Decent Lighting / Low Cost for Intimate Model Shoot

JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grinsPosts: 39Registered Users Big grins
edited August 11, 2012 in Technique
Hi all, noob here and excited to have found a nice place!

Anyways, I have a good eye for photo taking, but I just dont have great equipment. I am about to get in the business of needing to photo some model for a web portfolio, some model shots, some product shots while they are wearing something, for intimate wear, so the setting will usually be like on a bed in a small room with little or no daylight. I am thinking of using some satin/nylon sheets/drapes as the bed cover and backdrop, and colors are still up for grabs.

I can invest in any real camera right now... just have a compact (I know please dont kill me, but this is just for the web for now!!! no print or hi-res!) Lumix 10mp (is there a section here where I can learn more about this camera to maximize my results?). I of course have a tripod, I will get a better camera as soon as I can afford it, but for my purpose right now, I think lighting is much more important, am I wrong?

Anyways, my questions are:

1) How much difference will the backdrops and bed sheet colors/material (shiny satin vs like cotton, but satin looks so sexy) make in the overall lighting of the subject and complexity for good results?

2) How much should I realistically spend on lighting, that can maybe be upgradeable later? I am assuming I wont need to buy a different tripod once I get a couple, just better bulbs maybe? Or reflectors/umbrellas? I was thinking this is a great deal for me right now on eBay for $50 shipped:

3x 45w Photography 33" Umbrella Complete Photo Studio Lighting Kit Vedio Light

ANY advice would help me out tremendously... and I know I could probably read for the next 2 years on how to photograph models, but any general thoughts for this situation would be great. Thanks!!!

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,119Super Moderators moderator
    edited July 31, 2012
    Daylight balanced compact fluorescent are OK now for objects that don't require tight color balance, but I don't think they are quite ready for most portraiture or other applications which require more subtle and accurate tonality. The reason is that inexpensive daylight balanced compact fluorescent phosphors are still not a complete continuous spectra.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lights#Phosphors_and_the_spectrum_of_emitted_light

    Compare this to a true daylight spectra:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight#Life_on_Earth

    For some product lighting I have used compact fluorescent bulbs with a fairly high CRI (Color Rendering Index) rating (CRI 95 or better). The color isn't perfect but for subjects that don't need perfect color it can work pretty well.

    Here's an example:

    http://dgrin.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=24548&d=1217963525

    Another problem with compact fluorescent bulbs is that they burn continuously, and with no variability in output.

    This means that in order to control lighting ratios you need to add either distance adjustments from the subject, or some sort of lighting modifiers (usually scrims).

    The fact that these lights run continuously also means relatively small pupils in the eyes, but most people like larger pupils in the eyes.


    I greatly recommend using flash technology for people photography including portraiture and clothing shoots. Strobist techniques allow the use of compact flash for relatively little initial cost, and compact flash setups are also very portable.

    I suggest starting here:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 31, 2012
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Daylight balanced compact fluorescent are OK now for objects that don't require tight color balance, but I don't think they are quite ready for most portraiture or other applications which require more subtle and accurate tonality. The reason is that inexpensive daylight balanced compact fluorescent phosphors are still not a complete continuous spectra.

    For some product lighting I have used compact fluorescent bulbs with a fairly high CRI (Color Rendering Index) rating (CRI 95 or better). The color isn't perfect but for subjects that don't need perfect color it can work pretty well.

    Another problem with compact fluorescent bulbs is that they burn continuously, and with no variability in output.

    This means that in order to control lighting ratios you need to add either distance adjustments from the subject, or some sort of lighting modifiers (usually scrims).

    The fact that these lights run continuously also means relatively small pupils in the eyes, but most people like larger pupils in the eyes.


    I greatly recommend using flash technology for people photography including portraiture and clothing shoots. Strobist techniques allow the use of compact flash for relatively little initial cost, and compact flash setups are also very portable.

