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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 14 Jul 2015 (Tuesday) 17:24
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Advice on using these lights

 
southwestform
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Jul 14, 2015 17:24 |  #1

I'm very new to studio lights and have this light kit:

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_2x500ws_chimer​a_kit.html (external link)

I'm planning to use the kit for portraits, with one light being the key and the other for the hair light, along with a c-stand and a piece of foam core acting as the fill.

1. Can I achieve good quality lighting with this kit with what I'm trying to do? I guess I'm asking is the quality of the light as good as some of the more expensive lights, minus some features?
2. Is there a way to get this to wirelessly synch with a 5DM3? Is it compatible for wireless synching with a Speedilte 600EX-RT?

Thanks!




  
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Alveric
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Jul 14, 2015 19:49 |  #2
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southwestform wrote in post #17631709 (external link)
I'm very new to studio lights and have this light kit:

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_2x500ws_chimer​a_kit.html (external link)

I'm planning to use the kit for portraits, with one light being the key and the other for the hair light, along with a c-stand and a piece of foam core acting as the fill.

1. Can I achieve good quality lighting with this kit with what I'm trying to do? I guess I'm asking is the quality of the light as good as some of the more expensive lights, minus some features?
2. Is there a way to get this to wirelessly synch with a 5DM3? Is it compatible for wireless synching with a Speedilte 600EX-RT?

Thanks!

Man, you have one of the best lighting systems in the world and you're asking if you can achieve 'quality lighting'?

You can't use your 600EX-RT to trigger the lights via radio waves, but you can use the optical triggers on the Integras with it. Simply set the flashgun to the lowest power and turn it away from your subject and the area you're lighting so that when it fires it will fire the Integras without messing up your photo*.

I hope you have a lightmeter, otherwise setting the ratios will be a bit of a chore.

*Alternatively you can use your flashgun as a third light, but I'd use it with a gel on it and only for accents or background lights: its colour temperature is not the same as that of the Hensels and will give you colour issues.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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southwestform
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Jul 14, 2015 20:19 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #3

It is actually not my kit, the place I work owns it and I get to use it :-) I also have access to a Sekonic light meter.

1. Do you actually consider this lighting system one of the "best?"
2. Can you please elaborate on how I would use the optical triggers on the integras with it? How do I set it up so the camera talks to the light wireless? OR did I misunderstand what you were trying to explain?

Thanks!




  
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Alveric
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Jul 14, 2015 20:49 |  #4
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Yes: the best; that's why I've heavily invested in Hensel: consistent colour output at all power levels, built like tanks, and made in Germany. I wouldn't trade my Integras for the top of the line Profotos.

If you've a lightmeter you're set.

This is the way I used to trigger my Integras with the Canon 430EX-II:

I would set up all my lights were I wanted them and turn on their optical triggers (that's the 'Slave' button on the back). Then, I would place my 430EX on a lightstand very close to one of the Integras, practically right next to it. I'd set the 430EX to its lowest power (1/64 if I remember correctly), and turn its head away from the subject. Finally, I'd take the shot, with a PocketWizard MiniTT1 on the camera, which would fire the 430EX by means of the PocketWizard Flex TT5 it was mounted on, which in turn will fire the Integras. Simple. :)


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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MedicinSC
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Post edited over 4 years ago by MedicinSC.
     
Jul 14, 2015 22:52 |  #5

You can use something like the YN-622C system to fire the strobes. One plugged into each sync port and another YN-622C or 622C-TX on camera. It may or may not be able to HSS, but at sync speed and below, I'd think it'd work. I don't have a Hensel, but it works for my Mettle strobe (with HSS).




  
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southwestform
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Jul 15, 2015 14:41 |  #6

Thanks for the replies.

1. When would I want to use this grid reflector? http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …7_Grid_Reflecto​r_for.html (external link)
2. Should I use an umbrella on the light or a grid reflector when using the light as a hair light?

Thanks.




  
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MedicinSC
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Jul 15, 2015 14:44 |  #7

The reflector will give you a smaller spread of light. Adding a grid will further confine it.

An umbrella will provide a larger and softer light.




  
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Phil ­ V
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Jul 15, 2015 15:00 |  #8

'Light quality' has nothing to do with the light source (sunlight, strobe, flashgun, torch, LED panel) and everything to do with the modifiers and your skill in using them.

And if I was being blunt, that softbox doesn't match the build quality or price of those lights. IMHO a decent softbox has a decent depth lip and the ability to take a grid.


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southwestform
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Jul 15, 2015 15:39 as a reply to  @ Phil V's post |  #9

I also have access to this softbox

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …deo_Pro_Plus_So​ftbox.html (external link)

it is larger so I'm guessing it will result in much softer light? Though it is labeled as a video softbox, I'm guessing it doesn't make a difference if used for digital photography?

Thanks.




  
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Alveric
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Jul 15, 2015 19:13 |  #10
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southwestform wrote in post #17632719 (external link)
I also have access to this softbox

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …deo_Pro_Plus_So​ftbox.html (external link)

it is larger so I'm guessing it will result in much softer light? Though it is labeled as a video softbox, I'm guessing it doesn't make a difference if used for digital photography?

Thanks.

That's a good softbox, although it's still on the smallish side. You'd have to place it very, very close to the subject to attain very soft shadow edges. It all depends on the kind of look you want—as far as softness goes there's really no 'right answer', it all comes down to the look you need.

