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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: TP: Home Studio
    Posted: 27 August 2007 at 11:57
Originally posted by Turerkan Turerkan wrote:

Thanks to kapuxino for bringing up such an important topic.
i'd like to see as many people as possible to contribute to this discussion, with their experiences and questions.

Once the thread carries enough information, it will be carried over to knowledgebase where it will be stored for future reference.

thanks in advance for your participation.



Hi! I've always wanted to do some studio photography, but never really had an excuse to spend the money. But right now I have a little oportunity, I have meet a couple of girls that want me to take some pictures. I'm looking also for some photo contests and some portraits and models photos could be interesting...

So... having little money to spend I've been thinking on buying something like this:

-2x Studio Lights

-And a wirless flash trigger.

I've been reading some post here since I'm new to this, and I think that it it's everything I need (I alrady have the FS-1100)


I'd like to know if someone knows some better priced studio lights, other shops, etc...
And what could be better? a Gold or a Translucent umbrella?

Thanks!



Edited by Turerkan - 28 August 2007 at 17:26
“Where there is joy there is creation. Where there is no joy there is no creation: know the nature of joy."



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H20boy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H20boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2007 at 07:50
Ah, you've come to the right place my friend. I am about 2 months ahead of you on building my first, home studio. It's small, but respectable, and can do small groups, probably up to four people. I'd like to try to give you some advice as you look through dozens of ebay ads for kits and individual items.

What I have found that I needed (before I tell you what kit I purchased...lol)

(1) Two strong strobes, probably 200w/s works well (and manufacturers rate them very differently, believe me) I use the GN to help make comparisons between different makes. Anyway, make sure the strobe has a modeling light that adjusts in intensity WITH the strobe's variable intensity knob too. The strobe you chose is 180w/s with a 48GN, this one is a 200w/s strobe (I just ordered one) and has a 150GN...something's not stirring the koolaid here, definately a difference in ratings.

I use one strong strobe as a main light. The other one is used as a hair highlight source, or second main strobe for larger groups.

(2) Gotta have a big reflector. Buy one separately because the ones you find in these kits are teensy...won't reflect anything except a small child or product shot. :) The gold/silver isn't really necessary, as in portraiture, you use the white to reflect back light from the main fill strobe...taking less than 1/2 of the intensity back to the subject...fills in those shadows nicely.

(3) That hair light will need a snoot. I tried a barndoor for the hair, but it just didn't 'direct' the light very well. I had light spilling onto my subjects nose and shoulder, so a snoot was a must add.

(4) A backdrop light. This strobe doesn't have to be anything near what your main strobe is. 1/2 that w/s will be fine. I like the variable adjustment here too, but you could go cheaper and just get the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full switch-types and probably be ok.

(5) Two (2) light stands, one reflector arm (to hold the reflector on one of your stands), one shorty backdrop light stand, and a barndoor to control lighting on the backdrop/backgroun.

(6) Softboxes - one large one at least. I picked up a 30"x50" large box for my main strobe. Another one can be smaller, and in case the reflector doesn't work for larger group shots, go with the other strobe and softbox to fill in light on the other side. I started out with a 18" x 24" and it worked well for one subject portraits.

(7) Umbrellas - to date, I have yet to use an umbrella in my studio. The softboxes work so well, I haven't needed to try them. That didn't stop me from buying a couple 45-inch black/white models that you could shoot into, or remove the skin to shoot THRU the white umbrella. I think these add some greater catchlights and can really spread the light if you need it. Do you need one to start off with...probably not.

(8) Wireless flash trigger - any emay trigger works. In fact, I have a couple extra if you want to buy one off me. I got happy one night and though my first one was defective, but it turned out that I was trying to exceed my maximum shutter speed for the camera. Now I have three. yikes!

(9) A backdrop stand, and maybe a couple base backdrops. A brown works well for most formal occasions, and go crazy on another one or two that you think your customers would like. I got a few from Amvona on ebay... so many to choose from!

So to summarize, I recommend starting off with the basics:

- Two (2) main strobes
- One (1) backlight strobe
- Barndoor
- Snoot
- One large soft box, one medium sized
- Three (3) light stands
- Large reflector
- Reflector arm
- Wireless trigger
- One or two contrasting backdrops (one dark, one light)

If I could just figure out how to use my 5600HS flashes to work with these other strobes as slaves, I could elminate the need for the backlight strobe in the list. Until then...I had to buy another one.