    Ha wow, u really know some stuff, nice, and so appreciate the response! I have gotten some various info, and I agree with everything u say, yes... but for now, I have come to these conclusions in my situation:

    1. Strobe not possible without upgrading my camera or using getting one of the light-triggered flashes... but since I WILL want a "decent" DSLR as soon as I make some money, I at least want to get something I can use later as well.
    2. Cannot borrow/purchase-return stuff because this is more than a one day job. I have done that before for one day video shoots etc., but not for this.
    3. Getting that cheap umbrella set and getting high wattage bulbs, or how about shining 1000W halogens on them instead, or shine them thru the white sheet.
    4. And/or combine #3 with using a reflector and reflecting sunlight into my northfacing room, and surround her with white sheets as reflectors and use the softened 1000W halogens to "fill in" the blanks?
    5. I am planning on doing maybe a 1-1.5 shoot maybe once per week to start. The room is also the coldest room in the house and my a/c works very well. Therefore I am not worried about electricity or heat for this amount of usage.

    One question: For using satin bed sheets, is white bad there, too much "wrong" reflection from the bottom up? Should I go with a beige? I dont care about the "theme" of the color, I just dont want it to hurt the shot's lighting, IF there is such a thing.

    I hope this is ok for now, and later when I have the $$$, this will mostly change, and then maybe I will turn to the strobe with a real camera. Thanks again and I hope to talk to u again!
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,119Super Moderators moderator
    edited July 31, 2012
    Shop light halogens can work, but using them with bed sheets is awfully dangerous. The sheets will burn on contact or even close proximity.

    You still have a problem with fixed light levels, and the halogens are just plain dangerous to use.

    Sorry, without any real equipment to use I don't think you can expect satisfactory results. Maybe you could help out a photographer and intern for a while, learn some lighting techniques, and then trade for some time in a studio with the photographer's equipment and supervision? That could build up your experience as well as gain you some images to show.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2012
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Shop light halogens can work, but using them with bed sheets is awfully dangerous. The sheets will burn on contact or even close proximity.

    You still have a problem with fixed light levels, and the halogens are just plain dangerous to use.

    Sorry, without any real equipment to use I don't think you can expect satisfactory results. Maybe you could help out a photographer and intern for a while, learn some lighting techniques, and then trade for some time in a studio with the photographer's equipment and supervision? That could build up your experience as well as gain you some images to show.

    Thanks... I ordered the 2x500W halogens with tripod for $30 off ebay, will order a few satin white sheets for the backdrop and bed/floor cover, and a couple of soft reflectors off Amazon to bring in dalylight, $100 total. I'll upgrade later when I feel the business has potential. Luckily, most clients dont mind if they see some amateur snapshots, so all this is an upgrade without looking TOO professional, which they would actually NOT prefer.

    I am well aware of the electrical and fire hazards and heat and will be vigilant... and this is like my 4th job/hobby if that, so no way do I have any real time to learn "properly" but I will do as much as I can.

    Thanks!
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2012
    500 watt halogen lights and satin sheets in a small room would make me quite nervous.

    You might want to keep a fire extinguisher handy, as the lights do get very hot...

    They will cast a quite harsh light too, very contrasty.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 2, 2012
    pathfinder wrote: »
    500 watt halogen lights and satin sheets in a small room would make me quite nervous.

    You might want to keep a fire extinguisher handy, as the lights do get very hot...

    They will cast a quite harsh light too, very contrasty.

    I probably wont be hanging the cotton sheets a cm in front of the halogens... I have a degree in engineering, the physics of the situation is the least of my concerns, its more of the cost and what will work for now. Many people have told me this already and I appreciate the concern first for my life and my house, but I really just need advice on the photography part for my particular situation.

    No one has mentioned to me about a "harsh light" by this setup. My final thoughts on the setup for now is use a few satin white sheets for the backdrop and bed/floor cover (maybe beige for the floor), and a couple of soft reflectors off Amazon to bring in daylight through my big double sliding north facing window, $100 total. I'll upgrade later when I feel the business has potential. Luckily, most clients in our market dont mind some amateur snapshots, so all this is an upgrade without looking TOO professional, which they would actually NOT prefer. I know thats kinda of a disgrace to a real photographer but again, there are different levels in all we do, and we always need to do things to make project work, not conceptualize what is the absolute best photo method.
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 2, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    I think lighting is much more important, am I wrong?