For reference, this photo was litten with that extra small Chimera softbox: http://assets.loeildel​aphotographie.com …Heisler-Yasser-Arafat.jpg (external link)


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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southwestform
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Jul 16, 2015 17:43 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #11

Thanks for all of the replies.

I want to do simple 3-point portrait lighting and I will use a light meter to set the camera based on the lighting I choose, however, being new to lighting, I do not know how to set the strobes.
I'm using the strobe with the softbox as my key light, and will use either the other strobe as a fill, or a piece of white board as the fill on a C-stand. I am using wired synch, and I am currently in test mode (not sure if I should be in this mode), and I am not clear on what settings I should make to the strobe acting as the key. Can someone please get me started? What do I base the setting on the strobe to? Is this simply the intensity setting and you just have to cycle through all of them in trial and error, or is there another way of doing this?

Thanks.




  
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Alveric
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Jul 16, 2015 18:12 |  #12
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OK, let's use this beaten-to-death image for reference:

IMAGE: http://cdn.ipernity.com/200/96/16/36469616.1ca884be.800.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.ipernity.co​m/doc/diamantstudios/3​6469616  (external link)
Business Headshot (external link) par Alveric (external link), on ipernity

That's a two-light portrait: One Hensel Integra 500 with a beauty dish as the key, a white Hensel collapsible reflector opposite the main light, and a Hensel Integra 500 with 7" bowl reflector with 30° grid for rim light. Background is a neutral grey roll of paper.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a 'BTS' shot, but here's how I attacked the problem:

Having decided on a Paramount lighting pattern, I placed the main light at ~20° with respect to the model and to camera right, about 2 ft away from her and pointed down. I placed the white reflector to camera left and modified its angle and distance to taste (this is where those 300W model lights are a blessing).

I then placed the rim light @ ~45° behind her, aimed slightly towards the camera (no flare thanks to both the grid and the lens hood) and rotated it till I got her shoulder and hair litten and a highlight on the left side of her face.

Metering: I metered the main light and adjusted its power till it matched my target aperture which was f/11. Since I wanted the rim light to be 1 stop brighter than the main, I metered it and turned the dial until the meter reported f/16.

That was it.

'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

  
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Jul 17, 2015 00:20 |  #13

I'm also a big fan of single-source key lighting. I think too-often, those just starting out in studio portraiture get hung up on three-point lighting technique, attempting specific key-to-fill ratios, etc., whereas, often, just a single, large source can look great just on its own. Here's another single-source portrait, keyed only by a 69" octa, with no reflector or other fill-source used, plus a small stripbox for the backlight:

IMAGE: http://studio460.com/images/elinchrom69-J2.png
Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 500 + Elinchrom 69" octa + frosted deflector.

LEARN LIGHT LIGHTBASICS.COM (external link)

  
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studio460
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Post edited over 4 years ago by studio460. (3 edits in all)
     
Jul 17, 2015 02:49 |  #14

southwestform wrote in post #17633872 (external link)
I want to do simple 3-point portrait lighting and I will use a light meter to set the camera based on the lighting I choose, however, being new to lighting, I do not know how to set the strobes.
I'm using the strobe with the softbox as my key light, and will use either the other strobe as a fill, or a piece of white board as the fill on a C-stand.

That's a good approach, but skip the second fill light for the moment, and just try a bounce card first. Many photographers use a sheet of Foamcore, Gatorboard, B-board (Styrofoam), foldable reflector, or white show card (tag board) for subtle fill. Since the reflectance is relatively low, you'll only see its effect if placed very close to your subject.

southwestform wrote in post #17633872 (external link)
I am using wired synch, and I am currently in test mode (not sure if I should be in this mode), and I am not clear on what settings I should make to the strobe acting as the key. Can someone please get me started? What do I base the setting on the strobe to? Is this simply the intensity setting and you just have to cycle through all of them in trial and error, or is there another way of doing this?

I assume you're using a digital camera, so trial-and-error is fine. Since the Hensel Integra is a 500Ws light with a six-stop power range, I would start at its lowest power setting (1/32nd), which results at an output of 15.6Ws. At a base ISO of ISO 100, with the source 4' from subject, you should end up with something around f/4.0-f/5.6 (shooting through a double-baffled, medium-sized softbox). If your camera only goes as low as ISO 200, you should end up somewhere between f/5.6-f/8.0 at a distance of four feet (in general, studio portraiture is typically shot at between f/5.6 and f/11).

Positioning your key:

1. Set up your primary key about two feet above the subject's eyeline.
2. Start with the key centered (a lot of beauty photography employs a centered key).
3. If some shadow is desired, try moving the key off-axis a bit, but don't exceed anything more than about 30-degrees.

Basic light quality rules:

1. The closer the source is to your subject, the more "wrap." The more wrap, the "softer" the light.
2. The closer the source is to your subject, the more rapid the light fall-off.

Light fall-off isn't necessarily a bad thing, and for many applications, it's a highly desired effect. Light fall-off helps to create shape and form. I think most of those starting out in portraiture tend to light too "flat," with too much fill. A little drama is always nice; however, be careful not to move your key too far off-axis (which would create too much shadow). Again, the larger the source (relative to the subject), the greater the wrap, and hence, the "softer" the light appears. My preference is to place my primary key as close as possible to my subject (to maximize wrap, while increasing fall-off), while still being able to frame-out the softbox. Good luck!


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