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18

Studio strobes: + More light means lower ISO, larger aperture etc. + Can freeze motion + Can overpower the ambient light meaning you can leave the room lights on to see what you're doing + Greater choice of flash units / accessories / lighting modifiers + Can be used with battery pack for location shoots - Have to be triggered somehow - Need to use a ...


15

You, my friend, are in amazing luck, because there is a really awesome website dedicated to strobes (more specifically off-camera lighting). I highly, highly recommend checking out http://strobist.blogspot.com/ The Lighting 101 series is a great beginner guide to getting started with strobes. To better answer your question here, it would help to know your ...


13

No, there is no way to convert guide numbers to watt-seconds. Watt-seconds is a measurement of how much energy is used by the flash, not how much light is put out. A significant portion of this energy is wasted as heat, infrared, ultraviolet, etc. A 4 watt-second flash that is 100% efficient will put out the same amount of light as a 400 watt-second flash ...


12

Studio strobes are actually much, much, EXTREMELY MUCH more powerful than any remotely sane continuous lighting setup (at lighting scenes for photography). This is because a strobe delivers its ridiculously high intensity light only for a ridiculously short time - usually shorter than your shutter speed. For example, the AlienBees B400 provides 7000 ...


11

My apologies for linking to Strobist all the time, but as it happens there is a recent post just about that. He lists PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver as the best and most reliable, followed by RadioPopper JrX, AlienBees CyberSyncs, and Elinchrom Skyports. You also might want to check out RadioPopper PX, which looks like it might be able to trigger slave ...


9

I'll give you my experience... I started out using halogen continuous lights because they were cheap, but they're very hot and draw a lot of power. Nevertheless, I could get some very powerful lighting though, mind you, I went the "Home Depot" route here. What I discovered, however, is that I had no real effective way of performing light modification ...


8

Fresnel spots are one of the traditional studio-lighting tools, carried over from theatre and movie work; they allow focusing the light from wide to narrow, just like the zoom function on a flashgun. For example this one from Elinchrom, or these Broncolors. The reason you don't see them often is that, like a scrim, snoot, honeycomb, or other tools, they're ...


7

Narrowing the aperture will reduce all light coming in to the sensor, including light coming from the flash itself and ambient light. Reducing the flash power changes the ratio of flash light to ambient light. True, it will reduce the overall amount of light, but the reduction is not as evenly distributed as when you reduce the aperture (which reduces ...


6

The amount of illumination increases as you add more strobes, but not linearly. The point of diminishing returns is, basically, right away. This is because flash power is proportional to the square of the guide number. Or to look at it the other way around, the guide number is related to the square root of the flash power. Why all these powers and roots? ...


5

Using wireless triggers is certainly one way to do this. Cheap triggers such as Cactus, Phottix, Pixl are all good choices, all the way up to PocketWizards. Or you can get some cheap hot shoe adapters with a cord. Disadvantages are that you won't have TTL / Automatic flash mode. You'll have to set the power manually. check out Strobist on information for ...


5

Can you give us an idea of your budget, and what you're looking at? You get what you pay for holds true for strobes. There are a few caveats to strobes, which makes this a difficult question to answer. Not all wattage ratings are the same. Just because a strobe is rated at 250W doesn't mean it actually is. Especially when buying from Ebay only companies, ...


4

Fresnel lens are rarely used in studio strobes because in studio we mostly need soft light, not the hard one. And if we need hard light, we can always use standard reflector. And if we need spot light, we can always use tube reflector. Fresnel are used on hot-shoe light because there are different focal lengths of different lens, the hot-shoe light is ...


3

It does depend on what coverage is needed. If you have been asked to get everyone as they walk on stage, my advice is shoot on camera and get the shot. Otherwise, When faced with that situation I have bounced, with a small reflector hand held just over the flash. Pocket wizards or the cheaper Photix mean you can do off camera lighting. I have shot a few ...


