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Photography Question 
Carrie Zohn
 

Instructions For Lighting Assembly


I recently purchased the following:
Interfit Background Support System
Impact 125oW 3-Light Mini Boom Kit w/Case
Interfit/Paterson Stellar Tungsten Soft Box Kit INT106
None of these came with instructions on assembly. I did find the background kit instructions and got that together. However, I can't find instructions to assemble the light kits. Does anyone have any help they could offer??
Thanks much.


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12/2/2006 11:16:51 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Tell me more about what is in the kit. I'll see what I can do to help, if it is not too late. Regardless, good luck with the shoot! John Siskin


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12/2/2006 1:32:19 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  B&H will be open again this evening and tomorrow. Call their customer service number at 212-444-6600 talk to the lighting department and they should be able to fax you the instruction sheet you need if John can't help you out. Be prepared to give them the order number if you need to call them.
Take it light.
Mark


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12/2/2006 3:07:29 PM

 
Carrie Zohn   I'll try to call when I get back from my shoot this morning. Hopefully SOMEONE can help me because I'm getting to the point of being panic stricken!

Here's what I purchased:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=298604&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=386809&is=REG&addedTroughType=search


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12/3/2006 5:31:49 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Carrie,
I had a chance to take a look at the kit and have a few suggestions. I am assuming that you are shooting people; if you are shooting a car, you are in big trouble. Set up the camera on a tripod. Position it in the relationship you want to the subject/subjects. Take one light, with an umbrella, and place it just behind the camera and above the camera - think of this angle as 90º to the plane of the subject. Take the other light with the umbrella and place it at 45º to the subject - you can use the right or left side, whatever works. If you think of the subject as being in the center of a circle then the sides of the subject, if extended would cut the circle in half. The first light is on the centerline of this half circle, and the second light is in the center of one of the quarter circles. This should get you light that is reasonably smooth, but allows for some structure on the face. Keep it simple do not use the boom. Your lights should be no more than 8 feet from the subject, less would be better. The lights should be the same distance from the subject, at two different angles. You can use your camera meter.
Your real problem is with color. These lights are tungsten balanced. You can use one of the preset balances on your camera for color, which will work. If you allow either daylight or fluorescent light into this shot you are going to be in color hell. Digital cameras can balance for only one color of light, if you have two colors (daylight and tungsten) the tungsten will appear sort of orange and the daylight will appear bluish. Not good. So cover that window with a quilt.
These are inexpensive lights. You will have difficulties working with them because of heat and light mixing. You will need a tripod because your exposures will be longer, and you may still have problems with noise. You may want to check out http://www.smithvictor.com/reference/index.asp. Smith-Victor makes a lot of lights like yours, they have some information that will help!
Good luck!


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12/3/2006 11:00:34 AM

 
Carrie Zohn   Yes, these are for shooting people. ;) I called B&H and they haven't been very helpful thus far but I'm going to call back in hopes that I can speak with someone who might be a little nicer. These were purchased primarily to do "prom" photos that will have mostly 2-4 people in the shot. They'll be shot in a "locker room" with no windows and we CAN turn the flourescent lights OFF if that will help.


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12/4/2006 9:32:47 AM

 
Carrie Zohn   Ok, I've called B&H at least three times and spoken with THREE different people who have been not only of NO help but have been rude on top of it. They say that there are NO instructions on how to assemble the lights. WHAT!?? Seriously? There are no instructions Anywhere? I found instructions for the softbox but I'm not following them at all. Perhaps I should have taken a class but this "photo stint" fell into my lap out of nowhere to be honest and they're depending on me. ANY help at ALL would be unbelievably appreciated!! Thank you.


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12/4/2006 9:40:41 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Carrie,
I am not all that surprised that B&H does not want to teach lighting and does not have instructions for the lights. If you went to a good art supply store you would not get instructions with the brushes. Lighting is the most complex part of photography. Each light has variables including the size of the light source, the distance from the light to the subject, the direction of the light relative to the subject and the color of the light. You generally need to use several lights so that multiplies the number of variables. There are no absolute rules; the subtle differences in these variables are how a photographer defines their lighting style.

