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Strobe vs Continuous Lighting - your opinions?

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Androniques
814 posts
60
Message posted at 11/28/2012, 18:22:39 PM by Androniques

Originally posted by Sijohnsen:
Quoted Message: I bought one of the sets you originally linked to as a cheap supplement to the lights I already had, I have to say they aren`t the best quality, a bit plasticky build wise, the stands dont seem as steady as they could be and fitting the soft boxes is a lot easier with the `s` type fittings I normally use, but for the money I can`t say I expected much more, so overall not a bad starter set for those on a budget, just expect to pay out again for better quality if you get serious.


Well, let's see what "gears" I will receive (hopefully next week)... IMHO, if the strobes work and give me the lighting I expect (after some learning curve, I guess, but still), then I don't bother about the "plastic build feel" or some instability of supports, unless they don't drop on me or, more importantly, on my subjects... :)

LOL, seriously
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message posted at 11/29/2012, 05:48:01 AM by Parkinsonsniper
@Nospmisk, can you share the brand-name and output power of your strobes? I ask because when I try to freeze the motion with my 300 watts strobes, I just can't.
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message posted at 11/29/2012, 05:55:22 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Actually, the output power is important for sure...but the consistency of white balance and output power is pretty important, too. Make some experiments when you first get you gear, to know how does it act; try 5 same exposure and take a look at pics / histogram for the exposure consistency and same for the white balance :)
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Nospmisk
364 posts
61
Message edited at 11/29/2012, 08:32:42 AM by Nospmisk

Originally posted by Parkinsonsniper:
Quoted Message: @Nospmisk, can you share the brand-name and output power of your strobes? I ask because when I try to freeze the motion with my 300 watts strobes, I just can`t.
I use Canon 580EXii, Canon 550EX, Canon 420EX
To freeze motion set the flash somewhere between 1/32 and 1/125 depending on your subject. The lower the power, the more "frozen" your subject is.

Usual settings for small object freeze:
ISO 100
WB Flash
1/200 or 1/250 depending on ambient
Flash(s) set to 1/16 power to start
Flash output power is controlled by three things in different combinations:
- ISO effects flash power, but also effects everything else
- Flash power on manual, best way to control flash exposure
- F-Stop, controls flash exposure on camera

- Shutter speed, has absolutely nothing to do with flash exposure

If you find the right flash power to freeze motion, but need more light for exposure, put another flash at the same setting next to the first flash and you have double the exposure.

Places to learn:

Strobist
Start here http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

Light, Science and Magic
Best way to learn how light interacts with reality http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/823613-REG/Focal_9780240812250_Book_Light_Science_and.html

*note: Daytime motion freeze is best done with shutter speed and flash ex: 1/8000 or if shooting below 1/250 then use 2nd curtain
Canon Body, Sigma Glass, Canon Strobes, Adobe Creative Cloud

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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
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Message posted at 11/29/2012, 08:45:31 AM by Parkinsonsniper
"- Shutter speed, has absolutely nothing to do with flash exposure"

That's why I asked you this question. Head-flashes, on other words, flashguns like Canon 550EX or Nikon sb600 etc are not effected by shutter speed and they are perfect for freezing objects. But big strobes, I mean paraflashes are effected by shutter speed. Andrey, you should take this in consider, paraflashes are not that good for freezing motions.

Thanks for your long answer :) I appreciate it...
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
814 posts
60
Message posted at 11/29/2012, 09:03:09 AM by Androniques
Once again thanks for all the insightful info! I keep silent (sort of, anyway :) but I do check this thread and do take a note (in-mind-wise) of the advices I could use sooner or later... the boards are also a way of collecting a reference list to check when there is a need. :)

Efecan, thanks for pointing out subtle things that could take a while to figure out by trial and error in practice!
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Androniques
814 posts
60
Message edited at 12/04/2012, 15:25:33 PM by Androniques
The set has arrived today... I am now playing with it, but can say already: the strobes are awesome, the stands are actually slightly shaky, but I foresee no big problems. Two strobes (one with softbox, one with umbrella) produce such an amount of light (at the lowest power setting) that it's more than enough for our living room - I had to stop down to 1/200s and f/8-f/10 not to overexpose (currently I can only use photocell-triggers, but not IR triggers, because of some mismatch in the cables, which I hope to fix soon).
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message posted at 12/05/2012, 03:11:42 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Hey great news :) I have the radio trigger set and I still use the photocell technology :) I wonder the results...
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
814 posts
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Message edited at 12/05/2012, 04:25:24 AM by Androniques

Originally posted by Parkinsonsniper:
Quoted Message: Hey great news :) I have the radio trigger set and I still use the photocell technology :) I wonder the results...


Yeap, I am fine with using the optical triggering method, and one of the features of these strobes is that they have 5 different modes for that (different synch delays etc.). But in certain situations, like in a big hall (one of the schools asked me to take pictures of their concert), the wireless method is more reliable. Also, one does not need to have an extra light-source (the speedlight on the camera), only for activating the strobe lighting setup. Currently I have to direct my speedlight away from the subject/scene, but if the room is big, that would mean the strobes might not catch/detect the triggering light-flash. So I am after the seller now - they must have included the synch jack adaptor, which is in their picture and description of the kit!

