December 18, 2017, 04:02:26 PM

Author Topic: Home Studio  (Read 4494 times)

c.d.embrey

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 03:34:21 AM »
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Really depends on the size of the subject(s), and of diffusers. 100-200 Ws strobes are good for smaller subjects, i.e. tabletop still life, portraits. For larger subjects using larger diffusers, you may need 400 Ws + ones. Just, if they are too powerful, you may not reduce their output enough, sometimes.

A PCB Einstein goes from 2.5 Ws to 640 Ws. A Broncolor Siros L 400 is 2-400Ws. A Broncolor Siros L 800 is 4-800Ws. All three cover a nine stop range, which should be enough for almost anything.

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Umbrellas spill more light around than softboxes, which are more "directional". Today, often softboxes are preferred to umbrellas, but it's often a matter of preferences. If you can choose, I'd start with softboxes.

Umbrellas spill little light, if you know what you are doing. They can be feathered just like a more expensive softbox. Learning the inverse square law will help you kill spill.

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Though currently I am looking to do the home studio, I would like the capability to travel on site / outdoor as well. Do I need more power then to overcome sunlight?

Why do you need to overcome sunlight? Just block it, say with a black umbrella. Or diffuse it with a white shoot-through umbrella.

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I am guessing that with Elinchrom and Profoto, one could use third party accessories but with Paul Buff you can't?

Paul C Buff uses the Balcar mount, invented around 1960. Lots of modifiers available in Balcar/PCB mount. On the other hand Elinchrom uses a very small umbrella shaft. Their umbrella mount won't work with most umbrellas.

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 03:34:21 AM »

LDS

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2017, 03:47:02 AM »
Umbrellas spill little light, if you know what you are doing. They can be feathered just like a more expensive softbox. Learning the inverse square law will help you kill spill.

Just the position of a diffuser its most of the times dictated by the relative light size to the subject, it's not free. Just like the environment around is a constraint. Softboxes may be simpler to use, especially in the beginning. I use both, depending on the situation.

On the other hand Elinchrom uses a very small umbrella shaft. Their umbrella mount won't work with most umbrellas.

Elinchrom units can accept both Elinchrom umbrellas, which are held in the hole close to the lamp, and standard shaft umbrellas, which are held in the holder below the unit.

LDS

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2017, 08:03:38 AM »
I am in the US so have access to the usual stores like Adorama/B&H?pAul Buff.

So you have plenty of options :) AFAIK Elinchrom is not directly present in the US, but through a reseller:

http://www.elinchrom.com/announcements/macgroup.html

Check what it means for you - i.e. how easy is to obtain support, if needed.

Is this the one you referred to:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1247567-REG/elinchrom_el20839_2_d_lite_rx_4_4_softbox.html
It's within my budget. Anything else you would recommend? Any other packages to consider?

Yes, but I have the older kit with two softboxes and the older transmitter, I got them a few years ago. Be aware that the kit comes with the "cheaper" version of Elinchrom softboxes. They use a plastic ring instead of a metal one, and take a little more to be assembled, but for hobby use, they are OK. I found the octa maybe a little small (but it gives better catchlights in portraits, and using the "deflector" is quite alike a beauty dish), the square ones are 66cm and enough for still life and portraits.

The only caveat about this set is maybe its design is some years old now, and we are seeing now new technologies introduced like more intuitive LCD panels and LED modelling lights. Don't know if Elinchrom will refresh it soon. You can download the user manual from the Elinchrom site, and check if they are what you need.

Anyway, the units are compatible with their new remote control which also allows for high-speed sync, which may be useful outdoor (but you need to buy it separately for about $250). The remoting protocol (Skyport) is proprietary and not compatible with Canon one, for example, although recently Elinchrom made deal with Phottix, Sekonic and other brands to integrate its system with theirs.

"Overpowering" the Sun may require power (and often a proper reflector), but some fill light is not overpowering the Sun. If you need to take advantage of a flash speed to "freeze" movement in sunlight, it's a diifferent matter. And remember also you'll need a power outlet or batteries, outdoor.

But check other options from other manufacturers - and choose what suits best your needs. I mostly do still-life, seldom portraits, your needs may be different.

Which studio light meter?

Choose the light first. Some lights can be controlled directly from the meter - useful, when you buy one. In the beginning you can even do without, digital allows to test setups easily.

