Elinchrom D-Lite 2's or 4's

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by NorthernRMK, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. NorthernRMK

    NorthernRMK TPF Noob!

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    First time poster, long time reader. I usually find what I'm looking for just by reading, but not this time. I am looking at buying an entry level lighting kit, namely the Elinchrom D-Lite kits, but I am unsure of the power I want/need. My fear is that I buy too much power for my needs and render the lights useless. I would be mainly using these around the house photographing my daughter, and the biggest room I have is about 15'x20'. I do not want to be limited to say F11 a the lowest power setting, I'd like to use the full gamut of power and various aperatures to learn more about lighting and techniques. I would also like to mess around with creating high key photos as they work great for children. Having said all this, I think I am leaning towards the 2's. Thoughts?
     
  2. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Yeah if you want to use the higher apertures than definitely stick with the 2's.
    I have the 4's and they are pretty much useless around the house.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd say to start with a 4 kit and then get a couple of 2's as you can. Most studio apps today are done with at least 3 lights.

    Just starting with one, you are going to need more power because you are going to need to bounce some light off of the reflectors you'll be getting/making. There are a number of good DIY reflector plans out there.

    With the high key look using a single strobe in the middle, hidden behind your subject, to light your background is doable but they have to remain static. It's easier to have one on either side of the background. The reason you care is that you need even lighting and still don't want to dump too much light into the room because if you do then your photos will look washed out. (you are also going to want to get/make some flags to help with spillover light)
     
  4. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Are you taking into account the wattage of the units, size of room, use of aperture? because its not possible with 4's.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do they not have a 5 stop range as advertised? The advertisement I saw gave a range from 25ws to 400ws. If this is true then you should easily be able to manage them, especially if you're going to drop 2 stops with the softbox.
     
  6. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    yeah, if you move furniture in your biggest room you can manage them with little room for background space, but to comfortably use the lights in your home you're going to want the 2's.. to me its like, whats the point in having 5 stops if you can only use the lights at 3.0
     
  7. NorthernRMK

    NorthernRMK TPF Noob!

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    This is basically what I am wondering, is 25ws still too strong for a single (and small) subject in a small room? Is 25ws low enough for low key photographs and larger aperatures? Is 200ws enough for high key photographs and smaller aperatures?

    All input is much appreciated.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    25ws is pretty low, like a really weak flash. And if it's still too strong you can always diffuse it with a gel or some ripstop nylon. It's a LOT cheaper to eat light than to create it. IOW you can spend $30 or so for diffuser/NG material and get everything you want or you can buy a smaller light and then have to turn around and buy another light when you need bigger.
     
  9. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    200 w/s is really limiting.

    I say go for the 4's... you can always add a softbox to diffuse the light if necessary and/or move the lights back.

    As an example, this is shot with 2 - B1600 (2 x 640 w/s) on my kitchen table.

    The soft boxes are ~ 3' away, one at 1/16, the other at 1/8 power. 12-60mm lens @ 49mm, f10, iso 100, 1/200.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Don
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is portability important?
    Is the ability to light more than 2-3 people important?
    --------------

    If you are making a studio in your basement and the room is 20 X 20 or smaller, studio strobes are overkill... even the 200 W/s ones. This is the world of speedlights.

    If you want to light groups of people, or one person at apertures over F/8, I would not waste time on the DLite2s, but go straight for the DLtie4's.

    If feel that if you cannot use the D4's, then save yourself some serious money and go the speedlight route... because the D2s are only marginally stronger than speedlights and NOT portable to boot.

    Have you ever visited the strobist group? There are people out there that are doing INCREDIBLE photos with one battery powered light source. This is not the answer for anyone, but I feel that if you are just starting out and do not even know what you want... start with a single speedlight, master that and at the same time, get to know what direction you want to go. This is where I suggest that you start... 1 speedlight then perhaps a couple more as needs change. Once they become inadequate or you start shooting large groups of people outdoors, or want to overpower the sun... then start looking at studio strobes.

    With a single SB-800 set to 1/2 power and ISO 200, when placed in a 50 inch Apollo softbox (the 50" is an example, you may find it too large to work with in a small room), I am getting F/5.6 and lighting an entire wall from 8 feet away at these apertures. Place that softbox 3 feet away from the subject, set strobe power to 1/4, and we are still looking at apertures of F/8. Cut power down to 1/8th and you have about F/4 apertures... all with wonderfully diffused light (and tons of leeway to go up or down on that one speedlight to boot).

    You will find it hard to beat the versatility of speedlights in a small area... and a 20 X 20 foot working area, is pretty small for more than 2 people portraits (well you can start to cram, but you know what I mean). Anyways, even with a 20 X 20, you will rarely be using all of it, as most people will place the light source 10 feet away or closer to the subject and rarely is the photographer going to be 20 feet away leaned against the back wall with the subject pressed against the front wall... makes for "not the best" versatility in a room. Most times you will want to lightly blur the background or darken it compared to the subject, and that means placing your subject 8 or more feet away from the rear wall, leaving you about 6-12 feet to work in, and that is ok for 1 person portraits, but a little tight with 2-3 people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  11. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Not trying to pick on anyone intentionally but to me it looks like the light wasnt quite soft enough for this shot and imo this looks rather flat
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just an FYI, I run Metz 60s and 45s with a couple of speedlights for specialty lighting. The Metz 60 (guide number 60 meters) puts out just over 300ws and I occasionally find myself doubling up when shooting groups.
     

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