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Thread: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

  1. #1

    Default Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Hi,

    I'm trying to take some portrait shots using strobe but I find it almost impossible to get a shallow depth of field. My D2X can sync at 1/320s so aperture is about F8~F/11

    I've tried attaching a cir-PL but that only brings down 2 stops. The strobe is already at low power setting and if I move it further away I can't get the shadow and background exposure that I want.

    I don't want to use a continuous light as it will literally melt my model

    So..... any advice?

    TIA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by chisiang View Post
    Hi,

    I'm trying to take some portrait shots using strobe but I find it almost impossible to get a shallow depth of field. My D2X can sync at 1/320s so aperture is about F8~F/11

    I've tried attaching a cir-PL but that only brings down 2 stops. The strobe is already at low power setting and if I move it further away I can't get the shadow and background exposure that I want.

    I don't want to use a continuous light as it will literally melt my model

    So..... any advice?

    TIA
    Use ND gels on the strobes or ND8x on the lens? ISO already at 100?

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    add ND filter to the flash.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    may i ask what strobe ur using?
    Quote Originally Posted by chisiang View Post
    Hi,

    I'm trying to take some portrait shots using strobe but I find it almost impossible to get a shallow depth of field. My D2X can sync at 1/320s so aperture is about F8~F/11

    I've tried attaching a cir-PL but that only brings down 2 stops. The strobe is already at low power setting and if I move it further away I can't get the shadow and background exposure that I want.

    I don't want to use a continuous light as it will literally melt my model

    So..... any advice?

    TIA

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    thanks guys! Was thinking along that direction but $$$$

    indaybadiday: I'm using Elinchrom 500

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    put many layers of cloth infront of strobe to reduce it?

    my 2 cents worth

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    put many layers of cloth infront of strobe to reduce it?

    my 2 cents worth
    this, will cut down and diffuse the light at the same time, so which also alter the quality of light. Not a option which TS will want it.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    think ND filter on lens will be the safest bet already.
    random equipment.
    where are my primes?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by chisiang View Post
    thanks guys! Was thinking along that direction but $$$$

    indaybadiday: I'm using Elinchrom 500
    use a longer lense.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    this, will cut down and diffuse the light at the same time, so which also alter the quality of light. Not a option which TS will want it.
    bro,
    care to enlightened me how more layers will reduce the quality of light? my tot is more layers more diffuse, more soft the light. TS want strong lighting?

    what is quality of light?

  11. #11
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    bro,
    care to enlightened me how more layers will reduce the quality of light? my tot is more layers more diffuse, more soft the light. TS want strong lighting?

    what is quality of light?
    the quality of light will change and that might not be what the TS is looking for

    change as in more diffused

  12. #12

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    moreover, cloth will also alter the color temperature of the light

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    yes, TS want the shadow to be that way, if add diffuser, the shadow will be changed also.

    using longer lens is also not a option, it may not able see the background as TS wanted to be in that way.

    So either use ND filter on lens, or

    ND gel on Elinchrom, or

    get a less powerful Elinchrom.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  14. #14

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    yes, TS want the shadow to be that way, if add diffuser, the shadow will be changed also.

    using longer lens is also not a option, it may not able see the background as TS wanted to be in that way.

    So either use ND filter on lens, or

    ND gel on Elinchrom, or

    get a less powerful Elinchrom.
    tot he wants shallow dof

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by indaybadiday View Post
    tot he wants shallow dof
    longer lens will compress the background, so may not see much of the background he wanted.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  16. #16

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Thanks for putting your brain to hard work for my problems guys! that's why I like this place.

    I've decided to try the 8x ND filter.

    As for the additional cloth covering the lights, I've tried that at first. The result is a more illuminated background with very soft shadow edge. I wanted a more contrast shadow and at the same time shallow DOF.

    I've considered using a 300mm lens but I had to stand almost 15 meters away and due to space constraint back to square one.

    Nonetheless, all of you are correct and the approaches are sound. It's my error for not putting a more complete picture.

    Now the hard part is about to start... the actual shoot

    Kudos!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by chisiang View Post
    Thanks for putting your brain to hard work for my problems guys! that's why I like this place.

    I've decided to try the 8x ND filter.

    As for the additional cloth covering the lights, I've tried that at first. The result is a more illuminated background with very soft shadow edge. I wanted a more contrast shadow and at the same time shallow DOF.

    I've considered using a 300mm lens but I had to stand almost 15 meters away and due to space constraint back to square one.

    Nonetheless, all of you are correct and the approaches are sound. It's my error for not putting a more complete picture.

    Now the hard part is about to start... the actual shoot

    Kudos!
    surely can count on CSer particularly catchlights.

    catchlights: UPssssss!
    others too

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    I managed to shoot at F1.4 before using strobes. You'll need max ND on your lens, and also ND on your lights.
    If you understand my works, it's photography. If you don't, it's art.
    SplutterPhotography|flickr

  19. #19

    Default Re: Shallow DOF with Strobe - Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by Splutter View Post
    I managed to shoot at F1.4 before using strobes. You'll need max ND on your lens, and also ND on your lights.
    I never thought I would ever need ND filters until I started shooting with studio strobes..

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