kcombublate

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Hi, I am new to studio photography and have recently purchased a Lowel Omni to do some still life shots. However, I am not very pleased with the Omni as the 230V bulbs are really expensive, fragile and and in general, the omni seems to have problem with arcing and should not be moved when lit. Anyone else faces the same problem? I am looking to purchase something that can be moved when lit so that I can work on my still life better. Do you have any recommendations of continuous lighting for me? I understand that strobe might work better, but I like the versatility of continuous lighting as it allow me to work in both video and photography.

I am open to fluorescent light too, but from what I understand it is harder to cast hard light as the multiple bulbs are used and are in general of lower wattage. I've heard that the DP is much more rugged and could be moved when lit, unlike the omni and pro-light. So far, I have been pretty disappointed with Lowel products... Help!!
 
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kcombublate

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Replace it with strobes.

Hi Fred, thank you for your reply. What kind of strobes do you recommend for a newbie? And further, why do you think strobes are better than continuous light?
 

fmw

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Replace it with strobes.

Hi Fred, thank you for your reply. What kind of strobes do you recommend for a newbie? And further, why do you think strobes are better than continuous light?

For you I would recommend monolights. They are self contained units that can act either as the main light or as slaves. As long as you have the ability to synch flash, they are the way to go.

Better? Yes. In every way. They are more powerful, more flexible in use and employ daylight color temperature. They produce very short exposure duration making camera shutter speed meaningless and eliminating motion blur completely. Most have modeling lights so you can preview the light modeling prior to exposure. Setups are available from a couple hundred bucks to around $2000. Just go to your favorite photo supplier and plug monolight into the search block. What to choose is dependent on your budget.
 

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I am looking to purchase something that can be moved when lit so that I can work on my still life better. Do you have any recommendations of continuous lighting for me? I understand that strobe might work better, but I like the versatility of continuous lighting as it allow me to work in both video and photography.
Most studio strobes have a built-in modeling light which helps with light placement. I don't do video, so can't help with that, but I will add that continuous lighting for still photography is under-powered and energy hungry for what you get. For product photography, continuous lighting is not so bad because you can just hold the shutter open longer for the lower-powered lighting. For portraiture, people cannot hold perfectly still, so you need a strobe to freeze motion.
 

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Omni's need good diffusion material. They are old-school.i used them in the early 1980's and would rather use monolights with very bright modeling lamps for stills. Video lighting is an art and a science, and. Omni's are powerful, but the light.is so, so hard.
 

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Once most tungsten bulbs get hot they are fragile so yes you should be extra careful when moving them. Try not to set them down hard etc.. Yes buying Omni bulbs from a dedicated photo store is expensive, but I've found them at a good local electrical store. Totas are also a good Lowell light and you can find their bulbs everywhere. Maybe not perfect 3200 but much better than most Leds or Cfls

The absolute best tungsten lights imho are Dados but a cheaper alternatives and very good are Arri fresnels. A lot of people use to paint scenes with tungsten lights just use a bit of carefulness when moving the light. Maybe even let stuff cool down and think your setup through before adjusting. I like to turn my lights off a lot I don't need to keep them running and get overly hot.

Going to your local hardware store you can buy a dimmer switch, wire it into an electrical box with both the male and female cord ends so you can dim your Omni - make sure it can handle the 500 watts I'm sure there are some diy youtube videos on this
 

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