Strobe vs Continuous

Started May 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Senior MemberPosts: 5,780Gear list
Re: Strobe vs Continuous
In reply to edge0627, May 30, 2012

I agree, studio strobes are preferable to continuous lighting unless you are willing to invest even more money in continuous lighting than in studio strobes and then put up with the slow shutter speeds and squinting subjects.

Studio strobes come with modeling lights, which are vital for "seeing the light and shadows" on your subject. Remember light illuminates but shadows define the subject and give your flat images a 3D appearance. Seeing the light before you press the shutter gives you instant creative control over the lighting.

If you use hot-shoe flash units, which don't have modeling lights, you won't see the light until you take the picture. After you chip the image you adjust the light, then you take another shot, then you readjust the light, etc., etc., etc.

The Paul C. Buff Alien Bee strobes are perhaps the best buy on the market for quality vs price. The PCB Einstein strobes are of higher quality, have a greater power range, and still have a very good price/quality ratio. There are also other good buys in studio strobes such as the house brands of B&H and Adorama.

You don't state what the dimensions of your small studio will be, just that it will be small. Having at least 20' in one dimension is very important, as is a ceiling of 8' or more. The reason for the 20' is so that you can use a reasonable subject/background and subject/camera distances to prevent extension distortion of your subjects.

Softboxes will give you more control over your lighting than umbrellas so are to be preferred. Umbrella opening softboxes are much easier to collapse and store than traditional softboxes. PCB has an excellent selection of high quality umbrella opening softboxes at budget prices.

You will find lots more information in my User-generated article on equipment for a small home studio.

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