Home made studio lighting

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Andie, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Andie

    Andie TPF Noob!

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    I found a link somewhere that had steps to creating inexpensive studio lighting. I know it involved those yellow industrial looking lights from menards, and it had certain bulbs listed... I thought I saw it somewhere on thephotoforum.com, but I've been searching and have come up empty. I was hoping someone could help me out?

    Thanks!
     
  2. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    i can't help you out with the bulb type, but can tell you that i gought one of those cheap clamp lights and stuck a 200 watt bulb in it, the kind without the fogged glass, and using a lasagna tin and some wax paper made a small softbox that worked pretty dang good.

    the only problem with that kind of stuff is if your using it on paying clients and their like "wtf, this guys not a pro"
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    This may sound a little screwy but I once made a main studio light which bounced from the corner of the ceiling and side wall across to the subject seated on a stool in front of a backdrop about 10' away. The light was made from four guide number 56 strobes at about $6@ us at the time. The open guide number was f11 the bounced number was f8 at iso 100 a very respectable number for studio work. the power supply for it was an auto batter charger set for six volts.

    I used that charger to recharge small sealed lead acid batteries as well I used those to power 283 strobes for wedding use as well. Never had to change batteries again.

    I think total cost of the light set was about 60 bucks us...I did it just to see what the cheapest strobe i could possibly use would be. Of course I also had a set of novatrons as well. Still I actually liked the light from that homemade rig a lot. But high end customers expected more it is true. It is very hard to make a layman understand you but the image on the film not the image of the photographer himself.

    I used it mostly as a permenant set for realtor's and actor's head shots.
     
  5. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Pray, mysteryscribe, where does one get flashguns with GN56 (meters) for $6 apiece?
    Put me down for a dozen please.
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I bought at least a dozen and it was more than a few days ago and I'm pretty sure they were agfa from freestyle. Was probably in the 1990s. The 56 was in feet by the way.
     
  7. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Please tell me more about this

    I can't find a power supply for my vivitars and have to charge the batteries, which is not very convenient when shooting at home.

    Can I just use a battery charger set to 6 volts to power them? I assume the cables go in where the batteries would be?

    Thanks so much
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I have powered about every kind of six volt strobe with a car batter charger. They put out max of about 4amps. dont get the 1amp motorcycle type.

    What you need to do is to get a wooden dowel about the thickness of a aa battery

    You cut two of them the exact lenth of an aa battery and two just a tiny bit shorter.

    In the two shorter ones you drill a small hole as a pilot. then turn two small wood screws into the holes. Wrap a wire around each one positive one negative of course. you will have to figure out which of the battery compartments is pos and which is negative. Not much to that. You also have to sand a corner off of the battery pack cover for the wire again not much to it.

    Hook the other end of the wiresto the car battery charger. I hooked my charger into a timer so I wouldn't accidentally leave it on when I left the studio.

    For the portable pack I use a six volt wet sealed lead acid battery and it works for three weddings or more in the same day. It does require charging the day before the shoot. the batter does run down. those batteries cost about 15bucks much less than a quantem...

    I have never damaged a light doing this however the onus to test it is on you... the flash does not draw current until the capasitor is empty. And then only what it takes to charge. Very hard to damage one but I suppose it would be possible with too much voltage. Thats why I usually set mine to 6 volts.
     
  9. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Get the smallest 6volt you can find size wise. I have never had one run down in a shoot except once when I forgot to recharge it after it had been used for two weddings and sat arround a month. I had three of them so it was no big deal.

    Even the half pound gets heavy after a while.
     
  11. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I mean... does that charger seem ok for powering the 283s directly?

    Thanks for the size recommendation
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Yes I have done that with the 283 there is also an ac cord for those things as well. They are probably hard to find but I have one now.

    Before I had one I used two 283s in my studio after I sold off everything. I used them for table top still life. The battery charger worked just fine. It also powered one of the agfas as a backlight but I had to put a couple of layers of cloth over it to cut the light output even then.

    The trick to a power supply seeme to be the amps it can put out on demand. When the thyrister drains it pulls a full load of amps, then when it is charged it stops drawing the full load. A three amp charger seems to fine. On a car charger it will go up to five or six amps I believe. Anyway the battery thing always worked fine wether it was one two or six strobes. Here again it might not do it for you but it worked for me for a couple of years after I sold off the novatrons. It also allowed me to set up and isolated head shot area with some of those agfas I was talking about so it was pretty darn versitle.
     

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