I have a new lighting studio, but it boggles me!!!

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by 391615, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. 391615

    391615 TPF Noob!

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    I have just bought myself a new D300 with an SB900 flash, and Elincrom Dlite 2 kit. But I'm struggling to understand how to use the thing.

    I can't seem to work out how to get the shots I'm looking for. at the moment I'm just fiddling around with things, with no results. I have the SB900 flash in master mode, but I don't know how to turn off the flash from the sb900. secondly I'm getting different results from one shot to the next, maybe bracketing is on or something? The manual for the equipment is a nightmare to comprehend. From what I've tried, I have no way of getting the shots I want, and can't seem to get it right.

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    To learn studio lighting is a long journey that is well worth the trip. Start here www.strobist.com look for lighting 101 and 102.
     
  3. fightin14

    fightin14 TPF Noob!

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    Is your name on here the amount money you have in your savings account? I couldn't imagine going out and just buying all that much less one part of it.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    So you are trying to use your SB900 to fire your studio lights? That doesn't sound right.

    The 'Master mode' on that flash, is meant to control other Nikon Speedlights, not studio lights.

    The studio lights probably do have built-in optical slaves...meaning that they will fire when another flash is fired...but unless used in fully manual mode, your SB900 will probably fire a pre-flash, which would prematurely trigger the studio lights.

    I'd suggest taking the SB900 out of the equation, at least for now. You will need a way to trigger the studio strobes. They probably came with a cable that has a PC connection, just plug that into your camera's PC port. You only need to plug into one, the other should be triggered with the built-in slave.

    You will need to have the camera in manual mode because all other modes read the ambient light for exposure. It would help if you have a flash meter, but you can use trial and error to set your exposure if you have to.

    You need to set the shutter speed withing the sync speed of the camera. A safe bet is something slower than 1/200. Then to control the exposure from the lights, you can use the lens aperture, the ISO, the power of the lights or the position of the lights.
     
  5. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    Yea, Mike is right.

    First, the SB900 doesn't need to trigger the flash anyway. The D300 built-in flash can be used as a commander, to trigger the SB900 when it is not attached.

    The studio lights have nothing to do with the strobe method of lighting as far as I know -- and I'm pretty sure you would have different light temperatures if you did mix them.

    I can (and do) use my D300 as the commander that triggers groups A and B. In group A I have an SB600 (because that flash can only be group A) and Group B is the SB800.

    I hope that helps a little. You can also get Pocket Wizards or something of the like to trigger your studio lighting. I don't know much about "real" studio lights, since so far I am using The Strobist Method.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The terms strobe and flash can pretty much be used interchangeably. So studio strobe/flash lights are essentially quite similar to hot-shoe flash units...except that dedicated hot-shoe flash units are made to communicate with the camera while studio lights will just fire when told to do so. The color temps 'should' be fairly close.
     
  7. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    Cool, thanks for the additional info :) I know just enough about lighting to stay in a constant state of confusion ;)
     
  8. 391615

    391615 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, I am no good at reading instructions, I get new toys and I just wanna play with them. I found the cable I was looking for, and started taking some shots, IT took me a while through trial and error, to get the shots I wanted.

    Not sure If its right, but I had the smaller softbox on the background at a level of 5, and the large softbox on the subject at about 1.5 - 2 depending on aperture. I set the camera to manual, and set the shutter speed to I think 125, and varied the result by the aperture. Not sure if this is the best way, but I'm getting the results I want.
     
  9. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    What were shooting with before?
     
  10. 391615

    391615 TPF Noob!

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    previously never had a lighting setup, only a couple of hardware halogens around a box.

    Are my settings ok for the results, I'm finding it easy photographing dark objects, and keeping the background white and overexposed, but basically, all most of the other shots all still require minor editing. even dust spots, I've only had the camera for a month or two. I'm also finding it hard as I don't have a continuous roll of sheet for the backdrop. I also get a lot of glare on the bottle when using two softboxes on the object, I'll send in some photos tomorrow, and you can see what I mean.
     

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