Typical shutter speeds for portraits in a studio?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
KE_DP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,910
Re: Typical shutter speeds for portraits in a studio?

True, one can avoid metering by "chimping" - but in this case (shutter speed question) it sounds a lot like the OP is just starting out so might not have the skills to "know" what the levels should look like or even how a proper exposure works in balancing ambient with flash. This is the main reason I recommended it. Also for setting ratios it's very useful... If one can afford it - it's a good tool to learn with and have on hand - and you can always sell if you decide you can go without. Just look at whatever price difference between buying/selling as a rental fee.

My inexpensive flash meter is a Minolta Auto Meter IVF - it's so basic is doesn't have all the ISO/shutter speeds etc. (my Sekonic does) - but still does a good job and it speeds things along when I'm switching setups and want instant accuracy. I'll still use it even though I'm also doing tethered shooting and have plenty of information (histo etc) afterwards to make adjustments off of.

With the meter and remote in hand, I don't have to touch the camera - but I do tinker with my remote trigger control's sliders to adjust individual lights power and modeling lights without getting on a ladder or anything!

I also stress, the WB or color reference is very important for someone just starting out. Studio flashes will frequently be around 5600K but modifiers can vary quite a bit in temp, and temps vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so do not mix different brands without intent to create mixed temps.

Klaus dk wrote:

KE_DP wrote:

A lot of images on DPR have EXIF shown....check them out. Studio typically means strobes so the sync speed is going to determine your minimum. 1/200 is pretty standard for me when doing a headshot. Action shots might need something faster. I'd recommend using a light meter with flash metering - and minimally a white balance reference card (WhiBal etc) - and/or a Color Checker card.

When I disagree with Karen, I usually assume I'm wrong. But IMHO, a flash meter is very expensive relative to how easy it is to adjust exposure using the camera's blinkies (highlight warning). Two or three shots and you're good to go.

It was different in the days of film.

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