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Thread: Continuous Lighting

  1. #1

    Continuous Lighting

    Hi, I am new to studio photography and have recently purchased a Lowel Omni to do some still life shots. However, I am not very pleased with the Omni as the 230V bulbs are really expensive, fragile and and in general, the omni seems to have problem with arcing and should not be moved when lit. Anyone else faces the same problem?

    I am looking to purchase something that can be moved when lit so that I can work on my still life better. Do you have any recommendations of continuous lighting for me? I understand that strobe might work better, but I like the versatility of continuous lighting as it allow me to work in both video and photography.

    I am open to fluorescent light too, but from what I understand it is harder to cast hard light as the multiple bulbs are used and are in general of lower wattage. I've heard that the DP is much more rugged and could be moved when lit, unlike the omni and pro-light. So far, I have been pretty disappointed with Lowel products... Help!!

  2. #2
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    That's interesting. I used Omnis for years, moved them around when lit and didn't lose bulbs that fast. I did notice, however, when we were shooting in the UK and had to switch to 220 or 230v bulbs, that they would blow much faster. It probably has more to do with the bulbs you're getting than the Omni itself. If you really want a hard light, I'd suggest trying different bulb manufacturers before giving up on it. The DP isn't really any more rugged, just bigger.

    HTH,
    CB

  3. #3

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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    I have a set of Lowel DP lights that I occasionally use for EBay, etc. I recall that bulbs could be purchased in a couple of different color temperatures. It was something like 2800/3000, or possibly 3000/3200? Regardless, those in the higher color temperature had dramatically improved expected lifetimes, so I purchased those. Over the years, I've rarely had blown bulbs. They just keep going.

    I have a friend who uses Omnies for architecture, and I think that his bulbs blow more frequently, maybe in part, because of those little tiny bulbs. They're not very big. Pursuing this thought, I would recommend the DP's for studio work versus the Omnies. The bulbs are bigger and brighter, up to 1000w being available. The focusing mechanism is also much improved over the Omnies.

    Because of their size, Omnies are good for location. In the studio, I think that one's better off with DP's. As a caution, I wouldn't use either without their protective screens. Bulbs can burst, and that can be dangerous. All the more reason for DP's given that their brighter.

  4. #4
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    If I were buying new continuous lights, I'd give some of the better LEDs a serious look.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  5. #5

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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    Depends what you are shooting, how much light you need, color or B/W, etc... If you are using them for tabletop sets, you don't need too much light as you can just expose longer, and it's nice to not have too much heat produced... For small sets, you can use a CFL or LED lights in cheap reflectors and get an excellent light for little money... You might have to try different ones to get the color balance you want... Brush up on bellows factors/reciprocity factors, and you can use an enlarging timer for the lower wattage lights...

    The Lowell light's lamps are somewhat sturdy, but don't handle the bulbs with bare hands, as the oils in your fingerprints will shorten lamp life, clean the sockets with lighter fluid and a toothpick because dirty contacts will heat excessively and can pulse the current to the lamp, and don't buy Chinese lamps, but see if you can find GE made in Hungary lamps... (I have 2 different Lowell sets that I use, but the same lamps used for years, but I have 120v lamps) You should be able to move them around a little without failure...

    Steve K

  6. #6

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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    I don't know where you are located, but if you have an Orchard Supply Hardware nearby go there and get some 1000 lumen, daylight white dimmable LED reflector floods at just under $10 each. You wil need to assemble an extension with a dimmer. All parts are available at any good hardware store. For under $50 you canhave a great set of lights which are as bright as the Lowell Totes, immensely cooler and may never need to be replaced. The white bulbs are good for B&W or color.
    Last edited by Jim Noel; 2-Mar-2017 at 17:20. Reason: left out a word

  7. #7
    Les
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    Re: Continuous Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    If I were buying new continuous lights, I'd give some of the better LEDs a serious look.
    +1. There are units that are reasonable in cost and v. expensive + plenty in between....most would dim and you can also tweak, as you wish, the Kelvin degrees .

    Les

  8. #8

    Re: Continuous Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Barrett View Post
    That's interesting. I used Omnis for years, moved them around when lit and didn't lose bulbs that fast. I did notice, however, when we were shooting in the UK and had to switch to 220 or 230v bulbs, that they would blow much faster. It probably has more to do with the bulbs you're getting than the Omni itself. If you really want a hard light, I'd suggest trying different bulb manufacturers before giving up on it. The DP isn't really any more rugged, just bigger.

    HTH,
    CB
    Hey, I am indeed using a 230V, specifically the Ushio JCD Lamp (300W/230V). Sad, it lasted last then an hour during my first use, wasting close roc 30usd.

    Do you have any recommendations on where to purchase bulbs?

  9. #9

    Re: Continuous Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    I have a set of Lowel DP lights that I occasionally use for EBay, etc. I recall that bulbs could be purchased in a couple of different color temperatures. It was something like 2800/3000, or possibly 3000/3200? Regardless, those in the higher color temperature had dramatically improved expected lifetimes, so I purchased those. Over the years, I've rarely had blown bulbs. They just keep going.

    I have a friend who uses Omnies for architecture, and I think that his bulbs blow more frequently, maybe in part, because of those little tiny bulbs. They're not very big. Pursuing this thought, I would recommend the DP's for studio work versus the Omnies. The bulbs are bigger and brighter, up to 1000w being available. The focusing mechanism is also much improved over the Omnies.

    Because of their size, Omnies are good for location. In the studio, I think that one's better off with DP's. As a caution, I wouldn't use either without their protective screens. Bulbs can burst, and that can be dangerous. All the more reason for DP's given that their brighter.
    Hey, thanks for the reply. Do you use the 120V or 230V bulbs? Where do you purchase your bulbs, any brand recommendations?

  10. #10

    Re: Continuous Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    +1. There are units that are reasonable in cost and v. expensive + plenty in between....most would dim and you can also tweak, as you wish, the Kelvin degrees .

    Les
    I would definitely consider LED. Any recommendations in terms of affordability, and lights to use for still life photography (hard lights, Long shadows, etc.)?

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