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Thread started 07 Apr 2015 (Tuesday) 18:31
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Cheap Studio Lighting Setup???

 
kellyhenselle
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Apr 10, 2015 09:54 |  #16

Wilt wrote in post #17511556 (external link)
Compared to electronic flash lighting, continuous sources are:

  • Generally not as bright, requiring longer shutter times and use of large apertures
  • Those that are bright create a lot of ambient heat
  • Those that are bright can cause your subjects to squint in discomfort

But with a continuous source...
  • You can immediately see how the lighting falls on the subject to flatter them, or make them look unpleasant.


I consider continuous lights to be the best way of beginners learning to place light sources, and that speedlights -- without modelling lights -- serve to slow the learning curve because you have to shoot a picture to see the results!

So much great information from all you guys out there. I hope I am able to take your wisdom words in thoroughly.

I never thought about squinting.... Great point....


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kellyhenselle
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Apr 10, 2015 10:01 |  #17

DreDaze wrote in post #17511562 (external link)
do you have an external flash at all? if not i'd buy an external flash to use with your camera...and then get a set of triggers, and a stand with a softbox to use it off camera

I have tried Calumet travelite 750(?) once. I also have tried Alienbees 400 once. And I have tried Canon speedlite once for portrait applications, all by external slave connection with 2-3 heads setup. That is about all my strobe experiences... I still don't read lights/shadows and still don't know how to control them

I personally couldn't figure out what the point is to use speedlite for studio use. It is too small, hard to make adjustments, and not cheaper than full size strobe heads. So, I am still postponing to purchase a speedlite unless I get many assignments that requires it.


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kellyhenselle
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Apr 10, 2015 10:13 |  #18

bumpintheroad wrote in post #17511586 (external link)
There's pros and cons to everything.

In a small space like a single-car garage you might not need a lot of power. I have AlienBee's B800's and have to crank them almost all the way down when shooting f/2.8 or lower in my living room. This week I decided to use my YN560's to shoot some headshots in a large, corporate conference room and they had just enough power to shoot f/2.8 with a 32" folding beauty dish plus softbox.

The YN560's are cheap (around $70 each), don't require any AC power and are remotely configured and triggered by the YN560-TX. But without modeling lights you do have to spend some time chimping until the exposure and ratios are setup, and my subject's pupils were a bit dilated due to the relatively weak ambient light.

The B800's give you what you see is what you get capability, and the added brightness of the modeling light causes the subjects pupils to contract so they show more attractive iris size. But they cost 3 to 4x as much each as the YN-560's and, unless you pay even more for the Cybersyncs, require you to adjust the power settings at each head individually.

Continuous lighting also gives you what you see is what you get and aids in pupil contraction. The light output varies according to how many bulbs are used in each fixture; there are fixtures that allow you to use up to 5 bulbs at once with switches to turn bulbs within the fixtures on-and-off for adjusting light output. Daylight-balanced CFL bulbs run pretty cool (compared to tungsten or halogen lighting) but can cause squinting if you really crank up the output. IMHO, these are the ideal way to go for a beginning with only one major concern: inability to use standard light modifiers. The single-bulb models will work with umbrellas and some softboxes/octoboxes, but the multi-bulb models work only with the supplied softboxes.

Thank you for your points bumpintheroad.
Pupil contraction also is another thing that I must consider.

Light modifer availability does not seem to be much of a concern I think. It looks like the light socket module accepts softbox rods as if it is a speedring.

Also, I have seen some square umbrellas with front white cover in many colors and sizes.


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Apr 10, 2015 10:28 |  #19

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511858 (external link)
I personally couldn't figure out what the point is to use speedlite for studio use. It is too small, hard to make adjustments, and not cheaper than full size strobe heads. So, I am still postponing to purchase a speedlite unless I get many assignments that requires it.

here are some examples of using just one speedlight...it's a long thread though:
https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=1206​640&page=1

also a bit of a side note, since i see the backgrounds now, if you're looking for that bright white background, you're going to need more lights to light the background

you may want to ask a moderator to move this to the flash and lighting section to get more responses, unless you are set with what you want, and just questioning where to buy

whatever you end up can you can probably make work...it's just the ease of making something work that will cost you more money


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kellyhenselle
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Apr 10, 2015 10:34 |  #20

davebreal wrote in post #17511803 (external link)
The $100 kit you referenced doesn't sound terrible for the background stand and the constant lighting. It could prove to be valuable for still life, and even video setup. How many Watts are the included lights? Do they come with any diffusion?

I have a 3 light kit w/softboxes + stands I got from Cowboy Studio a few years, didn't come with the backdrop and I think I paid around $100. I still use the setup for product photography.


I was checking on Cowboy Studio on ebay as well. It looks like they are all similar companies.

I saw one kit for about $150 that comes with 12-45W CFL and 3 color 6x9 muslin backgrounds. All stands and hardwares included. And first order discount as well.

I was thinking this kit will be sufficient enough for the studio portrait purpose. But who knows...



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Apr 10, 2015 11:05 |  #21

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511858 (external link)
I have tried Calumet travelite 750(?) once. I also have tried Alienbees 400 once. And I have tried Canon speedlite once for portrait applications, all by external slave connection with 2-3 heads setup. That is about all my strobe experiences... I still don't read lights/shadows and still don't know how to control them

I personally couldn't figure out what the point is to use speedlite for studio use. It is too small, hard to make adjustments, and not cheaper than full size strobe heads. So, I am still postponing to purchase a speedlite unless I get many assignments that requires it.


Controlling shadows is as easy as moving the light sources around until you get the shadows (or the lack thereof) the way you want it in the shot. That is why continuous lighting is so important for that reason. Then once you get your lights where you want them flip them to strobe mode and fire away.


