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Thread: Akira Studio lights (or alternatives)

  1. #1

    Default Akira Studio lights (or alternatives)

    So anybody bought the akira studio lights then?? How is it?? Usability at F8 for portraiture??

    Besides elinchrom (from cathay photo) and bowens (from ruby photo), do we have other cheaper alternatives for flashes in Singapore??
    Let say for something similar to the elinchrom kit (2 * 500W lights + accessories) for about $1k? Is it possible??

  2. #2

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    It may be possible, but make sure you know what you're getting into.
    You want a set of lights that have consistent power output, consistent colour temp, and the versatility with variable power.

    Cheapo stuff with 1/4, 1/2 and full power settings only will be troublesome to use.

  3. #3
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    me have the cheapo akira studio lights... cos it have 1/1 1/2 til 1/8 i think... den i only used with my light tent now, i not into portraits yet. so dunno anything about it...
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  4. #4

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    hmmmm so if you shine 2 lights at full power into the light tent, shoot at 1/80.. what aperature do you need to use? F16? F11?

    without causing highlight burnouts of cause

  5. #5

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    Hi to those using Akira lights. I had been eyeing the lights for quite some time now... could you tell me whether its good or not for personal usage? What is the watts and how much? Where can I get one? Really interested to get one.
    Saiful Bahar - "I don't care what equipment you use... but what you produce"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lytefunk
    hmmmm so if you shine 2 lights at full power into the light tent, shoot at 1/80.. what aperature do you need to use? F16? F11?

    without causing highlight burnouts of cause
    normally in a studio situation, shutterspeed is more or less irrelevant, as long as u stay within x-sync.

    F-stop? get a flash meter or a grey card.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lytefunk
    So anybody bought the akira studio lights then?? How is it?? Usability at F8 for portraiture??

    Besides elinchrom (from cathay photo) and bowens (from ruby photo), do we have other cheaper alternatives for flashes in Singapore??
    Let say for something similar to the elinchrom kit (2 * 500W lights + accessories) for about $1k? Is it possible??

    Try ELECTRA (made in thailand i guess) my friend using it (and its reliable) for studio shooting they have 300watts (ask Mr. Ho at ruby photo) its cheap!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by headlesschook
    normally in a studio situation, shutterspeed is more or less irrelevant, as long as u stay within x-sync.

    F-stop? get a flash meter or a grey card.
    what I'm saying is, how powerful is the light? what is the meter reading you will get if you use 2 lights at full power through a diffuser/light box/light tent

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tolitz
    Try ELECTRA (made in thailand i guess) my friend using it (and its reliable) for studio shooting they have 300watts (ask Mr. Ho at ruby photo) its cheap!!
    how about Yaode?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonski
    how about Yaode?

    yaode ka dyan!!!!! this light is not available in singapore, try batam
    and its made in china comes in 800watts and 600watts : cons accessories not available also in singapore(ie..reflector, softbox, ) all must be imported from indonesia.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt
    me have the cheapo akira studio lights... cos it have 1/1 1/2 til 1/8 i think... den i only used with my light tent now, i not into portraits yet. so dunno anything about it...
    I Like your operating table, Nice

    Is that the Akira at work?

    Maybe can show a pic of the doctor at work as well

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lytefunk
    what I'm saying is, how powerful is the light? what is the meter reading you will get if you use 2 lights at full power through a diffuser/light box/light tent
    That's going to depend a lot on where and how far back you place the lights, how big your light tent is, how much light is diffused etc.

    What you're asking is almost like asking me to be a light meter over the internet.

    basically, with a light tent, even 2 standard flash units (eg 550ex) will be enuff to light up the tent for a f8 shoot.

  13. #13
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    i am using manual mode normally, if u check my thread in sony, i think i found the 'miracle'... i will try to shoot something when i am free with all the various F?? & shutter speed and post here...
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    If you are using digital, most set-ups do not require so much power x2 250w heads will be enough. Ruby sells flash-"bulbs" for about $70+ each.... I used these before I got my strobes. If you are shooting medium and larger format, more power is useful i.e. 500, 1000w ++. Remember bigger strobes are also more heavy.

    If you are just learning...its easier, and cheaper , to learn with "hot" lights as they are continuous source lights. The porcelain holder is about $50 from Cathay, and the bulbs maybe $30-40 (or less?)@. You need only one pair. These are usually colour corrected ... and unlike strobes (even w/ modelling lights), you can better see where shadows fall. Good way to learn. Downside is they're less powerful .... so you may need a tripod for longer exposures. And obviously, they're hot. If shooting people, shoot quickly. If shooting fruit/food/flowers ... shoot quickly.

    But with these hot lights, you will need either a pair of lightstands or cheap tripods to clamp the lights to. Cheap lightstands start about $50+ each.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by headlesschook
    That's going to depend a lot on where and how far back you place the lights, how big your light tent is, how much light is diffused etc.

    What you're asking is almost like asking me to be a light meter over the internet.

    basically, with a light tent, even 2 standard flash units (eg 550ex) will be enuff to light up the tent for a f8 shoot.
    no lah.. I'm not asking u. I'm asking people who already own the set.

    Its a 120Ws light, rated at GN 32m

    so theoratically, it will work "ok" at F8, 4m.. provided no difussers..