If you get more money and more involved
- Dedicated backdrop stand
- More variety of backdrops...wait until you see how many are out there...I ended up with 9!
- Umbrellas that can be changed in size (cool huh?) you can create your own shapes of the catchlights by removing some of the tips on the umbrella. B&H has these in stock.
- light stand w/ a boom; I ended up getting one of these when I had a hard time getting my hair highligting strobe 'atop' the subject and keeping the stand out of the image. This was the only way I could do it.
- Travel case to store/travel with all of your strobes, stands and umbrellas. Yup, amvona again had this large case one wheels. Whenever I actually go out on a photo shoot, I can pack up all of my strobes, three stands, umbrellas, and accessories into this huge, roller wheeled case.

Sorry such a long-winded post. I'll be glad to help if you have other specific questions. Be sure to update this thread when you've completed your research and decided on a setup. I'd like to hear what you ended up with and the results you get. Warning, it can be costly to continue pursuing this course. Find some paying clients, and you won't have any trouble justifying the expense. Just because the girls are cute, doesn't mean they get a sitting with you for free. <- remember that. (I've learned the hard way...)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2007 at 16:50
Thanks H20boy! That's a lot of great info! I really apreciate your advice.

I'll the oportunity to shot on a pro studio in 2 or 3 weeks. One of my friend's sister has access to one. So I'll be able to try all the stuff and get a better idea of what I could get.


Originally posted by H20boy H20boy wrote:

If I could just figure out how to use my 5600HS flashes to work with these other strobes as slaves, I could elminate the need for the backlight strobe in the list. Until then...I had to buy another one.
I'm not sure since I have no experience with it, but I have read that there are adapters for the flash with a with pc sync socket... I think I have even see some on eBay. Tell my if you figure it out, I'm interested on this too, I have a Sigma EF-500 DG super and a Minolta Program 4000AF.


I think someone should make a guide or something about this, with stores where to buy the equipment and info. It would be helpful for many people, including myself :)

When I'd visited the studio I'll post more info, and of course once I'd build my home studio I'll post everything.

Edited by kapuxino - 28 August 2007 at 17:02
“Where there is joy there is creation. Where there is no joy there is no creation: know the nature of joy."



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Post Options Post Options   Quote H20boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2007 at 20:34
I'll add some pictures of the setup I use, maybe going over some good and poor features that I have run across in these lighting kits... and of course fix some formatting-spelling in my original post a little later, since it is a TP no. BTW, is TP in our acronymn list?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote vitor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2007 at 21:19
H20boy,
I just made a test with my flash and using the adapter FS-1200 and a slave cell you can trigger the 5600 in synch with you're studio flashes. You can even add some PC Synch port to the flash with this setup and use the remote trigger you use for the studio flashes.
For controlling the power output you just need to select M in the 5600.

Regards.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dogears Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2007 at 13:18
What about adding shots of the setup and some results. TIA :)
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2007 at 13:29
Originally posted by dogears dogears wrote:

What about adding shots of the setup and some results. TIA :)

Yes, that would be nice. I want to see others people's setup. Some prices could be nice too!

I'm sure there are lot of people here on Dyxum with nice home studios, their knowledge and experecience on this matter is very useful for some of us! :)

Btw, is there a definitive anwser about how to connect an A100 to studio strobes without a wireless triger? Is some of these new hot shoes enough?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anssisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2007 at 14:05
More Content? i do not have my own studio, yet. But what i have, and what many others have done here in dyxum, is product photography. That is studiophotography as well, even if not ment for portrait shots. There have been som threads about setups but no TalkingPoint or a specialized thread for it so this is my attempt to start one. Please feel free to chim in on this:

To get a small product to fill the frame, a macro lens is preferable, or then extensiontubes. What I, and many others (like dCap) have found out, 50mm Macro is a good overall productshot lens. To get the small subject to fill the frame, Dof will be critically small. This means that shooting at small apertures, F8-F16 is usuall dependign on the subject size. Small rings and such might need even smaller aperture. A tripod might help when composing the picture.

For a simple product shot, a piece or two of white paper is almost enough. Place your subject on a white paper and put one paper behind it for background. If you only have the popupflash to work with, diffuse it with something, i.e an empty tea bag. Start by overexposing the background enough that it is white, but see to it that it does not "bleed" on the subject. What i mean is that the light starts to eat the contures of the subject. If you can, try to diminish the seam that comes from the background paper and the floor paper. It is also good to keep a distance from the background to the subject, and if possible, lift the subject a bit from the ground. This will make the background more out of focus.

In postprocessing on the PC with Levels and curves the background can be made totally white and the subject the way you want it to look. Remember to clean of any blemishes from the picture, dust that have been on the sensor and is shown due to small aperture, dust that is visible on the product or in the background. If the purpose is to promote a sale of used equipment, do not remove any scrathes or such, they need to be visible. If its a product shot for a company that sells new stuff, and the unit you shoot has scratshes that should not be there, do remove them :)
A simple and quite more elegant picture than a normal snapshot.!