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Apr 11, 2015 01:31 |  #22

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511858 (external link)
I have tried Calumet travelite 750(?) once. I also have tried Alienbees 400 once. And I have tried Canon speedlite once for portrait applications, all by external slave connection with 2-3 heads setup. That is about all my strobe experiences... I still don't read lights/shadows and still don't know how to control them

If you had strobes -- and the Calumet and Alienbees are strobes -- the modeling light will give you the ability to see and adjust shadows and lighting ratios. Of course when the strobe fires it will be considerably brighter, but the modeling lights do a good job at giving you a preview. Speedlights or shoe-mount flashes differ from strobes both in terms of light output and modeling light capability.

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511858 (external link)
I personally couldn't figure out what the point is to use speedlite for studio use. It is too small, hard to make adjustments, and not cheaper than full size strobe heads. So, I am still postponing to purchase a speedlite unless I get many assignments that requires it.

Speedlights aren't ideal for studio use for most the reasons you state. However, they can be inexpensive if you go with third-party manufacturers. Four Yongnou YN-560 IV speedlights plus a YN-560-TX controller/trigger will cost $300 overall, versus four B800's plus Cybersyncs costing around $1,700. (Modifiers would be additional cost.) That's not to say I'm recommending speedlights. But they are convenient in certain situations.

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511870 (external link)
Light modifer availability does not seem to be much of a concern I think. It looks like the light socket module accepts softbox rods as if it is a speedring.

Also, I have seen some square umbrellas with front white cover in many colors and sizes.

Yes, you can use the supplied softbox. But what if you want to use a large umbrella? Or a beauty dish? Or tall and narrow "striplight" softboxes? I'm not saying you NEED all these options, but you do need to understand what is possible. Frankly, at your stage in the game, I wouldn't worry too much about different light modifiers.

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511893 (external link)
I was checking on Cowboy Studio on ebay as well. It looks like they are all similar companies.

I saw one kit for about $150 that comes with 12-45W CFL and 3 color 6x9 muslin backgrounds. All stands and hardwares included. And first order discount as well.

I was thinking this kit will be sufficient enough for the studio portrait purpose. But who knows...

Any of the options will be sufficient if you can work around the shortcomings. The Cowboy Studio and the other kit you previously posted will be cheaply made. The light stands, boom and background support will be flimsy. I actually have a Cowboy Studio background set with 3 muslins and it is workable if you are careful, but the muslins weigh more than the entire background support setup. Honestly, I think that within your budget and experience, going with continuous CFL is your best option, even if it isn't the best long-term solution.


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Apr 12, 2015 10:42 |  #23

Like EmaginePixel said check your local craig's listings, your in LA that's a tremendous metro area.
people gotta be looking to move stuff. Just this week i picked up a 50D for 300.00 in 9+ condition, came with box and everything in it, right down to the Spanish manual.


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Apr 13, 2015 10:54 as a reply to  @ bumpintheroad's post |  #24

I appreciate you all for the great tips. I learned more from this thread than what I have learned in the past year.

I am still considering on the CFL kit. If I end up purchasing, I will definitely let you guys know how the kit worked out.

Thanks again for all your kind words!

Kelly.


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Apr 13, 2015 15:15 |  #25

kellyhenselle wrote:
I saw one kit for about $150 that comes with 12-45W CFL

The 45W CFL will give you the light output of about a about 180W traditional incandescent (not halogen), according to what energy.gov says. Ads for a CFL used for photography have claimed 225W equivalent. EnergyStar.gov says 150W incandescent creates about 2600 lumens of light, about the same amount as 40-45W CFL.

A user writes this:

"CFL's rated at 45 watts would be slightly more than twice the overall brightness of any standard 100 watt household tungsten bulb. This is a published and industry accepted value, but the output on these are far less than half of a single traditional bulb - and certainly not two of them."


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Apr 13, 2015 15:58 |  #26

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511858 (external link)
I personally couldn't figure out what the point is to use speedlite for studio use. It is too small, hard to make adjustments, and not cheaper than full size strobe heads. So, I am still postponing to purchase a speedlite unless I get many assignments that requires it.

I'll let you know what my experience is in the next few weeks.

I have 4 alien bees for my studio stuff. two B400s and two B800s. I use 24x36 and 30x60 gridded softboxes. I only ever really pull out all 4 when I want to make a white background. which most of the time I'm using the B400s at 1/4 power for that which should equate to about half power on the Canon 600RT speedlight.

I'm going to "TRY" to move to a two cheetah 360 barebulb strobe to replace my B800s and to replace my B400s use two Canon 600RT strobes.

It's not hard to make adjustments since everything will be controllable form the camera via Canons trigger and the Cheetah trigger (handheld).

I wanted to move toward a smaller more portable setup. I also have a vagabond coming as well so all in all I'll be up to my neck in flash equipment and will need to make decisions what to keep. I'm gonna try the cheetah bare bulbs out this weekend for some on location stuff. and the following week try some studio white background stuff as well.

Need to see how everything will work out.


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Apr 15, 2015 17:56 |  #27

kellyhenselle wrote in post #17511893 (external link)
I was checking on Cowboy Studio on ebay as well. It looks like they are all similar companies.

I saw one kit for about $150 that comes with 12-45W CFL and 3 color 6x9 muslin backgrounds. All stands and hardwares included. And first order discount as well.

I was thinking this kit will be sufficient enough for the studio portrait purpose. But who knows...

Cowboy Studio branded products are novice gear at best, often with poor quality right out of the box. Do your research and get something that functions well and will last.




  
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Cheap Studio Lighting Setup???
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