Studio Flash 'V' Dedicated Flash 'V' Video Lighting

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Russell, May 15, 2005.

  1. Russell

    Russell Guest

    My first question is what would be the difference between a dedicated flash
    such as a Canon 550EX/580EX and studio strobes? For example, would you get
    just as good results using a Canon 580EX with an umbrella/softbox as you
    would with a studio strobe with the same umbrella/softbox? (Obviously
    unless you were shooting a big subject, with a massive softbox/umbrella).

    My second question is why use flashes/studio strobes at all? Why not use
    video lighting which emit a permanent light source? Especially with
    digital, whereby you can adapt the white balance 'on the fly'?
     
    Russell, May 15, 2005
    #1
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  2. Russell

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    Power, power source, accessories
    Heat, power consumption
     
    Tom Thackrey, May 15, 2005
    #2
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  3. Russell

    Alan Browne Guest

    Large flashes like the 580EX output about 125 to 150 W-s at maximum
    power. This is about the power level of the smallest studio strobes.
    They can be used easilly with umbrellas (shoot through better than
    reflected). For best results, set the flashes to single power level
    with the aid of an incident flash meter at the subject. Shoot at that
    one power. Using them with wirelss (or even wired) TTL (or pre flash
    TTL) will result in exposure variance according the subject/scene
    reflectivity.

    I have shot portraits with 2 and 3 accessory flashes in a wirelss TTL
    configurtation and it was difficult to achieve consistent ratios and
    exposure. Setting each at a manual power level is the only way to get
    consistent results.
    Fluorescent video lighting is wide spectrum, but not smooth, so not
    ideal for photo lighting. (It's not bad, just not ideal). It's cool.
    Recent products include fixtures that hold up to 9 spiral fluorescents
    in a 'gang'. So 9 x 27W (~100W equivalent, each) is quite a bright
    light. Unless the lighting is very very bright, small amounts of motion
    will be caught at lower shutter speeds, and the crisp look of strobe
    will be lost.

    Hotlights are fine and the camera can be adjusted for the white balance.
    Makes for a hot studio for everyone. Same comment egarding crisp
    strobe look.

    The advantages of studio strobes are: consistency in exposure, frozen
    motion, cool lighting, fast recycle. For a small home studio you can
    use a couple 160 to 200 W-s strobes for key and fill, plus a slaved
    camera flash or ac strobes for background, rim and hairlights.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, May 15, 2005
    #3
  4. Russell

    Roxy d'Urban Guest

    Ever heard of HMI lighting?

    The most expensive way to light a photographic shoot! It's a constant
    light source balanced to replicate daylight, but without the heat.

    I'd love to try it someday...
     
    Roxy d'Urban, May 16, 2005
    #4
  5. Russell

    Paul Rubin Guest

    It depends on what you're shooting. Studio lamps are usually called
    hotlights, since they give off a lot of heat, as the name implies. If
    you're shooting portraits, pets, etc., the subjects get uncomfortable.
    Similarly if you're shooting something like food, the heat can make it
    wilt or melt or whatever faster. If you're shooting stuff that
    doesn't mind the temperature, hotlights are a good economical
    alternative to strobes.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 16, 2005
    #5
  6. Russell

    peter Guest

    Using continuous lighting would also affect white-balance, especially if
    part of the scene has sunlight, then it's hard to make both lights match.

    Studio flash can output a lot of light in a burst. To match that amount of
    light with continuously light would take alot of power and create a lot of
    heat.

    This is a minor point, but some people like to shoot portrait showing the
    subject with a large iris. You do that by using studio strobes in a dimly
    lit room. If you use continuous light, iris shrinks.

    On camera flash is very weak compared to studio strobes. And they don' t
    have modeling light. Also they are not designed for continous use. The
    manual says not to use full-power shots continuously.
     
    peter, May 27, 2005
    #6
  7. Russell

    Bandicoot Guest

    [SNIP]
    the subject with a large iris. You do that by using
    I've always thought this is an interesting one. The pupil expands when we
    look at people we love, so that 'look' has romantic associations for us.
    However, expanded pupil = less visible iris (I think Peter meant "pupil" in
    the above) so the eye colour is less obvious. Hence people go both ways -
    fashion especially is often shot with bright modelling lights so as to
    contract the pupil and get a strong eye colour.

    I tend to think close head-shots benefit from the large pupil effect, since
    the eye colour is still clearly visible close to, whereas shots from further
    back need the pupil contracted more in order to make the colour come
    through. Just my unscientific opinion.

    Of course, people often boost the eye colour in PS these days...


    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, Jun 8, 2005
    #7
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