3

There is another common division, you list hot lights and strobes. But there are at least two major types of strobes: Studio strobes (typically powered by battery packs or mains) and speedlights (small battery powered strobes). There are many professional photographers who use and prefer speedlights (David Hobby, Joe McNally, Syl Arena). Check out their ...


3

I have some of the "eBay" triggers that I bought a year ago. I found them at mpex.com (Midwest Photo Exchange). They are the Cactus V2's and are $30 for a receiver and transmitter. I feel like it was a good deal, considering the price of a PocketWizard. They obviously are not as reliable as the pro equipment but for an amateur like myself, they work ...


3

By "Watt power" we basically mean radiant flux, and by "stops" we mean luminous flux. These two have similar definitions, but they are different. In normal life, it is true that if you halve the "Watt power" and that light is reflected from or refracted through linear (normal, not non-linear optical) materials, then your camera will observe half the ...


2

I've previously used Cactus V2s which were good enough but occasionally failed in front of people which makes you look bad and gets you in a flap. Not good. I've just ordered a set of Cactus V5. If you remember to give me a nudge next week, I'll let you know how I get on with them. There's no TTL stuff, but the range and reliability is supposedly improved. ...


2

Or just go with the ultra-cheap YongNuo RF-602, which give you a lot of bang for the buck. I own two sets and find them good enough for serious work. Before I owned a set of Cactus V2 Trigger (one sender, two receivers), and these gave me a lot of problems: Sometimes they did not trigger the flash. Sometimes they triggered the flash without me taking a ...


2

I can't say for sure, but my spontaneous guess would be a tradeoff between portability and quality. The fresnel lens takes less space and weighs less than a traditional lens, so it's more practical in the case of a hotshoe flash. On the other hand the fresnel lens typically has a lower image quality than traditional lenses. Perhaps this affects also the ...


2

No. You shouldn't have any problems, because color temperature of flash units is equal to the daylight color temperature (or you are using low-quality flash unit). What you should avoid is mixing daylight (or flash light) and tungsten light sources. They have different color temperature. Balancing white for daylight (flash light) will make tungsten light ...


2

It depends on mode. Here are the basics: In manual mode, narrowing the aperture will absolutely reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor as long as you are at sync speed or below. Naturally, the lower the speed, the more the ambient light factors into the equation, which clouds the issue a bit. In TTL mode, narrowing the aperture will cause the flash ...


2

I'm assuiming you mean things like headshots, fashion, and nudes when you say 'modelling' so with a budget of 850 dollars you won't be able to afford a camera and lights ideal for that. However there are many techniques you can learn to save on expensive equipment. Ordinary house windows make excellent lighting sources that offer a flattering sideways light ...


2

Readers who wish to use older flash units on modern digital cameras must be aware of the rather high voltages (often as high as 400V) present on the hotshoe connection, which can (and will) damage the electronics of almost any modern (digital) camera. Those who are adept at electronics, might wish to consider the DIY optoelectronic isolator shown at this ...


2

It sounds to me like your camera is set for TTL metering. The commander is sending off the initial signal which fires the strobes at full power, which happens something like 1/10th sec before the shutter opens. Studio strobes are not capable of this - you will need to be in manual mode.


2

I think ND-like filters are actually exactly the point. You can buy neutral-density gels like Rosco's 2-stop ND lighting filter very cheaply (like, $7 for a big square, with free shipping). They're meant to go over windows, but they'd be easy to adapt for these lights. That's not as easy as turning down a dial, but still a very low-cost and simple way to ...


2

You can use a strobe to stop motion. Even unwanted! Model moves, camera shakes - who cares with high speed strobes? You use the strobe to freeze the picture, not the shutter, basically... You can use a strobe to avoid excessive suffering of models from strong lighting. Don't underestimate this, this is a serious factor. To have the same wattage continuous ...


1

If you don't mind spending a few dollars before the event, there are a couple of options that will help take your flash up off the lens axis and make the source bigger: Gary Fong Light Spheres Honl Speed Snoot which can be configured for bounce. If you don't want to really spend money, the second option can be made pretty cheaply with foamies (specialty ...



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