strobe light questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by brooksthepro, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. brooksthepro

    brooksthepro TPF Noob!

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  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I'm not familiar with either your camera, or the device in the picture, so this is going to be half-hearted advice.

    Generally, there are a couple of ways you can syncronise - with the flash on your camera and with a synch lead. The compatibility of various units can be very complex and the only real standard connector is the so-called PC lead which is a small jackplug thing. You can get a string of devices attached to this and they should all fire at once.

    From what I can see, the box you've shown is a power pack. Some lighting rigs are triggered by this box, and some have additional controls on the flash heads. Different brands work in different ways. When I've been working in a studio (rarely admittedly) it's just been a case of getting a long PC lead and whacking it into the control box. The control box then charges and triggers the lights. The lights have a turny power output thing on them and you set them at the level you want, get your light meter out, press the test button, meter, set your camera's aperture and shutter speed and when you shoot, it triggers the flash and it all works.

    Whether your 20D has a regular PC flash socket, whether that box synchs and triggers the heads you've got or are planning to buy, whether that box has any other kind of features you need, whether it's enough power for the heads you want.... etc. it goes on and on.

    Generally, I'd advise people starting out to buy a kit that they can afford, rather than trying to grub together a system from eBay. Even within manufacturers, there can be some compatibility issues, especially when it comes to fitting brollies, softs etc. so it's wise to plan out on paper what you want, rather than going for a random box. It could be an expensive journey if you buy that and find out that it can only power one light!

    Rob
     
  3. brooksthepro

    brooksthepro TPF Noob!

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    thanks man, good advice....the main reason i want to go the ebay route is because i can esentially get a pretty nice setup for under a grand......a new decent kit would be at the LEAST $2500 :(
     
  4. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    The listing is only for the power pack. I didn't see any mention of light heads in the listing. You will have to plan on buying the light heads seperately. I have a few sets similar to the type you are looking at. They are great because your primary power settings are all at one place on the power pack. You can get heads that are individually adjustable by a few stops. They are not so great because there are alot of cables all over the place and then you have to decide if you are going to fire them remotely or with more wires. Mono lights are nice as the power pack is self cotained with all of the power settings in the head and the only wires to keep track of is the main power. Mono lights are a more convenient system for portability. One draw back is when firing remotely you need a slave trigger for every light in your setup. If you use them on the go alot, spares are a must in case something fails.
    You can also use flash gun heads for controlled studio lighting. Because of how small they are your power is somewhat limited. I have a few nikon sb-26 flashes that have built in photo slaves. Other major brands have similar features. With lightstands, umbrella/swivel mount adapters and umbrellas it is a cheap setup for more controlled single person or still life portraits.
     
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  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Fair point, and I wasn't dissing eBay, but it's important to have a plan. You haven't necessarily planned enough to buy the power pack yet - there are loads of people who are very experienced in studio lighting here, let them know what result you want and they can help guide you in the choices.

    You may already know exactly what you want, I'm just a bit cautious that you may have your heart set on something which may not be entirely what you need.

    I'm no studio expert though, I make do with reflectors! :)

    Rob
     

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