The Sleeping Giant's Sea Lion

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My hobby room is a fairly standard room size, say 3x3M. The lighting isn't that great which doesn't help when I take photo's or record videos of projects etc.

I have a softbox that I use for 'product' type shots, but most of my pics are taken on the workbench, ie, during construction. Ok, so that's the situation. I am looking at lighting solutions and have stumbled onto this product:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Photography-Photo-Studio-Softbox-Continuous-Video-Light-Lighting-Kit-VL-9026S3-/120804403445?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item1c2080e8f5

This kit appears far more high power than other 'budget' kits (less than $300). I am sceptical about the light thrown though. My hobby bench is about 1.8x1.1M and I'd like to know (without going into to much detail) will these lights throw 'enough light' to scrub the shadows from my workarea for photos and videos? I am a little worried they will only be suitable for portrait type stuff.. Please rid my fears.

Bonus question - what max distance do you think these lights could adequately light a subject?

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To clarify the difference between the title and the question I think you're asking, you need more than just a softbox -- a whole lighting kit -- right? –  Dan Wolfgang Apr 23 '12 at 13:09
    
Hi Dan, yeah a kit setup seems likely to be the 'best' approach to get decent shots with good lighting and soft shadowing. I've been dabbling with photography for a year or so now and know my way around most concepts, studio lighting is a new venture though –  Graham Apr 23 '12 at 20:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Reading the details of the eBay auction, you're right, it's not quite what they claim.

  • 7650 watts / 15 bulbs = 510 watts/bulb.
  • Each softbox takes five bulbs, and two softboxes are included (or three, depending upon what part of the description you read). That will therefore supposedly output 5100 watts, and give you five extra bulbs.

They are supplying 85 watt fluorescents, which are supposedly equal to 510 watt traditional bulbs. Based on a little searching, I'd say an 85 watt fluorescent bulb is probably more like 375 watts from a traditional bulb. The best way to judge light output would be to know lumens or a guide number, but they don't supply those. Also, note the size of those bulbs. They are not your standard compact fluorescent -- they're much bigger at about 4.5 in diameter and 9 in long. So, five of those means this is a big package.

For photo-only work, I would avoid getting a continuous lighting system because of price, size, and heat. But since you mention video, continuous lighting is necessary. Is it worth it? I think this all looks like low quality gear, and a cheap light stand would drive me nuts because it's likely to move too easily... but it may well be worth it, yes.

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Cheers Dan. I'll buy them and see how things go (even if a single light is 375W, well, that is >3 times brighter than my current single ceiling light). There is a good chance my wheely bin will be very full the following week ;) –  Graham Apr 23 '12 at 20:13

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