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Clothing Designer
veypurr
Posts: 214
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


What is your opinion?

In what situation's are continuous better or comprobable to strobe?

What are the drawbacks to continuous?
Dec 29 12 11:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


veypurr wrote:
What are the drawbacks to continuous?

High ISO, slow shutters, wide apertures, non moving subjects and tripods.

Fantastic for video, hate 'em for stills (although they don't make completely awful rim lights & accent lights - depending on the power of your main flash).

Dec 29 12 11:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caveman Creations
Posts: 580
Fort Worth, Texas, US


I don't know that I could go without my strobes anymore. The only "continuous" light I like or use, anymore............. is the sun. Anything else, I want to "pop"!
Dec 29 12 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,168
Portland, Oregon, US


veypurr wrote:
What is your opinion?

In what situation's are continuous better or comprobable to strobe?

What are the drawbacks to continuous?

I prefer strobes...

...  Strobes are brighter.
...  Continuous can mean lotsa heat.
...  Strobes can stop motion.
...  Softboxes don't need to be as heat resistant.
...  Strobes tend to be consistent & color balanced.


But continuous has advantages, like...
...  Continuous is more WYSIWYG


It's a preference -- either way is fine.

Dec 29 12 11:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Kaouthia wrote:

High ISO, slow shutters, wide apertures, non moving subjects and tripods.

Fantastic for video, hate 'em for stills (although they don't make completely awful rim lights & accent lights - depending on the power of your main flash).

sorry can't agree with this post

Dec 29 12 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Caveman Creations wrote:
I don't know that I could go without my strobes anymore. The only "continuous" light I like or use, anymore............. is the sun. Anything else, I want to "pop"!

heavy + hot are the first two words that come to mind

Dec 29 12 11:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


SoCo n Lime wrote:
sorry can't agree with this post

How so?

Unless you're dealing with very powerful (and very hot) lights, continuous just isn't going to put out as much light as a flash, even a speedlight - you have to get more light to the sensor.  This means either shooting at a higher ISO and introducing noise, at a wider aperture and reducing your depth of field, or a slower shutter speed and risking too much movement (from either yourself and/or your subject).

You certainly can't stick one in a 6ft softbox 10ft from your subject and expect to get 1/250th, f/8 @ ISO100.

Tell me what part of that you don't agree with?

Dec 29 12 11:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImageX
Posts: 998
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Kaouthia wrote:

High ISO, slow shutters, wide apertures, non moving subjects and tripods.

Fantastic for video, hate 'em for stills (although they don't make completely awful rim lights & accent lights - depending on the power of your main flash).

Agreed.

Dec 29 12 11:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAG Photography
Posts: 2,797
Valencia, California, US


We use continuos for all product work and Old Hollywood, in the last 6 months we have switched over to our 8 ARRI L7-C lights.  Fantastic, low draw and no heat... Light is phenomenal.
Dec 29 12 11:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Looknsee Photography wrote:
...  Strobes are brighter.
...  Continuous can mean lotsa heat.
...  Strobes can stop motion.
...  Softboxes don't need to be as heat resistant.
...  Strobes tend to be consistent
Dec 29 12 11:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caveman Creations
Posts: 580
Fort Worth, Texas, US


SoCo n Lime wrote:

heavy + hot are the first two words that come to mind

Hot, for sure. Especially in Texas. Heavy, yes. But...so would continuous lighting. Even still, since I purchased the Vagabond, I use my strobes everywhere. Not so easy with continuous lights. In some or most cases, you would need a generator for that. Continuous lighting has it's advantages (WYSIWYG presentation, large aperture shooting), but the drawbacks for me (lack of output, extra HEAT), far outweigh any and all of those. With my strobes, I can shoot from 1.8, ISO 100, 1/200th, up to f22 @ ISO 50, 1/200th. I have 6 total strobes. I have the full range of my lenses covered. Just my opinion and take on the deal. It's worth every penny you paid for it! wink

