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Archive 2011 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?
  
 
karim1980
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p.1 #1 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


Hi guys,

I am hoping to get some advice as I am finally venturing in buying some lighting equipment to setup a small studio in my house.

I was intially going to get the traditional type backdrop with seamless paper and white tile boards for the ground to give a nice shining finish and then I came across Lastolite Hilite. It is pretty much triple the cost, however it can be used as a softbox too and requires less lighting gear as it creates no shadows at all. one of the best features is that it is very portable once you have mastered the folding technique.

At the moment I am a little confused and I do not think many people do use it, but I am hoping someone can chime in who is or have used it and what is their opinion?

My work will mainly be portraits and group shots of no more than 4-5 people and also will include taking lots of pictures of kids and pets.

Thank you for any comments and suggestions you may have and I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Karim.



Dec 13, 2011 at 10:44 PM
gchappel
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p.1 #2 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


I have used the hilite for about 2 years- and I think it is great. The wife likes hikey portraits, and nothing could be easier. I actually have 2 of them- get the biggest one you can afford. I have never used it as a softbox, although it would certainly work. Setup is quick. I use 2 alienbee 800's, although one will work 2 give a better background. You do not need a lot of room, people can stand within a foot of the background and look great. Only issue is you will need to either light the floor or do some quick photoshop to get a white floor- I do a quick levels adjustment in photoshop. Before you use it remotely- make sure you can fold it back up. I can do it in a minute now- but I wrestled it for a time getting used to it. Quick, works well, folds up small. Downsides is it is expensive.
Works great for me
Gary



Dec 14, 2011 at 01:09 AM
myam203
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p.1 #3 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


I have a 6x7' HiLite. It's definitely a cool product, but I think the price keeps people away. Mine hasn't seen a whole lot of use, but I still really like it.

One light inside can do a very good job, but two is probably better if you're picky. With too much light going through it and your subject too close, you'll get some light wrapping around your subject, but it's not all that different from a regular backdrop in that way. Something I really like about it is that I can hide a light right under it with a Manfrotto mini background stand I have. When doing that, all you can see is the HiLite and the light is completely hidden.

Any specific questions about it?



Dec 14, 2011 at 01:14 AM
karim1980
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p.1 #4 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


Thank you both Gary and Mike for the insight. I posted the same on couple of other forums and general concensus is to go traditional.

I think for right now as I do not do any events and currently it is just a hobby, I would be better suited to go with traditional style with white seamless paper, however I would like to buy something where I have the option to hold at least 3-4 different colour backgrounds. White might get boring after a few shots.

Once again Thank you.
Karim.



Dec 14, 2011 at 09:26 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #5 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


karim1980 wrote:
...I would like to buy something where I have the option to hold at least 3-4 different colour backgrounds. White might get boring after a few shots.


Having several choices of color is good.

If ever you need or want a color you don't have, though, shoot an absolute white background (either paper or HiLite) and use Photoshop or other photo editing software to replace the white with whatever color you want.

It can be more time consuming to do it with software, but it does give you options. In fact, if you think this is something you might like doing, one of your color choices for background paper should be chroma-key green. There are a number of chroma-key programs that can automate background replacement on a green background.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:40 AM
scubacrazy
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p.1 #6 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


I am thinking of getting one of these HiLites too.
Would I be right in thinking that if a coloured BG is required it would be possible to gel the 2 strobes which are used for BG illumination?



Dec 15, 2011 at 02:25 PM
gchappel
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p.1 #7 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


Yes you can gel the BG strobes. Do not expect to get any more than a tint, but it works fine.
Gary



Dec 15, 2011 at 10:36 PM
John Skinner
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p.1 #8 · Lastolite Background or Traditional?


I have built a set of wheels+stands for my HiLite which enables me to use is as a softbox or background. I used Black PVC pipe and clamps bought on eBay.

I got the idea from the other unit Lastolite sells that is more or less a HiLite on wheels softbox, only smaller than the Hiltes themselves.

For the versatility and possible uses I get out of the HiLite, I can say without question. In the 4 years of owning this piece of kit, it has more going for it than anything else I own studio wise.



Dec 16, 2011 at 04:26 PM





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