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Simple studio flash question
Old 10-08-2003, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Botton line..Is there a diference between the quality of light from one campany that makes flashes and another ?

Mike
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Re: Simple studio flash question
Old 10-08-2003, 05:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What you are paying for in studio flash is adjustability and more importantly consistency between shots in terms of light output and color temperature. This becomes important when you are shooting digital, which has less leeway than negative (or even slide) film. Usually strobe manufacturers offer two lines of studio flashes (the more expensive line have more available adjustments).

If you are using umbrellas, diffusion panels, grids, snoots, or softboxes, the difference between various brands is minimal. If you'd like to use more exotic light modifiers, they might not be available for rental or sale for some brands.
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Re: Simple studio flash question
Old 10-09-2003, 12:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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After using many different brands of lights I would have to say that, yes, there can be big differences in the quality of light between the brands. This has been discussed here and in other forums before, you might want to do a search on the topic.

The best advice I can give you is to borrow or rent a few different brands of lights that fit your needs and budget and do some of your own tests.

Good luck,

Robert Jensen
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Yup.
Old 10-09-2003, 08:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There are many differences in studio flash equipment, to include specific color temperature, flash duration, angle of coverage, the placement of modeling lamps (what you see may not be what you get), and many other issues.

Generally speaking, better is more costly. How much better you should consider, depends on what you intend to do with the equipment.

On top of that, there are many differences in ease and accuracy of use, which translates into less time on the job, and time is money.

So, do the homework on the features you need for what you want your capabilities to be, research the differences between equipment, and choose the best value based on the comparison of features and price. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
 
 
Re: Simple studio flash question
Old 10-09-2003, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just started out last year, but I have a friend in the rental industry. What seems important are the light shapers and reliability factors.
Another thing from a technical view is the output vs time of flash (sorry don't know the exact terms [think its flash duration]), but its an efficiency ratio.
You can 'blast' a shot, but if it involves dyanmics (movement), then you'll possibly get blur. The better equipment gives more output with lower 'flash duration' - Broncolour for me (some research) seems to provide the best output in these terms.
Again, they also have the best selection of 'light shapers' so, while expensive, they are the go.

Regards,
David
 
 
Broncolor is very good equipment Re: Simple studio flash question
Old 10-10-2003, 04:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Broncolor is very good equipment I use Broncolor and Bowens mostly. The Brons have a vast array of accessories but the cost is very high. Like Broncolor's Para line of reflectors that are 8 and 11 feet in diameter. There in the 6,000.00 + each range. And there top of the line power pack Grafit A4 Plus 3200 Watt/Second Power Supply is around 7,000.00 just for the pack.

At the studio we have 10 of the Broncolor packs and all of the accessories.

You may want to look at Calumet's web site and check out the Bowens Quadx power pack and accessories. A four light set up will be around 5,000.00 to 6,000.00.

At the 500 watt second setting the Bowens Quadx claims to have one of the fastest flash durations as well. This will freeze any motion like moving water in a photo.

The Bowens are 3000 w/s packs and the Broncolor are 3200 w/s packs

We also use Dynalite and Hensel at the studio. Its all good equipment.

For most fashion photography it usually wont mater what brand you use. If your doing product photography. And your trying to stop some water that's being pored from a bottle into a glass then you may want to get the fastest flash duration you can afford. Otherwise I wouldn't worry to much about it.

Another thing that matters to me is how fast a power pack recycles when shooting a model. I don't like to wait a long time for the pack to recycle.


DJM
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and now the question begs to be asked...
Old 10-10-2003, 07:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I plopped down a few thousand a while back for a set of Speedotron lights; 1600 w/s, four lights, reflectors, umbrellas, snoots, and a partridge in a pear tree. Now that I've seen this discussion and the prices on some of the stuff you've mentioned, I'm wondering if my stobes would be considered good. How would you guys who have used and tested many brands rate the Speedotron strobes? I did a little bit of research and it came down to a few brands that I could actually afford. These were on the higher end of the affordability scale for what I bought. I was not impressed with several other brands that I won't even bother to mention but how do these fare against Broncolor or Bowens or even Dynalite? Should I have bought less equipment and paid more? Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Good day!

Mike
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Re: and now the question begs to be asked...
Old 10-10-2003, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Mike,

The Speedotrons are great. I think there better than most. I used a friends Speedotron lights on this photo. The Speedotron 1000 w/s mono lights.

DJM

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Re: and now the question begs to be asked...
Old 10-10-2003, 09:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks David. That's great forme to hear from a person of your caliber. I wouldn't consider them an overly expensive brand and yet, after reading the prices of some of the lights mentioned previously, I thought for sure I had once again settled for an inferior product. Although, I have found them to be incredibly reliable and right-on, even if the end result sucked as a result of my own lack of lighting skills. I'm finding that working with strobes is a whole other world than the usual editorial stock I'm used to shooting; most of which is shot outdoors due to the subject nature. Be that as it may, I look forward to further learning with my Speedos as soon as I can find some willing models in Maine.

Good day sir!

Mike

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Gary Miller & Ken Marcus_____ Re: and now the question begs to be asked...
Old 10-10-2003, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Mike,

My friend Gary Miller who is great at lighting a subject loves his Speedotrons. I think people sometimes get to wound up over the gear.

One thing that's nice to use is a amber gel on the hair like on the last photo I posted. Artificial Light outdoors is fun to experiment with.

I think the main thing is to experiment with all the light modifiers you have. Try experimenting with a Fresnel strobe or some HMI daylight balanced hot lights along with your Speedotron strobe lights for some cool effects. On the photo below I used both hot lights and strobes.

To be sure Broncolor is nice equipment. But you don't have to spend a ton of money to get great images. I think the Speedotrons are bullet proof. I have seen them dropped and survive.

Another friend of mine Ken Marcus uses a Hensel porty with a ring light quite a bit. And Dynalite packs for the other lights.

DJM

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