Pros and cons of flash vs constant lighting and more ?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by 4meandthem, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. 4meandthem
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    4meandthem New Member

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    Umbrellas vs softboxes...Why?
    Constant vs flash...why?
    Combo of the 2?
    Which is easiest to learn?
    Macro ring light...Best one for under 100 bucks?

    What is easiest/best solution a newb hobby type shooter that wants the most versitility until he experiment enough to figure out for himself. I don't want Cowboy Studio junk but pro stuff is is also not what I need either. Somewhere in the middle with some portability. Insect/flower macro, event video, family portrait, landscape are my interests for now.I don't have a style yet let alone a clue LOL. I have read the recent first studio post and alot of Strobist 101 posts. Just looking for a place to jump. Budget is what it is. I am looking for advise on type of products more than individual products.
    Thanks for looking and any advise given.

    Ed
  2. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    1. I like softboxes. They allow me to feather light with no spill out the side of the umbrella. I can use a HUGE softbox to get a huge, soft light.
    2. Flash is a whole lot stronger than constant light. Constant seems great because you see exactly what you are getting, but you need a HUGE amount of wattage to equal one small flash. That tends to be REALLY HOT for the model and even the photog. Combo of the 2 doesn't work unless you have a TON of constant. Because of the major wattage differences.
    3. Constant is easy, I suppose. In order to get enough constant light to illuminate a couple of subjects you'll need to invest a LOT of cash.
    Flash isn't all that hard.
    4. None

    5. Speedlights. I'd go for one good, brand specific speedlight to match the camera and then I am all for the Yongnuo's. You can get enough power to light up like Christmas for a really reasonable price. You'll still want stands and modifiers to go with it, but for portability and price with a huge amount of versatility? I am all for speedlights. If you have read strobist 101 you know he recommends the yongnuo's as well. I like gorilla pods, personally. I can wrap one of those suckers anywhere and get a speedlight in some amazing places with those.
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  3. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    The choice to go with speed lights vs. a traditional sutdio strobe should be based on how much power the OP needs and where he will be shooting. If the OP needs extreme portability and won't need to have to over power the sun and doesn't have an issue with keeping track of AA's, then speed lights will work. If the OP finds themselves needing more power and bigger modifiers, then it will take a lot more speed lights to make up the look and power they'll get with one monolight.
  4. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    VERY true!!!! However a setup of speedlights is going to be more power than any basic, budget setup of constant lighting. It's going to take a lot of continuous to equal up to a couple of speedlights.
  5. nineoneeighttony
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    nineoneeighttony New Member

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    I know some locals who use Youngnuo Speedlites, they were highly recommended!! I agree with the softbox statement, softbox and beauty dish are my two favorite modifiers.
  6. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Yongnuo speedlights are dirt cheap, because they are built cheap and don't have much, if any, bells and whistles (mostly manual only).

    Strobe lights, hot shoe flash units or studio strobes, deliver their light in a very much shorter time span than constant lights do. That means strobe lights allow using shorter shutter speeds than constant lights do.

    Inanimate subjects don't require short shutter speeds and are more amenable to the use of constant lighting and a tripod mounted camera. Constant light power is rated in watts. A watt is one joule of power per second.
    If you use a 500 watt constant light and a shutter speed of 1 second, you use all 500 watts. If you use a 500 watt constant light and a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second you only use 5 watts of the 500 watts the light makes in 1 second.

    Strobed light is flash, and constant light is ambient light, so mixing the 2 can be done but the camera's shutter speed controls the ambient light exposure, while the lens aperture controls the strobed light exposure.

    The are many kinds of light modifiers and each has their pluses and minuses relative to what is being photographed, and where it is being photographed.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  7. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    And a setup of monolights are going to be more power than any basic, budget setup of speedlights. What's your point?
  8. 2WheelPhoto
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    2WheelPhoto New Member

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    Monolights FTW [​IMG]
  9. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    Absolutely! My point is in the question...

  10. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    You can get 150w/s Adorama lights for $100. They're mostly portable and can be used where a wall outlet isn't readily available with a cheap battery. The question that needs to be answered is where/what/when will the OP be shooting.
  11. Shytori
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    Shytori New Member

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    I think constant lights are more power effective.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  12. sactown024
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    sactown024 New Member

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    flash threads alwasy turn into arguments lol
  13. fjrabon
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    fjrabon New Member

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    Fixed.
  14. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    would you please explain that?
  15. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Constant lights are slow.

    A 200 watt constant light delivers the 200 watts in one second. If you use a shutter speed of 1/100 second, the constant light only delivers 2 watts during the exposure, wasting 180 watts in the second the light was on for the exposure, and wasting 200 watts for each additional second the light is on when you're not taking photos.

    A constant light cannot be used to stop motion like a strobe light (flash) can.

    Constant lighting adds to the ambient light in a scene and the constant light cannot be controlled separate from the ambient light the way strobed light can.
  16. fjrabon
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    fjrabon New Member

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    Yeah, I lol'd. I have no idea what his definition of 'power effective' is, but I can't imagine any remotely plausible meaning of the term where that statement is true.
  17. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Not that I care, but I keep seeing this math...and it does not seem accurate. A 200 Watt bulb puts out....wait for it,wait for it...200 Watts. The time the shutter is open does NOT change the output of the bulb. The idea that the duration the shutter is open actually seems to me to be a seriously flawed bit of "logic". I mean, I understand where you are coming from, but the logic is seriously,seriously FLAWED. For example, let's take the noon-day sun in Los Angeles on July 4th. The sun is bright that day. If I open my eyes for one second....that does NOT make the sun "dimmer" than if I keep my eyes open for five minutes while I run down to Starbucks to get a coffee. I understand why some people use the example under discussion, but it seems just wrong to me to make statements that are entirely inaccurate.

    If I weigh 250 pounds, but stand on ONE FOOT, do I therefore weigh 125 pounds? If I have a gallon of water, but put it into FOUR, separate, 32-ounce plastic bottles, do I somehow magically have LESS THAN a gallon of water??? if I have a 500 Watt flood light, its output is ALWAYS 500 Watts...that's the way that works...

    I believe the premise being used is flawed from the very core. The concept stated above is that a 200 Watt bulb puts out 200 Watts in one second....uh...that's not the way I understand it...it's not based on TIME....there is absolutely ZERO "time element"....Wattage is based on how MUCH light is put out. I wonder if maybe I could read a book using three, 10-Watt night lights if I just sat there in the dark and waited long enough...hmmm...
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  18. manicmike
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    manicmike Well-Known Member

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    For a hobbyist, I actually don't think the Cowboy studio stuff is that bad.
  19. fjrabon
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    fjrabon New Member

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    Wattage is in fact a time based unit. it's one Joule/sec
  20. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    So, if I sit in the near-dark for six hours with three, 10-Watt bulbs I will be able to read the book???

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