Look at Sekonic or Gossen, for example. BTW: if you buy one, you'll want one with incident metering (i.e. to measure lightning ratios) - some model offer both incident and reflected light metering, others only one.

I am guessing that with Elinchrom and Profoto, one could use third party accessories but with Paul Buff you can't?

Third parties accessory comes usually with a selection of different mounts, some mounts are more supported than others - check which mounts are available, and what the lights you'd like to buy use. Some accessories use interchangeable mounts, others don't.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 08:52:34 AM by LDS »

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2017, 10:29:49 PM »
Honestly, if you plan to use flash at all I would get the Flashpoint Streaklight from Adorama. The non-ETTL version is going for $299 right now and = 5 or 6 Canon 600s as far as power goes. The light is very good. I have 7 Canon 600s and have not used a one since getting the streaklight. Very good for outdoors too.

I really like Mt. Spokane's idea of putting the backgrounds on a track. That is very smart.
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LDS

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2017, 04:16:31 AM »
Honestly, if you plan to use flash at all I would get the Flashpoint Streaklight from Adorama. The non-ETTL version is going for $299 right now and = 5 or 6 Canon 600s as far as power goes. The light is very good. I have 7 Canon 600s and have not used a one since getting the streaklight. Very good for outdoors too.

While very portable, such units may limit you in the diffusers choice, especially the larger ones. Unless you need easy portability and outdoor use, I would use a studio monolight.

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2017, 08:43:25 PM »
Honestly, if you plan to use flash at all I would get the Flashpoint Streaklight from Adorama. The non-ETTL version is going for $299 right now and = 5 or 6 Canon 600s as far as power goes. The light is very good. I have 7 Canon 600s and have not used a one since getting the streaklight. Very good for outdoors too.

While very portable, such units may limit you in the diffusers choice, especially the larger ones. Unless you need easy portability and outdoor use, I would use a studio monolight.

I have not run into any problems with any diffuser. Use it with soft boxes and umbrellas (72"). Works just as easily with my modifiers as the Canon flash. I wish I could afford two more. I should probably sell my Canon flashes to get them. I really am that happy with the Streaklight.

On sale right now for $249. wow.
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Jaysheldon

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2017, 01:18:02 AM »
Hi Ray5
I know that speedlights aren't your goal, but if you haven't already done so you should visit a site called Strobist. Regardless of whether you are using portable strobes or not the advice of David Hobby is priceless. He's a news portrait photographer, but his lessons are universal even for someone shooting in a studio (and some of his shots are done in a studio.)

There's nothing wrong with starting with one strobe, an umbrella and a reflector, and the site shows how.

Start here  https://strobist.blogspot.ca/2006/03/lighting-101.html   with "Lighting 101", then, as you can see there's course 102 and 103 from the drop down menu on the right side. For more inspiration, make sure you read the "On Assignment" section.

Neil van Niekerk --  https://neilvn.com/tangents/  -- likes keeping his lighting simple. (as it happens the most recent blog entry is on shooting headshots.  You may be interested in this post on positioning the light  --
 https://neilvn.com/tangents/photography-positioning-the-light-and-posing/
some advice on umbrellas  -- https://neilvn.com/tangents/page/3/
and this one on home studio with speedlights  -- https://neilvn.com/tangents/home-studio-setup-with-speedlites/

Also for inspiration, try Joe McNally's site -- and don't be intimidated by the fact that he loves firing a dozen speedlites at a time:  http://blog.joemcnally.com/
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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2017, 01:18:02 AM »

ray5

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2017, 10:01:14 AM »
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. As in anything the market is huge. Trying to buy something is never easy!  But have to start somewhere. I started reading the strobist articles last year and quickly became overwhelmed and dropped the idea but hopefully this time will persevere. Thanks again. Please continue to share your experiences and suggestions.
Ray

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2017, 09:00:47 PM »
Hi Ray.
The Strobist can be a bit heavy going, but I found it made more sense to me by following the 'exercises' and setting up as near as possible (that your gear will allow) to what was being shown, large cuddly toys make willing models, cats not so much! ;D

Cheers, Graham.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. As in anything the market is huge. Trying to buy something is never easy!  But have to start somewhere. I started reading the strobist articles last year and quickly became overwhelmed and dropped the idea but hopefully this time will persevere. Thanks again. Please continue to share your experiences and suggestions.
Ray
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ray5

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2017, 09:17:25 PM »
Understood. Will keep at it. Thx!

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Re: Home Studio
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2017, 09:17:25 PM »