The method described above will cause a highlight direct in the fron due to the popupflash above the camera. If an external flash is available, diffuse it and have it placed to either side of you. Test how the highlight behaves with different positioning (this means that the flash has to be wireless or corded).

If the external flash is available, there are few gadgets that might be bought. Home made diffusors are good, but if travelling or wanting to look pro on a shootout for a client, a bought diffusor might be worth considering. Another Way to diffuse is to bounce the flash, usually this is a piece of white cardboard attached on top of the flash and the flash head directed upwards. This will give a more even lighting. And then there are the lightents. These can be built DIY, or buy one.

I bought a LumiSoft branded light tent, it has its pros and cons over a DIY one. For one, its more expensive and you can not make it larger or smaller (you have to buy different sizes if you have need for different kinds, even if a larger tent will work with smaller products, it does not work the other way around), it is what it is, but on the other hand, it does not take up any space and is very portable as it can be folded into a small bag.
With this tent, the light will be so evenly distributed, that you can achieve pictures without shadows and highlights. This is not necessarily what is always wanted, but it will give great pictures for an objectiv view of the product.

More flashes can be used than one, and other surfaces can be used than white. Black, and blue are quite good for productshots, depending on you subjects colour. And surfaces can be a cloth (velvet [even if it is hard to keep clean from dust], paper and cardboard, and glass or plexi for reflective pictures.

yes.. i am at school...









Edited by Anssisa - 29 August 2007 at 19:59
"Click,Click,ClickClickClick" By: A700 + | S 50 f/1.4 | M 85 f/1.4 G (D) | S 135 f/2.8 STF | M 80-200 f/2.8 APO HS G |
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 September 2007 at 13:18
I'm more inclined on portrait photography, but thats very interesting Anssisa.

Talking about conecting the camera (in my case an A100) to Studio Strobes...
I'm going to a studio (like I said on a previous post), and I don't know very well what I'll need to use my A100 there... would this be enough?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Turerkan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 September 2007 at 17:50
anybody can answer kapuxino's question?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2007 at 11:56
It seems no one can... I bought it, but the seller told me he is out of stock, I'll try to buy it to another seller since I'd need it for arround sep 14th.

Is there any other way to conect the A100 (or the 5D/7D) to studio strobes without going wireless? Since the studio is not mine I don't want to change their setup with radio recivers just for a few test shots.



PD: Yes, I know about the Sony's 180€ solution, but don't want to expend soo much money on this. :S
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anssisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2007 at 12:07
Sry for a late answer. Yes that thing should give you pc-sync that the A100 and 5D lacks (the 7D has one). There are not any other options without going wireless, that i know of.

As most of modern studio strobes (from what i know) can be triggered wireless by flash from a smaller flash from the camera, i bought an external flash. It must support manual mode for this, ie the 5600(D)/HVL-F56AM (not the 3600). This is the reason that the pop-up flash does not work, it will always preflash. Some expensive studio strobes have a way to ignore preflash, so the popup flash can be used, but i have not used such. As i had no money for such expensive stuff (at the time), i bought a filmcamera flash, 5400xi that has _only_ manual mode. Works great with i.e Elinchrome D-Lite series studio strobe

So if you have a external flash, you can quite possibly use that. Just set the power to minimal and fire away :)
If its only once you get to go to this studio, i suggest asking if their equipment will work with this solution (if you want to do it that way. At least you will have a flash even after the studio sessions.. ;)

Edited by Anssisa - 07 September 2007 at 12:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kapuxino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2007 at 13:47
Thanks Anssisa :)

Originally posted by Ansissa Ansissa wrote:

As most of modern studio strobes (from what i know) can be triggered wireless by flash from a smaller flash from the camera, i bought an external flash. It must support manual mode for this, ie the 5600(D)/HVL-F56AM (not the 3600). This is the reason that the pop-up flash does not work, it will always preflash. Some expensive studio strobes have a way to ignore preflash, so the popup flash can be used, but i have not used such.

I didn't know that! I have a Sigma EF-500 DG SUPER and a Minolta PROGRAM 4000 AF, they may work using this...


Btw, I've said it before, but I don't mind say it again for the people that don't read all the posts, I think that a good idea could be posting places (online shops, ebay sellers...) to get this kind of studio equipement. It is hard to search for this stuff from zero. Having a list here on dyxum for prices and where to find the best deals, the models that better work with our cameras and at the long term, a guide to build or own home studio could be very interesting :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2007 at 16:32
Originally posted by H20boy H20boy wrote:

The strobe you chose is 180w/s with a 48GN, this one is a 200w/s strobe (I just ordered one) and has a 150GN...something's not stirring the koolaid here, definately a difference in ratings.

Probably a difference in units - one based on feet and the other on metres
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