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Old 02-19-2008   #1
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Default Hot Lights

OK I can not afford a flash set and was thinking of getting a set of hot lights, and maybe some softboxes and a reflector or two. What problems might I be getting myself into?

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Old 02-19-2008   #2
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Default Re: Hot Lights

Lots of heat and very little light.

Soft boxes that are rated for hot lights are almost twice as expensive as soft boxes for strobes. If you're not shooting people then hot lights will only be uncomfortable for you and you can use the slow shutter speeds that will be necessary. If you are shooting people then you could look at fluorescents but they put out very little light also.
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Old 02-19-2008   #3
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Default Re: Hot Lights

what do you plan on shooting wiht these lights? here is a rough list of the cons / plusses of using hot lights. im sure others can add anything i left off.

CONS:
Heat
shutter speed
color/ white ballance issues

Pros:
truely wsisyg
price

i couldetn decide whether to put heat first or shutter speed. suppose you are shooting portraits, you will need to put out a lot of ilght to hit good shutter speeds. this cretes heat. i mean some serious heat in some cases. the model could become uncomfortable, you could burn yourself and even worse, (in worst case scenario) you could burn someone else. if your doing still lifes, the heat may not be a safety issue but i could heat up your set enough to wilt flowers etc.
on the plus side, it truely is wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) and they are cheaper than strobes.

idealy i would start with a strobe, even a single one and a reflector could do. buy a brand you trust and build your set over time. sorry for the long responce and i hope this helps a little.
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Old 02-19-2008   #4
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Default Re: Hot Lights

This is all great and helps alot. Any ideas on cheap strobes. I can see myself doing head shots. I also want to do pet shots. I am thinking the hot lights would be better on the pets than the flash of a strobe.
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Old 02-19-2008   #5
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Default Re: Hot Lights

Martin,

I took a look at your website. What interesting work you do! Very impressive.

Many people prefer Alien Bee Monolight Strobes for their first experience with studio flashes. They're fairly inexpensive with reasonable quality. I've used Speedotron pack and head systems for many, many years. Another good brand is Dynalite.

I'm a commercial photographer but I have photographed animals on occasion. My experience is that they really don't see the flash.

I mean, does this dog look freaked out to you?
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Old 02-19-2008   #6
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Thanks for the info I will look into it. I was getting back into photography to take better pictures of my sets, because I can't afford to hire a photographer. Now I want to do more
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Old 02-22-2008   #7
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Default Re: Hot Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torlough View Post
OK I can not afford a flash set and was thinking of getting a set of hot lights, and maybe some softboxes and a reflector or two. What problems might I be getting myself into?
Apart from the low light yield and consequent slow shutter times (so only useful for still objects, not for moving subjects!), hot lights are, well... HOT! That is uncomfortable, so you will need good ventilation! Also, hot lights pose a considerable fire hazard! So better make sure your fire insurance is adequate and paid up in full. Finally you would do wise to acquire a fire extinguisher and keep it close and handy.
Fire extinguishers are cheap these days and can be had at Home Depot, or other D-I-Y and hardware stores.

So hot lights may turn out not to be cheap at all!
And they will certainly cramp your photo style.

Have fun!
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Old 02-22-2008   #8
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Default Re: Hot Lights

Martin, I am using some hot lights that were given to me by a friend. They are old Smith-Victor lights, but they work great. I am using quartz bulbs... 600w and 250w. I have 3 lights. Yes, with this light I need a slow shutter even when shooting at f2.2 using my Nikkor 85/1.8 tripod mounted and cable release. I would not recommend a soft box with hot lights, but instead an umbrella and keep an eye on them when the lights are in use.

I am pleased with the portraits I am getting using my lighting, but as W.Smith suggested, I do have a good fire extinguisher in the room within easy reach. Plus, I don't have my lights on for that long. You can see some of what I am doing further on down by clicking on Portraits/People.
Cheers, Bill P.


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