Hot Lights vs. Strobes

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Chase, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just curious to get some comments on the use of hot lights vs. strobes for general portrait photography. What are the advantages of one over the other and what are some of the personal preferences?
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I've been very happy with my strobes. I have one set to modeling light (which acts like a hot light). Honestly I don't know much about hot lights and why they would be used, other than that it would seem easier to meter with hotlights because with the strobes you have to guess unless you're using a flash/light meter. I shoot fully manual and since I'm using digital I can just adjust the strobes as needed. Usually my sweet spot is between f5.6 to f11 for indoor portraits.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting thought. I have a couple of Mole-Richardson soft boxes in strorage and have considered trying them for portraits now that I'm shooting digital.

    Before, I dismissed the idea because of color concerns. Not just using type L film, but I'm told that the color temp of the bulbs changes over the course of their lives.

    One detail to consider is the brighter light source will cause the pupils to constrict, showing more of the iris, or eye color.

    Another thought is the light is less comfortable for the model, being brighter and warmer.

    I use modeling lights on my strobes, so being able to see the light ratio is not a concern. And exposure should present no problems, since everything is nailed down. I wouldn't take these beasts on location for a portrait.

    Where I do use them is product photography. It allows me to shoot at any f stop I need, and sometimes it was f64. Lately (in the studio) I just use multiple "pops" of the strobes for this.

    Years ago, before the whole t-grain thing, I found strobes always made a sharper image on film... not so much a concern for portraits.

    Let us know if you try this. I'd love to see the results.
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I shoot all on location with the strobes and it is a haul to carry them out, set them up and break it all down again. Makes for an intresting challenge though since I'm never sure what the lighting conditions will be at the client's house. :mrgreen:
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh... sorry, Alison. Poor sentence structure on my part.

    I meant to say I wouldn't take the Mole-Richardsons to a portrait session. I have hauled them for builing interiors and some kitchen sets. I had to rent a generator to keep them up and runnin'. Too many amps, even for in-factory wiring!
     
  6. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    :shock: a generator? Wow! I can see why portability wouldn't be a plus for them! :lol:
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Could the two of you explain this in bewbie english? We are looking at Photoflex but are as confused as most new people about the pros and cons of strobe versus hotlight. Another concern of ours is portablilty.
    I'm so glad to see this topic but you guys are talking over my head. LOL:confused:
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Apolgies! OK....

    You'll be happier with strobe lighting (flash). If the budget allows, get strobes with modeling lights. Modeling lights are like typical light bulbs, staying lit so you can see where your light is falling when the flash fires. So, there are two lights in the unit... one to see where the light is, and the second to make the exposure.

    These cost more than a plain flash unit and are often larger, sometimes with cooling fans.

    Hot lights are seldom used these days for portraiture.

    I hope this is more helpful.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     

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