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elinchrom brx 500 light ratios to apperture in studio lighting

FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 07 Apr 2013 (Sunday) 22:49   
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MelBlackMel
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Hi all

new to this forum as of 3 minutes ago.

New to photography as well, especially the studio lighting setup. Still playing and trying to figure it all out.... getting very confused.

Hoping someone can explain the me lighting ratios, if there is such a thing.

ie - I have 4 studio lights, backlights set to max 6 to blow out the white, front lights vary depending on subject, set somewhere between 3.5 - 4.5.

Im shooting at app between f5.6 and f8, speed 1/160 to 1/200 and ISO 100 with a canon lense 24-105 F4

Getting some good shoots, sometimes the white seem a little milky.
Mainly shooting animals, move around the stage a bit

I also have been comparing this to my other fixed lense 50mm Canon 1.4mm
Shots were terrible, below f4.5, so I have turned down the back lights now to a power of 2.00 and getting better shots, but only as low as a f4.0.
How can I shoot at f2 or below with studio lights?

my question is ... is there a ratio, or some formula that says

If your shooting at f2.8.... your back lighting needs to be ??
and your front lights need to be??

The Elinchrom lights start at 2.4 and go up to a power of 6.00 in 0.10 increments, I dont understand the link to this and apperture settings

I only shoot in studio, due to animals escaping

Hope this make some sense, and there is an answer to my roundabout question
Any help or insight much appreciated

Post #1, Apr 07, 2013 22:49:42




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krb
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Welcome to the forums.

There is no way to answer your question because there are too many variables. How far are the lights from the subject, how far are the lights from the background, what modifiers are attached to the lights?

Why is it necessary to shoot at a large aperture? Why not shoot at f/5.6?

Post #2, Apr 07, 2013 22:57:30


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MelBlackMel
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Hi Ken

Thanks for the welcome Ken

I have 5.5 metres to play with from the backdrop. so subject is about 3 metres infront of that, generally on black and white ottomans. (small studio space)

Backlights about 1 metre from backdrop, both have softboxes attached

I tried at 5.6, yes some lovely shots, but was hoping for some lower f stops, but subject get completely blown out below F4

I have the opportunity to purchase a f2.8 Canon 24-70mm L-series later this week, second hand, from what ive read all pet photographers use one..... Im just a little unsure as i cant quite get my lighting right :(

Any suggestions?
Mel

Post #3, Apr 07, 2013 23:15:50 as a reply to krb's post 18 minutes earlier.




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The ­ Loft ­ Studios
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EDIT:

Nevermind.....

Post #4, Apr 07, 2013 23:22:33 as a reply to MelBlackMel's post 6 minutes earlier.


MARK

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328iGuy
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I am using the same BRX500 lights, good choice.

All I can say is get a light meter, it makes life so much better and less stressful, worth every penny, by best accessory to date!

Post #5, Apr 08, 2013 08:34:13


Canon 5D3 Gripped | 16-35L II | 35L | 135L | 70-200 2.8L II | 600EX-RT
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krb
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MelBlackMel wrote in post #15802190external link
I tried at 5.6, yes some lovely shots, but was hoping for some lower f stops, but subject get completely blown out below F4

...

Any suggestions?

Yes, forget about the wide aperture when you are shooting in a studio and using a backdrop. A large aperture/small depth of field is important to have when you are shooting against a 'messy' background that you need to blur out. But you are shooting in a studio with a plain white background so there's no reason to use a small depth of field. It is usually much better to shoot at f/5.6 or f/8 and make sure that you have enough depth of field to get the entire head in focus.

Am I reading it right that you have 4 lights on the backlground? 2 lights should be enough to get even light on it and that will greatly reduce the amount of over-exposure.

if you have enough room on the sides you could use bounce boards for lighting the background. Large (i.e. 1mx2m) pieces of white foam board and set things up so the strobes are facing away from the background. The light from the strobes hits the bounce boards and is bounced back onto the background. This is inefficent so it reduces the amount of light plus it makes the light more smooth/even across the background.

You also could try using a single light on the subject.

