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Old Oct 14, 2005, 10:40 AM   #1
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I bought a westcot softbox kit that has a 1000 W and a 500 Watt softbox. I set these up in a 20 x 15 room and my camera (Nikon D70) still wants to use the flash and I fluctuate between a shutter speed of 1/30 and 1/60. What's going on?? I then moved it into a smaller room - about 10 x 10 - and got the same problem. Ceilings are 8 feet. How much light do I need to be able to shoot? Should I have got a 3 light kit?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 5:55 PM   #2
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Take your camera off of program mode & set it to shutter priority. You should then be able to manually set your shutter speed to whatever looks best for the lights you're using.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 9:27 PM   #3
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I did that but I wqas surprised to find that with 1500 watts I am shooting at something like f5 1/60. is this normal?
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 12:40 AM   #4
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Yes it is. Hot lights, diffused in softboxes are not that bright. Personally, I would use large umbrellas to reflect the light rather than subdue it. As an aside....I would never use softboxes with continous lights...no matter how well they are made! It is an accident waiting to happen!
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 3:58 PM   #5
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what's wrong shooting at f5 1/60 if you areusing a tripod and a shutter release

cable? i don't find it a problem using the same lighting.
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 4:10 PM   #6
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I guess the problem is I don't think it fits my needs. I want to shoot people and I want to move around and maybe even do some continuous shooting. The continuous shooting poses a problem, I think (correct me if i am wrong, please).

Continuous shooting requires continuous lighting but hot lights melt people (which makes me wonder what people do to shoot a movie indoors). SO I am wondering if I should get a 3rd hot light or a strobe kit (which is more expensive and complicated).

Re: strobe kits. Any suggestions? Is there a 2 head kit that is under $900? I'm leaving budget for a flash meter and other stuff to make it wireless.


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Old Oct 16, 2005, 6:16 PM   #7
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Why would you want to do continuous shooting in a studio environment? Even the fastest recharging strobes wouldn't be able to keep up. Hot lights aren't that hard to use...I still think you may be diffusing the lights too much (& ruining their effectivness).

If you want some good strobes http://www.alienbees.com are hard to beat...
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Old Nov 23, 2005, 5:12 PM   #8
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Personally I like shooting continuous in some studio situations. Sometimes getting the model to spin, throw her hair back, etc. I use the AlienBee 800s and they have no problem keeping up using a 10D and have used a 20D. Probably not going to happen at full but I have yet to run into a situation where I have been much above 1/4 on these lights.

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Old Dec 28, 2005, 3:43 AM   #9
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I'm with Kalypso try some large umbrellas, they aren't very inexpesive and should provide a higher output from you lights than the soft boxes.

It's really amazing how popular boxes have become for portraits when umbrellas were the standard. Light boxes weren't originally designed for portrait work, they were designed for still life and product photography where you often wanted to have a graduated line, albeit a soft one, to transform from light to dark. Umbrellas can't do that and for portraits it's usually not wanted anyway. In portraits you want the light to wrap around your subject as much as possible and that's what umbrealls do.

Light boxes just became the rage, and of course they can work but two good umbrellas fairly close to your subject should solve your exposure problems.

BTW you didn't mention what ISO you are using, with the noise levels in the D70 I think you could easily shoot at 400 ISO with excellent results.

Good Luck - Africa
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 4:01 AM   #10
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Please excuse my inability to proof read my own material. What I meant to say was - "...umbrellas are not very expensive..."

Instead of a standard white umbrella I would suggest one that has a more reflective surface but I wouldn't go with silver ones, the light can be a little too harsh on those. A couple of white ones that include some silver threads are the Photogenic White Satin and the Westcott Soft Silver. Do not get the Photoflex White Satin they are intended for use with flash only, not hot lights.

You can get either a 40-inch Photogenic or Wescott for less thatn $20.

Keep shootin'
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