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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 26 Jan 2012 (Thursday) 14:05
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Idiots Question WRT strobe/continuous lighting

 
General_T
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Jan 26, 2012 14:05 |  #1

Hi,

I have a 580 ex II and am going to get an AB800 as a strobe.

I believe the AB800 (and all strobes) have a continuous light (modelling light?) that stays on while you take pictures with the strobe? Is this correct? So this continuous/modelling light is kinda like a key light or fill light depending on how you want to use it?

See told ya I was an idiot!!:D


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sdipirro
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Jan 26, 2012 14:08 |  #2

Actually, it probably won't contribute any ambient light to the shot at all in most cases. It's more for focus assist and so you can see how the lights from the strobes are hitting your subject.


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clarence
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Jan 26, 2012 14:38 |  #3

General_T wrote in post #13773121 (external link)
...continuous light (modelling light?) that stays on while you take pictures with the strobe? Is this correct? So this continuous/modelling light is kinda like a key light or fill light depending on how you want to use it?

The continuous modelling light turns off when you pop the strobe and comes back on when the monolight is recharged and ready for the next shot.

Even with a 100w bulb, it would probably contribute <1% compared to the pop of the main strobe.

Use it just to get a feel for how your lights are pointed and you can also determine how the catch lights are going to be reflected in the subject's eyes (and/or eyeglasses).


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BrandonSi
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Jan 26, 2012 14:41 |  #4

It's a "modeling" light, not a key light, or fill light. It allows you to see the where the light from the flash will fall, and the resulting shadows or light/dark areas.

As Clarence mentioned, it turns off when the flash fires.


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Wilt
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Jan 26, 2012 16:15 |  #5

Not all modelling lights turn off when the studio strobe is fired...Buff designs its flashes that way as a visible indicator of the flash being ready to fire the next shot, but many photographers find this to be distracting (it leaves you in the dark if there are no other ambient lights in the room!). Most pro studio gear does not bother with this annoyance or 'feature'...most brands have the modelling light always on when modelling light is turned on, always off if turned off.

The modelling light lets the photographer SEE how the lighting falls on the subject without taking any shots, it is not intended to be a constant source for shooting with the strobe because the modelling light color temperature is so different from strobe flash lamp (close to daylight WB). You can use it as a constant light source (multiple studio strobes, all as constant sources) but Buff modelling lights are not bright enough at 150w, and even full blown studio flash are dimmer (at 250w) than true professional photoflood bulbs.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 26, 2012 17:01 |  #6

When you cut the power to a tungsten bulb, it continues to emit light for a good fraction of a second until the filament cools off. So the amount of exposure contributed by the modeling light on a strobe is pretty much unaffected by whether or not the power is momentarily interrupted.

For the OP: The Alienbees have a switch to let you select whether or not you want the modeling light to turn off until it recycles. It's simply a "feature" to indicate when you can take another shot, but I find it annoying, especially in a studio when the rest of the room lights are off.

In order to get any significant exposure from the modeling light on a B800, you'll need to be shooting at very low power, with a very slow shutter speed.


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General_T
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Jan 26, 2012 19:03 |  #7

Hey WOW,

Thank you all for this "illuminating" explanation. I had no idea what the modelling light was for. Another little piece of the puzzle.

Thank you all very much.

Cheers

:)


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Idiots Question WRT strobe/continuous lighting
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