snubbr.com

Newbie 'Pro' question
I guess you-all can see from my profile what my "dayjob" is. Actually it is 2-3 twelve-hour nights per week, I can take my laptop with me and my patient is usually asleep. Which makes for plenty of photoshop time. I have done 2 weddings and had an absolute ball doing them (for free, of course). Also have done senior portraits, baby photos, etc, all for free and the parents seemed pleased. I suppose "free" had something to do with it...LOL, but I think they turned out nice.

I have 2 or 3 small weddings to do in the coming months, again "free", and I also do free in-home portraits for anyone with a handicapped/terminally ill child. What I really need is a portable light system that I could also take to weddings and would porvide enough light for an indoor group of up to 10 people. I've seen some strobe kits on e-bay that seem to be in my price-range, but I'm not sure how portable they are or if they would provide enough light for a group indoors.Right now I have:.

Nikon D80el-cheapo SB600 clone that does a decent jobtamron 70-300 AF Di LDsigma 28-200 DL Hyperzoom macroNikkor 18-55 AF-S DX EDStroboframe camera flip bracketpassable walmart tripodcamera remotesome backdrops that I painted myself and backdrop stand.

Any suggestions about a portable light system?Thanks..

Comments (16)

I suggest you consider using a something like 3 SB-600s/800's and the wireless facilty you already have with the D80..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #1

Umbreallas are more portable than softboxes, and take less time to setup when you arrive at the location..

Wireless flash units are smaller than studio strobes. They also have built-in batteries so that you won't be dependent on a wall outlet. There are battery packs for strobes too, but they are a hassle..

Flash units are slightly underpowered, unless you're willing to use higher ISO. You'll need F5.6 at the minimum to keep the 10-people the group in focus. At such aperture, ISO400 to ISO800 is necessary, depending on how far you place the light source and how reflective is your umbrella/softbox. That's based on any flash units having guide number around 50 meters (like Canon 550EX, Sigma DG 500, Nikon SB800, Sunpak 383, Vivitar 285) There are quantum flash units that are about twice as powerful. They are expensive and bulky, but not anymore than studio strobes..

Another bad thing about flash is that if you keep on firing it at full power continoulsy, it might overhead and burn..

Strobes are of course much more capable. They have lots more power, shorter recycle time, replacable bulbs, and some even have built-in cooling fan. More important than power is the wider angle spread of the light, which illuminates larger group more evenly. For flash, you'll need to mount the unit pretty far from the umbrella to widen the light, thus reducing power..

You'll have to decide between 1 or two light sources. For portraits of one person, two light sources is best to make the face looks 3D, by playing with the light ratiio in a key/fill configuration. However, for groups, it's better to have one single light source at the middle of the group, slightly above eye level, so that everyone is illuminated evenly. Of course you can put two light sources side-by-side so that it acts as a single large light source..

Most strobes and the Sigma 500 DG Super can be invoked in Optical Slave mode. Basically they fire when your built-in flash fire. Note that I assume you're using a Nikon where you can disable the iTTL pre-flash on the camera's built-in flash. (by switching to manual mode). There are other wireless options as well...

Comment #2

For lighting, I have two AB400 (Alien Bees) lights with umbrellas. Umbrellas are cheaper than soft boxes, easier to setup, and work fine. For larger groups, I have to jack up the ISO slightly as my AB400s are just a tad weak. I would suggest the AB800s..

No another matter: Just because you are a beginner, you don't want to give your work away, especially if it's "professional" quality. That doesn't mean it has to be ground-breakingly creative, but if your work is decent something that a reasonably demanding bride/groom is happy with, then by all means charge for it!.

Amount? Hard to say, but $500 to $750 for ceremony and reception (say, 5 to 7 hours of coverage) isn't unreasonable for a newer person to charge for a digital delivery package. e.g. You deliver everything on CD..

If you want to deliver final albums, then you need to adjust accordingly..

But please, don't give way quality work..

Dpreview & pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #3

TroyLPN wrote:.

