Alien bee 800 modeling lamp

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by SabrinaO, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    What is the point of the modeling lamp? Is it so we can meter the light? Does the modeling lamp put out the same power as the strobe when it goes off...turning off when the strobe goes off? Please help... i just got my AB today. A little in over my head!
  2. Buckster
    Offline

    Buckster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,393
    Likes Received:
    1,918
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Way up North in Michigan
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1,918 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    The modeling lamp allows you to see where the light and shadow will fall when the strobe goes off, how soft the transition looks, etc., giving you the ability to sculpt the light around your subject as you see fit before you start firing.

    It doesn't put out the amount of light the strobe does, and probably doesn't have the same color temperature either.
  3. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit

    Thank you for your help! Does the modeling lamp turn off when the strobe fires?
  4. Big Mike
    Offline

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,547
    Likes Received:
    1,738
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1,748 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Thats right, the modeling light is to help you visualize the light before the shot.
    The light is much, much less powerful than the flash bulb so you can't meter it.
  5. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit

    Thanks... but :x:x!! Meters cost so much... I was hoping i can meter off this. :lol:
  6. Big Mike
    Offline

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,547
    Likes Received:
    1,738
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1,748 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    You can set the modeling light to turn off while the strobe recycles; that way you cab easily know when the strobe is ready to fire again. You can also set the modeling light to track the power setting of the strobe.

    I'm sure that all of this is in the manual.
  7. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Ok thanks! I'm happy im getting QUICK responses from you all... i appreciate it! Much better than DPS :lol:
  8. Derrel
    Online

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    29,188
    Likes Received:
    10,136
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    USA
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +10,427 / 2
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Every single thing Buckster says is spot-on. Most people should just stop reading right there, where he left it.

    There is however an old-school method where you figure out the best-looking exposure of an 18 percent gray card, or a color patch chart, or your typical subjects by shooting pictures of them using the flash unit and noting the exact f/stop and ISO that gives a good result using your STANDARD shutter synch speed, which used to be 1/60 second, but today is more likely 1/160 to 1/250. Then, once the ideal flash exposure for a particular aperture and ISO is figured out, you place a metering target in the subject position, and take a light meter reading at the same ISO and f/stop, and compute the difference between the right FLASH-lighted exposure, and the modeling light exposure. This is called computing the "offset" value between the full-output of the flash unit, and the full, highest-power of the modeling lights.

    This is a very old, roundabout method, but it DOES give one the ability to sort of measure the lighting that the flashes will produce, based upon using a continuous light meter or a camera's in-built meter to measure the strength of the modeling light. Unfortunately, this method has limitations.
    BUT, it was better than nothing back in the days of slide film and no flash meters...today with digital cameras, this method is not nearly as critical to know.

    The key is that when metering the modeling lights, you need to use the same ISO and the same SHUTTER speed as the flash will use every single time, and vary the f/stop ring to determine the exposure. If one needs to ask why the shutter speed must always be the same when measuring continuous lights, then this information is way over one's head...
  9. Big Mike
    Offline

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,547
    Likes Received:
    1,738
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1,748 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    It's a different type of metering. Your camera meters ambient light, not flash. To meter the strobe, you need a flash meter and yes the are expensive.

    You can still use your strobe, you will just need to figure out the exposure another way.

    Put the camer in manual mode. Put the shutter speed to 1/125 and then use the aperture to change the flash exposure inthe photo. There is more to it but that's the general idea.
  10. KmH
    Online

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    34,318
    Likes Received:
    4,143
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Iowa
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +4,198 / 4
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
  11. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Yeah i know. I was hoping the modeling lamp put out the same light as the strobe so i can meter off the modeling lamp.
  12. SabrinaO
    Offline

    SabrinaO New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    75
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    what f/stop should i put the strobe to? Or does that depend on my lighting/subject/effects/situation...?
  13. Big Mike
    Offline

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,547
    Likes Received:
    1,738
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1,748 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    The strobe doesn't have F stops...it has a power scale from Full Power, down to 1/32.
    And yes, it will depend on different things.

    I'd suggest starting with something like this;
    Camera in manual, shutter speed at 1/125, ISO at 100, aperture at F8.
    Flash at 1/4 power, about 6 feet from your subject.

    Try that and see what you get. I'd suggest learning to read the histogram on the camera, rather than just looking at the photo on the screen.

    If the photo is too dark, you can open the aperture (lower F number), increase the ISO (not recommended), increase the power on the strobe or move the strobe closer to your subject.
    If the photo is too bright, you can stop down the aperture (smaller F number), decrease the power of the flash or move the light back.
    The shutter speed does not affect the exposure from the strobe, as long as you keep it at or under the max sync speed of your camera (probably 1/200)

    Using the trial & error method, you should be able to find exposure settings that work for you, without using a flash meter.

    However, if you add more strobe lights. You will want to know/set the ratio between lights and that is where a flash meter really comes in handy. Well, it's really handy when using only one light too.
  14. msuggs
    Offline

    msuggs New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    nc
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    One question I have is can the modeling light on the AB's be use as a continuous light source? I imagine it would at least be as bright as some of those cheapo units or maybe useful in some limited circumstances.
  15. 2WheelPhoto
    Offline

    2WheelPhoto New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    6,850
    Likes Received:
    995
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +995 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    My Elinchrom modeling light is plenty bright enough for hand held pics if I set the cam to ISO 1600, and set the WB close to perfect. It takes great pics off the modeling light. Why I tried something so silly I dunno but I did and was amazed it worked.

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
alien bee 800 modeling lamp
,
alien bees modeling lamp
,
alien bees modeling light
,
can't see modeling lamp when set on alienbee
,
how do you turn on the modeling lamp with an alien bees 800
,
how to set modeling lamp alienbees
,
lamp model
,
model lamp
,

modeling lamp

,
modeling lamp won't track on alien bee 800
,

modeling light

,
modeling light for alien bees
,
modeling lights
,
modelling lamp
,
replacement modeling light for alien bee
,
upgrading modeling lamp alien bees
,
use only model lamp on alien bee for newborn
,
what color is the modeling lamp on an alien bee?
,

what is a modeling light

,
what is modeling lamp