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Thread: studio lighting

  1. #1

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    studio lighting

    hey guys, i suppose not strictly studio but, what type of bulbs can i use apart from dedicated studio lights,
    im thinking of taking for example full body or some portrait in the house or in a studio im building, im wondering if i can use daylight bulbs in standard light fittings or stage lamps, or is there a different kind of bulb?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: studio lighting

    My advice is don't bother, it won't work.

    You simply will not get enough light out of bulbs to make this worthwhile. From what I can tell, my mid-range SB600 Speedlight is rated at around 60 Watt-seconds at full power. It fires for a bit less than 1/1000th sec, giving a light output of 60,000 Watts. You will need an equivilent of an awful lot of light bulbs to provide the level of illumination requried. Add to that the requirement to shape the light, after all you don't want hot spots on your subject, so over and above bulb, you need a light modifier to give you nice, soft, diffuse lighting.

    If you have an off-camera flash that you can use in Slave mode, and your camera has a built in flash that you can use to trigger it, adding a light stand, clamp for the flash and an umbrella (shoot through or reflector), and you have your key light. Add a cheap reflector (a large piece of white foam core will do) for your fill light and you have your least expensive, but workable solution.

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    Re: studio lighting

    thanks manfred, i did think as much really (:

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    Re: studio lighting

    Ok, looking at some lights, calumet genesis 200, now not sure in the description on these but they will do a good job for the flash, but can you reccomend a set of constants? Or do these do this well, cant really check at moment as out from home.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: studio lighting

    The 240 WS power rating is quite low. If going to studio lights, I would probably look at something a bit more powerful; at least 350WS, and more likely closer to 500WS.

    Have a look at the Paul C Buff Alien Bees line. These are considered fairly inexpensive, but good entry level lights.

    http://www.paulcbuff.com/alienbees.php

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    Re: studio lighting

    Photographers used to work with bulbs but electronic flash is so much easier and more powerful. Though it is easier to see the effect your lights are having on the subject with hot lights. The answer is that studio flash have low power tungsten bulbs as well as the flash tube to solve that problem.
    But with digital we have instant review so it is possible to shoot and check ...suggest you search Strobist which is a way of using single or multiple cheaper flash units as suggested by Manfred above. For the few flash shots I take I use the camera flash to trigger my YungNuo units ... make sure you buy a flash unit with a mode to ignore pre-flashes that cameras emit as have the YNs. For one set-up I attached a torch to the flash unit to help judge the effect.

    EDIT .The YNs have a built in sensor so that a flash from the camera triggers them .... I don't know how common this feature is and ordinary flash units can be triggered by small units "optical flash triggers'. Though the relative cost these days between them and electronic triggers from Asia makes them a questionable investment IMO.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 2nd October 2012 at 06:16 PM.

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    Re: studio lighting

    thanks guys, very helpful

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: studio lighting

    One other thing to think about. Studio type flashes are "dumb flashes", i.e. you have to set them up to old-fashioned way and manually dial in the the light output for each light. The standard way of firing them is using a synch cord that runs from your camera to the flash. Depending on your camera model, the connector is either built into the camera, or you will have to buy one that attaches to your camera's hot shoe. If multiple units are used, the optical pickup in the secondary units will fire when they detect a flash. In theory, you could use your camera's built-in flash to trigger them, but this adds an additional light source into the setup, and is not something I like doing.

    The radio triggers come in all sorts of sizes and costs. They do everything from getting rid of the of the synch cord to allowing full control and integration and control from your camera. PocketWizards are the high end product and are expensive and provide excellent functionality and integration with your camera (Canon and Nikon only), while the cheaper Asian units are essentially electronic synch cords. Some higher end studio flash have built-in PocketWizard receivers, and in other cases you can attach PocketWizard receivers to the flashes.

    Using integrated flash is even more interesting. I'm most familiar with the Nikon system, but I understand that Canon offers something similar with the newer models that have a built-in flash. Nikon calls it Commander Mode and you can independently set the power level of your off-camera Speedlights right from your camera's menu, It does this by sending pulsed light signals from your camera's built in flash to the off camera flash. This all happens before the shutter is released, so there is no impact on your exposure. This is a nice and very powerful feature, but so far as I know, the cheap Asian flashes won't work with this, I'm not sure what the higher end third-party flashes from Metz and Nissin do,

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    Re: studio lighting

    right then, i have seen some of these yungnuo units, 560, so i assume they are equivalent of the sb600, i did want to buy the sb600 but i want 2 with umbrellas, which is getting expensive as im buying some other stuff as well, i was thinking of getting 2 of the yn ones, but do want them working off camera and wireless for outside work.
    as they are just that, flashes, for that reason when using indoors i was going to use basic daylight bulbs or lams(i got lots of them) as hot lights to give me something to focus on as itl be all dark otherwise .
    i know JC above uses the yn ones, so do you think i will be able to use wireless or will i need leads?
    thanks again for help guys, off camera and flashes in general i havent used that much before.