Dec 29 12 11:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
bw fotograf
Posts: 209
Plano, Texas, US


i started with a cheap (cowboy studio who's local to me) continuous lighting kit to help a friend that owns a bakery shoot some of her products. it was GREAT for (as previously mentioned) a WYSIWYG approach to lighting, but required long exposures and a tripod. i didn't burn through frame after frame getting my lighting right which was a plus.

a month later, i packed up the CL kit in favor of purchasing a few speed lights and teaching myself the fine art of completely controlling all aspects of light. i'm still not a master of strobes, but that's not the point. :-) you can't stop motion with CL unless you've got a bazillion watts going and can shoot at high shutter speeds, nor can you adjust power output to vary your lighting on anything but the highest end products.

i can't see where CL would be useful in anything but portrait work where you can ask your subject to be still for 1/30th, 1/6th, one second at a time. shooting at 1/250 F8 with speed lights, my model can do what ever the fuck they want and the "shot" is up to my timing with the shutter release. i LOVE that.
Dec 29 12 11:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SoCo n Lime
Posts: 3,283
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Kaouthia wrote:

How so?

Unless you're dealing with very powerful (and very hot) lights, continuous just isn't going to put out as much light as a flash, even a speedlight - you have to get more light to the sensor.  This means either shooting at a higher ISO and introducing noise, at a wider aperture and reducing your depth of field, or a slower shutter speed and risking too much movement (from either yourself and/or your subject).

You certainly can't stick one in a 6ft softbox 10ft from your subject and expect to get 1/250th, f/8 @ ISO100.

Tell me what part of that you don't agree with?

do your research..

cant stay and give a full answer as im off for a night out.. if i remeber ill get back to this thread when the hangovers gone

one 200 watt bulb alone is 1000w equivlant never mind the multi heads avalible in todays market

how much light and heat do you think these lights produce? you might just be surprised if you ever use them

Dec 29 12 11:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


SoCo n Lime wrote:
strobes are brighter? cant agree there is a full range of bulbs upto 1000w equivs and beyond.. energy bulbs are their wattage X5

I've got a Bowens light next to me right here that's 3000Ws.  What's brighter?  Bear in mind mine puts that out in about 1/2000th of a second.

1000 Watts continuous is NOT as powerful as 1000 Watt Seconds flash.

Dec 29 12 11:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


SoCo n Lime wrote:
do your research..

I am, that's why I'm asking you.  You obviously have superior knowledge.

SoCo n Lime wrote:
how much light and heat do you think these lights produce? you might just be surprised if you ever use them

I do use them, as I mentioned above, they're great for video.  I bought them for stills (each unit contains 4 125w CFL bulbs), they were useless (unless I was locked off on a tripod and shooting inanimate objects), now I only use them for video.

Dec 29 12 11:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,364
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


8 years, strobes. addicted. now I use a speed lite [canon 580] with an umbrella or the sun.
Dec 29 12 11:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peach Jones
Posts: 6,228
Champaign, Illinois, US


Caveman Creations wrote:
I don't know that I could go without my strobes anymore. The only "continuous" light I like or use, anymore............. is the sun. Anything else, I want to "pop"!

+1

Dec 29 12 11:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,854
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Realistically, if you have the option it isn't a case of flash v continuous because they are different and suit different needs. I know that I get a different quality of light from my Fresnel lensed HMI lights than my monoblocs which, to a lesser degree, are different again to that which I get from speedlights / hotshoe flash.

Yes, pound for pound, you get more light output from flash.
My HMI lights are somewhat lighter than my Hensel monoblocs.
If you are not using Tungsten or Halogen then heat is not an issue with continuous.
Given the number of people who imply that they really need to use their 85mm F1.4 / F1.2 lens at F1.4 / F1.2  then for many people the lower power of most continuous lighting is not a problem ( I know, the reality is that few people actually use their lenses wide open for a significant part of a photoshoot  !).

