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Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-13-2003, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm thinking about getting a ring light and I have a couple of questions. I'm looking at a used profoto head & pack.

1) How difficult are these things to use with a 35mm camera?
Every ringlight I've seen used has been with a medium format and they don't exactly look easy to use with a 35mm. I guess they mount on the tripod screw?

2) I'm going to have to get a power pack too. Is a 600 w/s pack enough or should I get a 1200w/s pack? With my regular setup I usually use a 500w/s pack with 3 heads and have plenty of light. But I understand the ring isn't as efficient. I'd like to get f8 at 10' with ISO100.

3) Is anyone familiar with the Profoto line? What's the difference between the Acute & Acute alfa? I assume the Acute 2 head will work on any Acute pack. Right?

Is there anything else I should know about?

Thanks
Bill Sylvester
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http://bsphoto.wkrp.com
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-13-2003, 04:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Having just recently purchased a profoto Acute 2 ring flash and 1200WS pack, I can tell you the following:

a. It's easy to use with a 35 mm. There is a bracket that comes with it which screws into the standard tripod socket of the camera. You can then slide the camera forward and backward on the bracket (depending on the length of the lens you are using) so the lens protrudes through the ring light. There are two thumbscrews on the light and the bracket which allows the ring to move up and down so you can then center the ring around the lens. IN other words, once you hook the camera to the bracket, you slide the camera fore and aft, and you move the light up and down, so it all lines up. I can hook my camera to the bracket and adjust it in all of about 30 seconds.

I don't know the difference between the alfa and the Acute 2, but I have both the Acute 2 ringflash and the acute 2 generator.

I have been shooting a Nikon D1x at 125 ISO, and at F8 and a distant of about 6-10 feet, I have had more than enough powers at around 125 watt seconds.

In most cases, I have had trouble turning the thing down, rather than wanting more power. If you throw the first rocker switch down, it cuts you to 600 WS. Then the next rocker switch all the way down cuts it to 150 (if I am thinking correctly) and then there is a nob that allows you two turn it down from plus two to negative two.

In most cases, I have been shooting using only the nob, with both rocker switches down, which is less than 600 WS.

I have only had a chance to shoot with it three or four times, but very much like it.

You can get that really cool halo shadow if you pull your model about 2 feet from the backdrop and stand back about 6 feet.

It is cumbersome having the light hooked to the camera, but it is not so heavy as to be a back breaker.

And remember, if you move in and out, you will effect your effective F stop, as you are moving the light closer/farther away from your model. So re-meter frequently, shoot from a set distance, or pay attention to your LCD if you are shooting digital.

Mark
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-13-2003, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. Maybe I'll lean towards the 600ws pack then.

I didn't think about that last point. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] I suppose I would have found out quickly enough tho.
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-13-2003, 04:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Bill,

My friend Ken Marcus uses a Hensel ring light quite a bit. He uses a Hensel Porty 1200 w/s unit with a ring light in his studio in LA.

There not difficult to use.

I would get the most powerful pack you can get. If you use it outdoors you will need the extra power. I have used 3000 w/s on one head with gels in the studio.

I know people who like Profoto allot. I use the Hensel Porty 1200 w/s and Bowens 3000 w/s packs for location shoots. They both work with 110 volt or 12 volt batteries.

The Broncolor packs are cool too. But I think the Hensel is the best deal for the money.

Check out Profoto's web site or Calumet's / B&H.

DJM


[ QUOTE ]
I'm thinking about getting a ring light and I have a couple of questions. I'm looking at a used profoto head & pack.

1) How difficult are these things to use with a 35mm camera?
Every ringlight I've seen used has been with a medium format and they don't exactly look easy to use with a 35mm. I guess they mount on the tripod screw?

2) I'm going to have to get a power pack too. Is a 600 w/s pack enough or should I get a 1200w/s pack? With my regular setup I usually use a 500w/s pack with 3 heads and have plenty of light. But I understand the ring isn't as efficient. I'd like to get f8 at 10' with ISO100.

3) Is anyone familiar with the Profoto line? What's the difference between the Acute & Acute alfa? I assume the Acute 2 head will work on any Acute pack. Right?

Is there anything else I should know about?

Thanks
Bill Sylvester
bill@wkrp.com
http://bsphoto.wkrp.com


[/ QUOTE ]
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-18-2003, 06:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Mark,

would it be possible for you to pose some images you have shot with it ?

also any closeup headshots etc

thanks dude

DP
 
 
Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-21-2003, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am intrested in a ring light also.. I have only seen it used on Playboy with a reflextor. What does it do for you and your model. I don't think I have seen the effect you all are talking about. My email is dave1190@hot.rr.com if you have time to send me some information or coments. I would also like to see some pic of this light being used and the results. Thanks
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-21-2003, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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and



shot with ring (Elinchrom version)
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-21-2003, 07:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks
I like it . The light puts a line aroung the model. do you use a reflextor with this on and how strong a light is it.
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Re: Thinking about buying a ring light
Old 10-21-2003, 08:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No reflector for the elinchrom, but profoto does have a couple of different options for reflectors. take a look ath their website.

it's really "strong" because the light is concentrated in the circle...

dbr



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A couple of examples of ring light
Old 10-21-2003, 08:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's some more examples of the ring light. Its not for everything, but it gives a very distinct quality of light. I find a 1/2 stop over-exposure brings the quality out a bit more, and having the subject close to a background makes the effect even more pronounced. These are with the Broncolor ringlight.

Another important aspect of ring light use if the exact exposure/distance ratios. I meter/polaroid, digital check, and then adjust, and then stay in the same plane (distance) and move in and out with zoom lens, rather than changing my distance. Ring flash fall-off is quick, so small changes in distance make huge changes in exposure. Zoom lens are invaluable for these lights.





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