I guess you-all can see from my profile what my "dayjob" is.Actually it is 2-3 twelve-hour nights per week, I can take my laptopwith me and my patient is usually asleep. Which makes for plenty ofphotoshop time. I have done 2 weddings and had an absolute balldoing them (for free, of course). Also have done senior portraits,baby photos, etc, all for free and the parents seemed pleased. Isuppose "free" had something to do with it...LOL, but I think theyturned out nice. I'd like to start doing this for very reasonble paysomeday after I retire from nursing, but for now I get immensesatisfaction from creating beautiful portraits and that iscompensation enough.

What I really needis a portable light system that I could also take to weddings andwould porvide enough light for an indoor group of up to 10 people.I've seen some strobe kits on e-bay that seem to be in myprice-range, but I'm not sure how portable they are or if they wouldprovide enough light for a group indoors..

Ever heard of paragraphs .

You may want to consider a couple of SB800s. They will provide you with great portability, wireless remote triggering and control, and no electrical supply connections..

Studio flash lights (monolights) are great in the studio, and provide more power, but have several drawbacks. More power means larger capacitors which means more weight and bulk..

Remote triggering of studio lights generally involves buying even more expensive equipment, and frequently this means just triggering not control. Some of the more expensive lighting systems have optional remote control, but for most systems the lights have to be set manually using a handheld meter and the remote simply fires the lights when the shutter is released..

There are so many things to be considered when selecting studio lights:Output in Watt-secondsMonolights vs pack lightsAutomatic dumpingFan coolingPower variabilityModifiers: soft boxes, umbrellas, reflectors, snoots, barndoors, etcTriggering and controlLight meters.

The lighting technique forum would be a good place to lurk for a few months to get a grip of what things are important to you. Although it is called the lighting technique: forum, it is really a lighting equipment forum. It is slower than many of the forums here, but there are many good posters there..

Brian A...

Comment #4

Digirob wrote:.

No another matter: Just because you are a beginner, you don't wantto give your work away, especially if it's "professional" quality.That doesn't mean it has to be ground-breakingly creative, but ifyour work is decent something that a reasonably demandingbride/groom is happy with, then by all means charge for it!.

Amount? Hard to say, but $500 to $750 for ceremony and reception(say, 5 to 7 hours of coverage) isn't unreasonable for a newer personto charge for a digital delivery package. e.g. You delivereverything on CD.But please, don't give way quality work..

Without wanting to be too preachy about this I have to say I rather agree. Every time you do this work for free there is a young professional that goes hungry!.

If you are unhappy taking money as pay you should at least get "expenses"Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #5

Thanks so much for all the great info.

Ebay has a few strobes that look decent. Would a 300 W/S work for the group or do I need to invest in maybe a 500 w/s? Which would be better, one 500 or maybe two 300's on each side of the camera, maybe?.

Thanks again,TroyLpn..

Comment #6

I was actually looking at the alien bees set up, but not sure if I really want to lug a battery pack around when I can usually find an outlet nearby. As for professional quality...I'm not sure. I'd post some samples on here if I knew how. I've seen others do it, so I know there is a way.Thanks so much.TroyLPN..

Comment #7

I'm using the ABs plugged into a wall outlet. My kit includes two 25-foot ext cords, a roll of gaffer tape (or duct tape). AB offers a battery (call the Vagabond), but since I have power everywhere I need it, I don't use a battery..

I use the AB wired-remote to control the heads. The wired remote can control up to four lights (I use only two). Since each light has to have power, then running a separate control line (just a long phone cord) is no big deal. The remote lets me individually control the power output of each strobe. I tape it all down so nobody trips over wires..

Two AB400s will work, but for an extra hundred or two, you can get two AB800s instead. That's a worth-while power upgrade..

The AB400 are 160WS (Watt-Seconds), I believe. The 800 is 320WS. They also make a 1600 which is 640WS in power. They are all the same size and approximately the same weight..

The ABs are quite inexpensive yet are very decent lights. They represent good value for your money. As a beginning, you will appreciate the decent cost and versatility. I'm not a beginner, but I'm still a part-timer I love the ABs..

TroyLPN wrote:.

