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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 26 Sep 2005 (Monday) 22:22
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Setting Up a Small In-Home Studio on a Large Budget

 
MDJAK
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Aug 10, 2007 08:07 |  #46

For a minute, I thought this was a new thread.

I cannot believe you have not received your generator back. That is unbelievable. Whether you need it or not, you've got to escalate that to the top of the company.

mark




  
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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 10, 2007 09:38 |  #47

Never noticed this thread before either...

Small (as in: not wide) room...
That's going to give problems with group shots (as you noted), and options for light setup.

I think the rails are a good idea.
Manfrotto makes the SkyTrack system. Nothing on their site but this pdf (external link). You might have trouble getting lights far enough into the corners / wall though. (Will be a problem anyhow ;))

Another (removable) option might be this: Click (external link). New, no experience with it, but looks nice.

Studio stand can be usefull, but might be a bit overkill for a 35mm DSLR ;)
Combined with a good ballhead, it's very nice when doing set up portraits IMO, and *more* flexible then a regular tripod IMO. It is more akward to initially set up however.

I prefer the handling of Foba over Manfrotto, but that's a personal choice.

On the medium format digital: Completely different from even a 1Ds2. Quite different images, different DoF and transition to OoF. Different color (a bit), because the use of a 16Bit CCD. Obviously way different handling and price. Also, quite a demand on the PC.


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DwightMcCann
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Aug 10, 2007 10:56 |  #48

PhotosGuy wrote in post #3702044 (external link)
Have you tried theatrical supply houses for the drapes?

Frank, I have a connection through the casino for the drape material but I need to figure out how I will hang them first ... if I get time I will talk with the guy and see if he knows about it.


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DwightMcCann
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Aug 17, 2007 15:26 |  #49

I'm just reporting that my Bowens QUADX 3000 Generator is not back from repair (defective capacitors) after three months and several "in the mail" promises. I have complained to Bowens. I am about to start doing "reviews" on all websites, posting to my blog, and generally sharing my experience with Bowens worldwide ... it is really outrageous. And the longer it gets the less willing anyone is to even tell me what is going on ... they are all horribly embarrassed ... but not enough that they are going to do anything about it, of course.


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DavidW
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Aug 18, 2007 13:18 |  #50

Dwight - I think the only way ahead at this stage is to say you want a new unit in exchange for yours - and/or say that you'll contact your attorney. I realise the unit isn't new (after all, you mentioned you had it in 2005), but that kind of service on professional gear is a joke.

Have you tried phoning Bowens in the UK?

David




  
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DwightMcCann
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Aug 18, 2007 14:19 |  #51

DavidW wrote in post #3750258 (external link)
Dwight - I think the only way ahead at this stage is to say you want a new unit in exchange for yours - and/or say that you'll contact your attorney. I realise the unit isn't new (after all, you mentioned you had it in 2005), but that kind of service on professional gear is a joke.

Have you tried phoning Bowens in the UK?

David

I have an open service ticket. I have been in contact with both Bowens UK and Bowens USA. They don't want to discuss it. I am guessing that they hope the unit will get repaired this year and then I will simply go away but they have abused me much too much for that. I am going to share this episode in the hopes that others will consider repair times when buying equipment in the USA. As I say, if I treated my customers the way Bowens has treated me I would have no clients ... and expect "word of mouth" would also get around.

[Edit: I just checked at Bowens UK ... my most recent complaint about this situation is "unassigned".]


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Aug 18, 2007 20:11 |  #52

Hey Dwight, you might look at a place called Cinetactics for your peripheal equipment, the rails and beams for the ceiling where you'll mount your lights and accessories. They specialize in this style of work and would probably be able to help you out with suggestions as well. My only experience with them comes from a lens hoodie to screen the lcd of my camcorder for veiwing in daylight (soccer games). Good luck with that and keep showing us your progress!

Happy shooting!


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DwightMcCann
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Aug 18, 2007 22:56 |  #53

wannabegood wrote in post #3751809 (external link)
Hey Dwight, you might look at a place called Cinetactics for your peripheal equipment, the rails and beams for the ceiling where you'll mount your lights and accessories. They specialize in this style of work and would probably be able to help you out with suggestions as well. My only experience with them comes from a lens hoodie to screen the lcd of my camcorder for veiwing in daylight (soccer games). Good luck with that and keep showing us your progress!

Happy shooting!

Excellent ... I will check them out now that I am unlikely to do any business with Bowens!


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Aug 27, 2007 11:02 |  #54

Well, here's the update on my "repaired" Bowens QUADX 3000 generator: it's worse than ever! I had a POTN BBQ at my house over the weekend. Had a couple of moderators and a few real photographers. I had a paying portrait shoot Sunday afternoon so I decided to unpack the repaired generator and show 'em how nice these things are when they work. I tested my setup on the replacement generator I had to buy because I couldn't wait three months for Bowens EXPEDITED service and all was perfect. I then swapped cables and settings over the "repaired" unit and powered up. The ready light flashed, went solid, flashed, for a while so finally I said, "What the heck" and fired the unit manually. BAM, POW, KABOOM! Steve Montoya jumped about six feet. Johnny Thunder held his nose. Stinking electrical smell everywhere! Skip Souza tried to draw his weapon (but thankfully they've taken it away from him!) All observers in stitches laughing. I replugged into the replacement unit and everything was fine as was the portrait shoot later in the day. The still broken BOWENS QUADX 3000 generator will go back to Calumet and then to Bowens USA this week ... they can use it as a boat anchor. I would use the "incompetent" word but I'm not qualified to judge.


