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Old Jul 12, 2004, 11:13 PM   #1
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Hi! I'm a beginner in digital photo and new to this forum. Need some help.

I just got a SP"Starter kit" from B&H ( SPS920, SPS100, two stands, 33" umbrella, brackets and cables). $229+tax. I want touse it as small home studio for portraits, family pictures,etc.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, I use Sigma-500DG Super flash. Can I use it with SP strobes and trigger them with built-in flash, or PCwire? (my camera is Minolta-A1):?

Thanx!


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Old Jul 13, 2004, 12:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to the next step up. You should have a lot of fun...

AK-66 wrote:
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Also, I use Sigma-500DG Super flash. Can I use it with SP strobes and trigger them with built-in flash, or PCwire? (my camera is Minolta-A1):?

Thanx!

Using on camera flash works fine, set it to manual and use it for fill. I would advise adding a lumiquest softbox (or similar) to soften it up. You could then use the SPS100 with a snoot for a hair light.

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Metering can be done with the histogram on your camera if you don't have a flash meter.

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Grab a stuffed animal and practice some of the setups before you make the wife and kids get all dressed up. Look at the results and see what you like/don't like and then enjoy the shooting.

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Old Jul 14, 2004, 12:29 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for reply, CastleDude!

If I got it right, I can use Sigma as a fill, SPS920 as a key, and SPS100 as a backlight? Where can I find a lumiquest softbox and which light do I have to use it with?

IT looks like 100 is brighter then 920 . I thougt 920 was supposed to be more powerful. May be I have to play more with umbrellas, directions and distanse? I always get unwanted shades somewhere. And what distance should be between object and backgrownd?

I probably better get a flash meter, ohterwise I will have to buy couple of extra batteries for the camera.

Is there a really good book about home studio lighting for amateurs? I looked at some books,buttheyall for professionals with hi-end (price) gear.

Thanks, waiting for reply. :|

P.S. I did use my daughter's big stuffed dog for testing in the first day, but I came to this idea after my wife got almost blind posing end sent me with my lights to ...
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 8:23 AM   #4
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AK-66 wrote:
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Thanks a lot for reply, CastleDude!

If I got it right, I can use Sigma as a fill, SPS920 as a key, and SPS100 as a backlight? Where can I find a lumiquest softbox and which light do I have to use it with?

Yep that is the setup I would advise...

The lumiquest is available at most real camera stores Do a search on the BH Photo site for lumiquest and look for the Softbox II.


AK-66 wrote:
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I probably better get a flash meter, ohterwise I will have to buy couple of extra batteries for the camera.

Is there a really good book about home studio lighting for amateurs? I looked at some books,buttheyall for professionals with hi-end (price) gear.

Thanks, waiting for reply. :|
Flash meters are a lot cheaper now days and (although others will disagree) I've found my cheap JTL (LM - 8 )to work as well as the really expensive models. It gives me the same numbers as the Sekonics and Minolta units.


Sorry I don't know of any real books that I have liked. I'm attaching a few simple diagrams of setups I have used. Note in setup 1 to fire the flash I would turn the on camera flash down to its lowest setting and point the head away from thesubject just toget the other unitsto fire.

Here is a suggestion, look in the yellow pages for a photographer or better yet a photo studio in your area. Most of them can be rented for $25-$50 an hour. Now contact the owner and ask him for a quick lighting class. In that 1 hour you will get more than the $30-50 a book will ever give you.


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Old Jul 14, 2004, 8:23 AM   #5
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Here is another diagram .. This is using the on camera flash

In both of these setups you are not limited to the one camera position youcan move around the subject and even shoot directly over the first setup.

You will notice I tend to reverse the umbrella and make them into softboxes (actually I really use softboxes). If you bring the subject really close to the softbox it makesa soft effect that is very flattering. Usingumbrellas as umbrellas tends to work better with childrenbecause they can be in motion.



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Old Jul 14, 2004, 8:37 AM   #6
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CastleDude wrote:
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Grab a stuffed animal and practice some of the setups before you make the wife and kids get all dressed up. Look at the results and see what you like/don't like and then enjoy the shooting.
This is probably the best advice yet that I've read! :-):-):-):-):-)
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Old Jul 14, 2004, 11:59 PM   #7
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Thank you for your advise, CastleDude. I really like the idea of taking studio sessions. Thanks for the diagrams. I will try things out on the weekend, and if I get good results I will post some pictures.

Hey, NHL, you got better ideas? :idea:
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Old Jul 15, 2004, 1:29 PM   #8
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Hey, NHL, you got better ideas? :idea:
I'm serious nothing deroratory at all, but that's the best advice I've ever heard... nothing worse than scaring your subjects away!

May be the only thing I may add to all the good advices so far is to position your "models" away from the backdrop, a common thing to do in small studio... :?
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