New Flourescent Continuous Lights?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by lschaaf, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. lschaaf

    lschaaf TPF Noob!

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    I am looking for beginner level studio lights for portrait and maybe maternity shots and was talking to a company rep (at Steve Kaeser) and they were recommending continuous fluorescent lights (daylight balanced and don't get hot like old continuous). The rep said for a beginner, it's easier to see lighting patterns and meter than strobes (which I agree since you can see as you're setting up) Does anyone have any experience with them? I see most recommendations for strobes. My studio will be in a 10x10 room.

    Thanks,
    Lisa
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What will you be shooting?
     
  3. lschaaf

    lschaaf TPF Noob!

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    Mostly kids and family shots
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    www.strobist.com ... becuase the family and kids won't always come to you, portability is important. I tried fluorescents and hot lamps... HATED both. Try them anyays, you may like something that I do not.

    Start with the link above, it is the absolute basics (lighting 101 and 102)
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow bad idea. Daylight balanced or not, CFLs which produce a colour spectrum that isn't entirely crap (i.e. one that matches a black body radiator and thus allows nice colour reproduction) are very expensive. Using CFLs are likely to cause very dull colours due to their spectrum.

    Using other continuous lights though are likely to fry whatever poor person you stick underneath them so that's not ideal either.

    Really I don't buy into the argument "easier for a beginner." This may have made sense with film when it cost you $1 every time you press the shutter button and don't see the results for a day, but when you can just take a digital photo whenever you adjust the lights to preview your change, it is practically as good as having continuous lighting anyway.
     
  6. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do not agree, the CF bulbs from Alzo Digital are 5500k and have a CRI of 91.

    A 45w bulb is ~$14, a 85w is ~$27.

    Shop type lights with quartz/halogen bulbs do suck for color and are HOT.

    Not quite sure if I disagree with this statement but I did learn a lot about lighting with CF bulbs before moving on to strobes.

    Cheers, Don
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And I don't agree that a CRI is a proper indicator on the quality of light that is produced, if you want I can try and dig up the paper on it.

    It also depends on the halogen lamp used, but 90% of the time all you need to do is colour balance and make sure your models don't get sunburnt.

    Oh and I'd be interested in your take why you don't agree. I mean surely yes using continuous lighting is easier to learn because you can see it. But these days you could just take a picture and get the same kind of feedback as to what your strobes are doing, and you can make those changes quickly take a shot, rinse repeat, no incident light meter required. (just my opinion though)
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As David Hobby said it... you don't have to see the light to know where it will fall. We all instrinctively know where it will fall... ever watch a mouse on the ground see the shadow of a hawk zooming down, and how it instinctively knew which way to run?

    If I place myself behind the light stand and look at the model, I will know where the light will fall... I do not need to see it to know... and if I really do need to... take a practice shot.

    My biggest issues with hot lights and friends is that they are weak. I do not know many hotlights that won't cook a full cow that can generate F/11 from 10 feet away... lol
     
  9. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    I recently bought a set of basic studio lighting, I bought strobes and would recommend the same to anyone, light output is so much better. As for seeing where the light will fall, they have modeling lamps, that shows everything you need to know.
     
  10. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The CRI is an old standard but knowing that, it can still be useful in comparing lighting sources.

    I've tried all the locally available lamp types and decided the color cast and heat weren't worth it. FYI the only place I could find a blue tinted bulb with a better color rating was in Australia :)

    The first factor would be cost. I eventually ended up with two 16" reflectors with 900w/head and a 150w boom light for under $400 Cdn. For small product shots using clip on reflectors with single bulbs, the cost can be much lower.

    Secondly, it's just a different way to "learn" lighting. I could "see" where the shadows and highlights/reflections are before taking a shot. For me that was more effective than reviewing the shot on the camera screen, ie. older eyesight....

    If cost is not a factor and you are serious about acquiring a good kit, strobes are the way to go.

    I rarely use my continuous lights now and shoot with strobes and the camera tethered to a laptop. The time spent with continuous lights was still well worth the investment.

    Cheers, Don
     

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