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Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-14-2005, 12:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi,

OK, I've done a fair bit of reading and now think I understand enough to not look like an idiot in a shop or on this forum! Before I do go shopping I wanted to get some independant advice from those that use the gear day in day out and run a few things by you. I'm sure a lot of shops are impartial but they are always going to sell you what they want to shift/make the most on so your input is invaluable for me!

If possible, I want to get my lighting setup right first time so to speak. I realise that they'll be things I'll add as time goes on but, if I can, I want to keep the fundamental gear for a while. I don't want to have to sell what I first thought would work and then buy better gear, BUT I HAVE to weigh up the
fact that it is simply being used for a hobby and only now and then - not as an operational studio! Even the 'models' will only be family members and won't be that bothered if they get hot etc so I don't need to worry about that.

As far as I understand it I can go for flash units or continuous (tungsten) units.

The tungsten units are much cheaper but run a lot hotter and have a 3200K colour temp. However, my studio is my garage which isn't that warm so a little heat will help (!) and I am shooting digital RAW files so I can easily compensate for that through the tungsten WB setting. I also like the idea of being able to see what lighting affect I will get in the shot rather than using a modelling lamp on a flash unit.

On the other hand, the flash units, whilst more expensive, seem to be more professional and used more. Would they be too professional for someone who will use them so little?
If the normal heat & WB issue of tungsten lights are not really issues for me would I gain much from going this route?
I believe their power can be adjusted easily whereas tungsten units can't so I'd be moving the tungsten units back and forth a lot which could be a pain?

Hopefully, you can kind of see where I'm coming from and give some good advice!

Best regards,
Mark
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Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-14-2005, 12:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If I could only have one light source, I'd keep my strobes. The problem with continuous lighting is that unless you have many thousands of watts of it, you'll struggle with open apertures and slow shutter speeds. Even low-end strobes will have enough power to allow you to stop down and widen your DOF.

There's plenty of other threads where this has been debated over and over. Hot lights can be fun and they do have their purposes, but the majority of photographers stick with strobes for good reason.

lb
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Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-14-2005, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mark,

I certainly understand your desire to do things right the first time. Sometimes the problem you face is that you don't know what's right for you until you try different things. I'll share my experience so you can use it to help you.

I started off with a Canon 10d and a canon 550ex flash. I didn't like what I got for portrait type shots. (at this point I'm going to say I shouldn't gotten another 550ex and the ST-E2 transmitter, two light stands, two umbrellas and light stand supports for the flashes.) I didn't. Instead I went on a spending spree. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I bought two Alien Bee's 400's and two white lighting 1600's, stands, softboxes etc. I love them, I've shot schools with them and they just keep pumping out light all day without complaining. They're also really pretty reasonably priced.

For 90% of the stuff I do the two flashes off camera would acheive the same effect.

There are people on this forum doing remarkable work with lights they got at home depot.

The best light is the sun. If you can work with it and use a reflector or off camera flash/strobe as fill you'll be a happy man.

The main difference to me between hot lights and strobes is that you can keep the pupils of the eyes larger with the strobe. Big pupil = friendly looking faces.

I kind of like wide open aperatures so that's not a make or break issue for me.
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Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-14-2005, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. If anyone could point me in the direction of any other threads where this has been 'discussed to death' than I'd appreciate that too!

Rgds,
Mark
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Last edited by schroedm; 02-20-2017 at 01:03 PM..
 
Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-15-2005, 03:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If these are examples of your family members......would you adopt me? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I think Larry hit it right about the Alienbees. Not too far out of the hobbist range and will grow as you do.

Chris Graphic Images
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Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-15-2005, 04:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd prefer friends to look like that rather than family members [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I know about and like the look of the Alien Bees but I live in the UK and cannot get them here [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

I was looking at the Elinchrom range of equipment - anyone have good or bad experience with this gear?

rgds,
Mark
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Re: Lighting Equipment Question
Old 01-15-2005, 12:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just poked at the Alien Bee web page. They do accept international orders. The info is at http://www.alienbees.com/international.html. I have one Alien Bee and one cheep unit. The Alien Bee beats it hands down. I want a couple more bees, but can't afford them at the moment.

Dan
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