    Anyways, my questions are:

    1) How much difference will the backdrops and bed sheet colors/material (shiny satin vs like cotton, but satin looks so sexy)

    No. You're right lighting is hugely important. If it were me and you're situation, I'd suggest forgoing the new lighting kit and just use reflectors to light the scene.
    1. Key reason is mixed lighting. The halogens will White balance at around 3k and Sunlight will be closer to 5k.
    2. And I prefer cotton Sheets, due to their softness, and softness tends to look better in these types of photos. Softness=aesthetic, not softness=feel. Also Satin tends to be a bit shiny which can detract from the overall aesthetic or be hard to control light on.

    Halogen lights. Hot. Oh my god hot! with no fire hazard to worry over and just btu's, that is a bunch of btu's to overcome. Nothing like a sweaty model!:D

    You did mention potentially hanging the sheets for the lights to illuminate thru. I suggest you won't be able to pull this off AND have that light be of any use, due to the heat/distance.

    Summary: I'd just use natural light. it's cheap, easy and will allow you room to worry over other aspects of your shoot.
    tom wise
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,119Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 2, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    I probably wont be hanging the cotton sheets a cm in front of the halogens... I have a degree in engineering, the physics of the situation is the least of my concerns, its more of the cost and what will work for now. Many people have told me this already and I appreciate the concern first for my life and my house, but I really just need advice on the photography part for my particular situation.

    ...

    Please understand that our concern is not just for you, but also for others who will view this thread looking for information. We cannot know everyone's fire safety proficiency, so we must stress what may be obvious to some.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 2, 2012
    Excellent point, Ziggy.

    Kids please don't try this at home thumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Laughing.gif, yes hopefully we dont have kids reading this thinking its "Safe" but anyways...

    Ok, a couple of things have changed... I am not locked to get that halogen light anymore, so I am off that hook... which means, that + halogen color temp + hi temps + additional white screen for it + not be enuff light compared to sunlight being reflected in + my sucky P&S, + everything else u guys said + I may be able to afford a DSLR sooner than I thought thanks to a new job I was just hired for... but I wont be starting for a bit, and this project needs to actually start BEFORE I start the other job, so for now, I am going to BestBuy, getting the best camera I can for my project, and then later trade it in for something I really wanna keep and can afford.

    So I think now this is what I need:

    • 2-3 of those reflectors from Amazon to bring in daylight and cover part of my red wall opposite the window to shine back to the model
    • A few non-satin white sheets to use as a backdrop and base, and maybe cover the rest of the red wall... I guess I can always add light pink/cream etc. later for variety...
    •
    • 1 (maybe 2 if I wanna shoot on a rainy day?) strobe flashes (used with DSLR hotshoe) If so which one(s)... I would still like best value and just good enough again for my purpose, dont need hi-mid or top of the line
    • FYI, I have a flash from my old AE-1, lol... its the Sakar 22A, Guide No. 30 (ASA25) 60 (ASA100m)... is this good enough for my main camera flash + 1-2 strobes?
    • and..... drum roll...... a DSLR.... I am just gonna go to the local worstbuy and pick one up, price doesnt really matter right now since its going on credit card and I will trade it in later... so now u know what I need it for, please help me choose one... I think for now I will just get one with the lens, too much of a pain to get separate lens and deal with that, esp since this will already be such a huge improvement from where I was right... so I guess we pick the one with best combo of body+lens (and for the sake of debate with others here or elsewhere, please succinctly state why u like that one best for me and my project... I just pray everyone agrees on 1!):

    From BB:
    • ($4300) Canon - EOS 5D Mark III 22.3-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm Lens - Black
    • ($2700) Canon - Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1-Megapixel DSLR Camera with EF 24-105mm Lens - Black
    • ($1800) Canon - EOS 7D 18.0-Megapixel DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens - Black
    • ($1700) Canon - EOS 7D 18.0-Megapixel DSLR Camera with 28-135mm Lens Kit - Black
    • ($1700) Canon EOS 60D 18.0MP DSLR Camera Kit, Battery, 16GB Memory Card & 70-300mm Lens

    Hopefully one of these will be good enough and I'll go from there. Sorry for all the other crap, but I am sure most of u r letting out a sigh of relief! Thanks so much for all your help!
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Glad you are not using halogen... I thought about that once but dgrin and getting a chance to see them in action from friends in the building trades made it pretty clear that using halogen for lighting a scene is about as safe as using open flames for light a scene.

