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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Dec 2012 (Wednesday) 00:08
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Simple studio for my newborn

 
kchan156
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Dec 05, 2012 00:08 |  #1

I've been out of photography for a while. I've had a 7D and a 430exii speedlite previously.

I want to build a simple studio for my newborn. I've read of some Monolights kits. How many and what power should I get? What brands are recommended and what brands are avoided.

I currently own a T2i with no speedlite. Can I get some suggestions or kits for the studio lighting and backdrops.
Thanks!


Canon 7D / Xs / 10-22 / 50 1.8 / 75-300(kit lens) / 18-55 (kit lens) / 430ex II

  
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drcig
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Dec 05, 2012 07:41 |  #2

Quite a few threads started here in the family kids section:
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdis​play.php?f=112




  
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munzzzzzzz
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Dec 05, 2012 08:13 |  #3

If you are willing to spend the money, a couple of Paul C Buff Einsteins (http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/e640.php (external link)) plus a CST trigger, a Cyber Commander, and a couple of CSXCV transceivers would make for a really nice setup. There are cheaper options than this but if you want to make it as easy as possible, this is a great way to go. Of course this is already $1270 and you still need light stands, modifiers, etc.

If that price isn't out of your range and you want more ideas I'd be happy to share what I have (which I originally built/purchased for the same purpose as you).


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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328iGuy
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Dec 05, 2012 08:35 |  #4

^^ I guess you missed the "simple" part? :)


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munzzzzzzz
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Dec 05, 2012 09:58 |  #5

Yes and no. Usability wise, I think a kit like that is about as easy as it gets. No need to worry about color temperature at various powers, no need to worry about what power to get, the CyberCommander makes metering and setting light power about as simple as it gets.

If by "simple" he means as little equipment as possible... then the 7D and 430EXII would have been his best bet. :)


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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AlanU
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Dec 05, 2012 12:28 |  #6

Forget strobes unless your wanting to have the "style" of small aperture Anne Geddes style photos or want to create that "flash look".

I have alot of studio equipment and I actually use a 75" umbrella box and use daylight balanced 5 CFL bulbs (1000 watts similar to the wescott spiderlite). I'll use my 35L and 85L and shoot away with constant light.

this is where your preference and style comes into play.Theres alot of natural light baby photogs aswell as small aperture props filled strobe users. I do a mix but it all depends on the look I want.

No flash constant light (extremely simple no brainer lighting). Here's my 1mth old I just took recently.

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Einstein with strip box/ gridded (another simple setup)

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Posing the baby is already an extremely difficult task and if you add complicated lighting to the mix your gonna ruin your session. Keep things extremely simple.

5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 35mm f/2 IS | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
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AlanU
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Dec 05, 2012 12:37 |  #7

If your using a strobe (s) and getting fill light. You do NOT need a cyber commander if you buy Einsteins. Set the power level...meter it.....shoot!!

Dont put all of your eggs in one basket. My lightly used Einstein died on me mid way through a family session. Redundancy is a good thing especially for a time sensitive session when taking photos of newborns.

If you wanting shallow dof the einsteins can do it but the shadow transition will still look like "flash" instead of window light.

I guess you have to determine what style your looking for as a baby photog.


5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 35mm f/2 IS | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
Fuji X-T2 w/battery booster | 16mm f/1.4 | 56 f/1.2 | 50-140 | TT685
Sony A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS

  
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Scatterbrained
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Dec 05, 2012 12:45 |  #8

I would have to agree on the natural light for newborns. Assuming of course you have a large window that will let in plenty of light. In my other house we had 72"x72" windows in the dining room. We hung white linen curtains over them and had wonderful, diffuse light. You could also set up a reflector outside to bounce light through the window if need be.
Both of these were done with window light......

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munzzzzzzz
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Dec 05, 2012 13:16 |  #9

AlanU wrote in post #15329758 (external link)
You do NOT need a cyber commander if you buy Einsteins. Set the power level...meter it.....shoot!!

I agree that you don't need one, but the "meter it" step can't really be done without a light meter, and the CyberCommander does a fine job at that for a very reasonable price and gives you a lot of other capabilities you can choose to use should you desire to do so. I prefer to start with a known aperture that I want to shoot at and adjust my lighting accordingly, and the CyberCommander is hard to beat for that type of shooting.

(btw, very nice shots above. What shutter speed do you end up using when shooting with your continuous light setup?)


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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AlanU
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Dec 05, 2012 13:37 |  #10

Munz,

I'll have to look it up since LR4 stripped my exif. I think it was 1/160 or maybe faster.

I have 9 bulbs sockets on my constant light setup but I only used 5. I deliberately dimmed the light lower. The lower setup gave me a different shadow transition kinda in between window light and flash. I definitely appreciated constant light for the effect I wanted.

I also did flash work too so i can get harder shadows in the black background.The colours are more crisp which works well either BW or coloured photos.

I do use my cybercommander alot even though its still cumbersome the way the button layout and menu system. Its still somewhat intuitive even though its clunky.

I will have to say shooting thin dof is nice using constant light. I can probably achieve constant light with the 250w bulb from my einstein but more heat. The CFL bulbs are cooler running.