Continuous and 'groupshoots' are not likely to be a good mix due to the scrummage that becomes possible as opposed to when using flash with only one radio trigger available.
Dec 29 12 01:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,854
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


SoCo n Lime wrote:
lots of heat? nope sorry.. they run way cooler

Depends on what you are using. My old 500 watt Interfit photofloods make people feel as though they are getting a sun tan and the beauty dish quickly gets too hot to touch until the light has been off for a while. My Lupo lights just have two rivets that you avoid touching for a few minutes after turning off, other than that, they are very cool running.

Dec 29 12 02:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intense_puppy
Posts: 864
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


Kaouthia wrote:
I bought them for stills (each unit contains 4 125w CFL bulbs), they were useless (unless I was locked off on a tripod and shooting inanimate objects), now I only use them for video.

That's a ridiculous notion that you can't shoot anything but inanimate objects with continuous light.

Um, have you ever taken your camera outside in, you know, the sunlight? (If you do, don't forget to take your tripod! neutral )

Dec 29 12 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,678
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Obviously the people commenting on continuous lights are not actually familiar with them.  By the sounds of the responses they may have used some cheap stuff but not professional lights.

To me, there are a lot of affordable options for strobes.  I personally love my elinchrom lights, but they are cheap compared to professional continuous lights.  Most of are gear (and priced) for professional video where the manufactures think everyone has big budgets.
Dec 29 12 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daniel Norton
Posts: 1,743
New York, New York, US


While I use both (Broncolor strobes and Tungsten Lights), I find myself using continuous lights more for my current work (portraits/headshots). Though I'm using Dedolights so it's a bit of a special look. If you are just going to stick something in a softbox/umbrella, I'd say the WYSIWYG quality of continuous light would be the benefit and the action stopping power/duration would be the benefit of flash.

-Daniel
Dec 29 12 03:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


intense_puppy wrote:
That's a ridiculous notion that you can't shoot anything but inanimate objects with continuous light.

Um, have you ever taken your camera outside in, you know, the sunlight? (If you do, don't forget to take your tripod! neutral )

If I want to shoot f/11-16 at ISO100, yeah, I haven't found continuous artificial light sources to be up to the job at the distances I want.  Sure they exist, but for what they cost vs how much use I'd get out of them, the money is far better off being invested elsewhere.

I usually find the sun to be bright enough, certainly brighter than most continuous lights I've seen, and when it's not I still break out the flashes. wink

Dec 29 12 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,511
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


SoCo n Lime wrote:
strobes are brighter? cant agree there is a full range of bulbs upto 1000w equivs and beyond.. energy bulbs are their wattage X5

My 1,500 watt continuous lights put out about 1/64 the light my $35 generic 180ws strobe can. The video lights put out ISO640 - f/2.8 - 1/48 at a reasonable distance - The strobe puts out f/5.6 ISO 100 at the same, in the same modifier (that's a big difference)

Last time I did the math it would take 20,000 watts to equal one 160ws Alienbees B400 in the test I ran.

Dec 29 12 04:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DavidV
Posts: 40
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada


I have a beauty dish that I occasionally use with a 250watt quartz bulb fixture. I get F2.8 @ 200 iso. 1 stop less with the grid. I'm usually no more than 3 ft away. The thing I like is the brightness for focusing... alot brighter than the Alien Bees modelling light. I can actually use my manual m42 glass with few OOF issues. Working at f1.4-f2.8 this really makes a difference for me. Also, some strobes won't dial down enough for f1.4. But if I had to choose strobes are the choice for me... I like the rest of my f/stops too.
Dec 29 12 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JeanDphoto
Posts: 1,345
Knowlton, Quebec, Canada


Carving knives do not cut a tree as fast as a chain saw that is for sure....
I'd say it is a matter of choice about your intentions for a specific shot.

I would not write off continuous lighting such as the ouput you get from HMI heads with fresnel lenses, mini brutes behind a silk, etc.... It comes with a price ! Handling, power source, some heat and lower speeds... But I find it much easier to fine tune than with model lights.

