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Pro Line 180


Tyr

Link Posted 05/06/2011 - 10:34
I am looking to augment my set-up with some new portable studio lights.

I am looking for something that is not too powerful so I can get a shallow DoF and control light output.

The Pro Line 180s have a GN of 35 and go down to 1/32. They also have a fairly wide range of accessories and come with a roller case.

Anyone got any experience with them?
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/

gartmore

Link Posted 05/06/2011 - 13:56
I dont know where they get the claim of a GN of 35. Generally studio lamps are not quoted with guide mumbers since the output is affected by the type of reflector or other modifier used. However a 180 watt/second head with a softbox in a general portrait situation will give you about f5.6 on full power.

Park Cameras ad for them says they only go down to 1/8 rather than 1/32 which seems more credible. You might do better looking at a second hand Bowens unit like the Gemini 200 or Calumet's own brand 350B. My thinking is that there is a wider range of Bowens mount or Calumet/Elinchrom mount modifiers available.

I picked up a discontinued Gemini 200 recently from Bowens Direct for £161, you would need to add about £45 for a wide angle brolly reflector and stands don't cost the earth. I'm confident that my Bowens kit will outlast me.

One thing I have noticed with budget heads is that colour temperature drifts on a long shoot, getting warmer all the time and the 50W modelling lamp is about as much use as a spent match. Bowens are 250W IIRC.

Bowens Special Deals You need to keep checking since it changes regularly

typical Bowens bargain on eBay
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Don

Link Posted 05/06/2011 - 15:28
Tyr wrote:
I am looking to augment my set-up with some new portable studio lights.

I am looking for something that is not too powerful so I can get a shallow DoF and control light output.

The Pro Line 180s have a GN of 35 and go down to 1/32. They also have a fairly wide range of accessories and come with a roller case.

Anyone got any experience with them?

nope... my advice when buying "Studio" lights is to simply look at ruggedness first, accessories second, then look at the nice extra features.

I like Elinchrom your taste may be different... ultra low output is not really a selling point for me... recycle time and color consistancy are. I'd slap an nd filter on or pull out the Pentax 360's if I wanted to work with wide open apertures... also if using softboxes or other diffusers you can use baffles or scrims or nd gels to lower output.

Think of studio lights like this... it is easy to lower the output when you want to, but can you increase thier output when you need to?

You want portable, buy battery powered portable flashes. You want Studio, buy trusted name branded tanks with at least one 500 ws or better...

Cheap, low powered studio strobes are too compromised, Like buyin an Al Camino car, all the passenger carrying capacity of a small truck, all the cargo capacity of a car, the worst of both worlds.


Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

gartmore

Link Posted 05/06/2011 - 17:36
Brilliantly perceptive!
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Tyr

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 10:50
Thanks for the advice, I'll be going back to think for a bit.

I already have some Metz 58s for portable away from power situations with various gels, diffusers, umbrellas, reflectors, etc.

I was looking at the Pro Line ones as the parts are user replaceable, fairly light and not too expensive. I really wish I could go somewhere and have a go with a variety of lights to decide but that is a bit difficult.

I didn't know how good a 50W modelling light would be, really only need it to aid focusing on top of ambient lighting. Considering I'll have 2-4 lights at a time that is 100-200W of modelling lights.

I had not really considered battery powered lights as I didn't think they'd last that long.

I will consider more powerful lights as well, some of the Bowens or Lastolite ones look good but a fair bit more expensive.

It is very difficult to test colour consistency without actually having the lights for a fair while. Tough decision to make.
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/

bretti_kivi

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 11:16
tungsten? with a K5?

I set mine up at the weekend again for a couple of shots and TBH, I agree with the comment with regards to the 100W modelling lights - they're as much use as a match.

I would also consider 200Ws as a minimum and 400Ws as a decent starting point.

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

Tyr

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 12:47
That is good to know. I have had a look at some reviews and the Elinchrom ones seem to be the best. I guess it is better to save up and get something good than buy something that needs replacing soon after.

I need something that will keep going for 8 hours or longer.
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/

bretti_kivi

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 12:52
Elinchrom has more expensive accessories than Bowens. Bear that in mind.

Having said that, the it packs contain an eco skyport. So you don't have to buy that....

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

gartmore

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 14:19
Tyr, your thinking with the combined output of the modeling lamps isn't quite right. To see what your lights are doing you set the levels of the modelling lamps to the same output as the strobe so a 50W lamp at, lets say, 1/8th power is only 6W!

That's why you need the most powerful ones you can get.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Tyr

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 17:12
Yes, with most lights I have looked at the modelling light is also variable. On the Proline heads there is only on and off, no preview, no balancing, very basic. I guess it helps keep costs down and you can always chimp the image during setup. Recycle time is quite poor at 3s on full power but I guess that isn't too different to my hotshoe units.

I think the Elinchrom D-lite 2s are a good starting point as the recycle time is very good and they are very light as well. All parts are user replaceable which is important. I'd hate a fuse, bulb or tube to blow and not be able to carry spares. The modelling lamp is a 100W variable output bulb.

I am torn though between getting the cheap and cheerful Proline flashes and later a set of Elinchroms or just start with the Elinchroms.
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/
Last Edited by Tyr on 06/06/2011 - 17:14

bretti_kivi

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 17:34
The elinchroms keep their value, that I've seen. Much under £500 for a pair including stands and brollies is difficult to find.

I don't find the recycle time an issue. But then I'm not really using them seriously and it's nice to have them for the occasions I need. They're also pretty portable and come in a case, along with the stands in another case.

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

Tyr

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 18:48
Proline:
180W/s continuously variable flash power to 1/8
Very light flash heads
Constant 50W modelling light
Single roller suitcase to carry everything
Cheaper
Cheaper accessories

Elinchrom:
200W/s 1/10th stop variable flash down to 1/16
Actively cooled
Very fast recycle time
Light flash heads
Variable 100W modelling light

Both:
User replaceable tube, fuse and bulb.
Regards,
Dan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/honourabletyr/

gartmore

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 19:02
I rather suspect if your buy the Prolines you'll buy the Elincroms a little while later so I suggest buying one Elinchrom head even though I think Bowens are slightly better and British too, 2 stands, softbox, shoot through brolly with silver/black cover, zip disc refelctor holder, silver/gold/black/white zip disc reflector.

Now you're pretty much covered and you can add to this as need and funds allow.

Dont worry about replacing flash tubes, I've never had to do it. Modelling lamps are inexpensive but I do think the Elinchrom ones are underpowered. Fuses I carry all the time and have never had to replace one. BTW Bowens spare fuses are stored in the head itself.

Calumet sell very good and quite inexpensive bags for this sort of kit.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Last Edited by gartmore on 06/06/2011 - 19:03

Don

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 19:15
you can find adaptors online to use bowens stuff with elinchrom heads, and prolly vice versa as well... suggest you look on google.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Don

Link Posted 06/06/2011 - 19:22
oh, and one more way to save a little cash with elinchrom?
the way elinchrom mounts thier umbrellas on axis with the flash tube means if you take a silver or white umbrella and "Choke" it far enough on the light unit, with no reflector, the umbrella can then be used as a beauty dish.... one less thing to buy unless you're anal enough to get freaked out by octa vs round shaped catchlights...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
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