Post #6, Apr 08, 2013 12:36:11


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abbadon31
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Sound like you need a ND filter or gel your strobe with nd gel

Post #7, Apr 08, 2013 13:02:06


Name is Scott

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MelBlackMel
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Thank you everyone for your replies - much appreciated

I played with my lighting setup this morning, and actually got the instruction booklets out to try and figure out its displaying method and the ratios etc

Ken to clarify I have 4 lights
2 x Dlite 400 - I only use these on my backdrops -(fixed in place - due to animal running around)
2 x Bxr1 500 - use as fill light and highlight lights ( one is fixed to roof with a honeycomb or soft box on most of the time), the other is at a 45 degrees to the animal

So in my research today I am now aware that my dlites produce 400 joules at max of display setting 6.0 (der.. i know they are called dlite 400) and my bxr 500 produce a max joules of 500 joules at max display of 6.3. I am not sure what each of these is equivalent to in Fstops ??

I lowered the backlight to 4.0 today, and this produced 100 joules per light -
My keylights were at 4.8 = 200 joules ie 1 stop difference between the 2back lights and the key lights. My understanding is that this is a studio setup 3:1 ratio. I measured my studio, and really I only have 4.5 metres in length, so it is very very tight

I shot at f5.6 and 6.3, anything lower produced a very milky/over exposed result.

Up until now I have had the back lights at maximum 400 joules each, which when shooting through my camera at f11 gave a perfect white background. (cant remember what the function is called on the camera, where it flashes black and white to let you know you have a perfect white background) Ie I then shot my subject at F8 - F9.

I suppose now my lowering the backlight and understanding my keylights need to be at min 1 Fstop brighter, I am able to now shoot at lower F stops, ie F5.6

Sorry I am all left taught, so really just getting my head around all the jargen and terminology.

I dont know how to upload photos on this forum yet, but here is the link to my facebook page of the photo I took today. It looks fantastic on my large screen, not so good on my old PC

Comments are very very welcome, I am still learning and want to improve - I love my furry friends!!!

https://www.facebook.c​om ...8300473254&type=1&t​heaterexternal link

This was shot on my Canon 7D, F4 24-105mm L Series Lens

Could I assume that a F2.8 24-70 mm L Series would shoot a clearer shot?
Can anyone explain the advantage of the F2.8 v F4 pleeeasse

Thanks Heaps
Smiles
Mel

Post #8, Apr 09, 2013 06:22:22




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krb
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MelBlackMel wrote in post #15807010external link
So in my research today I am now aware that my dlites produce 400 joules at max of display setting 6.0 (der.. i know they are called dlite 400) and my bxr 500 produce a max joules of 500 joules at max display of 6.3. I am not sure what each of these is equivalent to in Fstops ??

1 full number on the power setting is equivalent to 1 stop of light so '3' is double the output of '2' and half the output of '4'. The numbers are the same across all Elinchrom lights so '3' on the DLite 400 is the same as '3' on the bxRi 500 is the same as '3' on the RX 1200 is the same as '3' on the Ranger pack system.

Could I assume that a F2.8 24-70 mm L Series would shoot a clearer shot?

Probably not.
What were the camera settings for this? ISO, aperture and shutter speed?
What post-processing are you doing on the computer?

Can anyone explain the advantage of the F2.8 v F4 pleeeasse

The difference is simply that the f/2.8 has a larger aperture. It allows more light (1 stop) and it can have a more narrow depth of field. When specifically comparing the 24-70 to the 24-105 there are some other differences but they shouldn't make a difference in your situation.

Post #9, Apr 09, 2013 11:40:53


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suecassidy
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The advantage of a 2.8 lens vs F4 is lost if you are always shooting with plenty of natural light or if you are using studio lights like you are. Lenses that can open up wider cost way, way more, so if you don't need the extra light... (in your studio situation, sounds like you already have too much light).

You have been given good advice by Ken (krb). When you are opening up your lens below f4 and describing the result as "milky", that is likely blow back from the light blasting from your background lights. Lower the power, bounce the light and choose higher apertures.