It is just me :-)
Dec 29 12 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 6,105
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


This is just another orange VS apple preference verbal mash...

Hey... put those two in the juicer and they taste awesome!

.
Dec 29 12 05:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
This is just another orange VS apple preference verbal mash...

Hey... put those two in the juicer and they taste awesome!

.

the difference is all the apple people trying to make chicken a l'orange and claiming its the same.  you dont see orange people trying to dip unpeeled oranges in caramel at halloween.

Dec 29 12 05:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Glenn Hall - Fine Art
Posts: 431
Townsville, Queensland, Australia


Kaouthia wrote:
You certainly can't stick one in a 6ft softbox 10ft from your subject and expect to get 1/250th, f/8 @ ISO100.

...if that were true, I would be the first to grab a fistful of those continuous lighting kits off the 'Bay...no more expensive strobes for me tongue

Dec 29 12 08:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,795
El Segundo, California, US


SoCo n Lime wrote:
do your research..

[...]
one 200 watt bulb alone is 1000w equivlant never mind the multi heads avalible in todays market

If--and ONLY if--you're using multiple-second exposures.

Assuming the same efficiency of power-to-light conversion (which isn't that all far off for LEDs vs strobes), a 100 watt-second flash would illuminate the same amount as a 100 watt continuous light, if the shutter was left open for a full second for the continuous light.

On the other hand, if you're looking to not have hands, hair, and other human things blurring, you'll need, oh, 6000 watts continuous to be the equivalent of the 100 joule flash--and even there, the 1/60th second shutter speed will blur a lot more than the 1/250-1/2500th flash duration.

On the other hand, capturing motion blur is very difficult with a flash.

They're both quite useful, if you know how they work.

how much light and heat do you think these lights produce? you might just be surprised if you ever use them

Dec 29 12 09:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Glenn Hall - Fine Art
Posts: 431
Townsville, Queensland, Australia


gonna tell junior to keep still and recycle some power with my frying pan and a few eggs to go...
Dec 29 12 10:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,756
Fresno, California, US


veypurr wrote:
What is your opinion?

In what situation's are continuous better or comprobable to strobe?

What are the drawbacks to continuous?

I use both continuous for video and strobe for stills. If I am doing a project that requires both then I am shooting with such as an video and still at the same time then it continuous.

Well to state the obvious when shooting still strobes are easier to work with and are less expensive than continuous light. You have a lot more power with strobes than continuous lighting. This gives you greater control over the quality of light and far greater exposure control with strobes than continuous lighting.

By quality of light it is easier to adjust how harsh to how soft the light is with the least amount of expense.

The big thing to understand is that a strobe gives a lot of light in one burst while continuous gives small flow light constantly. Basically it is the difference between a machine gun a missile. You get a lot of energy from the constant flow of bullets but a missile delivers more energy in one shot.

With stills you you are only capturing a fraction of a second because that gives you far more power to work with a strobe. What that power does is give you greater control over the quality and exposure of the light.

I know seem more intimidating but really are easier to work with because you have greater control and more options to work with. To get that kind of control with continuous you would have to spend 10 times as much or more.

Simple example is use continuous lighting to fill light in a bright sunny day or even over power the sun. Far more cheaper and easier with a strobe.

Dec 30 12 08:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,518
University City, Missouri, US


Kaouthia wrote:

High ISO, slow shutters, wide apertures, non moving subjects and tripods.

Fantastic for video, hate 'em for stills (although they don't make completely awful rim lights & accent lights - depending on the power of your main flash).

+ 1

Dec 30 12 08:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sunn fotography
Posts: 263
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China


SAG Photography wrote:
We use continuos for all product work and Old Hollywood, in the last 6 months we have switched over to our 8 ARRI L7-C lights.  Fantastic, low draw and no heat... Light is phenomenal.

The Arri is perfect if you can afford. they r like the Sun!! i know many movie makers use it a lot. Since the Arri are way over budget, i will go for strobes.