You have purchased lights that are basically only good for learning about light; not for professional usage. I would not have mentioned this originally because I thought you were doing personal work, and these lights are useful to learn with. To shoot professionally you need strobes, preferably good ones, Norman, Calumet, Speedotron and many more manufacturers. The strobes make the situation less difficult for you and for your clients. Brighter light for you, so you won’t need to use a tripod. Your clients do not need to worry about keeping still and do not overheat. The room light can be normal, which is good for you and your clients. The strobes also give you better files, with less noise. This makes it possible to sell bigger enlargements, more profit!

I have written several articles on lighting the article on lighting with one light source might be useful to you, http://www.siskinphoto.com/magazine3a.html. There are some lighting articles here at BetterPhoto as well. I would suggest that you spend some time practicing with your tools. The lights you have are good for learning to understand light, since you can see what you are doing.

You can use the light set-up I mentioned in my last posting, it will work. You do need to cut out the fluorescent lights in order to keep good color. The problem is that, with the umbrellas, you exposure will be about f4 at 1/20th of a second at an ISO of 200. Not a lot of depth-of-field, and hard to hand hold. If you want to be able to provide professional results you will probably need more light. If you use continuous lights the heat will be a big factor, a big reason to use strobes.

Good luck!
John Siskin


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12/4/2006 12:42:49 PM

 
Carrie Zohn   Is there a strobe maybe that I can purchase to go along with the lights that I have? I can cut the flourescent and the largest photo that I'll be offering at this particular function will be an 8x10. I tend to shoot in .jpg, not raw primarily because of this. I understand that there are factors but I really just need a basic idea of how to ASSEMBLE the lights - not necessarily how to use them but rather, how to at least put them together. I definitely will be looking at your articles for placement, etc. Fortunately I'll be going over to the school on Monday or Tuesday of next week to set up and do some test shots to see how well things will work out. I also plan on doing post-processing if necessary. Again, this is my first real "gig" and I had NEVER planned on actually looking to do anything like this so quickly so this is really new to me.

Thank you so much for all your help. Additionally, should I use the flash on my camera along with all the other lighting? (speedlite 220EX with my Digital Rebel XTi, 24-105mm is lens).


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12/4/2006 1:01:57 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  go here and star reading.. its a flash site so if you got hotlights it might not help but it might give ideas...

http://strobist..com/2006/03/lighting-101.html


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12/4/2006 1:48:05 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  I think I have been misreading your question. I think what you are asking is “how do I put the lights onto the light stands?” You should have a bunch of hardware including several (2 for each light) parts that are shaped a little like a question mark. These are the key to mounting these lights. Two of them go around the base of the plastic thing that holds the bulb, encircling it. Then a screw goes through the hole nearest the light and a wing nut goes on the other side of that. Now there will be two holes left, about a 1/4 inch in diameter. Now you have a thing that looks like a marble attached to a metal sleeve. The marble goes between the 1/4 inch holes. Tighten this down and put the sleeve over the end of the light stand. You are entitled to swear at whomever designed this connector.

You can use strobes and hot lights (the not so technical name for what you have) together, but you have to make the color match. The strobes are about 5000ºK and the hot lights are only 3200ºK, that makes the hot lights warmer. None of this makes sense by the way. What you would do to make this match is put a Full Orange Gel over the strobe, then the color will match, or at least be close. You can get the gel from B&H or any other pro store. By the way you may want to give Calumet a try, they usually have more time for people.

I would suggest you get a strobe with at least 600 watt-seconds, real watt-seconds. Alien Bee makes a reasonably priced one. B&H carries a strobe from Patterson that is pretty inexpensive and looks ok, but I haven’t seen it for real. More nonsensical crap. Anyway the link to the Patterson light is: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=1225&A=details&Q=&sku=386688&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation.
Good Luck!
John Siskin


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12/4/2006 2:53:46 PM

 
Carrie Zohn   I just wanted to thank you all with the help regarding the assembly of my lights. I feel like a pro now. I shot my first "prom" session last night and everything went very well. Thank you again for all your help.


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12/17/2006 8:47:45 AM

 
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