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Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 07:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have two sets of strobes (photogenic), I have never used continuous lighting and was wondering is there an upside to using them over strobes?
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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 09:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have two sets of strobes (photogenic), I have never used continuous lighting and was wondering is there an upside to using them over strobes?
In a word.... NO! Use the strobes
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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are reasons why 99.9% of professional shooters switched to strobes decades ago and stayed there. With the exception of a few special purposes, strob light is the industry standard.
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Food for thought ...
Old 12-13-2006, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There are reasons why 99.9% of professional shooters switched to strobes decades ago and stayed there. With the exception of a few special purposes, strob light is the industry standard.
But in that era when everyone switched, virtually everyone was using film based cameras. Now with the huge switch to digital, the question is rightfully asked, does the same reasoning that caused the switch then still apply? As new "hot" light technologies develop, will there be a period in the future, when what now seems the standard, gets changed again? I've worked, for example, with some rather amazing fluorescent lights in the last year that give you incredible control and give you large amounts of light and it is "cool" light so any light modifiers can be used without any risk.

So my point is, that today's standard, may be tomorrows history. We must always be ready to evaluate the newer technologies to see what they can do for us and be willing to embrace them if they offer superior advantages.

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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are reasons why 99.9% of professional shooters switched to strobes decades ago and stayed there. With the exception of a few special purposes, strob light is the industry standard.
Could you give us some of those reasons? With the exception of the extra heat produced by having the lights on all the time, what difference does it make if the same light source is there for a fraction of a second or for minutes at a time? The camera is only going to see it for its own fraction of a second anyway. Or is a strobe a different type of light than what is produced by a continuous source?
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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolutley Digital View Post
I have two sets of strobes (photogenic), I have never used continuous lighting and was wondering is there an upside to using them over strobes?
There are upsides and downsides to everything we use. They all serve purposes. Depending on applications, working environment and comfort zones of equiptment, will determine upsides and downsides.

Several successful photographers continue to shoot with HMI lighting and find that more appropriate for their style vs strobes.

You can also use both strobes and hot lights at the same time. So there are upsides.

Downsides if your continuous light source is not very powerful, you are strapped to shooting at very low shutter speeds and wide open aperture settings.

Downsides if your continuous light source is Home Depot. One has to be a craftsman if light modifiers are desired.

Keep in mind that strobes will freeze action. It's basically a high shutter speed in itself.

See there are lots of upsides and downsides. Figuring out applications is more important.

You have heard the saying, "you don't take a dog to a pony show", applies here.

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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoldy View Post
Could you give us some of those reasons? With the exception of the extra heat produced by having the lights on all the time, what difference does it make if the same light source is there for a fraction of a second or for minutes at a time? The camera is only going to see it for its own fraction of a second anyway. Or is a strobe a different type of light than what is produced by a continuous source?

Why don't you go to your local Home Depot or Walmart and pick up a couple 500 watt shop lights and find a subject to photograph. Do your own testing. The best way to figure out for yourself is actually experience it for yourself. Put a fan in the equation to make the hair flow, have the model wave at you, have the model jog in place, have her spin around, etc.

You can always use the shop lights out in the garage if it doesn't pan out for you.

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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 01:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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continuous hot lights can be problematic. JT's response gives good examples of this. HMI's are great but they're very expensive even compared to the highest-end strobes. for the intensity and control afforded by strobes, i think it's the best deal in town. if you're concerned about seeing what you're getting, use strobes with modeling lights.
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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you, JT. I didn't think about the motion issue and the possibility of the camera not being able to stop it on its own because of having to use a slower shutter speed.
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Re: Strobes or Continuous
Old 12-13-2006, 04:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks all. I needed that.
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