Home studio - Lighting set up

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ketan, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I wish to develop a small indoor studio for my photography learning and hobby; basically to understand and experiment with light. What type of (economical) lighting set up should I buy.

    I wish to use this for object photography, portraits, flowers etc.

    Thank you

    Ketan


     
  2. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Define Economical. I think it is economical to get the Elinchom DLite4 kit.
     
  3. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Well, economical for me may be upto US$500 as this is my hobby and not means to earn :blushing:
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    This might be the fiftieth instance of this same,exact basic request post being made here at TPF. I would search the forum for "home studio", and think you'll get many replies. The Elinchrom DLite kits, the Calumet Genesis kits, and Adorama Flashpoint 320M kits will pop right up!
     
  5. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, will do the search.

    For still photography should one go for continuous rather storbe?
     
  6. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Strobes are better.
    If this is your first attempt, I will experiment with one off camera flash first. Trying more than one at the same time will make you want to pull you hair out. To get started, one flash + one reflector. Learn how It works and go from there.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    For the kind of subjects you want to shoot, except the portraits, continous will work well. For things that don't move you can put the camera on a tripod and leave the shutter open for more than 1 second.
    Continuous lights also let you see in advance where the shadows cast by the lighting fall.

    But for portraiture, people move and you need to have the shutter open for a much shorter period of time, like 1/100 of a second.

    Continuous light power is rated in watts. Lets assume a continuous light has a power rating of 100 watts. That is 100 watts per second.
    With a shutter speed of 1 second, we can use all 100 watts the light puts out, but with a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second 99/100 of the light the 100 watt light puts out in 1 second can't be used.
    So for our portrait made using a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second, we only get to use 1 watt of the light the 100 watt bulb makes in 1 second. The other 99 watts the constant light made while the shutter was closed can't be used to make the exposure.

    With a strobed light (flash) we can get a lot more light in a much shorter period of time. Strobed lights are rated in watt-seconds. Note, that is not the same as watts per second, becuase a flash unit delives all of it's light output in a time frame much shorter than 1 second.
    Camera hot shoe flash units set to full power have a flash duration of about 1/000 of a second.

    Camera hot shoe flash unit power output is rated by their GN (Guide Number) not by watts, or watt-seconds. The GN number can be used in a simple formula used for calculating which lens aperture would be appropriate for a given shot set-up.

    So that's why strobed light (flash) is better for portraiture. Note that most studio type strobe lights include a constant light, called a modeling light, so shadows can be seen to verify light placement. The modeling light is only used to position the lights, and then it's turned off before the strobed light is used.

    On a less technical note, constant lights get vey hot if left on. They heat up what you are shooting (people or flowers), and they heat up the room.

    Back to the technical, by using strobed light, we can control the ambient light exposure separately from the strobed light exposure with the shutter speed setting. The strobed light exposure is controlled by adjusting the strobed light power output setting, and/or the lens aperture setting. That cannot be done with constant lights, because constant lights are ambient light.
     
  8. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Many thanks for the detailed response.

    If strobe has the modelling (constant) light also then why anyone go for only constant light?
     
  9. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Because the constant lights are less expensive, and many people don't understand the light power issue.

    This is a decent strobe starter kit: Flashpoint 320M Portrait Wedding Monolight Kit, with Two 320 Monolights,9.5' Stands,Umbrellas, Snoot and Carrying Case

    This kit is a bit better (more light power, uses Elinchrom speedrings) and often goes on sale: Calumet Genesis 200 2-Light Kit

    Better still is this kit (even more light power): Calumet Genesis 400 2-Light Kit
     

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