Lighting Help

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Holly, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Holly

    Holly TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone.. I was just looking at Alien Bees website..

    Curious to know a few things.. I know I want some umbrella lamps with stands.. Of course the wheels...

    I kept looking around to see what they had available and I seen plug in cords etc... NOW Im not sure what all I need to make it work.. Are the cords are for.. They dont come with Power cords? And what are transmitter cord sync?

    Im sorry if these are dumb questions lol BUT to me they are not.. As I dont know what they are.. IF you already have gotten your lighting can you guide me into the right direction as what lights to get.. I know Ill be getting a carry case too.. are the Reflecters a sure thing to get?

    Thanks for your help!

    Holly
     
  2. zedin

    zedin TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    From what I know of the alienbees lights they each are completely self-contained so will have a regular 3-pronged cord to plug into. The other cord would most likely be sync cords. Alienbees can sense a flash and use that to fire so you can setup several lights but only really need to be connected to one via sync cord.

    As for reflectors.. you might wait on them. A strong piece of white poster board or some cardboard covered with foil can work just as well in some cases.
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Each light comes with the reflector, power cord, sync cord, 100watt modeling light, and the case. If your getting a kit, think about getting a soft box also. I have the medium size and got a bigger light stand to hold it, but the small would be okay with the standard stands. I have used mine alot.
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I also recommend a softbox if you can, and if you do, bigger is better. The bigger the light source, the softer the light.
     
  5. Holly

    Holly TPF Noob!

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    IF I get a larger soft box DO I not need an umbrella light OR Is the soft box better help? What does the soft box that the umbrella light wont do?

    Hope you dont mind the questions...
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    The light is the same strobe. You put that stobe into the softbox. It gives you really soft diffused light. Might as well have the umbrella too. If you need to shoot a group, you will get more distance out of the umbrella.
     
  7. Holly

    Holly TPF Noob!

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    ahh ok... SO The stoft box can be placed over the light instead of the umbrella.. OR I can use the umbrella with out the soft box over the light? Correct?
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, you use one or the other at a time. The bonus of the softbox is that I makes better use of the light. Instead of it spilling off to the sides, it bounces around inside until it leaves out the front. You get more control because of that, too. The bonus of the umbrella is that it's cheaper, lighter, and more portable.

    As far as distance, I think that will depend on how much the light is softened by the material each is made of. But you do tend to find thinner umbrellas more often than thinner softboxes.
     
  9. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Using an AB800, I would maybe us 1/4 to 1/2 power when using it with an umbrella in my living room/studio. When using the softbox, I am usually at 3/4 to full power. The medium softbox absorbs alot of light. These are all Alien Bee products.
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I'm not surprised. I'll guess that the light from the softbox is a lot softer, too. I think it's a good idea to have both, so you have options. Didn't mean to sound like I was contradicting that.
     

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