    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Laughing.gif, yes hopefully we dont have kids reading this thinking its "Safe" but anyways...
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Also want to note this thread here at dgrin. It is a Pull back thread that you may find informative. Folks doing shoots show the resultant shots typically and also show the set/set-up too.

    Those Amazon reflectors are great, and they're portable. This http://www.lowes.com/pd_15328-46086-15328_4294858106__?productId=3582748&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=
    reflector in my opinion is worlds better for home situations and can also be transported too. Take the 4x8 ft. sheet and cut it in the middle with a razor knife (though not all the way thru!) and it'll then form an "A" allowing it to stand where-ever you place it; Very Handy! And it has an Aluminum facing that will reflect a ton of light @ 16 sq. ft. for one side of the "A" you create.

    You may want to take a peek at the KEH outfit page, just in case. They'll gladly take your CC and have a return warranty as well. Reputable company. As is B&H and Adorama, used or new gear.
    tom wise
  • JonDeckerJonDecker Beginner grinner Posts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited August 3, 2012
    Also, If the shoot is only for a day, consider renting the items you might want to use. There are a couple good places that rent photo equipment at very reasonable prices. Take a look at borrowed lenses for example.
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    Ok guys, thanks so much... with some help of another professional I have whittled down my camera parts to these that will be best for me and my shots right now:

    So body is 5dmk3 + (or 5dmk2)
    for lens, I found (is these statements true?) on 2.8L:

    24-70:
    - outstanding walk around lens
    - great focal range for when you don't know how far you'll be able to get from your subject
    - good for for portraits, dances, and general use in tight places like at weddings
    Choices:
    1) Canon - EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
    2) Canon - 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom
    3) Canon - EF 24-105mm f/4 IS USM Medium Telephoto

    70-200:
    - great for getting a nice soft background with a short DOF (altho I thought DOF was variable to a certain degree depending on the body + lens u get no, like adjusting the aperture?)
    - big size, might not be a great carry around
    - If in doubt get this one? Blurring out the background with such DOF might be good for my type of model/product shots
    Choice:
    1) Canon - EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Telephoto Zoom (Lens hood ET-87)
    So for me this one is the best?
    P.S. I am only looking at BestBuy right now bec its the nearest store to me and easiest to deal with... if there is some other model I really should be getting instead, I will be open to other stores if there is another one near me, like a COMPUSA/Staples/Walmart, etc.... thanks!
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 5, 2012
    Ok.... I've had time to rethink some things and all this talk about photography is really starting to make me wanna do this "properly" (= more agreeable to you guys) and own my first camera regardless of anything else... and yes even tho my financial/business situation may be changing (reason for the "price doesnt mater stuff" etc... thats all I'll say for now), I think u guys have really made a valid point now that I thought about it more.

    Upon another suggestion, I did some research on the T2i, and that it is a really awesome camera, the external mic will really be useful, and the video stuff is REALLY useful as well, esp the 60 fps for my occasional golf swing analysis... except for the slow burst speed, it seems almost too perfect. AND the freakin Canon software, totally forgot about that, AWESOME (what remote trigger, Laughing.gif). It seems on eBay I see some bodies only having been sold for about $300, so if I can trust the seller I'll use that as my target mark.

    Now as much as that 70-200 lens sounds tempting, I'll probably skimp on that... maybe I'll get that later at some point. For now, I see a ton of the 50mm f1.8 lens sold for under $40 also on eBay in the last few of months, can that be right, seems too cheap? And there was one for $300, the EF 50mm f/1.8 II +EF-S 55-250mm IS Lens #L523, so....... I'm a bit confused about the suggested lens spec and different types. You guys know what my main project is, but I dont mind paying a little more so I can have a lens that can take a decent wide variety of photos and take decent videos, esp of the golf swing. The zooms r nice but I fear that will raise the price again too much that I dont need so I guess I'll buy a separate zoom lens later when I think I'll need it.

    And since I have never bought photo equipment on eBay or the like before, is there a "fail safe question" u can ask the seller to see if he is a legit seller who didnt abuse his equipment? For example, if I were buying a golf club or a tennis racquet or other electronics, I would ask certain questions like why r u selling it, what level r u, etc., and then follow up his answers with some more questions to see if he is telling the truth. This is never a fail safe per se, but it will weed out the idiots who think they can get good dollar for some item that has a slight defect.