I was actually looking at the alien bees set up, but not sure if Ireally want to lug a battery pack around when I can usually find anoutlet nearby. As for professional quality...I'm not sure. I'd postsome samples on here if I knew how. I've seen others do it, so Iknow there is a way.Thanks so much.TroyLPN.

Dpreview & pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #8

TroyLPN wrote:.

Ebay has a few strobes that look decent. Would a 300 W/S work forthe group or do I need to invest in maybe a 500 w/s? Which would bebetter, one 500 or maybe two 300's on each side of the camera, maybe?.

The output from an SB600 is probably equivalent to somewhere around 70 Ws (its watt-seconds, not watts per second). So 300 Ws would give more than two stops over your SB600 copy. You would lose some effective power when using modifiers such as softboxes or umbrellas..

If you use two lights either side of the camera, then you want to keep them fairly close together; you want to avoid creating two shadows on each face..

Brian A...

Comment #9

Oh no! These are strictly people that could never afford to hire a pro in any shape or fashion. It's either me or Uncle George with the disposable camera. I live in a very rural area (hear banjo music? paddle faster) and you would not believe how many people really think a pro photographer is a waste of the $500 wedding budget. wink wink..

Comment #10

I went over to the AB site and I think it kinda gives the impression that they won't plug into the wall. Maybe I didn't pay close enough attention. Thanks for clarifying that for me...

Comment #11

Hugowolf wrote:.

TroyLPN wrote:.

Ebay has a few strobes that look decent. Would a 300 W/S work forthe group or do I need to invest in maybe a 500 w/s? Which would bebetter, one 500 or maybe two 300's on each side of the camera, maybe?.

The output from an SB600 is probably equivalent to somewhere around70 Ws (its watt-seconds, not watts per second). So 300 Ws would givemore than two stops over your SB600 copy. You would lose someeffective power when using modifiers such as softboxes or umbrellas..

If you use two lights either side of the camera, then you want tokeep them fairly close together; you want to avoid creating twoshadows on each face..

Yes, that's true. The biggest, and also most common, beginner's mistake is to put two light sources on the two sides and fire them at the same power. This is called cross-lighting, the first thing to avoid..

If you go with strobes, a single 300Ws is plenty of light. Watch out for some of the cheap ebay strobes that don't let you vary the power output. You will not want max power all the time, because there'll be time when you need to power it down to create light ratios..

For portability, I think you should buy just one strobe, one stand, and umbrella, and possibly a reflector for fill light. Those two things alone will do wonder..

Comment #12

Dylanbarnhart wrote:.

Yes, that's true. The biggest, and also most common, beginner'smistake is to put two light sources on the two sides and fire them atthe same power. This is called cross-lighting, the first thing toavoid..

I would agree for closer-up formal portrait work. But getting the desired ratio affect is pretty difficult when shooting a group at 10-20 feet away..

Dpreview & pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #13

Digirob wrote:.

Dylanbarnhart wrote:.

Yes, that's true. The biggest, and also most common, beginner'smistake is to put two light sources on the two sides and fire them atthe same power. This is called cross-lighting, the first thing toavoid..

I would agree for closer-up formal portrait work. But getting thedesired ratio affect is pretty difficult when shooting a group at10-20 feet away..

That's true and that's why in my previous thread I recommended putting a single strobe at the center of the group, slightly above eye level..

He also shoots a single person. That's when the light ratio becomes important...

Comment #14

I went on over the the Alien Bees web site. The units you are referring to are the new Zeus flash heads. They are battery only. The ones I'm using are the original AB heads..

Here's a link that goes right to that page: http://alienbees.com/flash.html.

TroyLPN wrote:.

I went over to the AB site and I think it kinda gives the impressionthat they won't plug into the wall. Maybe I didn't pay close enoughattention. Thanks for clarifying that for me..

Dpreview & pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #15

Actually, they don't appear to have a battery. It seems they are still powered by AC mains, but in a pack/head arrangement rather than as mono lights..

Dpreview & pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/digirob..

Comment #16

Click Here to View All...

Sponsored Amazon Deals:

1. Get big savings on Amazon warehouse deals.
2. Save up to 70% on Amazon Products.


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |

 

(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.