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  1. #11

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    If he sticks with 35mm he wont need that powerful of a strobe.

    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    These lights aren't great for portrait work mainly because you will probably want to modify them (soften them etc) and in doing so you will cut their output considerably.

    Personally I would purchase a monolight (strobe 600ws minimum) of some kind ( I use Photogenics) and there are relatively cheap ones out there. Buy a softbox and get a reflector of some sort for fill (fomecore works) and then build from there.


    Michael
    art is about managing compromise

  2. #12

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    Before buying that set-up, you might check Freestyle first. About 20 years ago I bought all the components for a similar set-up from them which worked out pretty well and was VERY inexpensive. I actually shot quite a bit of 4x5 (non-commercial) with the little set-up also. Mostly table top (slow shutter speed) and some portraits (larger aperture).

    I purchased a Speedotron 2403B powerpack (and heads) about 18 years ago which has been been extremely reliable and I've noticed quite a few of those systems up for auction.

    As has been said by others- be careful with all studio lighting set-ups as all sorts of mishaps can occur if they are not used properly.
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  3. #13
    Ilmarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    If he sticks with 35mm he wont need that powerful of a strobe.
    Well, I prefer 6x6 B&W, but this could change.
    With best regards,
    Vladimir S. Fonov ~ foto at ilmarin.info

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    If he sticks with 35mm he wont need that powerful of a strobe.
    Maybe not but some times the bigger more expensive strobes have more control. That lets you dial them down to lower power levels. It may seem wierd to buy a bigger light to get less light.

  5. #15
    rbarker's Avatar
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    FWIW, I agree with Michael and Nick - if you can, bite the bullet and buy a decent monolight to begin with. While these hot light sets are attratively priced, they are extremely limiting. Even if using 250W bulbs, most people will be uncomfortable with that level of light close to them, and they'll become beady-eyed grumps. Even then, you may have to compromise by using faster film than you'd like.

    One not-so-subtle difference with using strobes with softboxes and the like is in the subject's eyes. The lower light level during setup allows the subject's pupils to open up, making the resulting portrait seem more "inviting" and friendly. Small pupils resulting from hot lights give the opposite impression of the final images.

    Look at the different brands of monolights, and pick one that offers future expansion, and that has adapters for the softboxes you like. Then, build your sighting system over time. Most of the better monolight systems will allow some control over the unit's output. For example, the WhiteLightning strobes I use provide continuous adjustment, which is quite handy. Others offer stepped output adjustments.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  6. #16
    Ilmarin's Avatar
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    Thank you,

    that's interesting. Another question then, is there any preferable brands/models for entry level systems (assuming that I will be getting second hand, most probably) ?
    With best regards,
    Vladimir S. Fonov ~ foto at ilmarin.info

  7. #17

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    I recently went throught the same process and decided to spend a couple bucks more for something that I will be happy with for a long time. I'm not a pro but i read many good reviews on the alien bees and white lightning products( same company). I decided to go with the white lightnings for the higher wattage modeling light and warranty. I can't say I've ever read any negative comments on these products and I'm happy with mine.( I shoot 35mm through 4x5)

    http://www.white-lightning.com/packages.html
    or
    http://www.alienbees.com/packages.html

    Mike

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by haris
    I get aperture f8 on 1 meter distance.
    If my lights were at 1 meter I would have had about the same My strobes were at 2 meters for the amount of wrap around that I wanted. I use the white lightnings. The ones with the slider for adjusting output are well worth it. Beats moving the light back and forth to get the ratios you want.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jason314159
    Firecracker,

    You can dim fluorescent lights but you need an electronic ballast.

    regards,
    Jason
    A note on dimming flouresents: be careful dimming electronic ballast with small compact dimmers, they are also electronic and generally this is a bad combination. One or the other usually stops functioning, or they will pulse.

    Using a VARIAC (autotransformer) to dim electronic ballasts like KINO FLO is ideal but they are not cheap.

    Best of luck.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by vet173
    If my lights were at 1 meter I would have had about the same My strobes were at 2 meters for the amount of wrap around that I wanted. I use the white lightnings. The ones with the slider for adjusting output are well worth it. Beats moving the light back and forth to get the ratios you want.
    Yes. Mine lights are with stepped 1/4, 1/2 and full power. But, reasons for buying them were next: price of 160 USD for 160 WS, 200 USD for 320 WS and 300 USD for 640 WS powered, and I bought first two cheapest ones to try them out, they are some Chineze made lights of which I never heard before... Since I discovered that they give consistent results, and are worth of money, I will buy few more powered lights which have slider for adjusting power/pilot lightning...

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