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Author Topic: Location Lighting  (Read 9478 times)
Sheldon N
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 11:32:13 PM »
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Your samples are fantastic, I'm definitely set on the Ranger. I like the Quadra but the difference in light is most notable not to mention output. I really like the combination too! I think I'm set but I don't know how I want to control the system. I shoot Canon and I've been told PocketWizard combined with the MiniTT1 and PowerST4 is ideal for when using the Ranger RX.

Thanks!

I shoot Canon too, and tried out the PowerST4 when it first came out. I did not like it at all and after extensive correspondence with the technical people at Pocketwizard trying to get it sorted out I ultimately returned it. Primary problems were a slightly quirky interface, and secondly the triggering range was not good at all. My recommendation would be to stick with the Skyport system. Triggering has been reliable for me, range is good, and the remote power control works nicely.
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ahbriggs
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 11:47:15 PM »
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I guess I can try the skyport as it comes with the system I'm looking at purchasing. What head or accessories do you use with your Ranger?
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 12:37:34 AM »
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I use just a single A head with my Ranger, though the S head would work fine too if you aren't shooting action where you need fast flash duration. I also like the cable for attaching the Skyport receiver to the pack, rather than the plastic adapter. It stays attached more securely.

Other than that, just modifiers and occasionally I'll use the plastic deflectors that fit into the central hole on the head. I tried out the frosted dome for a while, and decided that it didn't make much difference inside of diffused softboxes. If you are shooting bare reflector it might be something to look more closely at, although you can't use the central umbrella/deflector hole at the same time as the frosted dome.
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K.C.
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 12:49:58 AM »
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I shoot Canon too, and tried out the PowerST4 when it first came out. 

Using the current software the ST4 is trouble free and dependable. I'm getting a high sync speed I couldn't get any other way with the Ranger RX Speed AS and an S head. It won't work with an A head because the duration is too short.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 05:11:04 AM »
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Slightly on topic what's the difference between the deep and shallow small octa's/rotolux's do you get a different quality of light or more efficiency from the deeper one?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2012, 08:51:22 AM »
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Here's one shot with the 190cm Indirect Lightbank Octa. The Indirect Lightbank Octa has also long been a favorite tool for photographers like Annie Leibovitz (who now seems to like the Phototek Softlighter II), Mark Seliger (http://www.managementartists.com/photography/mark-seliger), Timothy Greenfield Sanders (http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/).
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Ellis Vener
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 08:52:40 AM »
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Slightly on topic what's the difference between the deep and shallow small octa's/rotolux's do you get a different quality of light or more efficiency from the deeper one?
There's a different quality of light; the light is a bit more collimated with the deeper one so if both are the same diameter and are the same distance from the subject the edges of the shadows (penumbra) swill be more crisply defined. Of course when you put a diffuser o nthe front of it it may not make much of a difference.

Which brings up another point: unless someone does a test with all of the light modifiers that have been discussed and the tests were shot in the same physical circumstances (primarily: distance to subject and in the same space) looking at different people's pictures isn't really going to tell you much about the differences between the different light modifiers, just how that photographer used that light modifier for that photo.

In the portrait I posted above the Elinchrom 190cm Indirect Octa was positioned about six feet from the couple and the center of it was about mid torso high on them. I had it positioned to camera left and the lighting instrument was a Profoto Acute/D4 head powered by a Profoto D4 pack. As I recall the pack was set to around 400~600 watt-seconds and the exposure was /16 @ ISO 100, shutter speed 1/125th. The camera was a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II. It was very late in the afternoon and I deliberately wanted to the background to go dark but not totally pitch black.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 09:39:45 AM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 11:45:15 AM »
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Using the current software the ST4 is trouble free and dependable. I'm getting a high sync speed I couldn't get any other way with the Ranger RX Speed AS and an S head. It won't work with an A head because the duration is too short.

What kind of triggering distances are you getting? When I had mine I couldn't get more than 40 feet or so, not enough to shoot with a 200mm lens.

You can also do the same flash tail/hypersync trick by putting a skyport on top of a MiniTT1 and dialing in the trigger timing. No PowerST4 needed. I don't find that particularly useful though, it doesn't really get you any more power over the ambient, it's difficult to meter, and somewhat unpredictable. It's basically an alternative to an ND filter, unless you are trying to simultaneously freeze ambient light for action photography with a ambient/strobe mix.

Slightly on topic what's the difference between the deep and shallow small octa's/rotolux's do you get a different quality of light or more efficiency from the deeper one?

The Deep Octa's are more efficient and do a better job of controlling spill light, especially if you use just the internal diffuser and leave the front diffuser off. The deep octa will be a little more contrasty/punchy and give you a nice combination of soft yet specular light (diffused center, pebbled reflective perimeter).
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 11:48:07 AM by Sheldon N » Logged

K.C.
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« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 06:21:20 PM »
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Sheldon I shoot sports with ST4s on the packs and a Mini on camera. I'm often 75' or more away from the pack and shooting with a 70-200 or 300. It's never failed. But then I'm pretty much line of sight and there's really nothing but athletes to get in the way. In another scenario it could produce completely different results.