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    Re: studio lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by darknight View Post
    right then, i have seen some of these yungnuo units, 560, so i assume they are equivalent of the sb600, i did want to buy the sb600 but i want 2 with umbrellas, which is getting expensive as im buying some other stuff as well, i was thinking of getting 2 of the yn ones, but do want them working off camera and wireless for outside work.
    as they are just that, flashes, for that reason when using indoors i was going to use basic daylight bulbs or lams(i got lots of them) as hot lights to give me something to focus on as itl be all dark otherwise .
    i know JC above uses the yn ones, so do you think i will be able to use wireless or will i need leads?
    thanks again for help guys, off camera and flashes in general i havent used that much before.
    I use the YN-560 speedlites and they are very capable units. You can set them to be slaves and triggered by another flash which is fine indoors but not so good outside. I normally use them in conjunction with the YongNuo wireless triggers which work perfectly in any situation.

    The only downside to the 560 is it doesn't have TTL so they are just manually set to the power you want.

    I use a canon speedlight with TTL for shooting on camera flash at events and the like, but as soon as the flashes go off camera I find it just fine to set them all manually.

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    Re: studio lighting

    I use the YN560 and it is a nice unit, manual only but lots of power. I also have an old Nikon SB25 bought second hand and a Nikon SB600 (the least powerful of the trio). Couple these with YongNuo wireless triggers (which puts the SB600 into normal manual mode) and you can pretty much light anything. Indoors my single studion flash as a main light on a wireless trigger and one or two of the other flashes as fill also on wireless triggers. My YN569 and my SB25 together were a fraction of the price of my SB600 and both have significantly more power - manual only though but I rarely use my SB600's bells and whistles nowadays. With a lightstand and an umbrella holder you can be pretty versatile even clamping another flash to the lightstand to give you an extra stop through the umbrella which can be really useful for shooting outside. Two of the YN560s, a lightstand, umbrella holder and an umbrella or two will probably come under the cost of a single SB600 (not that I've checked prices for a while though)

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    Re: studio lighting

    Steve, paul, thank you just what i wanted to hear also steve you answered my next question on wireless remotes for the, i have them on the list as well and think we are talking about the same ones,
    Can i check that with these two links.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1507659045...#ht_5142wt_942

    http://http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/YN-...#ht_6524wt_922

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    Re: studio lighting

    Not sure why the second link dont work but thats just the flash anyway ?

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    Re: studio lighting

    Yes, thats the ones. I have the RF-602 but the 603 is just an updated model.

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    Re: studio lighting

    One thing to remember when using the camera flash as your master .... you do not have to have its light on the subject as it is easy enough to mask it off so that it emits enough light to fire the slave[s] but not enough on the subject to be noticeable.

    On one occasion when letting it light the subject and felt it was too strong I held my finger over the camera flash and reduced its effective output to a nice 'fill' strength A spur of the moment brainwave which worked

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    Re: studio lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    One thing to remember when using the camera flash as your master .... you do not have to have its light on the subject
    When using the Nikon system, the master flash can be set not to fire even though it is controlling the slaves.

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    Re: studio lighting

    We have not been given any indication of how much Darknight has to spend. Obviously Alien Bees or better is the way to go if you can afford them and a lot can be done with one light and reflector[s] and build up your set-up over time. It is easy to get lost when faced with a lighting kit. I am happy with my YN560 but if you want TTL with either Nikon or Canon cameras then there is the 486 model which comes as two models for which make you intend to use it with ...I got the Canon version for my DSLR. I think I have read of more modern versions of the 560 and 486 with extra numbers/letters to the name.

    Since you specify portraiture as your aim you probably need more than just bare flash as your lighting source and will need diffused sources. Since the flash is directed away from the subject and reflected back by an umbrella etc they take up/waste? quite a bit of light so that is another argument against hot lights for portraiture. Quite apart from considerations of comfort for you and your subjects with regard to the heat generated by such lights.

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    Re: studio lighting

    thanks for all the help guys, ok, i think i have my basic setup at first thought out, 2 yn flashes with 3 remotes, 4 light stands, 2 for the flashes with umbrellas, and 2 for the soft boxes and hot lights (actually cool low voltage high watt bulbs), i don't need a backdrop supports as im making this in part of our garage/playroom, hanging wont be a problem, i found i can get all this for around the 200 mark which is not bas at all, later i will upgrade to some alienbees .
    now for the willing models..
    this will also be used for still life/macro/products.

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    Re: studio lighting

    Be careful when mixing light sources of different type, as their colour temperature will probably differ. That means that
    you'll have to correct one of them to match the other, as mixed light is virtually impossible to correct in PP. A classic
    example is snow landscapes, where either the shadows are 'too cold' or the sunny parts are 'too warm'...

    Wrt the flash+umbrella: some advise to use shoot-through, rather than reflection umbrellas, as you can get the light much
    closer to the subject (larger source, so softer light, and the loss would be compensated by the smaller distance), Any opinions
    on this?

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    Re: studio lighting

    Hi remco, yes i forgot to say, i am using shoot throughs, and all lights are colour balanced to the same K.

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