is this a sham / is this what I need?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by wbryant, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. wbryant

    wbryant Member

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  2. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    They are not very powerful strobes. Read the specs, do a little calculation and compare against you needs.
     
  3. dtomasula

    dtomasula Member

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    I would stay away from these lights.

    For one, they are cheaply made and may not last very long. For another, they will not output consistent color temperature as they age (probably even as they heat up during a session).

    For little more, you can get a quality Alien Bees basic package that will last a heck of a lot longer and give you good results.
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    It is not a scam, it is just that these are not very powerful lights. The 36 WS units is about useless unless you use it for accent light. If you put it in a box or an umbrella you pretty much would get the same power as a birthday candle.. :smile:

    The 180 and 135 WS light are somewhat usable for head portraits, maybe full lenght body shots but you wont have much space in between the models and the lights.

    The only thing I would use a set like this for would be for product table top photography where you can move the lights.

    BTW I am sure these lights do not have any power dials, so if you want to create different contrasts you would have to move the lights, a PITA IMO.....

    Look for the Sinar Bron store, they sometimes have great deal on very good equipment, my advice, pass on this you will be throwing away $300.

    If you want to learn portraiture, go to Home Depot and buy their reflector lights with clamps for less than $100 (unless of course you are doing color, then you are SOL) practice with that, save your money and once you are good at it, buy a good set of lights.....
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    That's a total of 350 watt/seconds out of the three heads combined. When I was doing studio work over 20 years ago, we used single 2000 w/s heads in softboxes for the small tabletop stuff. Multiple 2000 w/s heads for larger subjects and sets, and IIRC, some 4000 w/s heads on occasion. Granted, we sometimes used them at fractional power, but this gives you an idea what a basic studio will require.

    This set is really minimal and low power, even if the output isn't exaggerated. Can't speak to the quality on this particular set.

    Lee

    P.S. Jorge posted as I was typing. Take his advice on the Home Depot reflectors, they have three sizes of reflectors, and you can look for some 5000 degree Kelvin compact flourescents to shoot daylight balanced color film if you want. Build your own diffusers with PVC and whatever scrim material (like white ripstop nylon from a fabric store) you can find to stretch on them.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This looks like the stuff Spiratone used to sell. Don't bother. You would be better off with something like the Alien Bees lights or a used Speedotron Black Line setup. I use Normans, which can be had inexpensively and are fairly powerful (the heads aren't the most efficient, but I like the quality of the light), but they have some safety issues, and you should really have someone go over them with you, if you take this route.

    I would say the same of any studio pack system, actually. They put out a lot of power, and are safe when used properly, but they can also send you flying across the room if mishandled.
     
  7. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    White Lightning is another clone of the weak lights.
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    For a start you would be better off with (i) more powerful unit and a reflector. If you are working in 35mm a unit that offers an honest guide number around 220 for asa 100 with a recycling time of no more than 4 seconds in conjunction with a good reflector would be a very versatile beginning unit. Stay with a brand that has a good reputation. Even a used unit in good condition makes sense. You can do alot with one light and a reflector. As your format size goes up so does your power requirements.
     
  9. wbryant

    wbryant Member

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    thanks everybody for posting. I guess I have to figure out what I really need (and apparently this was not it...) Off to Home Depot.

    Will
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    These are NOT White Lightning. White Lightning are the high-end version of Alien Bees (more powerful, faster recycle, heavier weight). Whatever those things are, they're cheap crap by comparison.
     
  11. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    I appreciate the correction. They have a set of White Lighnings here that are so weak I can't use them at all. Sorry for the mislead.
     
  12. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    That surprises me.

    Paul Buff makes some nice strobes. The ALien Bees that I have are more than enough and I have the 800ws models. Durable and inexpensive.

    They are where I would start at buying strobes....
     
  13. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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