Dec 30 12 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Urbiefoto
Posts: 92
Arlington, Virginia, US


'Cause I just like strobes better...or the sun...but even then I'll throw in a strobe.
Dec 30 12 09:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,334
Salem, Oregon, US


we use fluorescents for products and sometimes for babies and boudoir. otherwise it's strobes. and really i'd almost prefer to use window light than continuous given a choice. continuous just doesn't put out much light. for my on-whites i might be using 6 strobes (no way to get that much light from cheap continuous).

the WYSIWYG thing is kind of overblown anyway. the camera sees it differently than the human eye.
Dec 30 12 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,456
Paris, Île-de-France, France


I like continuous light for the preview compared to what actually is going to be recorded.

It's not like the eye sees the same as what will be recorded but it is better than a modeling light that only approximates the flash tube's output.

When mixing daylight, I now use HMI to fill and this works well.

Flash is a very clinical approach, and has it's freeze ability, sharpness then with an easy to capture approach, the ability to use deep coloured filters etc.

Cost wise flash is at the entry price much cheaper than an equivalent continuous light.

The higher end flash costs around the same as high end continuous light such as HMI.

The new LED and fluorescent lights cover the mid ground for video and can be used somewhat for stills.  Tungsten is not very powerful in the low wattage lights thus going up to a high power becomes a problem for household use.
Dec 30 12 09:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,389
Glens Falls, New York, US


Kaouthia wrote:

I've got a Bowens light next to me right here that's 3000Ws.  What's brighter?  Bear in mind mine puts that out in about 1/2000th of a second.

1000 Watts continuous is NOT as powerful as 1000 Watt Seconds flash.

Actually, it is EXACTLY as powerful as a 1000 w/s flash, assuming your shutter speed is a full second smile

If you look at Yousuf Karsh's work, that's all done with continuous light, as is all the film noir and early pinup stuff.  You can tell, because the smoke in all the cigarettes is blurry.  And those were all done with large format cameras that typically required apertures around f/8-f/16 or so, and film speed was generally around 125.

Since portraiture didn't suck before the invention of monoblock heads, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that continuous lights are indeed a viable professional choice.

Dec 30 12 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Zack Zoll wrote:
Actually, it is EXACTLY as powerful as a 1000 w/s flash, assuming your shutter speed is a full second smile

Then, by your own argument, it's not as powerful.  Because a 1000Ws flash can put it out in a thousandth of the time or less.

What you've just said is "It's exactly as powerful, if you slow down your shutter by 10 stops".

Dec 30 12 10:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Zack Zoll wrote:

Actually, it is EXACTLY as powerful as a 1000 w/s flash, assuming your shutter speed is a full second smile

If you look at Yousuf Karsh's work, that's all done with continuous light, as is all the film noir and early pinup stuff.  You can tell, because the smoke in all the cigarettes is blurry.  And those were all done with large format cameras that typically required apertures around f/8-f/16 or so, and film speed was generally around 125.

Since portraiture didn't suck before the invention of monoblock heads, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that continuous lights are indeed a viable professional choice.

so
a) you say we should slow our shutter speeds down to a full second so the light can catch up.  at 1 sec exposure I don't need a strobe lol.
b) yes yes back in the day we used coal fired strobes and horse drawn bellows to get the coal up to firing speed and we managed to get a shot off and sometimes it was cool and the soot covered everything and thats the real reason we call it film noir, not what they tell you in the textbooks. Times change.  we don't need giant flashbulbs filled with magnesium cotton candy any more so flash became easier than horse drawn bellows
c) essentially what you are saying is "look at me I'm not as bad as you think".  why are people so insecure about what they do?  why the need to justify so much that you have to twist things around?  I use plenty of pretty much industry standard tools and plenty of off-beat shit that works for me. Do I care if nobody else uses it? not for a heartbeat.  Only time I will notice is if someone is "insisting" on some kit as being "mandatory because everyone uses it" when really there are alternatives.

/rant (no, not really but I had you hoping it was)

Dec 30 12 11:44 am  Link  Quote 
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