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Archive 2013 · Help I have a question about lights!
  
 
sassykoi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Help I have a question about lights!


There is a listing for a Novatron model120 set with 2 white umbrellas with stand and 2 lights. I want to learn more about lighting and wa wondering if this would be a good starter? It is only 100 but at this point I know very little. Yes I am a beginner with lighting!

Thanks



Feb 23, 2013 at 04:31 PM
sassykoi
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Help I have a question about lights!


http://raleigh.craigslist.org/pho/3632463865.html


Here is the posting...Please I need help.



Feb 23, 2013 at 05:01 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Help I have a question about lights!


Where do you plan on using these lights? That is, how big a space, what kind(s) of photos, etc.


Feb 23, 2013 at 05:23 PM
sassykoi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Help I have a question about lights!


I am thinking in my living room(8ft ceiling but large room) Pictures of grandkids and family



Feb 23, 2013 at 05:33 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Help I have a question about lights!


sassykoi wrote:
I am thinking in my living room(8ft ceiling but large room) Pictures of grandkids and family


Umbrellas have a lot of spill, so in a small room you can get too much bounce light off all the surfaces. Keeping the lights close to the subject (so that the bounced light has a lot of fall-off in comparison) can help, as can using one umbrella for the fill light (for soft shadows) and just a reflector for the key light (for more definition).

As for the lights themselves, I haven't used Novatrons in years, but as I recall they were well built and reliable. Getting repairs and/or replacement parts may be a small issue, but for $100 it seems like a good way to start.

I'd also get or make some reflector panels, so you can practice with more lighting angles once you've gained skill with one-light and then two-light setups.

Since you're new at lighting, here are some resources that you may find helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Zuckers-Portrait-Photography-Handbook/dp/1584282134

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDbRaBXsXco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUnVY4jUwS8

The first is a book by the late Monte Zucker, and goes into basic lighting strategies, facial analysis, and so on. I think it's a great primer on which you can build your own style.

The second two are videos about Profoto lights specifically (very high-end stuff), but apply in general to any lights.

Good luck, and have fun!



Feb 23, 2013 at 07:28 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



sassykoi
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Help I have a question about lights!


Thanks



Feb 23, 2013 at 08:11 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Help I have a question about lights!


The price is reasonable. Caveats are:

1) Pack / head systems send high voltage / current to the heads so you want to make sure the cables and connectors are in good condition to avoid a shock hazard.

2) When a flash unit hasn't been used for some time the capacitors can deteriorate and need to be "reformed". I'd be wary of a unit that has been in storage for years and want to see it working before buying.

3) Not familiar with that unit but systems like that usually have limited power selection options. That requires setting ratios by varying the distance of the key vs. fill. For example if fill is placed at 8ft near camera the off camera light placed at 8ft would create a 2:1 ratio:

H:S
1:1 Fill at 8ft
1:0 Key at 8ft
==
2:1 Reflected ratio, which looks a bit lighter/ softer than average lighting

Moving the key into 5-1/2 ft will make it 2x brighter than the fill creating a 3:1 ratio:

H:S
1:1 Fill at 8ft
2:0 Key at 5.5 ft is 2x brighter (incident)
==
3:1 Reflected ration which is similar to how room lighting is typically perceived.

But as Brian observed with those big umbrellas spilling light all over creating lots of "spill fill" the actual lighting ratios will be much lower like an overcast day..

4) Modifier options are limited. Those lights are from the era when umbrellas were the norm. Nowadays lights have "speedring" adapters for soft boxes. You'd get better control of where the light goes in the living room with soft boxes. There are some like Westcott Apollo which are designed to attach like an umbrella which would probably work.

For $100? In your place I'd go for it if it's working and there are no obvious safety concerns.




Feb 23, 2013 at 10:31 PM
sassykoi
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Help I have a question about lights!


Thanks so much for the help. I really want to learn how to make light work in pics so I think I will go for it. I feel confident I will learn something! If nothing else I will learn not to buy old lights!




Feb 24, 2013 at 02:58 PM
marioalejandro
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Help I have a question about lights!


A perfect starter kit... Great price.


Feb 16, 2014 at 10:58 PM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Help I have a question about lights!


marioalejandro wrote:
A perfect starter kit... Great price.


It's been a year since anyone posted in this thread, pretty sure that they've already bought whatever it was that they were thinking about.



Feb 17, 2014 at 05:00 AM





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