indoor lighting question

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Fish, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. Fish

    Fish Guest

    I have been working on doing indoor portrait-taking with my Nikon N70 for
    some time now. I've been using a single, 250 watt incandescent light
    source with a blue filter on my lens. My problem is:

    Usually when I use 400 speed film (or slower), it seems like I need a LOT
    of light to get the right picture. Normal indoor lighting, even with the
    lens wide open, just doesn't cut it; the camera needs almost a second to
    take a good picture. The camera has a fill flash, but that lessen the
    picture quality. What I want is more light hitting the film so I have
    more options for shots (and my model doesn't have to sit so incredibly
    still for half a second).

    So, out of my options, what're the good ones?

    -I could use faster film, but that would lessen the picture quality (I'd
    really like to be shooting with SLOWER film, not faster).

    -Is buying a new lens an option? I'm using a multi-purpose Nikon lens
    that only opens to 2.8 (or something close...I'm working off of memory)

    - Obviously I could buy more lighting, but that doesn't really help me
    with candid shots. Also, if I bought lighting for studio work, what are
    my options? If I can't afford a lot? I'm not well-aquianted with
    lighting equipment.

    - Any other suggestions?

    Fish, Jul 15, 2003
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  2. Fish

    Brian Guest

    Right away you have several problem, the Light source, is tungsten,
    therefore to get the correct colour, you need to use your blue filter,
    adding a filter to a lens drops it by at least 1 stop, using the blue filter
    and a fill in flash just messes things up even more.
    You can't take proper portraits using houshold light and daylight balanced
    film, its just impossible, at the very least you should be using tungsten
    balanced film, this would allow you to lose the blue filter, but this
    wouldn't allow faster shutter speeds as most of these films are very slow.
    Fujichrome 64T, 64 ISO, tungsten balanced for instance.
    You need to get a home studio kit, Jessops sell the portaflash 2 kit for
    about £280, its enough to get you started and its an "add on" system, which
    means you can buy more bits for it as you go.
    There are plenty more studio kits out there, but its all down to price, run
    a search for them on the net.
    But if your that interested in doing portraits, you should take a class, its
    the best way to learn, and they will have all the studio kit, and darkroom
    parafinalia you will ever need.
    I think the most comprehensive range of kits I've seen are at :-

    Hope this helps
    Brian, Jul 15, 2003
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  3. Fish

    Jon Pike Guest

    Not a good option for portrait, especially using 35mm.
    An option, yes, but a very expensive ones. 2.8 is fairly 'fast' as is.
    You can do a lot with a little bit of money. Go to a hardware store and
    check out prices of flood lamps, par lamps, etc.
    If you're going to be lighting the snot out of your subjects, without
    using a flash, at least be nice enough to them to use a reflector. You'll
    blind your subjects otherwise.
    Jon Pike, Jul 15, 2003
  4. Fish

    rufref Guest


    Try using a 500 watt blue bulb set at about 45 degrees, a 250 watt fill
    light and a reflector. That might do the trick. The bulbs are not
    expensive....from your address looks like you are at U of Michigan so there
    should be a good camera supply store around you, or anywhere in the US. Or
    you can get them online at Penn Camera or B&H but you will pay for shipping
    and bulbs break. Local store is best. You can use a white board for the
    reflector. And the key is INEXPENSIVE, plus don't get caught up in the
    medium format vs. 35mm stuff you read here...use your Nikon and love it.
    rufref, Jul 16, 2003
  5. Fish

    Frederick Guest


    Taking into consideration your low funds, I think I can help. Try
    going to a camera store and taking a look at their used equipment. Buy
    yourself a used light stand. You can also look in the paper for people
    selling photographic supplies. Also you will need a sync cord (or
    slave units) a mounting bracket and an umbrella. For indoor shoots I
    do I just use a standard Vivitar 283 flash unit bounced off an
    umbrella. I get enough light for a good portrait, and when I use a
    piece of white foam core board as a fill I get no shadows.

    You don't NEED to buy $500.00 studio strobes if you are doing simple
    indoor portraits. Plus if you use a hot-shoe mountable flash that will
    also give you a portable flash unit to use other places. That way you
    have twice as much use out of the one light source. If you want to
    know more, feel free to e-mail me and I can get you a photograph of my
    set up so you can see.

    Frederick, Jul 16, 2003
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