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Flash and Studio Lighting Equipment, Techniques and Setup: Discuss need advice on studio flash lights....Can anyone give me advice on half decent studio flash heads. I have been looking at the PIXAPRO® LUMI 200 ...
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Old 01-02-2015, 13:30   #1 (permalink)
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need advice on studio flash lights.

Can anyone give me advice on half decent studio flash heads. I have been looking at the PIXAPRO® LUMI 200 200Ws Studio Flash, if anyone has come across these.
many thanks.
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Old 01-02-2015, 15:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: need advice on studio flash lights.

I've moved the thread to this forum as it is more appropriate and will probably give you more responses.

Best advice is to avoid cheap unknown brands. They are unlikely to give you the years of service that an investment in a reputable brand will. Although more expensive in the short term, spares and servicing will be available thus ensuring a long and reliable life. My camera club has a set of Bowens lights that are about 45 - 50 years old, and although the control systems are not as sophisticated as modern units, they still work! I will concede that spares for these units are not going to be easy to find now though.

There are several budget brands that have a decent reputation. Interfit, Lencarta, and a little more expensive iLux and Calumet.

I have a four head Elinchrom set myself, but my club recently bought two new iLux sets from Photomart, and I would have no issues in buying iLux myself now if I did not have the Elinchrom set. They offer great value with an excellent specification and after sales service.

Having said all that, the next thing to consider is your use. If you want to shoot groups you will need more than 200watt lights. A two head set will give you the basics but if you really get into studio stuff four heads are useful.

Softboxes are better than umbrellas but not as quick to put up. Softboxes with a dual diffusing layer are better than a single diffuser and some lights come with triggers and some don't.

The Photography Show is on at the NEC in March so there will probably be some exhibitors there. If you do go, check out the iLux stand and tell Juan I sent you
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:37   #3 (permalink)
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Re: need advice on studio flash lights.

Hi Graham, thanks for your reply. I have a complete studio set up consisting of four Prophoto soft boxes,two octagon, one square, and a strip, all have the removable honey comb grids. I Also have different sizedbeauty dishes with removable honey comb grids, witch are all Bowens S mount. At the moment i have four Nikon 600 speed lights with receivers. These are doing great, but i would like to have the advantage of the modeling lamps. I normally shoot sport, but more and more people are asking me for portrait stuff. I do like the Bowens lights, i must admit. My theory in life is to only by the best, so your advice is correct. i will have a look at the ILux in a moment. you hear so many lights not doing what the say they do, and this is a little off putting and makes hard work of shopping around. The room with my set up in, is 5x3 meters, what power would you recommend Graham for a four light set up. Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2015, 00:53   #4 (permalink)
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Re: need advice on studio flash lights.

If you are going to be using a small studio with the dimensions that you give I think that 200 watts will be adequate and 300watts very adequate. You don't say how high the ceiling is. To do people that are standing you really need at least 10 feet. At my club we have two 300 and two 500 watt iLux lights (two sets, one of each) and they are rarely used at more than power level 4 out of 6 - and usually lower. They also use the Bowens S bayonet and have air damped stands and power adjustment of 1/10 of a stop.

I find that standard reflectors are good for lighting backdrops and barn doors are useful to use with them too.

You have hit the biggest snag with speedlights other than the cost. I have an SB900 and 2 SB 800s and although they do have a modelling facility in practice it chews up batteries and heats the lights up too. I have radio triggers for these but mostly use a flash controller that I reviewed here.

I also reviewed the iLux lights here.

We were unlucky to have had some issues with our lights that was down the the manufacturer using inferior components, but the after sales service was exemplary and the latest units are of a different design and made by a different manufacturer.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:58   #5 (permalink)
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Re: need advice on studio flash lights.

Hi Graham. At the moment i'm not doing a great deal in the studio apart from trying to get the swing of things, so i'm not going through a great deal of battery re-charging. Although i fully understand and agree with you that this would be a problem if using them for longer periods of time. One of my issues with the flash units is having to take so many test shots when trying to obtain the correct position of the lights, this is very time consuming and annoying to say the least. As mentioned in my previous reply that my flash units are, 600s, there actually 800s. The trigger and receivers that i use are Pocket Wizards. The maximum height that i have from floor to ceiling is eight feet. What size lights would you recommend for the size of the space i have with a four light set up. Also could you tell me witch series of lights does your club have, Quattro, or Delta series.
Thanks Graham.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: need advice on studio flash lights.

Geoff we have had the iLux lights for nearly 2 years now and they are the CD series - no longer made. The later models are improved over our ones. Taking note of what you say about modelling lights - and I agree with you - you will find that the 200/300 watt units have 100 watt and 150 watt modelling lights IIRC where the 500 watt ones have 250 watts. I find the 100 watt ones really need subdued ambient to be effective - so do check the wattage of the modelling lights before you buy.

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One of my issues with the flash units is having to take so many test shots when trying to obtain the correct position of the lights,
Once you have set the lights up move the model rather than the lights. It is much easier.

I still think that 2 or 300 watt lights will suit your needs - also taking into account your environment and what wattage the modelling lights will work best for you. The height is a bit low if you think of shooting a 6 foot tall guy and you want a hair light. not impossible to work round as you can avoid a standing shot or light it differently.

If you can get to the Photography Show at the NEC March 21-24 you will be able to see the different systems and talk to the companies. Juan de Silva of iLux is a fountain of knowledge. If you are near London visit Photomart in Walthamstow - about a mile south of the North Circular off the Crooked Billet roundabout. Their showroom is excellent with lots of systems set up and working and it is open on saturday mornings I think.
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