Post #10, Apr 09, 2013 11:59:07


Sue Cassidy
GEAR: Canon 1ds, Canon 1d Mark iii, Sony RX 100, Canon 50mmL 1.2, Canon 70-200L 2.8 IS, Canon 100-400L IS, Canon 14mm L, 2.8, . Lighting: Elinchrom Rangers, D-lite 400s, Canon 580/550 flashes. 74 ' Octabank, 27' Rotalux. Editing: Aperture 3

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sigma ­ pi
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I only read the first post. Your shots are milky becuase your back ground light is set waaaaaaay too high

Edit just saw Sue's post

. When you are opening up your lens below f4 and describing the result as "milky", that is likely blow back from the light blasting from your background lights. Lower the power, bounce the light and choose higher apertures.

This.

Post #11, Apr 09, 2013 12:04:27


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
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hawk911
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go to 6:30 in the video and then tell me your thoughts.
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Post #12, Apr 09, 2013 13:17:51


HAWK Photography Galleryexternal link FB Fan pageexternal link|_My gear: 5d3, 70D & 40D (all gripped), 580exII, 550ex, Canon 24-70 L & 85 f1.8, 50mm f1.4; Tamron 70-200 SP Di VC, Canon 18-55, Sigma 1.4xtc; Elinchrom Whore, Skyport triggers, Speedotron BD and Kacey Grid, Vagabond minis

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MelBlackMel
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Hi guys and girls
THANKYOU so much for all your help and comments. You guys are such a wealth of knowledge. I wish I had found this forum sooner.

Thanks Ken for the information on the lights, I think I get it now.
I think my whole lesson here is that I need to do is TURN MY BACK LIGHTS DOWN!!!!!!

To answer your question, my camera was set at ISO 100, App 5.6 and Speed 1/200 (speed usually set either at 1/160 or 1/200 - depending on what i can get away with!! Have it set to AL SERVO, was using AF one SHOT - still undecided)

I upload in LR, main adjustments - White adj, exp if required, highlights and shadow, and clarity, then I open up in photoshop to delete hair and drool and any other general tidy up. I use an unsharpen mask to sharpen and highlight eyes..... thats about it so far - still learning both programs.

I think my photos are still a little flat - but not sure what else to do ? photoshop course perhaps??

These guys are my idols.... http://www.zoostudio.c​om.au/gallery/external link
I love the punchiness and such clarity of their photos..... I hope one day I can produce work like this :) especially the black!!!!!

Thanks for the video Haw911 - I will put some of that into practice as I have those reflectors, maybe help with the light bouncing (instead of using my softboxes) and turning the power waaaaaaay down :)

What is the best way to upoad a photo here to show results, as I dont have access to a URL/server?


My reason for asking about the F2.8 24-70mm is that I have been offered a second hand one for $1400, and through research - many pet photography's swear by this lense and use it often. I'm just looking for a reason why it may be better than my F4.0 24-105mm?
Taking into account both black and white backgrounds. Black is my favourite, but tyring to perfect one at a time :)

Once again THANKS guys for all your wonderful comments - you guys are awesome!!!!

Smiles
Mel

Post #13, Apr 09, 2013 19:01:39




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krb
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What is the best way to upoad a photo here to show results, as I dont have access to a URL/server?

Create an account on a site like flickr, photobucket for 500px. If you search these forums there have been many discussions about them and the pluses and minuses of each offering.

I'm just looking for a reason why it may be better than my F4.0 24-105mm?

Since you have the 50/1.4 there's very little that a 24-70 can do that your current gear cannot. And really, until you get more experience with the lighting and get your technique worked out there is no reason to spend more money on any other hardware. What you have is capable of giving very good results, now it's just up to you to keep working at this and watching some training videos and such and develop your own skills.

Post #14, Apr 09, 2013 20:50:30


-- Ken
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MelBlackMel
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Thanks Ken
Much appreciated :)

Ill look into a Flickr account !
And thanks for the advice on the lenses

Yes I think ill start by lowering all my lights .... Hopefully this produces a way better result !!!!

One last question .... Flatness of the photos. Is that possibly due to the extra light in the room bouncing around. ?
Ie if I reduce the lights will my photos be more punchier and crisp ?
Or is that more of a workflow technique in LR or PS?

Smiles
Mel

Post #15, Apr 09, 2013 21:01:46




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