. So you probably will have to opt for hot lights. You can put together a reasonable three light outfit for $200 if you shop around or make your own.

What you really need to do is to get a good book on lighting that tells you all about the lighting and the modfiers (softboxes, umbrellas, reflectors and the like). I'm surprised that this is not being covered in your photographic courses at school. But you can pick up one of several books that will go into complete detail about all the lighting choices and the pluses and minuses of each.

Here is a link to an example of a typical cheap hot light setup:

http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Victor-7...1700043&sr=8-8

For books, just type in "photographic lighting" and Amazon" and any of the books shown will have good information.

Cheers,
rfs
Yea, i dropped out of photoschool. I didnt like it there, and you guys here are better teachers then the ones i had. Thanks for the advice. it sounds like i need to get a couple more pay checks in to up my gear budget.
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you check out stroblist.com, he talks all about doing photos on a shoestring budget. I might recommend going to a local photo store that does consignment and pick up on camera flashes and use them off camera. They are a strobe, light, portable, variable, and you can really do a lot more with them than I ever thought possible.

Best of luck.
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Re: Lighting
Old 06-22-2007, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A second for strobist. Awesome stuff. I've been amazed at what a couple of shoe mount flashes are capable of, especially if you have a more powerful one. You could build enough of a kit to start really experimenting for virtually nothing.

Great information on how to use them also...

http://strobist.blogspot.com

J
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Re: Lighting
Old 07-07-2007, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy2003 View Post
I was just wandering what i need to look for in studio lighting? im looking to buy a couple of lights, but i dont know what i need. Right now i have nothing, and am on a $200 Limit for lights. Do i need strobes, or will continuous lights? what is the difference between using umbrellas and soft boxes, and which is better? any information you have will help, and if anyone is looking to sell lights please let me know. Thanks
This is my first post/reply on G1.

In the last 30 months or so, I have made the normal progression from the use of natural lighting to continous lighting and, most recently, to studio flash systems. My continuous lighting system is composed of four Smith-Victor Q60 600W quartz halogen lights, stands, umbrella mounts, and 42 inch silver (sometimes white) umbrella reflectors. The main components were purchased used off of e-Bay. The total cost was probably $500 or so but I insisted on excellent to near-new items. This system will take excellent quality glamour photos but of course heats the studio and the model much more than a flash system would. A similar system with only two light fixtures and in lesser but functional condition could be assembled for $200. The nice thing about the Smith-Victor Q60 lights is that they have been made for many years, are available in both new and used condition, and are US made with UL approvals. I have safety concerns about some of the low cost imported lights available.

You will probably progress to a studio flash system at some point. However, for the budget that you mention, continuous lighting is probably the only option.
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Re: Lighting
Old 07-07-2007, 05:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I own Alien Bees and love them (sorry Rolando) but if your budget is really that tight you can try the Strobist route. You'd be amazed at what one or two off camera flashes can do but you'll be limited by the distances your model can be from the flashes.

Your biggest expense via Strobist is triggering the flashes. Optical triggers work pretty well but have to be in line of sight to work. Pocket Wizards are awesome but also carry an awesome price tag. There are also cheap radio triggers in eBay that some swear by and other curse.

There are some new bulbs on the market that make hot lights an option, especially some flouresent bulbs but you never get the output you really want. It is, however, a very cheap and easy way to start practicing that way you'll have a better idea of what to do when the big bucks come your way.

Best of luck, I feel you pain since I was there not so long ago.

Bob
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Re: Lighting
Old 07-07-2007, 09:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dean Collins used to do alot with metz handle flashes (like the sunpak 555/554)
Looks for his lighting basics vids and you will see him do alot with a couple of metz and some panels
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