    But thanks for your patience with me, trust me, its never my intentions to insult any of u guys with my stupid proposals, but I am dead serious on this project and my enthusiasm for photography ever since I was in school.
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 6, 2012
    I think many folks would recommend staying away from eBay for Camera/lens purchases; sans caveat! I have bought and won, and bought and lost there.

    B&H, Adorama, KEH, to name a few are just the best sources to deal with. If you're looking to pony up some bread for a purchase such as these, then do yourself the favor and buy from reputable sources. New items can and do fail. And it is easiest and most rewarding to deal with one of these companies if that should occur. On buying Used [camera] gear, I don't really bother with eBay unless it is such a rare item that that is the only source.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.8 I & II are really cheap lenses and you can find deals in them. I bought my 50mm II here on Dgrin for $60 if memory serves.

    You ought to read some lens reviews,viz; dgrin, Ken Rockwell, motley pixel, SLR gear. SLR gear is nice because they often have links to new prices, incl. some customer reviews, and have DXO test they perform too.
    tom wise
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,119Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 7, 2012
    Ability
    Experience
    Subject and scene
    Lighting
    Lens
    Camera body

    That's about the order for image quality. It's true that certain cameras/lenses/lighting are not up to certain photographic tasks, but in many cases people with sufficient ability and experience can still persevere and produce quality results.

    It's going to take some time to properly train to do this "Intimate Model Shoot". I suggest choosing some gently used equipment to start, and then add additional equipment as your vision of the scene and model becomes fully developed.

    I would start with a quality used prosumer dSLR (Canon 40D on up or Nikon D90 on up) and a couple of good primes. The exact primes will depend partly on the room dimensions, subject size and shooting distance desired/required as well as the camera platform.

    KEH.com
    Adorama.com
    BHphotovideo.com

    ... all have decent used inventories in used camera bodies and lenses. Expect to pay more for lenses than for the camera body.

    For lighting I recommend studio monolights, partly for the modelling lights to aid in positioning the lights and partly for rapid recycling. Start with simple convertible studio umbrellas. I recommend 60" umbrellas if your room has at least 8' ceilings. 10' light air-cushioned light stands. 3 lights to start.

    AlienBees and Adorama Flashpoint II monolights are both popular economy studio flashes.

    http://www.paulcbuff.com/b400.php
    http://www.adorama.com/FP620M.html

    2 convertible umbrellas and then a snoot for the third light will give you some flexibility.

    Simple radio master/slave sets will get you simple wireless capability for the lights.

    http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-16-channel-Wireless-Trigger-MonoLights/dp/B002OL4EE6

    You may still need some reflectors. A cheap reflector is white foam board from an art supplier. Sometimes even the "dollar stores" have foam board. White sheets can also be used.

    You may also need a tripod to hold the camera. This allows you to set up the camera and to hold position while you modify the position of the model.

    You'll need some basic understanding about lighting techniques and terms.

    http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1615.htm
    http://www.professionalphotography101.com/portrait_lighting/Portrait_lighting_diagrams.html
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 8, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    I think many folks would recommend staying away from eBay for Camera/lens purchases; sans caveat! I have bought and won, and bought and lost there.

    B&H, Adorama, KEH, to name a few are just the best sources to deal with. If you're looking to pony up some bread for a purchase such as these, then do yourself the favor and buy from reputable sources. New items can and do fail. And it is easiest and most rewarding to deal with one of these companies if that should occur. On buying Used [camera] gear, I don't really bother with eBay unless it is such a rare item that that is the only source.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.8 I & II are really cheap lenses and you can find deals in them. I bought my 50mm II here on Dgrin for $60 if memory serves.

    You ought to read some lens reviews,viz; dgrin, Ken Rockwell, motley pixel, SLR gear. SLR gear is nice because they often have links to new prices, incl. some customer reviews, and have DXO test they perform too.

    Ok thanks to some more research and your advice, I am in the home stretch, thank god... so much for the "research/learn 20% of your time and do 80%".... at this rate I'll be "doing" for the next 30 years to catch up! I do understand the eBay thing, I have been good about 90% there, but then again I have only bought stuff that are easy to rate and I know a lot about... body and glass, ya, I may leave to KEH etc....

