Hi all and welcome. Just to get things going, I'd like to talk about studio strobes, specifically portable strobes - either extremely compact and lightweight pack/head combinations, or DC battery-powered monolights/ pack/head kits. I'm looking in to getting a kit myself and weighing all my options - the biggest floating-point variable in all this is to get something compatible with my accessories or not. I've got a lot of stuff that fits Bowens accessories. I'm open to the possibility of using some other system in a portable outfit, if there is something better than the Bowens Gemini monolights.
I use Elinchrom monoblocks but from what I understand they are not compatible with other brands, so that would be a brand to stay away from. Bowens Geminis are good choices though.
I use Norman studio lights and Norman portables.
For studio use I have a P2000D pack, two LH2000 heads, an LH4000 dual-tube head, and an FS-10 10" focusing Fresnel spot head.
My portable heads don't have modeling lights, but they do offer heads with modeling lights that work with the 400B battery pack and there are small AC packs that can power the same heads. They are nice and compact, particularly if you combine them with the compact Bogen/Manfrotto stands, and you can use them on camera with a flash bracket, but they can't take all the accessories and options of studio-sized heads. I've got a 200C battery pack, 202 AC pack, two LH-2 heads and an LH-3b head for on camera use (has auto modes and conserves power like a thyristor). They make a nice compact 16" octabox with a removable front diffuser and silver interior for the portable heads that folds like an umbrella and sets up quickly. You could use this on Quantum and Lumedyne heads as well, which take the same reflectors and diffusers as the Norman portable heads.
I am using Berkey Colortrans tungstens, and ASCOR studio photo flashes. For portability, I have several VIVITAR 283's with the replacement for the autothyristor that allow you to dial down the output, and some homemade 6Volt adapters that go inplace of the battery packs to directly power them.
I am using Alien Bees, with the Vagabond II for portability. It works well. Pocket Wizards and a Minolta Flashmeter IV.
I started with these cool old Sunpaks though. Heavy but wonderful. Unfortunately I could not replace the lamps anymore.
As this is my first posting in this group, may I say that I am not a knowledgeable user of lighting for studio settings. My intent for joining this group is to learn more about lighting, especially for people. Equipment available to me at this time is four (4) Metz 60 CT-1 with slave triggering devices fired off an electronic flash on the camera bracket. A radio system is also in development. Knowledge of the devices is not my problem. Knowledge of how to use them to achieve the desired lighting effect is a problem.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
I have plenty of studio lights for indoor use. Like the OP, I too have been looking (well, researching) possible portable lighting kits. While it would be nice to have something to fit all my current equipment, because of the product line of the equipment I have, even that is a possible dead end. I've been leaning towards making a DIY battery pack. Depending on when I get around to making one, (given it no thought so far), I'll let you guys know how it goes.
The kit that has me drooling (but would have me broke) is the Hensel Porty Lithium outfit - http://www.henselusa.com/porty1200_li.html . Very lightweight, fast recycle, GOBS of power, and if you want/need the flash speed, a really short flash duration for freezing action. But all told, the outfit would set me back around $5K USD. Ouch.
Goodness over the years I have used quite a few different units, Ascor, Phogenic, Norman, but at present, I have Paul C. Buff, White Lightning 1800ws, 1200ws, and 600/800? I also have a set of 125/250 Ascor two head unit. and misc Honeywell strobinar slaves. As I am (retired)? I am lacking a camera room which is being built. I was a school photographer for a number of years, back when (some of us) used formula lighting for school portraits, I also had several studios at one time or other. Now positioned on top of a mountain in No Idaho, I shoot what I want, mainly out door photos scenic and wildlife.
Good morning, IdahoPhotoist;
Nice to see another photographer out here in the Pacific Northwest. And, while on the subject, there is a social group (no, not a regional group, but I do not know why) for the Pacific Northwest on APUG.
Your comment about the Honeywell-Heiland Strobonar slaves did get my attention. While I now have five Metz 60 CT-1 strobes for lighting, along with a bunch of ancilliary stuff, I used an old Honeywell Strobonar 700 for a long time. With the 510 VDC battery pack, the recycle time was very pleasant, and I could shoot out to about 1,000 feet with an f/1.4 lens on EKCo Tri-X. I have been looking for a Honeywell-Heiland Strobonar 770 or 882 just to rebuild and refresh some of those old pleasant memories.
Like you, I also no longer have a useful purpose in life; they pay me to stay at home now. Having a few years of experience in "retirement" now, I wish I still had a job to go to for resting and recuperation. I had no idea that retirement could be this exhausting. I am busier now than I ever was while employed. Last Thursday evening while driving back from Eastern Washington, I rolled 344,000 miles on the Subaru.
Latte Land, Washington
Portable light set is Alien Bees with 4 heads/ AB400; 2xAB800; AB1600
For studio I have Norman P24/24 with 2LH2000 and 2LH2400
Hello everyone, I 'm new here but I can add some valuable information on lighting. I'm from Seattle and it s nice to find a group that enjoys film still. I don't shoot it much anymore just because Are main lab has left town.
Anyway if you have any questions on lighting I would be glad to engage, I use use mono heads and available light most of the time for shooting daylight projects and than I use my hot lights for a tungsten shot. Or sometimes I will mix the two which can be very cool.
Good morning, Tim;
Welcome to APUG and the Lighting Group. Noting that you are also in Latte Land, may I suggest that you look into another group also; the "U.S. Pacific Northwest Regional WA-OR-ID and the State of Jefferson" Group here in the APUG Groups Section. By the way, that is not the full name; it has been abbreviated somewhat.
And, you spoke of the "main lab has left town." Isn't Panda Photographic Labs still here for photographic development and printing services? When I last checked, they were still on Warren Avenue North just north of the Space Needle and east of Queen Anne Avenue. Something like 533 Warren Avenue North. Give them a call at 206-285-7091. At least it is something that is still here. I do not know if ProLab is still around, but I think that there were a couple of others listed under Commercial Photography Processing Services or something like that.
I am not sure about your comment on mixing and using both mono heads and tungsten hot lights. When I have been around them, tungsten lighting was not "very cool." In fact, usually they were quite warm. You know this when you see the surface of a dark wax model begin to droop.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington