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Unread 06-04-2006, 05:54 PM   #1
ChicoChan
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Best Lighting for indoor photoshoots

Hello! My boyfriend and I just recently purchased a Nikon D50 and we're really excited about playing around with it.

He's already been messing with the exposures at different times of the day outside, but we don't have very good indoor lighting.

Eventually we would like to convert a part of our house into a makeshift studio, what are the best kind of lights to use? Normal Hallogen lights and lamps we have just have pretty crappy lighting, so what would be the best to use?

Any advice would be X10000 appreciated
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Unread 06-04-2006, 07:20 PM   #2
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About any lamp would be ok with digital cameras because of white balance. Still, white balance doesn't solve everything because each source has its own gaps and coverage of the visible light spectrum. On top of that, each technology has its own pros and cons. A fluorescent bulb (be sure to check its CRI rating; it should be 90 or better) doesn't run hot but the light output isn't very strong. The key is to experiment.

What's more important I believe is your control on light. That's where dedicated studio lights have an advantage. Not only can you control the light output but you can snap light modifiers on and off very easily.
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Unread 06-04-2006, 07:36 PM   #3
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Any details on how much space you have?

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Unread 06-04-2006, 10:31 PM   #4
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hmm we have two rooms we could use. Both have around 10 ft X8ft of space.

I would say our garage which is nice and big...buuuuut to many props and junk in there now..
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Unread 06-04-2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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Im just going to toss this out in the open.

You really dont want to fall under a 50mm-ish focal length. If you decide to do low key, you need at least 6 feet between the vertical of your backdrop and your subject. For high key, 6-8 feet. Then add the distance to hold a framed individual at a 50mm field of view (80mmish field of view equivalant on a 1.6ish crop factor)

The standard length from backdrop to photographer in a full length shot should be 20-25 feet.

Then to consider the size a backdrop should be.

I just want to help you with a size issue many people run in to. To go to a wider lens you will get a distorted image. The level this distortion affects your output is something that I am SURE would be a point of debate in this forum.

Mind you, high key lighting would require lights behind the subject, yet out of frame. So more room to consider.

Not discouraging you, but warning instead.

I have Alien Bees. A pro and semi pro favorite. http://www.alienbees.com/

AB400s would be more than enough light in that small of a room.

If you have any questions, please ask!
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Unread 06-04-2006, 11:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staereo
I have Alien Bees. A pro and semi pro favorite. http://www.alienbees.com/
I remember you mentioning when you were going to get them. How are they?
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Unread 06-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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8x10 huh? That's going to be tight. You could always use available light if your rooms have big windows. Windows facing North are best for this but use any window you have. You could also open the garage's door to let light in.
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Unread 06-05-2006, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarTempest
I remember you mentioning when you were going to get them. How are they?
I am outrageously happy with them. If you are thinking about them and want any specifics, feel free to ask. Ive gotten to play with em a little bit, so I may be able to let you know about their features. Definately more than I had expected when I ordered.

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Unread 06-05-2006, 07:43 PM   #9
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Sure thing!
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Unread 06-05-2006, 08:48 PM   #10
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Incidently, i got the ab800s, and even 10 feet away in an open room, Im shooting high key with my main light at 1/4 at f/7-f/9, 1/200 at iso200. Soooo, they pack a punch.

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Unread 06-06-2006, 08:48 AM   #11
ChicoChan
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Hey thanks for the advice! It really helps. Thankf for the alien bees site too. I'm afraid to see how much they are, but I will look into getitng some in the future.
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Unread 06-07-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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Welcome fellow D50 owner!

Yeah, an 8x10 room is pretty small for studio shots.

You might also consider getting a Nikon SB800 and 1 or 2 SB600 Speedlight flashes. Attach the SB800 to your D50, and use its wireless function to remotely activate the SB600, which is placed somewhere else in the room. If you have enough SB units you can sort of get a studio lighting environment.

The SB800 is about $300, and the SB600 is about $180.
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Unread 06-07-2006, 10:12 PM   #13
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I also vouch for the SB800 and SB600. The wireless combinations are awesome an incredibly useful! When I'm using my flash, it's probably being set off wirelessly 85% of the time.

I think they're quite a bit cheaper than Staereo's alien bees (not as good though) but I've found my SB800 to be one of my happiest investments to date.
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Unread 06-18-2006, 11:32 AM   #14
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I would like to join in on this topic as well, I am a Nikon user also and I just bought a D50 as a back up for my D200, and the 50 is such a fun little camera when I am not in the studio. I love to take that puppy out with me, and it takes some very good pictures for the cheap tag price!!!!!

Also I use Alien Bees, and I would NEVER turn back to anything else, well except for DynaPhos, but that is more for my Soft Boxes.

So if anyone thinks that the D50 is a bad camera because of the low sticker price, you couldn't be more wrong!!!!!!!!! This is probably one of the best DSLR starter cameras, and I think it gives the D70 a run for its money, and the D70 is like 300$ more!!!
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Unread 06-22-2006, 11:47 PM   #15
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SB800 & ABs

For a very portable strobe set up I use two SB800 and they do work pretty well wirelessly. I think the SBs are controlled remotely by IR so if you put one in a box or hide it behind something it might not fire. I usually put a pocketwizard on them. But they are very nice. Good discussion of their capability on Ken Rockwell's site - http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb800.htm . they are very smart flashes.

The SB800s wont have the punch needed for a studio-like shot if you're wanting to close your lens down (to like f11 or so) and have them more than 10 feet away.

I use 3 AB1600s for studio set up. BTW, you can do ALOT with one inexpensive AB800 and a softbox. I have a small softbox (about 1 ft square) that I use on one of the SB800s.

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