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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 19 May 2018 (Saturday) 02:10
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/Finally/ buying a strobe - what to get?

 
bobbyz
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May 21, 2018 23:02 |  #16

I prefer wheeled stands but then they are more $$ than C-stands. If you using heavy strobe like AD600 on top of a light stand then you need beefier stand. Another option is to buy extension head and use AD600 as a sandbag. You can start with these impact heavy duty stands, they used to be pretty good deal at < $40.

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …i_9_5_heavy_dut​y_air.html (external link)

Get foldable softbox or octa with a bowen's mount. You can use any modifier as long as you have the correct speedring insert.


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Post edited 9 months ago by TeamSpeed. (4 edits in all)
     
May 22, 2018 08:26 |  #17

Osa713 wrote in post #18629901 (external link)
Is that a baby stroller for a strobe? First of its kind for sure.

Per my previous link and that image, it is a golf bag cart/trolley.

Get a good heavier one, and possibly consider replacing the wheels with all-terrain....

https://www.tgw.com …Hqjfw8hf-hLhoCtyIQAvD_BwE (external link)

I like what sincity did, I could put my pelican gear box on the carrier platform and strap it (it is heavy) and then mount the light stand to the cart. Great idea! It would take alot of wind to knock that down with such a wide stance and weight down low, plus it makes it easy to pull everything around.


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bobbyz
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Post edited 9 months ago by bobbyz.
     
May 22, 2018 09:59 |  #18

You need a boom otherwise you end up with placing your octa far from the subject as that golf cart is quite big and will show up in the frame. Adding boom requires beefier setup. Better have a small metal cart with pneumatic wheels and attach a C-stands column to it, then use a 40" grip arm.


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F2Bthere
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May 23, 2018 02:02 |  #19

bobbyz wrote in post #18630365 (external link)
You need a boom otherwise you end up with placing your octa far from the subject as that golf cart is quite big and will show up in the frame. Adding boom requires beefier setup. Better have a small metal cart with pneumatic wheels and attach a C-stands column to it, then use a 40" grip arm.

Or get serious:

https://i.pinimg.com …ea7c1b8d848f056​2c399a.jpg (external link)


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bobbyz
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Post edited 9 months ago by bobbyz. (4 edits in all)
     
May 23, 2018 08:19 |  #20

More like this:

https://www.dickssport​inggoods.com …kusstrkrbrscbfa​c?camp=CSE (external link):DSG_pg46145_ecom_PLA_45​2&gclid=CjwKCAjwopTYBR​AzEiwAnU4kb_LUBRhsjLkG​0X-Yd7D1pydA8a3aig0-hsaRaCUTgQ_S0jWOVniaZh​oC2rsQAvD_BwE

You can put a weight or camera bag stuff inside and attach the C-stand column to it. Rolls easily even on the beach.


5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
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TridenTBoy
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Post edited 8 months ago by TridenTBoy. (2 edits in all)
     
May 28, 2018 01:23 |  #21

Setup craigslist alerts. Got 2 10' matthews stands (no arms but they do have the ?knuckles? that the arms slide into) for $50 total. Good deal. Bought a used knuckle+arm combo on B&H along with a 6" pin. Don't need the second arm yet but I will buy one soon enough or get one through craigslist. For now, woop woop. Only downside to these stands is that they have the spring loaded base and there's no sliding top leg. A little annoying if I do ever shoot on a hill or what not.

AD600 is on the way. That was for $450 through greentoe. Should be here this week.

Any suggestions on light modifiers to start with? I would like something that either packs away nicely and/or is very quick to setup. I will definitely be shooting "on location" more often than not. So, being able to carry it around easily is a must. I'm trying to figure out sizing as well... Better to go larger than smaller if I had to choose? I'm really open to specific suggestions right now as far as products go.

Also, I drive a car that doesn't have fold down seats and has a rather small trunk. Only upside is that it has a ski pass through thing. So that's how I got the c-stands home.




  
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F2Bthere
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May 29, 2018 03:51 |  #22

Fair warning, I love Elinchrom and Mola modifiers, so mostly they are my examples. There are plenty of other good and less expensive choices out there. I mention what I have used. You can get an inexpensive adapter for Elinchrom mount, but your unit has a Bowens mount and there are more Bowens options available than anything else.

So let the specific units serve as models, then find a good price/brand/look combination for you.

Cheetastand is probably worth a look. I haven't bought a modifier, but had good experience buying parts and they are used by many forum members. Prices and the type of gear they sell look to be good.

More round or octagonal looks more like the sun or a light in the catchlights. Square or rectangular looks more like a window. Many don't care. Catchlights can also be edited in post.