    So what I'm asking is, does the set work well at F8,
    for 1/60s or 1/80s shutter
    with the provided softbox (first choice) or umbrella or the light tent,
    with 2 lights at 90 degree to each other,
    45 degree to the camera,
    3m away from the subject,
    slightly above the subject
    no ambient light
    (what else do you want to know?????)

    does it work well at F11? or F16? (hrm.. thats pushing it..)

    any comments from people with the akira set?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltzar
    If you are using digital, most set-ups do not require so much power x2 250w heads will be enough. Ruby sells flash-"bulbs" for about $70+ each.... I used these before I got my strobes. If you are shooting medium and larger format, more power is useful i.e. 500, 1000w ++. Remember bigger strobes are also more heavy.

    If you are just learning...its easier, and cheaper , to learn with "hot" lights as they are continuous source lights. The porcelain holder is about $50 from Cathay, and the bulbs maybe $30-40 (or less?)@. You need only one pair. These are usually colour corrected ... and unlike strobes (even w/ modelling lights), you can better see where shadows fall. Good way to learn. Downside is they're less powerful .... so you may need a tripod for longer exposures. And obviously, they're hot. If shooting people, shoot quickly. If shooting fruit/food/flowers ... shoot quickly.

    But with these hot lights, you will need either a pair of lightstands or cheap tripods to clamp the lights to. Cheap lightstands start about $50+ each.
    How come with digital you don't need so much power? A more detailed explanation would be great!

    Hmmm and I would like to know more about this flash bulb thing.. What about it? Why do they cost so much lesser? Whats the cons?

    I take it hotlights, lightstands, etc can be found at ruby?


    Earlier, someone was mentioning electra.. any idea how much does 300W lights cost? or is there a kit?

  17. #17
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    The light "bulbs" are equiv. to about GN30+ if I recall. They're great for fill-lighting a room (since they come with sensors) but hard to control otherwise. You can see them at Ruby. You may be better off buying a pair of old Metz 60CT1 and slaving them, maybe in conjunction with a bounce or some form of softbox. But this solution is good only for macro or small working distances (about 3-5m max?). Although eons ago I shot a whole set of wedding photos on medium format at a friend's place... and the photos were very nice, it was an extremely inelegant, imprecise and cumbersome solution.

    Digital ... for a start, because of the post-view function... you can use your lights more precisely...! But the real reason is that digital medium is more sensitive i.e. more tolerant of underexposure (correct in photoshop) whereas to err w/film it is always better to overexpose (need more power). And, you can always up the ISO ! You can talk to the folks at Ruby... they were telling me that people were buying smaller strobes these days and the big strobes (as well as the batt packs) were no longer popular.

    re: hot-lights... you can check w/ Cathay. Ruby did not have them at that time.. maybe just the bulbs.

    re: 120ws ... if only GN32 (is this correct?), you're better off even with a pair of Metz 45CL4 or get a pair of the old Nissin GN50 hammerhead flashes. At least those are rated GN50. The one advantage of strobes really is the bigger flash-element....
    the bigger the element, the more pleasing the diffusion of light. Thats one reason traditional wedding photogs like the hammerhead Metz60CT series even if the fanciest Nikon SB flashes cost about the same.

    The reason to use strobes is the ability to "form" the light. At 120ws , by the time you put it through a soft-box (lose about 2stops?) ... I don't think it's of much more use than for macro / table-top photography... as in this case the subject is much smaller than the light source i.e. box.

    Even at 250ws I think you'd be shooting at about f4 or f5.6 at 100ISO. Personelly, I think 500ws is the best balance b/n weight/size , power adequacy for both 35mm film and digital (and medium format) at about 100ISO ... with some power left to use things like softboxes etc. 1000ws lights are big, heavy ... so buy one that comes with a personal assistant!

    When buying strobes, like buying a camera system, consider the availability of accesories that fit i.e. barndoors, honeycombs, softboxes etc. etc.
    Thats the reason why I went with bowens.

    Or see if you can find a set of used strobes... sometimes for about $1.5k you can get a pair of strobes with some accesories, stands etc. Strobes usually depreciate quite steeply.

    Just my $0.02.

    p/s hotlights are naturally more diffused.... like shooting with a tungsten bulb. You can find examples on the web.
    Last edited by Keltzar; 1st July 2004 at 05:28 PM.

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    i think the bulb is the cold florescence kinda blub rite, those are white by nature.

    btw these hot lights are really hot, got scalded when i tried to remove the snoot after i find it useless there... the snoot was hot!!!

    den i off the lights, and switched to just flash. anyway i only played with them twice. so have yet to master... the recharge is fast even with 1/1, about 1 to 2 sec. i've yet to test other lights, but compared to my normal flash, its really fast.
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    no, the bulbs are flash bulbs that fit into a regular 220v socket... And they are literally bulbs.... you have the option of 180deg or 270 deg coverage, or 45deg spot. Fun lah, but just that.

    yes, hot lights are HOT. So treat them carefully. Even strobes can be hot in some parts sometimes ... you also have to be careful (an example is the metal adapter area of the softbox on some strobes).

    But yeah, sometimes when you consider that you can get a pair of 500ws strobes with accesories for $2.5k new ... and you consider that a tiny canon 550EX is about $700 .... consider that the 500ws lights have what.... 10x more combined power (ok, my maths not so good)?

    so it really depends on your application.

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    Keltzar, your info is really good, but i am not really sure about the GN part, anywhere to read up on that part? how does watt equate with the GN? den having higher watt with higher GN is better? GN is used for wat?

    thanks alot...
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