Help with lighting equipments purchase

Started Apr 20, 2013 | Questions
rzrz New Member • Posts: 1
Help with lighting equipments purchase

I would like to achieve this results shown below in a small studio, and I need to make a decision on the socket heads of softbox. With the type of setup (Image 2 - Type of setup) shown below, there are different packages to choose.

The softboxes are 50cm*70cm, and the background fabric is 2m*1.6m, lightbulbs are 135w or 150w.

1) 4 softboxes with 1 socket head each

2) 2 softboxes with 4 socket heads each + 2 softboxes with 1 socket head each

3) 2 softboxes with twin socket head each + 2 softboxes with 1 socket head each

4) 2 umbrellas + 2 softboxes with 1 socket head each

I would like to choose the combination where it will get the closest result, I really need advise from the experienced. Thank you in advance!

Ideal end result (credits )

Image 2 - Type of setup

This question has not been answered yet.
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,698
Re: Help with lighting equipments purchase

I would not even consider attempting this with continuous lighting.  The example shown was certainly done with strobes.

With continuous lighting you'd need so many watts to get a full exposure at a low ISO setting at a reasonable aperture as to make it impractical.

Others will be along shortly with specific strobe and modifier recommendations for you.  Best of luck.

Ohnostudio Regular Member • Posts: 486
Re: Not Achievable

Agree with Luke. Not achievable with continuous.

Start reading here and just follow his links

While Zack's goal is to do iso on white, the process will be very similar for including shadows - just some minor changes and placing the shadow where you want.

That second image shown by the OP - that almost looks like a shopped promo image of some kind - not realistic in my opinion. I could be wrong.

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rfactor Contributing Member • Posts: 534
Still Not Achievable

In order to achieve that seamless white background you need to light the background with a lot of light otherwise it will be grey.  Two strobes angled around 60 degrees from background with at least 150 w/s light each.  Preferably 300 w/s. You will then need a flash on the subject.  That setup would best be used for video or product pictures.  I highly suggest to looking Seamless White Tutorial's

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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 11,138
Re: Help with lighting equipments purchase

The lighting setup shown won't produce a seamless white background image.

Continuous lighting is fine for inanimate subjects but you want to use studio strobes for any animate subject.

I also recommend you read my article of equipment for a small home studio.  I wrote it to help others avoid the mistake I made of buying low quality "budget priced" studio equipment the first time.  Most of it quickly wound up in the trash - a total waste of my money.

Sailorblue - Digital Photography Review - Equipment Guide for Setting up a Small Home Portrait/Glamor Studio

You should carefully read the Zack Arias tutorial before trying to do pure seamless white.

You do need to be cautious when doing seamless white.  If you overexpose the background too much or have the subject too close to the background then you can have problems.

If you overexpose the background too much it can cause broad light flare with your camera.  This shows up as a loss of contrast in your images.

If you overexpose the background too much for the background to subject distance light from the background will light the edge of your subject and the edges will be overexposed.  The subject's edges can even go pure white and blend into the background.

Keep the subject at least 6' from the background and keep the background to no more than 1 stop of overexposure.  I use +0.7 ± 0.2 stops over my subject exposure.  With a subject to background distance of 12' you can safely use 1.5 stops of overexposure for the background.

If you want to use ISO = 100 to 200 and an aperture of f/8 to f/11 then you want 300Ws to 600Ws studio strobes for the main and fill lights.  300Ws - 400Ws works well with small diffusers, such as a 24"x23" softbox, and medium sized diffusers up to a 3'x5' softbox.  For larger diffusers you need 600Ws.

For hair, accent, and background lights you need anywhere from 100Ws to 300Ws of power from your studio strobes depending on what you are doing.

There are several combinations of lights that can work.

It is safest to buy all your lights the same if they have sufficient power variability - 5 stop is a minimum.  By buying all the lights the same you have an easy backups should any light fail.  Four Paul C. Buff Einsteins would be a good example of what to buy.

A pair of 300Ws lights and a pair of 600Ws lights is a good combination.  If you are willing to occasional work at ISO = 400 then  a pair of 150Ws lights and a pair of 300Ws lights will work.

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