First time using strobe lighting - seeking advice

adamwilliamking

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Hello

I just bought a D-Lite 4 light kit, so I have 2 400 watt elinchrom strobes, 1 small and 1 medium sized softbox and yada yada..

I shot this with my nikon 50 1.8 and i have a few questions if anyone can help me out here..

1. why suddenly is my viewfinder tricking me into thinking i have a perfect exposure, only to find that im 2 stops under when i open my raw editor??
i mean this happened alot when i was first starting, but it seems that lighting has thrown me into a new ball game.. am i confused? yep.

2. I realize that 400 watts is pretty powerful but is there anyway I can get away from using F14, 18, 20 etc. I find I lose sharpness in most of my lenses at this point.. I mean Ive been told to just move them back but for certain scenarios that will spread the light too much. yknow?

anyways, heres my first go at shooting with my new lights, or any lights for that matter..

rather than critique, lead me in a direction..


3312548725_7a3b983022.jpg

 

joeymas

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You have your strobes. Any new lighting system will take time to get used to. If you can not control or limit the amount of light coming from your strobe via power settings, then try to control your light using barn doors or distance.

Your going to get to know your set up soon and once you do, everything will fall into place.
 

Big Mike

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1. why suddenly is my viewfinder tricking me into thinking i have a perfect exposure
Not sure what you mean? The camera's light meter and thus the scale in the viewfinder are completely useless when shooting with strobes (unless you are trying to incorporate ambient light as well).
If you aren't doing it already...you need to be in manual mode when using your lights and you need to determine you exposure settings without the camera's meter.

2. I realize that 400 watts is pretty powerful but is there anyway I can get away from using F14, 18, 20 etc
I hate to ask...but you are turning the power down on the lights, aren't you?
After that, move the lights back. If you don't like the light properties when they are moved back, then you'll need to control it somehow...snoots, grids, flags etc.
 
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adamwilliamking

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If you aren't doing it already...you need to be in manual mode when using your lights and you need to determine you exposure settings without the camera's meter.

Yeah I am shooting manual. I usually am at shutter speed 160, or 200 and find that when I have my softboxes anywhere close to the model, I get blowout unless im up at like I said F14+. I ignore the meter in the camera and use the viewfinder.


I hate to ask...but you are turning the power down on the lights, aren't you?
After that, move the lights back. If you don't like the light properties when they are moved back, then you'll need to control it somehow...snoots, grids, flags etc.

Yeah the dial starts at 2.0 and increases in decimals to 6.0
Is there any way to dial down further without using gel paper, grids etc?

Thanks alot for the help I figured you'd have some good advice
 
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adamwilliamking

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You have your strobes. Any new lighting system will take time to get used to. If you can not control or limit the amount of light coming from your strobe via power settings, then try to control your light using barn doors or distance.

Your going to get to know your set up soon and once you do, everything will fall into place.

Thanks man thats really encouraging!

Im actually considering some barn doors right now.
 

Big Mike

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Yeah I am shooting manual. I usually am at shutter speed 160, or 200 and find that when I have my softboxes anywhere close to the model, I get blowout unless im up at like I said F14+. I ignore the meter in the camera and use the viewfinder.
Shutter speed has absolutely no impact on your flash exposure (again, unless you are including ambient light)...you just have to keep it under your max sync speed which is probably 1/200 or somewhere around there. You could change it to 1/30 and probably get the same results.

Are you using the lowest ISO on your camera?

Moving the lights back is your next adjustment. Then you can try to eat some light with a filter.
 
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adamwilliamking

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Awesome, thats some great information to take into my second shoot, I will post and maybe you can check it out, thanks again man
 

EOS_JD

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Get a light meter......

That will tell you where to set your aperture.

Set ISO to 100 and shutter speed to something like 1/125 or 1/200

If you don't have a lightmeter you can maybe set your camera to f8 and then play around with the light power to get an acceptable exposure.

Check out youtube. There's a load of tutorial videos on lighting
 

RianFlynn

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hey buddy,

yeah i found that i was fight chromatic aberration when shooting above f/14. Using modifiers often drop the power of your lights by a couple stops or more. Also, have you considered using a ND filter?

all the best
rian
 
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adamwilliamking

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hey you're like the 4th person to suggest a ND filter so I think I will pick one up today ... :)
 

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