Otherwise, everything appears to work as specified, and I am (almost) happy with the light, and also how I can combine the flashes with the modelling lights - indeed a lot to play with and learn! :)

update: forgot to mention that yesterday I briefly tried the softbox as the background source behind the white backdrop - it does seem to overexpose the bg with the backdrops I have already. I will have to play with that setting more to get more evenly lit bg, but I think it will work fine for me eventually. :) The only thing I did not like in my yesterday's test-shots was that the hair was also overexposed too much, which produced rough and "patchy" head/hair outline. Perhaps, it can be improved when I get more experience with the light control, I don't know right now.
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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message edited at 12/05/2012, 04:24:27 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Yes I agree about the size of the room thing. It may be a problem with photocell technology.

All I can say is; good luck with your experiments and have fun :) you opened a new door and you have lots of new things to experiment now.
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Chrisboswell
21 posts
76
Message posted at 12/09/2012, 21:58:00 PM by Chrisboswell
Strobe, no doubt.
Full Frame DSLR and all the trimings

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Androniques
814 posts
60
Message posted at 12/17/2012, 15:30:57 PM by Androniques
   Schoolboy with globe, pointing Australia   

- any comments on this one?
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message posted at 12/18/2012, 06:31:36 AM by Parkinsonsniper
It looks fine to me :) maybe light is too soft, but I don't know if it's good or bad on children photography. I think the flash is on camera right and at the same level with his head (from the reflection on his eye), I generally use 30 - 45 degrees higher than model's head. I know that best position for catchlights are 10 or 2 o'clock. I hope I can explain what I want to say :))
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
814 posts
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Message edited at 12/18/2012, 15:58:00 PM by Androniques

Originally posted by Parkinsonsniper:
Quoted Message: It looks fine to me :) maybe light is too soft, but I don`t know if it`s good or bad on children photography. I think the flash is on camera right and at the same level with his head (from the reflection on his eye), I generally use 30 - 45 degrees higher than model`s head. I know that best position for catchlights are 10 or 2 o`clock. I hope I can explain what I want to say :))


Thanks, Efecan! Yes, the main light was to the right from the camera, and the second (bg) light was on the left, slightly behind the boy. In fact, in the lower shot you can see a shadow of his hand pointing onto the globe, which is my oversight. This overlooked shadow reveals just how tight are the space conditions I am limited to use. :( I think the left umbrella had moved a bit towards the camera, and I did not notice it while shooting. Still, I like the expression on the boy's face in the lower photo better and could not resist to provide it here together with the upper, technically correct shot.

You know what the funny thing is? I did not use my new strobes here! LOL These photos were taken with my old "tricks", using my two optically triggered flashes through umbrellas plus some reflectors to light up the background. :)
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Parkinsonsniper
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Message posted at 12/19/2012, 03:59:32 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Now I understand why the light is so even. Do you have black reflectors? they can create wonders using when you need no bouncing lights...especially in small spaces.

Your strobes will create even more and softer light so you have to find a way to create some shadows on the models/objects.

As a little addition, we (both) have to learn "not" to crop the heads! LOL I have a serious cropping problem and I'm trying to get over it. I crop heads, arms, anything I find useless and it drastically limits the usage of the photo. I work on it, I will learn it.
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Androniques
814 posts
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Message posted at 12/19/2012, 04:15:19 AM by Androniques
Heh, you're right as usual, I have yet to learn creating wanted shadows in portraits. This friday I have an arrangement with a fellow local photographer who kindly offered me some advices before and now we plan to have a joined session, testing my strobes and practicing in portraits with a model. Let see where I go after that!
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Parkinsonsniper
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Message posted at 12/19/2012, 04:26:30 AM by Parkinsonsniper
Great :) you know I have my own lifetime free model, so I have lot's of chances to practice and experiment. Good luck in your arrangement...
- 2x Nikon D300 - Olympus e-PM1 - Nikkor 20mm f2.8 ...

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Murdock2013
487 posts
79
Message posted at 05/07/2013, 15:01:36 PM by Murdock2013
Androniques, Its been a while since you bought the Kit, I was looking at the same one the other day and was just researching on here if I could find any posts on strobes and found your one. How are you finding it? and would you recommend it. I have read several reviews and some of them mention they find it too powerful for the space they have to use it in.. What are your thoughts on the kit now a few months down the line?


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Androniques
814 posts
60
Message posted at 05/09/2013, 09:57:40 AM by Androniques

Originally posted by Murdock2013:
Quoted Message: Androniques, Its been a while since you bought the Kit, I was looking at the same one the other day and was just researching on here if I could find any posts on strobes and found your one. How are you finding it? and would you recommend it. I have read several reviews and some of them mention they find it too powerful for the space they have to use it in.. What are your thoughts on the kit now a few months down the line?


Yep, I confirm that I am happy with these strobes, but one caution though: the supplied stands are of cheap quality and should be handled with care! Make sure that your models are aware of this and don't run around and don't kick the stands (mine did in the beginning but nothing has broken - kids :))
Nikon D5000, 18-105mm Nikkor VR, Nikon CP-8800 (rarely,...

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Murdock2013
487 posts
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Message posted at 05/09/2013, 12:23:14 PM by Murdock2013
Thanks Androniques, I have read that the stands are cheap and the barn door and gels people complain about too... How have you found the power of the lamps? as a few people said in the reviews I read that they could not be turned down enough and found them too powerful. Looks like I will have to upgrade the stands, sounds like that could be a wise investment.


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