And yes, there are a number of ways to get the job done but the last thing I'm interested in doing is stacking radios on top of a pack.
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K.C.
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 06:28:42 PM »
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Slightly on topic what's the difference between the deep and shallow small octa's/rotolux's do you get a different quality of light or more efficiency from the deeper one?

The posts above answer you question very well. Added contrast, longer throw and less spread with any deep modifier.

Ellis' shot is a good example of light that could be achieved with many different modifiers. I have 60" Balcar Zebra umbrellas, alternating silver and white panels between the ribs, that give a nearly identical look to my large deep octa. One just has more spill than the other, both have a punchier contrast that result in slightly more specular/hotter highlights.
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K.C.
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« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 06:33:50 PM »
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Here's a good modifier comparator.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2012, 08:12:48 AM »
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Thanks for your posts chaps.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2012, 02:48:07 PM »
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Ellis' shot is a good example of light that could be achieved with many different modifiers. Not quite , a large Chimera SuperPro or a 72" umbrella behind a 72x 72 inch or 96x96 inch scrim in front of it would come close but there wasn't room for that kind of rig or even enough room for just a simple large Chimera or umbrella, maybe a Plume Wafer 200 since they are shallower.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 07:30:36 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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K.C.
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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2012, 10:35:19 PM »
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Ellis' shot is a good example of light that could be achieved with many different modifiers. Not quite , a large Chimera SuperPro or a 72" umbrella behind a 72x 72 inch or 96x96 inch scrim in front of it would come close but there wasn't room for that kind of rig or even enough room for just a simple large Chimera or umbrella, maybe a Plume Wafer 200 since they are shallower.

In other words, what I said was correct. Except for the physical limitations you faced in that particular location.
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UlfKrentz
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« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2012, 05:12:10 AM »
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Id like to second a heavy stand for outdoor use. Any sudden moment the wind is able to tip over what you thought would be a stable solution. Best to have a second person / assistant with you. Regarding strobe / light modifier, Id like to throw in the new broncolor Move pack, it actually is a kind of battery powered "Mini-Scoro", that one combined with a Para 88 is a great combo, too. Id suggest to work with the different brands to find out what best suits your needs, even far off a local rent facility you should be able to find a way to test things out. Also consider that buying into a strobe system is a decision that will often last much longer than any other purchase.

Cheers,

Ulf
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calindustries
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« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2013, 05:29:08 PM »
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I know this is an old topic, but I just was able to really improve my Ranger System. I've been using Ranger AS with both an A head and a modified Profoto head for the past 3 or 4 years. I recently demoed the new Bron Move and loved loved loved it (more than the B4Air that I've also tried). I just can't justify the cost right now. I found these Lithium batteries online. The technician was very helpful when I called and I just replaced one of my lead gel batteries with this and got over 320 pops at full power right out of the box (vs about 200 with the original battery). It weights less than 4 pounds. So although I still want to move to the Bron unless Elinchrom updates the Ranger to be truly asymmetric and have a LED model lamp with NO TIME OUT, this at least solve the weight issue for now!

http://store.starkpower.com/12V-12Ah-StarkPower-UltraEnergy-Lithium-Ion-Battery-LiFePO-Energy-Storage-Battery_p_22.html

-c

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Sheldon N
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2013, 01:17:21 AM »
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That's very interesting. Did you have to make any modifications to the wiring inside the battery drawer or was it simple to install? Have you noticed any effects on recycle times? What about charging, do you have to use a different charger for safety and to avoid damaging the battery?  I'd love to see a photo of how you installed it inside the tray and how well it fits.
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Hulyss
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2013, 04:47:55 AM »
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There is other ways to maximize the portability of lightings on location. Having used and rented on long periods some systems (Profoto, Broncolor, Elinchrom...) I ended on location with a very different system who work very well. I found that Profoto was a tad expensive and heavy compared to what it do (if you are sponsored by them things start to be a lot cheaper Wink ). Broncolor is the best I've used so far but very expensive; I ended up buying only a para 88 because of the inner coating of the box. For Elinchrom, the octoboxes are very well made but I do not really like the flash system. At a time, carrying generators is very very boring (at best), especially when you work alone and need to be quick.

If you can try SB910 flashes do it ! I modified my Bronco and Elinchrom boxes to adapt SB910 flashes and the power output / K stability is surprisingly good (and far more flexible than with generator...).

I use them with 100 cm Octa.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 04:54:30 AM by Hulyss » Logged

Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
Sheldon N
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2013, 12:31:34 AM »
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Some more follow up on the lithium battery post from calindustries. He was kind enough to share some more details me and I've also installed the same battery in my Ranger. It's a huge improvement in both weight and battery capacity.

If you're looking for more specifics I have a detailed write up here:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?p=16483038
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KevinA
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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2013, 06:35:35 AM »
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This might be of interest to those looking for location systems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4FT8wGgDl4
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Kevin.
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