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Thread: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

  1. #11

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    FWIW, I played around with both strobes and "continuous lighting" (really just my desk lamp) for some static compositions. Found I really needed some continuous lighting for composing, especially if it's a macro type shot on my 90mm f/8 since it's dark to begin with and macro shots seem like they can end up pretty dim. I also shot with flashes for similar subjects with my 150mm and found I need to practice more on that but it was close enough to use my DSLR for guessing my flash power.

  2. #12

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    FWIW, I played around with both strobes and "continuous lighting"
    If you see any pro strobe you will find that most units also have a continuous "modeling light".

    Tipically you want to illuminate with a key and and a fill light sources. Also tipically you want a relationship between key and fill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighting_ratio

    With the modeling light you preview the effect, if shadows are casted, etc, then you can measure ratio of the key vs fill you like while illuminating with the modeling light. Next step is using a flash meter to adjust the by strobes testing different power settings in each strobe until you have the same ratio than when you were playing with the modeling light, and then you are ready to shot.

    Tipically the modeling light uses the same modifiers (softbox, etc) than the strobe, so the effects you see with the modeling light will match the same you get if using the strobe.

  3. #13

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    If you see any pro strobe you will find that most units also have a continuous "modeling light".

    Tipically you want to illuminate with a key and and a fill light sources. Also tipically you want a relationship between key and fill: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighting_ratio

    With the modeling light you preview the effect, if shadows are casted, etc, then you can measure ratio of the key vs fill you like while illuminating with the modeling light. Next step is using a flash meter to adjust the by strobes testing different power settings in each strobe until you have the same ratio than when you were playing with the modeling light, and then you are ready to shot.

    Tipically the modeling light uses the same modifiers (softbox, etc) than the strobe, so the effects you see with the modeling light will match the same you get if using the strobe.
    You can accurately meter the modeling light to obtain the strobe exposure if the modeling light is fully proportional to the flash output at all power setting and if the bulb for the modeling light is not an incandescent one.
    To see the actual effect of the strobe from a modeling light both the flash tube and the modeling light have to be enclosed within the same frosted globe, other one is much more of a point light source then the other and will not have the same shadow effects.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    The nice thing about hot lights is that you can charge tanning salon rates in addition to your photographer's fee! But I distinctly prefer them anyway. I don't use lights very often, so have no need for flash. Got some Lowel and Arri fresnel stuff, gels and diffuser frames etc. Does everything I need for 8X10 camera work in an easy-carry, quick to set-up kit. Just make sure the location has modern wiring. Quite a bit of wattage there. Have a helper stand in for the setup
    and general focus (then don't pay them because they got a free tan!).

  5. #15

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    Hot lights do get hot, and most people do feel like they are being interrogated under them... I was shooting "Karsh" like lighting of a former pro portrait fotog with two 650W quartz lights, and it was tiring his eyes after a few minutes... Even with that, my exposure was around 1/10th sec @ f5.6 ISO 80 with my Graflex and direct lighting.. Strobes tend to daze the sitter after the first blast, but they get used to it usually...

    LF is traditional for portraits, but not too practical these days, as your sitters can be uncomfortable with that much light, and difficult to be spontaneous with your finest moment...

    But not impossible!!!

    Steve K

  6. #16
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    A couple years ago I borrowed 3 Mole Richardson 10" Fresnels. 1-2K and 2-1K. From a friend with 20 of them. I had never used them so I wanted to try them out.

    They do need good studio wiring and fire control. In my studio on a cold winter, they about burned down the concrete bunker I lived in.

    I turned on the 2K and it was so hot on my paper backdrop rolls I didn't leave it on long. I became worried about starting a fire. Back they went.

    I have long used my Lowel 750 watt Tota's in the same room and paper, without a problem.

    Fresnels focus light and heat, Tota's do not...as much...still heats up any model.

    Love my 4 Einsteins, 2 on wall booms, 2 anywhere.

  7. #17
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    It all depends on what you're doing. Are you shooting at f/5.6 with fast film? Then continuous light should be easy to use. Are shooting at F/22 with slow film? Then your model will have difficulty with continuous light, unless they wear welding glasses. Back in Hollywood in the 20 and 30s, they tended to shoot at medium apertures, and their talent was used to dealing with very bright lights. I have a bunch of movie lights. I never use them. My studio is too small. They heat it up like it's an easybake oven. I tried Leds in soft boxes. F/8, 1/3oth, EI100 was too bright for my model. For large format portraiture, I use Speedotron Blackline strobes.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  8. #18

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    There are other major considerations between the two.
    First is current draw, if you are using incandescent or tungsten lamps they will draw a lot of current. Depending on your electric outlets you probably only have 15 or 20 amp breakers. If you have other working things on that circuit like refrigerators, AC units, etc. you can easily overload the breakers.
    Then there is the heat. Both you and the subject may get very uncomfortable in the room, you might sweat under them but your subject shouldn’t. So that will require air conditioning, possibly limiting the load on your circuits.
    Then there is color balance, if shooting color, there are no daylight output incandescent or tungsten lamps, even so called daylight bulbs really aren’t the proper K for daylight film, so the use of these lamps will require filtration for correct balance, if using incandescent bulbs they will change color temperature and output as they burn.
    Lastly, for consistent output from hot lights you would need a stabilized circuitry, otherwise their output and color balance will change with line voltage.
    None of these problems occur with good flash systems. Or with professional photographic LED or fluorescent equipment.

  9. #19

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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    None of these problems occur with good flash systems. Or with professional photographic LED or fluorescent equipment.
    ... and the flash also will remove any shake in the image !

  10. #20
    multi format
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    Re: Strobes vs Continuous Lighting with MF and LF?

    Rob Skeoch had a great write up and video of
    his use of smith victor lamps. maybe he'll see this
    thread and chime in.
    enjoy your coffee

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