Bigger is better for more options--a light can be made smaller by backing it up but you can only get so close) but also harder to handle and acts more like a sail with the breeze. Bigger also takes more power to fill. So it is a balancing act to choose what is "best."

I like the Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa for fairly easy set up and transport. For general field use, I like the 27.5" because it is easy to handle. The 39" is another good and popular choice. The 59" is great but impractical for the field.

The 27.5" can be managed handheld (folded stand on hip, held with left hand, camera in right hand) and was used for this image:

https://www.instagram.​com …en-by=storyinpictures_com (external link)

Most of the images on my IG were made with one of the Deep Octas. Generally listed in the tags.

Another with the 27.5" on stand in my hand:

https://www.instagram.​com …en-by=storyinpictures_com (external link)

Metal reflectors are less likely to catch wind and are generally more efficient.

Search for thread on Maxi Lite aka Fireball to see how that one modifier gets used in diverse ways. This is easy to set up :).

A Beauty Dish is another good option. This video shows a Mola Demi BD in the field. In this case, the photographer has a good assistant, but this is the same method I used for the image above, just one person doing both roles :).

https://vimeo.com/5530​2922 (external link)

That BD isn't tiny but is still reasonable and is a fairly solid option for field work. Pretty efficient. Reasonable soft but still contrasty. You can put a diffuser on and you have an instant softbox (like an Octa but perfectly round). Perfectly round is an ideal catch light. Good in wind. Easy to set up.

To my eye, Mola BDs are quite good and the design does seem to matter. But you can get serviceable BDs on Amazon with grids for very affordable prices--Mola isn't cheap. Mola is the standard in the Fashion industry but works well in other contexts. Search and you will find comparisons images (Mola vs. ...) on this site, dpreview, etc. Trust your eye for what looks better when you get your gear, not mine (or anyone else's). :)

The Mola Demi is a much more practical size for the field. The Mola Setti is fantastic but less portable. These are the two Molas I have used and can recommend.

Mola Setti in use with images:

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=Bv4Y5BkhJhA (external link)


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TridenTBoy
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Post edited 8 months ago by TridenTBoy. (2 edits in all)
     
May 30, 2018 19:25 |  #23

Read the advice above but a lot of that feels out of my price range for starting out. Unfortunately, I am very willing to throw down big $$$ for gadgets... and I need to refrain from that as much as possible. :cry:

Ended up watching this to get an overview of a bunch of modifiers that this guy has used: https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=fMsHgfPb0sI (external link)

Very useful. Admittedly, it seems that a lot of people have a hard time finding a substantial difference between /many/ modifiers so I went with ones that were easiest to tear down, setup, and had a decent cost to them.

Ended up buying the Godox SB-UE 31.5"/80cm off aliexpress for about $60. Should be here in a while... Got the Godox 32" Umbrella softbox. It's basically the same thing - lol - but cheaper ($24). I figure it's good if I use my little YN560 speedlite I got years ago. http://a.co/gZD7Gtn (external link) And I got the XPro-S trigger. Overkill for one light but I might get more. There is a neat deal for an AD200 + Hexapop 24" and a bunch of accessories for about $370... but I'm not gonna. Haha.

One thing I'm looking for now is gels! Where/what do you guys buy for gels? I was looking at this Rosco Photo lighting kit here: https://www.adorama.co​m/ropllfk12.html (external link) I was going to cut them to fit properly over the flash bulb with a little silicone rubber band.




  
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F2Bthere
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May 30, 2018 23:42 as a reply to  @ TridenTBoy's post |  #24

I don't use gels that often and don't see a lot of gells in most of what I look at.

They do matter in certain mixed light situations, but this doesn't come up a lot for most photographers.

Unless you have a known need, I'd save the cost till you do.


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RicoTudor
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Post edited 8 months ago by RicoTudor. (2 edits in all)
     
May 31, 2018 06:02 |  #25

F2Bthere wrote in post #18636192 (external link)
I don't use gels that often and don't see a lot of gells in most of what I look at.

They do matter in certain mixed light situations, but this doesn't come up a lot for most photographers.

I use gels from time to time. Usually, I suppress ambient completely and generate all light for the shooting situation, either with multiple strobes or with reflectors. This keep the color temperature consistent throughout. Just for fun, I just tried balancing xenon flash with overhead fluorescents. What a pain! Even with a Sekonic C-500 color flashmeter, it took forever. Gels are cheap and easy to use: just tape them onto the front of the flash, and special effects don't require critical color matching. Time for pics...