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Nov 01, 2007 14:34 |  #55

Time to update this thread again. First, Bowens came through with a new unit, finally. I now have two generators and six heads ... for backup if nothing else. If these units blow, I'm throwing them overboard and getting Profoto I think.

But on other fronts: I got the quote for drape material which wasn't too bad and am working on getting my middleman to put the order in: four 10' x 12' panels with grommets on one side. I also got two additional sets of Autopoles and may hang the drapes between poles. And I got an assortment of clamps and will be trying to see how I can mount flash heads on SuperClamps on the Autopoles to save space.I'm hoping to have the drapes by the middle of the month.

Since last I posted here I bought a 1DMIII. Haven't used it much and have no opinions and I am likely to continue to shoot with my 5D in the studio. I also have a pre-order in for a 1DsMIII but I expect it'll be Christmas before there's a chance of getting that.

Finally, I took Frank Doorhof's L.A. workshop. I was saturated after two hours with way more than could absorb. I have changed the batteries in my light meter and will finally be trying to learn to use it with the studio strobes. I never knew you could calibrate light meters, duh! Anyway, I will be trying a couple of Frank's simple lighting setups as time permits. And I have the best of intentions of taking pictures of everything I do and sharing it ... I may even get back to my blog although I was never sure anyone even looked at when I did it regularly before, sigh.


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Nov 09, 2007 23:08 |  #56

My black drapes have arrived, complete with fire retardant certification. I hope to get some pictures this weekend because it looks like I'm going to want some suggestions on supporting them. They are heavy, 10' x 13' panels with flat binding and grommets on one side. I thank you all for hanging in here with me through all these adventures which will continue for a while.


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Nov 18, 2007 09:51 |  #57

Good to see your thread is still moving Dwight :D

So have you taken your Bowens gear outdoors yet? You keep saying you will ;)

Rob


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DwightMcCann
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Nov 18, 2007 10:06 |  #58

Shooter-boy wrote in post #4338369 (external link)
Good to see your thread is still moving Dwight :D

So have you taken your Bowens gear outdoors yet? You keep saying you will ;)

Rob

Yes, this thread will keep moving slowly. I have the drapes. Yesterday I "cleaned house" in the studio and did some organizing. I have established that the Magic Arms will work very well holding flash heads from Autopoles. Today I will be working on hanging some of the drapes for the walls. I promise to post some new pictures, probably this evening.

Bowens outdoors: I am really anxious to do this but I need to learn to work with my light meter in the studio and it now looks like my budget will have to push off the acquisition of the portable power pack until the first quarter as I have an Epson 7880 printer and new laptop currently scheduled in before that. If I can find a place with power, which is quite possible, I will try them sooner .... maybe in the local park with my niece or band!


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Nov 18, 2007 19:06 |  #59

As promised I am attaching some photos. The two "interesting" or "upgrades" here are: (1) several new Autopoles with Magic Arms to hold flash heads, (2) new Autopoles to hang new black drapes. This post will be in two parts as I have four images. In the first which is shot from the doorway, there is a wire basket set on the right. On the other side of it is an Autopole holding up one end of a drape (there is a silver/blue lamp but that doesn't count.) At the far end of the drape, on a Magic Arm attached to the Autopole that the drape is hung from at the far end is a beauty disk on a Magic Arm without the diffuser. The far wall is my gray muslin. There is an Autopole in the middle of the floor with a couple of clamps on it including a Magic Arm with nothing on it ... I was experimenting. To the left of the Autopole, high to the right of the softbox is a snoot on another type of arm that I don't really like ... when I am done I will shoot images of each piece and give an evaluation. To the left of that are my three softboxes. To their left is a window with wooden venetian blinds (there is another such window in the center of the far wall but it is heavily masked off at the moment.) At the left of the whole image is a large three shelf storage rack.

The second image is shot from the far side of the window seen on the left wall of the first image, with the Autopole in the middle of the floor. You can see the drape more clearly ... is is just stretched from the two end points ... it is fairly heavy which is why it is so droopy. The softbox in lower left is a 36" x 9" strip light.


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Nov 18, 2007 19:14 as a reply to  @ DwightMcCann's post |  #60

The first image here was meant to show the Magic Arm with beauty disk on flash head ... not very useful, sigh. The second image shows the setup from a bit closer in giving a better idea of what everything looks like.

My plan after experimenting today is to get more Autopoles and double SuperClamps and Magic Arms (all ordered today from B&H.) I will put a pair of Autopoles against each wall to be draped. I will put a double SuperClamp at the top of each Autopole. I will then clamp a cross pipe onto the Autopoles from which I will suspend the drape. This will reduce the droopiness and allow me to stretch them with clamps to the Autopoles if I want to tighten them up. I have four drapes so I can cover the three walls and have a drape left over ... which is for the ceiling if I can figure out how to hang it ... any thoughts?

I am actually more stoked by seeing how well the Magic Arm/Autopole setup handles the flash heads than the drapes as it will greatly reduce the light stands which are a huge pain in that small room. Anyway, I know I am Sllooooooooowwwwwwwwww​wwwww, but I am sure and will continue to post as I move forward. I expect that when I am "done" I will start a new thread (with a link from this thread) with the "finished product" and some glamor shots.


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