    1) I am settled on the T2i... someone else suggested a 30D for better x-sync speed, PC port, and much better ergonomics (fewer button presses to make common changes)... I think I'll still go with the T2i for apparent better image quality, modern tech, video, external mic, better LCD screen, etc...

    2) I am tempted by the 85mm f/1.8, seems like it is almost $400, hmmm... is it really that much better than the 50mm f/1.8 for $100? No doubt I will upgrade later but just wanted a reality check. I understand no zoom might be "annoying" in either case, but I'll deal with that, esp since the distance will mostly stay the same and the 18MP on the T2i gives me a lot more "zoom" than I need for the web anyways. And I have no problem getting a Sigma or other off brand, but I cant find ANY for the 85mm f/1.8 ! But the only problem with the 50mm is it might not cover the whole body gracefully from about 2m away in my small room? I cannot change the room so... max shoot distance is around 7-8 ft. Why will the standard 18-55mm not do? I heard that will be more "forgiving" in my situation.

    On KEH, I see a Konica 35mm - Fixed Focal Length Lenses 85 F1.8 HEXANON AR EE (55) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS TELEPHOTO LENS for $245, is that something I can use with the Canon?
    Or else it is $349-$364 for LN- or EX+, but from their descriptions it seems like LN- and above are the only ones that guarantee the glass is perfect/like new. For $15 extra that's a no brainer right.

    3) I ordered 2 of those reflectors from Amazon and have a couple of white sheets on the way for back and red wall cover, and white poly/satin for the base (for a touch of class, Laughing.gif). The sun is super bright when it doesnt rain here in FL summer, and my north facing window will reflect midday sun nicely... now from any of your experiences, will it help me at all to get a cheap strobe on TOP of that, (I can "try" with my old Sakar 22A auto-flash inserted into the hotshoe... I assume all flashes are close to 5000+K?) or is it supposed to be natural light only OR strobe? If the flash is close to daylight color, I cant see a downside in combining the 2 if needed.

    Thanks so much... I hope I am on the right track finally? :)
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 8, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    Ok thanks to some more research and your advice, I am in the home stretch, thank god... so much for the "research/learn 20% of your time and do 80%".... at this rate I'll be "doing" for the next 30 years to catch up! I do understand the eBay thing, I have been good about 90% there, but then again I have only bought stuff that are easy to rate and I know a lot about... body and glass, ya, I may leave to KEH etc....

    1) I am settled on the T2i... someone else suggested a 30D for better x-sync speed, PC port, and much better ergonomics (fewer button presses to make common changes)... I think I'll still go with the T2i for apparent better image quality, modern tech, video, external mic, better LCD screen, etc...

    2) I am tempted by the 85mm f/1.8, seems like it is almost $400, hmmm... is it really that much better than the 50mm f/1.8 for $100? No doubt I will upgrade later but just wanted a reality check. I understand no zoom might be "annoying" in either case, but I'll deal with that, esp since the distance will mostly stay the same and the 18MP on the T2i gives me a lot more "zoom" than I need for the web anyways. And I have no problem getting a Sigma or other off brand, but I cant find ANY for the 85mm f/1.8 !

    On KEH, I see a Konica 35mm - Fixed Focal Length Lenses 85 F1.8 HEXANON AR EE (55) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS TELEPHOTO LENS for $245, is that something I can use with the Canon?
    Or else it is $349-$364 for LN- or EX+, but from their descriptions it seems like LN- and above are the only ones that guarantee the glass is perfect/like new. For $15 extra that's a no brainer right.

    3) I ordered 2 of those reflectors from Amazon and have a couple of white sheets on the way for back and red wall cover, and white poly/satin for the base (for a touch of class, Laughing.gif). The sun is super bright when it doesnt rain here in FL summer, and my north facing window will reflect midday sun nicely... now from any of your experiences, will it help me at all to get a cheap strobe on TOP of that, (I can "try" with my old Sakar 22A auto-flash inserted into the hotshoe... I assume all flashes are close to 5000+K?) or is it supposed to be natural light only OR strobe? If the flash is close to daylight color, I cant see a downside in combining the 2 if needed.

