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Old Jul 26, 2006, 8:35 AM   #1
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I purchased a simple little OPUS lighting kit for my wife a while ago. It consists of two small strobes (OPUS OPL-M40 with sync socket and built in slaves) the type that screw into a standard light socket. They are only 40 WS with an ISO 100guide number of 85 (in feet). The kit also includes light stands, sockets and umbrellas of decent quality. I have a Sekonic L308 flash meter on the way (but it will not arrive in time to help me with this problem).

We planned to use these lights for close portraits (mostly head shots) in a small makeshift home studio, however, does anyone have any experience with using them with a larger group (given their low power output) ? I am shooting a group this weekend and it looks like the weather will not allow outdoor shots so I was wondering if I can make use of these with a group of up to 15. I suspect the umbrellas will have to go, and I can use them as slaves with an on-camera Vivitar 285. Any thoughts??

BTW I will be using a Pentax *ist DL camera and ISO 800 is quite usable so that may have some impact on your answers. And please, no suggestions of "buy bigger strobes", money and time are two things I do not have.

Ira
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 9:21 AM   #2
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You'll need way more light than that for 15 people. Your Vivitar 285 would be a better main light in this situation. I would use it with a Wein Peanut & using your on camera flash as the trigger.
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 9:32 AM   #3
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I have a slave that works with hot shoe flash units so that is possible, I also have a remote sensor cord for the Vivitar as shown here:



so I could set up the Vivitar as the main light and use the small strobes as fill units maybe? (Perhaps one to the side opposite the Vivitar and another to light the background a little?)

Thanks for the response, with any luck it won't rain on Saturday and this question will have been unnecessary.

Ira
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 11:17 AM   #4
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With 15 people, you'll probably need all your lights towards the front.
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 1:21 PM   #5
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I will set them up and leave the umbrellas off, just direct flash with the Vivitar centered and the slaves on either side.

Thank you for your help.

Ira
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 10:24 PM   #6
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I don't know if I would eliminate the umbrellas entirely (they help direct light spill-off that you may lose without them). A lot of that depends on the shooting area, color, etc. Something to consider...take a look at this article on bare bulb portraits:
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...article=050106
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