Flash Units or Constant Light

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Roy Hobbs, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    I am researching studio lights and have come to a fork in the road.

    Flash Units ior Constant Light??

    Please provide any recommendation between the two. I am leaning toward the AlienBees Flash Units but I dont want to rule out constant light if there is an advatage over the flash units that I am not seeing.

  2. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    What kind of photography are you doing? Constant lighting can be hot for photographer and subject. Constant lighting is good for video and film. Both can work but I would recommend strobe for still photography. Perhaps the only advantage to constant lighting is it seems cheaper than a set of strobes?
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Hot lights are, well, hot- they'll make subjects uncomfortable if you're shooting people. You'll also get narrow "deer in the headlights" pupils. The only advantages to hot lights are WYSIWYG and cost.
  4. Irish Dave macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2006
    The Emerald Isle
    Go for flash every time.

    Constant light sources get very hot quite quickly

    Constant light sources wont allow as small (higher f number) an aperture as flash. (less depth of field)

    Constant light sources will probably be a different colour temperature and will require a filter over the light or on the camera lens. You can of course fix this in Photoshop.

    Flash rules ... ok

    Dave :)
  5. Roy Hobbs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    Thanks for all the repsonses!! I am going to order the AlienBees package today!

    Just need to decising on remote firing options now
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    How do you adjust the intensity of a constant light? A dimmer? What does the dimmer do to the color? OK, you can white balance the color effoect out. But what if you have two lights each dimmed to a diferent degree. Not you main and fill lights don't color match.

    So you think you can adjust the brightness by moving the lights. Moving the light souerce back or close is the primary method of controlling the harshness or softness of the light. The light becomes softera when close to the subject (anulare size of source os larger = softer light)

    You need to be able to control the placement of lights AND their brightness. If you are on a tight budget you can do this with cheap wrk lights from Home Depot. Just buy some 100W, 250W and 500W quartz lamps but if this is for a business and you can afford basic equipment you are seriously under capitalized and how are you going to pay the rent and the electric bill? Rethink the business plan.

    Alan Bees look like good budget lights but it is worth hunting down some used industrial quality lights. Lighting equipment make by the like of Speedotron, Broncolor, Norman and other will last a lifetime and can be repair forever. So it's OK to buy 25 year old systems. If you can find someone selling off a power pack and some heads buy them.


    I was able to buy a 25 year old system like this http://www.photo-control.com/series500.asp for about the price of new AB system. But Norman has not changed the cables or connectors. Speedotron's brown line is about the same. Lok around and maybe you get lucks and find a studio off loading to stuff.

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