First, scary special effects. :) Apparition created by my daughter, age 9:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/nikon/misc/witch.jpg

Real background created by blue gel hitting a diffusion panel from behind:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/nikon/misc/flowers.jpg

Balancing the ambient shows fluorescents alone, then unmodified flash added, then flash color balanced:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/fm/rico113b.jpg

Those are SOOC JPEGs. Below is the third image with luminosity and saturation curves, but color balance is unaltered.

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/fm/rico113a.jpg

The color balance was Rosco 3/4 CTO combined with Rosco 1/2 PlusGreen. 1/4 PlusGreen was not sufficient, so a complete pack of gels is good to have on hand. This Rosco 2"x3" swatchbook has at least 100 gels, and dozens of diffusion and reflector materials to inspect:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/fm/swatchgels.jpg

Not bad for $35. :)

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F2Bthere
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May 31, 2018 06:41 |  #26

RicoTudor wrote in post #18636331 (external link)
I use gels from time to time. Usually, I suppress ambient completely and generate all light for the shooting situation, either with multiple strobes or with reflectors. This keep the color temperature consistent throughout. Just for fun, I just tried balancing xenon flash with overhead fluorescents. What a pain! Even with a Sekonic C-500 color flashmeter, it took forever. Gels are cheap and easy to use: just tape them onto the front of the flash, and special effects don't require critical color matching. Time for pics...

First, scary special effects. :) Apparition created by my daughter, age 9:
QUOTED IMAGE

Real background created by blue gel hitting a diffusion panel from behind:

QUOTED IMAGE

Balancing the ambient shows fluorescents alone, then unmodified flash added, then flash color balanced:

QUOTED IMAGE

Those are SOOC JPEGs. Below is the third image with luminosity and saturation curves, but color balance is unaltered.

QUOTED IMAGE

The color balance was Rosco 3/4 CTO combined with Rosco 1/2 PlusGreen. 1/4 PlusGreen was not sufficient, so a complete pack of gels is good to have on hand. This Rosco 2"x3" swatchbook has at least 100 gels, and dozens of diffusion and reflector materials to inspect:

Not bad for $35. :)

Excellent examples.

First one I would do in post if it is just a single color. :)

The background color is a great use, although not super challenging in post (even neutral background tends to be an easy selection) but I agree--less work with a gel. A gel on a background light into black creates an effect which is also nice and a pain to recreate in post.

Mixed light...yes, exactly the place where it does something which would be a huge pain to pull off in post. And your images are great examples of this. For a person doing images like this, it's the right tool for the job and hard to beat. For me, if I'm going to that much trouble, I prefer to light it myself instead of going with mixed, since that is likely to produce superior results for me.

Also useful to give a gentle warm lift to subjects (just don't over do it) and for backlit subjects with sunrise or sunset.

No doubt, they have a place.

I still think they are a relatively specialized tool and not worth getting until a person, especially a beginner, has a specific application. It's easy to aquire a closet full of gear that doesn't see much use :).


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RicoTudor
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May 31, 2018 07:07 |  #27

F2Bthere wrote in post #18636346 (external link)
First one I would do in post if it is just a single color. :)

The background color is a great use, although not super challenging in post (even neutral background tends to be an easy selection) but I agree--less work with a gel. ...

Doing a single color in post, sure, but the witch apparition has two light sources. Note green and white specularities on the plastic wrap. The flower shot could be produced in post with an alpha channel but not with "magic scissors" due to the defocussed edges.


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Post edited 8 months ago by TeamSpeed.
     
May 31, 2018 07:31 |  #28

Now I just need Godox to make a gel color wheel that I can remotely control as well. Put 6 gels into a wheel that sits in front of the flash head and then dial in the background color mix I want. For holiday family portraits, I could dial the background in with a mix of colors different for each family right from the comfort of the camera. A random feature would be great as well, so that each shot was a different mix of colors. :)


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F2Bthere
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May 31, 2018 09:15 |  #29

RicoTudor wrote in post #18636356 (external link)
Doing a single color in post, sure, but the witch apparition has two light sources. Note green and white specularities on the plastic wrap. The flower shot could be produced in post with an alpha channel but not with "magic scissors" due to the defocussed edges.

Well, pa'dner, I'll see your specularitie and raise you a Luminosity mask ;).

Kidding aside, this particular example could be satisfactorily met with post, but a multi-color strobe scenario could easily be set which would prove your point.

We are quibbling details...I suspect we don't really disagree in any substantive way.


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TridenTBoy
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Jun 02, 2018 14:35 as a reply to  @ RicoTudor's post |  #30

What would you recommend for a gel pack? I'm trying to get something that I can use to cut out to fit exactly over the AD600 bulb. I don't think a 2x3 pack is big enough. That'd fit a speedlite but not much else I think.




  
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/Finally/ buying a strobe - what to get?
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