I used the xrite passport for colour calibration and snap away.


5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 35mm f/2 IS | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
Fuji X-T2 w/battery booster | 16mm f/1.4 | 56 f/1.2 | 50-140 | TT685
Sony A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS

  
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chugger93
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Dec 05, 2012 18:06 |  #11

Alan; for your gridded Einstein, are you shooting on a black background on those shots, or just eliminating the ambient completely?

I'm looking to do something similiar in my basement against my seamless grey paper. Havnt really used it yet. Nice work


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AlanU
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Dec 05, 2012 23:49 |  #12

chugger93 wrote in post #15331032 (external link)
Alan; for your gridded Einstein, are you shooting on a black background on those shots, or just eliminating the ambient completely?

I'm looking to do something similiar in my basement against my seamless grey paper. Havnt really used it yet. Nice work

I used a black backdrop and the gridded strip box prevented light spill. Worked like a charm. I try to get the photo perfect sooc so that I dont have to do any exposure changes to the back ground. The manipulated "exposure" brush marks (from LR or photoshop) dont show up when you view the photo on a TN panel monitor.


5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 35mm f/2 IS | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
Fuji X-T2 w/battery booster | 16mm f/1.4 | 56 f/1.2 | 50-140 | TT685
Sony A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS

  
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cisobe
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Dec 06, 2012 02:05 |  #13

I went with 2 - Einsteins, white 64" PLM and Soft Silver 64" PLM with front diffuser covers for both and blackout back cover for the white PLM. I also picked up 2 24x36 soft boxes, light stands, and the cyber commander, trigger, and 2 transceivers.

This was my first time using studio equipment, so it was, and still is quite a steep learning curve... I used to shoot either all ambient, or use my 7D and 580EX in eTTL...

all in all, the whole Einstein setup cost me about $1600 shipped... but, it was well worth it... The Cyber Commander is relatively easy to use, setup is pretty simple, and adjusting lighting is pretty simple, and you can do it without having to get up...

however... i don't have a designated studio space in my house, so i always have to setup, and take down my lighting equipment, and my newly acquired background, which is quite a pain... i still find myself using my 580ex, or shooting just ambient... I will typically setup for special occasions such as xmas cards, 1 month, 3 month, etc...


5D MKIII|7D w/ Grip|EF-S 10-22MM f/3.5-4.5|EF-S 17-55MM f/2.8 IS|EF 24-105MM f/4L IS|EF 50MM f/1.4|EF 70-200MM f/2.8L IS|85mm f/1.8|35mm f/2 IS|70-300MM f/4-5.6 IS|580EX|Manfrotto 055PROB|2x PCB Einstein 640

  
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AlanU
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Dec 06, 2012 09:42 |  #14

OP,

Try to figure out a spot by a window. Natural light on babies makes a beautiful light source. Here's a fresh out of the oven newborn :) lighting is strictly a large livingroom window. There's a distinct different "feel" when you use available light vs flash.

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Here's the same baby but this time bounced flash on a wall from a 580 exii

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constant light in a 75" umbrella box (1000 watt equiv) please NOTE Watt seconds.

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I do both type of lighting to mix things up. Depending on what kind of lights you buy you may limit your aperture settings if you buy a strobe that cannot dial down the power at very low levels. This is one reason why I chose the Einsteins. out of three light sources (available light, cfl bulb constant light, and flash) I prefer available light and a close secod daylight corrected cfl bulbs.

constant light may possibly not distract a light sleeping baby. Flash may stimulate the baby depending on how deep they are in sleep.

IMO........ concentrate on props, backdrops, if its a girl "headbands", hats, backdrops. I spent over 500 dollars last second at a fabric store, posing bean bag etc. Simplicity is a good thing when it comes to lighting and props.

It all comes down to the look you want.

5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 35mm f/2 IS | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
Fuji X-T2 w/battery booster | 16mm f/1.4 | 56 f/1.2 | 50-140 | TT685
Sony A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS

  
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kchan156
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Dec 08, 2012 03:56 |  #15

Nice photos!
What backdrops do you use?

AlanU wrote in post #15329727 (external link)
Forget strobes unless your wanting to have the "style" of small aperture Anne Geddes style photos or want to create that "flash look".

I have alot of studio equipment and I actually use a 75" umbrella box and use daylight balanced 5 CFL bulbs (1000 watts similar to the wescott spiderlite). I'll use my 35L and 85L and shoot away with constant light.

this is where your preference and style comes into play.Theres alot of natural light baby photogs aswell as small aperture props filled strobe users. I do a mix but it all depends on the look I want.

No flash constant light (extremely simple no brainer lighting). Here's my 1mth old I just took recently.

QUOTED IMAGE

QUOTED IMAGE

Einstein with strip box/ gridded (another simple setup)

QUOTED IMAGE

QUOTED IMAGE

Posing the baby is already an extremely difficult task and if you add complicated lighting to the mix your gonna ruin your session. Keep things extremely simple.


Canon 7D / Xs / 10-22 / 50 1.8 / 75-300(kit lens) / 18-55 (kit lens) / 430ex II

  
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Simple studio for my newborn
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