    Thanks so much... I hope I am on the right track finally? :)

    1st. At KEH you Should be looking at this page first:

    http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-Digital/system-Canon-Digital?s=1&bc=40&bcode=DC&bco=491&

    Then Choose your poison. Fixed focal length, Non-mfg fixed focal length lenses, etc.
    It looks like you probably went to 35mm first and you can't do that with your camera which is a digital aps-C sensor size. When you go here you'll find the choices that fit your camera. For Adorama and B&H they have a filtering system that helps in finding a lens for your camera.

    Also this page from Canon has info about your lens choices: http://www.canont2i.com/canon-rebel-t2i-lenses/

    The difference you find in Lens or 'glass' prices tends to reflect the better overall quality of the lens. Sometimes it is simply better image quality other times it is better performance (think speed to focus lock) and much of the time it is both. If you'll take the time to peruse the 85mm offerings at Canon, you'll find they have a couple of 85mm lens offerings and the price difference is huge.

    Sigma make's a 85mm f1.4 lens : http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1331/cat/30
    that will fit onto your camera. And as you see it is about a grand. You're paying for glass. The actual glass in it is larger as is the overall lens to allow it to rate a 1.4 maximum aperture, or opening. It lets more light in. So yes, there is a reason the price is different in these lens choices.

    As far as any users experience in "will it help to add a strobe?" I will say shaping and controlling light is a job that does get better with practice. You cannot shape or control light you do not have. So having more light tends to trump not having enough: viz., you can always shut light's off provided you have them.

    I think the links & suggestions Ziggy provided answer the call for light & lighting too.

    Yes, Flash or strobe tens to be closest to natural light. So adding a strobe to natural light tends to work.
    tom wise
  • Manfr3dManfr3d Likes it bokehlicious! Posts: 2,008Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 8, 2012
    Am I the only one who admires Ziggy for being such a rich source of information?
    He is constantly pouring out the good stuff on so many different questions asked by
    those of us who seek for advice on this board. Great stuff really! thumb.gifthumbthumb.gif
    “To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”
    ― Edward Weston
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 9, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    Also this page from Canon has info about your lens choices: http://www.canont2i.com/canon-rebel-t2i-lenses/

    As far as any users experience in "will it help to add a strobe?" I will say shaping and controlling light is a job that does get better with practice. You cannot shape or control light you do not have. So having more light tends to trump not having enough: viz., you can always shut light's off provided you have them.

    Ya lotta lenses listed, only confuses me... so my thing now is, I was pretty set on getting the 50mm/1.8 for like $100 for my first lens, but the only problem is it might not cover the whole body gracefully from about 2m away in my small room, is that accurate? I cannot change the room so... max shoot distance is around 7-8 ft. Why will the standard 18-55mm not do? I heard that will be more "forgiving" in my situation, but maybe worse on bokeh and low light? I dont mind getting the 3rd party lenses, but I need to find one.

    Another thought was getting 2, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-VC) and Canon 85mm/1.8... I dunno, this is now giving me a headache. headscratch.gif

    Manfr3d wrote: »
    Am I the only one who admires Ziggy for being such a rich source of information?
    He is constantly pouring out the good stuff on so many different questions asked by
    those of us who seek for advice on this board. Great stuff really! thumb.gifthumbthumb.gif

    I think Tom and Zig have been unbelievably awesome... make me wanna give them like free golf or tennis lessons here in sunny FL or fix/optimize their computers or something, Laughing.gif...
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2012
    JMASTERJ wrote: »
    max shoot distance is around 7-8 ft. Why will the standard 18-55mm not do? I heard that will be more "forgiving" in my situation, but maybe worse on bokeh and low light? I dont mind getting the 3rd party lenses, but I need to find one.

    Another thought was getting 2, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (non-VC) and Canon 85mm/1.8... I dunno, this is now giving me a headache. headscratch.gif


    Yeah, I get the headache thing, I really do. But also realize While a bunch of data can be read in one day, you cannot possibly assimilate it all and go thru the trial and error that's necessary in one day. So take it a step at a time and enjoy the journey.

    You know your shoot distance and you're right the 50mm will be a bit long for Full body. So yes, look thru the reviews and choose the best lens you can afford in that range; 17-50, 18-55mm, etc. I have no idea about the 18-55mm, I do know the Tamaron is a fine lens.
    tom wise
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 10, 2012
    angevin1 wrote: »
    Yeah, I get the headache thing, I really do. But also realize While a bunch of data can be read in one day, you cannot possibly assimilate it all and go thru the trial and error that's necessary in one day. So take it a step at a time and enjoy the journey.

