Can anyone tell me which lighting products would bring better results for portraits and group shots... constant(flood), flash(hotshoe products, electronic flashes). What about reflective(umbrello). I want to get into portraits, in an at home studio as well as on location. I have a Nikon D50 with the 18-55 kit lens and a Quantary 70-300. Would I need a wider lens that the 18-55 for group shots? Any info would help. Thanks.
I find that my 28-108mm (equivalent) lens covers everything from groups to heads.
In an ideal situation, you will want to use three lights for a portrait. Your main, fill and backlight or rim light. You can also get away with using a main light and a white foam core reflector to fill in the opposite side.
I recommend using flash, whether studio strobes, or on camera type flashes like the Nikon SB series. Hot lights won't work because of the longer exposure necessary to capture the image. And if you were to use a shorter exposure, it would mean that the lights were close to the subject and too hot.
For group portraits, use two lights bounced into white umbrellas raised up high enough so that the shadows behind the people aren't objectionable.
Thanks for the input, I think I'll look around for a strobe, with the umbrello reflector. Wouldn't this be more flexible than the SB series?
You can get a two light set up from Alien Bees or you can use SB type flashes on a light stand with umbrellas using the Bogen swivel umbrella adapter.
How do strobe lights work with the shutter on the Nikon D50? Does it flash from the camera flash? Or does the strobe plug into the camera body? I'm not sure how the D50 would connect to any cable.
You can connect the SB strobes through the SC-17 or SC-28 TTL cords. Regular strobes can be connected through the AS-15 adapter which makes the hot shoe into a regular sync socket.
Thanks alot. I think I'll shop around for the strobe lights, instead of the SB series.
Be careful of the trigger voltage. I recommend the Alien Bees from a previous post. And also look into using either a wireless trigger system or the Wein safe sync.
Just when I think I'm getting a handle on thinks, something else comes along... Thanks for bringing this up, I had no idea there was any danger with voltage coming thru the D50 hotshoe. Does the Wein Safe Sync work with the Nikon AS-15? Or does it take the place of? Also, do the strobe units hook up with cords in series or does the AS-15 have more than one input?
Can anyone tell me how the sunpak 40x compares to the Nikon SB600? I know it is not as powerful, but it is about $50 less. Is it worth the savings?