Advice on lighting equip

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Riastradh, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Riastradh

    Riastradh TPF Noob!

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    Haigh folks, I'm needing a portable lighting kit that I can use mostly outdoors.
    I'm a student so I have a tight budget. I have came across the Inerfit EX150 MKII kit for £199, that's a very attractive price for me.

    Interfit EX150 MKII

    Ok, now I ask for advice. Its colour temp is 5600 K +/- 300k and uses 100 watt bulbs. 100 watts, will that suffice for outdoor...is that too weak, why would I need more watts/brightness? For what maybe illuminating a greater portion of my composition?

    Hopefully 100 watts will be ample enough, I just wouldnt want a kit that can't light my subject(s) well from certain distances.

    Many thanks for the help!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think you are a little confused about the specs. That is a flash/strobe type light and those are rated in Watt seconds. In this case, it's 150 Ws. (they also give a Guide Number (GN) of 32m (96'), which is a measure of the actual light output.
    There is also a modeling lamp built into the light and that is a 100 Watt lightbulb. The modeling lamp really isn't for shooting with, it's just a visual aid so that you can sort of see what your light is doing.

    So if I restate your question, it should be; 'Is 150 Ws or a GN of 32m, enough to shoot outdoors?'

    Well, it depends. If you want to overpower the sunlight, it's probably not going to be enough, unless you shoot with it very close to your subjects. If it's just fill light, it might be OK, but it's still not super powerful.

    As an example, the Canon 430EX flash has a GN of 43m, the 580EX has a GN of 58m. So either of those would be significantly more powerful, and they run on AA batteries. (this light would need to be plugged in to AC power of have some type of battery pack)
    HERE is a link to the Vivitar 285HV flash. It has a GN of 120', so it is also putting out more light that the 'studio' light you linked to.

    If you are going to be shooting outdoors, it might be wise to get a flash unit, rather than a studio strobe. They are smaller and they run on AA batteries, which makes them very portable compared to studio strobes.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    + or - 300K is quite a bit.

    Look at an old Metz 60 CT4. It's got around 300 real Watt Seconds (WS) -the guide number is 60 meters- an auto thyristor that's amazing (allowing you to not need TTL), and a battery pack that's big enough to keep on going and you will be mobile all the while. You can use an umbrella or diffuser panel and not look back.
     
  4. Riastradh

    Riastradh TPF Noob!

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    Cheers Mike, that's a very helpful reply. I have a Sigma EF-530 DG ST flash on my canon. [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]'Guide number: 53/m(174/ft) ISO 100/m(with the zoom head at 105mm)'

    Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd

    Mike, you said it won't be enough to over power sunlight, I don't get alot of sun here in the north of Ireland but there are those rare days in the summer when it could reach 23
    [/FONT]°C - and of course I'd need and love the ability to shoot with light in whatever type of daylight there is.

    Im a beginner, and with the factor I mentioned above, I may not be too worried about over powering the sun. However, a more powerful light could prove useful in a variety of ways and places I'm sure. I'd like to have the option.

    Do you think I'd be ok now that you know I have the Sigma mounted on my camera, to start me off (I plan on making my hobby a business this year though, so it might be safer to buy better lights).

    If you could recommend a portable kit and why, that'd be fantastic. I'd be happy to pay around £300. :S I bet that isn't enough...
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When I say, overpowering the sun, it means that you want to make your light, the main light in a photo, then the sunlight (cloudy or not) becomes ambient/fill light.

    The issue with this, is that to keep the daylight from being too bright in the photo, you need to use your exposure settings. For example, if you set an aperture of F22 and use a shutter speed of 1/4000, the photo will be very dark or fully black, even in bright sunlight.
    The problem is that when you use flash, you are usually limited to the maximum sync speed. (usually about 1/200). So if that's the fastest shutter speed you can use, you would need to use a rather small aperture to keep the daylight under control. Maybe F11, F16 or F22 etc. Now the problem with that, is that as you stop down the aperture, you need more flash power.

    For example, your flash has a GN of 53m. At F16m that gives you a working distance of 3.3m. That's not too bad, but it's not a whole lot either. With that light you linked to, it would only be 2m...and I don't think they are figuring in the softbox, which would rob some light.

    Of course, you don't have to overpower the sunlight. It may be enough just to use the flash as fill light when shooting outdoors.

    As for a lighting kit...first tell us what you want to do. You are talking about shooting outdoors, but also about lighting. My advice would be to learn to shoot outdoors without much lighting, at least at first. Your Sigma flash, used on camera, can help when you need it.

    The next step could be to get the flash off-camera. You wouldn't need new lights, just get a radio trigger system and mount the flash on a light stand. Then you can control the angle & position of your light, which will give you all sorts of options.

    Now if you plan on shooting indoors, in a studio type situation, then that's a different story.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I looked at this one Interfit Studio Lighting but realized it would not be powerful enough

    Is the Copper Kettle cafe still open, one of the best cafe's i have ever been to when i was over there in 2003 for the NW200
     
  7. Riastradh

    Riastradh TPF Noob!

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    Mostly for outdoor work but it will be indoors too. I've been able to get some great shots with and without my sigma. I'd like to show you but I don't know how - i have no website/flikr etc. I think I'd be using these lights in lower key scenarios most of the time. Like sunsets and such. I must get one of those triggers, I didnt realise you could get those. I wodnered why my flash had a base/holder. I definitely want at least two angles of light excluding my sigma.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3116/2581538198_0d9bbe0062.jpg

    http://lnlphoto.com/4images/data/media/22/LL1_4059.jpg

    http://www.simonkeitch.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Brotherhood-Of-The-Lake-Band-Photography-2.jpg
     

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