    You know your shoot distance and you're right the 50mm will be a bit long for Full body. So yes, look thru the reviews and choose the best lens you can afford in that range; 17-50, 18-55mm, etc. I have no idea about the 18-55mm, I do know the Tamaron is a fine lens.

    Thanks for understanding... Actually, I was gonna get the T2i body per my last post for $430 + about a $100+ lens, $550 total or so.... BUT a deal came up for the T3i:

    For $60 more, I would get (this new deal = $610):

    - T2i to T3i "upgrade"
    - 18-55mm IS II Lens+ (is this glass ok for me? THIS is the biggest question) (~$120)

    So basically comes out to a "free upgrade," unless the glass sucks for me... The remote flash would be useful if I need to add a strobe or two, and the flip out screen is just nice for video and off angle shooting, etc... too bad they couldnt increase the continuous shooting speed, oh well.

    now the advantages of the Canon T2i, not real deal breakers but...

    Much less startup delay 400 ms vs 1500 ms
    Smaller 129x98x62 mm vs 133x99x79 mm
    Thinner 2.4" vs 3.1"
    Lighter 530 g vs 570 g
    Slightly better image quality 66.0 vs 65.0
    Less shutter lag 252 ms vs 283 ms
    Slightly larger viewfinder 0.54x vs 0.53x

    So the verdict is..............?
    (I am assuming u (and others) will say the included lens in the T3i will be the make or break point... I just have no idea because I dont need a great lens right now, something that will get the job done, better than my P&S)

    Thanks as always!
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 10, 2012
    I am not familiar with a Sakar 22-A auto flash, but unless you know it's trigger voltage is safe on a digital camera hot shoe ( say less than 6 volts ), I would be careful as some ( most actually )older electronic flashes potentially can destroy the electronic internals of modern DSLRs like the Canon T2i if connected via the hot shoes without a voltage limiting device between them.

    There is a table here - http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    More info on safe triggering here [url]http://www.shutterbug.com/content/using-older-electronic-flash-digital-cameras-what-works—what-doesn’t[/url]

    The Canon EOS 85mm f1.8 is a great lens, but you may find too long on a crop body camera in a small room for full body shots. The 50mm f1.8 may be a better focal length, altho it is not nearly as finely fabricated as the 85 f1.8. The 50mm f1.8 is fairly good optically, but is inexpensively made ( it is called the plastic fantastic ), and has some plastic optical elements. The 85 f1.8 is much more robustly made, and is sharper to boot.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • JMASTERJJMASTERJ Big grins Posts: 39Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 10, 2012
    pathfinder wrote: »
    I am not familiar with a Sakar 22-A auto flash, but unless you know it's trigger voltage is safe on a digital camera hot shoe ( say less than 6 volts ), I would be careful as some ( most actually )older electronic flashes potentially can destroy the electronic internals of modern DSLRs like the Canon T2i if connected via the hot shoes without a voltage limiting device between them.

    There is a table here - http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    More info on safe triggering here [url]http://www.shutterbug.com/content/using-older-electronic-flash-digital-cameras-what-works—what-doesn’t[/url]

    The Canon EOS 85mm f1.8 is a great lens, but you may find too long on a crop body camera in a small room for full body shots. The 50mm f1.8 may be a better focal length, altho it is not nearly as finely fabricated as the 85 f1.8. The 50mm f1.8 is fairly good optically, but is inexpensively made ( it is called the plastic fantastic ), and has some plastic optical elements. The 85 f1.8 is much more robustly made, and is sharper to boot.

    I think the 85mm is just a bit too much $$$ for me now, without even giving the 18-55 a fighting chance (since thats what the deal comes with), and the 50mm I was considering until a couple of people I know shot that down bec of my limited quarters and the way it produces "unflattering" shots for the female for such intimate purposes.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,119Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 11, 2012
    Manfr3d wrote: »
    Am I the only one who admires Ziggy for being such a rich source of information?
    He is constantly pouring out the good stuff on so many different questions asked by
    those of us who seek for advice on this board. Great stuff really! thumb.gifthumbthumb.gif

    Thanks for the compliment.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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