Need some advice on which lights will be best for my situation

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Jonno888, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Jonno888

    Jonno888 Member

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    Hello all.

    Been reading a LOT lately about continuous lighting. I've dabbled in off-camera flash using some cheap speed lights and I'm fairly comfortable using them. I'm now looking to re-create some hard light style portraits from 1930's, 40's etc and like the look of fresnel lights for achieving this. However I'm not clear on what size fresnel lights I would need to achieve decent exposure without cooking my model to a crisp. Would a 650 watt Arri fresnel be enough for key light, and 300 watt be enough fill / hair light ? Or do I need more grunt ?

    I'm planning on shooting in a basic home studio in my double garage. I'll be using a 6x6 SLR camera and shooting wide open f4, 150mm focal length with 100 speed film.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Mortensen, in Pictorial Lighting, used 2 500W lights; metal reflectors rather than fresnels. I've done less light (using CFLs for the equiv of 200W) and 400 speed film.
     
  3. Jonno888

    Jonno888 Member

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    Thanks.

    Do you know what the closest thing to a fresnel light would be in the CFL world ?
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Personally, I believe the three most distinct parts of the fresnel look are the size of the source, the intensity, and control of direction.

    A setup something akin to this http://www.paulcbuff.com/b800.php with http://www.paulcbuff.com/grids.php can do a decent job of mimicing the most important characteristics of a fresnel without any heat issues for the model.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Is your garage air conditioned? Located in Alaska or Arizona? So many variables. You can try to get your lighting and exposure settings arranged before your subject arrives and keep the time under hot lights to a minimum.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  7. Jonno888

    Jonno888 Member

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    Thanks for the reply's everyone. I ran a little experiment by purchasing a cheap 250w work light from local hardware store and taking some readings against it. It did seem a bit weak so I've taken the plunge on a 650 watt fresnel. I think it should suit my needs just fine. I'll post back with some results once it arrives.

    Regards,
    Jonno
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    A Fresnel is just a kind of flat lightweight lens, used to focus a point-source into a pencil-beam. You can use one just as happily with a CFL as a HID lamp, though the larger source size means that the (light not camera) focus won't be quite so narrow.
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    If you are anywhere near an old school you might go see if they have any dead overhead projectors. These come with pretty good fresnel lenses. There is a good chance they will just hand them to you.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Or old theatre spotlights... Some use fresnels, some use condensers; all hugely powerful.