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10-12-2020, 05:55 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Optimal K-70 Settings for a Well-Lit Studio Environment?

I mostly shoot models in a studio at the moment (it's a club...a fun one). The owner has done a good job of lighting the place (strobes, banks of LEDs, etc), but the different locations for the models vary wildly (bright white, velvet black, and several in-between). I want to show-up the higher caliber Canons and Nikons I shoot against more consistently, but I'm still pretty green at serious photography, so I'm looking for personal experience and opinion: what should I be doing, as far as general camera settings, as well as that specifically pertaining to the K-70, to try to give myself an edge here? Any assistance is appreciated, thanks.

P.S: I shoot with a Pentax 18-135 at the moment.

10-12-2020, 09:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CoolBreezeRandy Quote
I mostly shoot models in a studio at the moment (it's a club...a fun one). The owner has done a good job of lighting the place (strobes, banks of LEDs, etc), but the different locations for the models vary wildly (bright white, velvet black, and several in-between). I want to show-up the higher caliber Canons and Nikons I shoot against more consistently, but I'm still pretty green at serious photography, so I'm looking for personal experience and opinion: what should I be doing, as far as general camera settings, as well as that specifically pertaining to the K-70, to try to give myself an edge here? Any assistance is appreciated, thanks.

P.S: I shoot with a Pentax 18-135 at the moment.
Can I ask how you are triggering the strobes with your K70 ?

If you are using the strobes to light the subject the settings in your camera will be simple. Shutter speed at sync speed or less (1/180), ISO 100, and an aperture of your choice to give you the desired dof on the subjects face/body. Manual mode is best for this. I would invest in an incident flash meter so you can set the light output from the strobes to match. Or use the histogram to determine the correct exposure. The positioning and different light output from two or more strobes will be of far more influence in the outcome of your shots than the settings in the camera itself. Google "studio lighting techniques".

Do you have experience with processing a raw file (PEF or DNG) ?
10-14-2020, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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This is a nice article discussing lighting basics with a 3 light setup.
https://medium.com/hd-pro/photography-lighting-part-1-studio-portraits-8eede19d5a4d
I did weddings and portraits a number of years ago and for portraits I used a basic 3 light setup similar to what's describe in this article. I had a few umbrellas, silvered and white for key light and diffused light. I used flashes with slave triggers with manual power controls (1/2, 1/4, etc) and I used a flash meter (a Vivitar 230LX). I wouldn't worry about outdoing the competitors. Just learn your basics. Once you've mastered that, you can start getting more creative with light. As for the camera, its the least important piece of the puzzle.
10-14-2020, 05:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Can I ask how you are triggering the strobes with your K70 ?
Radio trigger, fits on the hot shoe.

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
If you are using the strobes to light the subject the settings in your camera will be simple. Shutter speed at sync speed or less (1/180), ISO 100, and an aperture of your choice to give you the desired dof on the subjects face/body. Manual mode is best for this. I would invest in an incident flash meter so you can set the light output from the strobes to match. Or use the histogram to determine the correct exposure. The positioning and different light output from two or more strobes will be of far more influence in the outcome of your shots than the settings in the camera itself. Google "studio lighting techniques".
Awesome, this gives me a place to start, thank you. You mention the histogram(s): how would read the histograms for the correct exposure?


QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Do you have experience with processing a raw file (PEF or DNG) ?
I always shoot in RAW. I use Darktable for basic postwork, which I'm pleased with so far. The profiled denoise module handles the noise I still get occasionally quite well.

10-14-2020, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CoolBreezeRandy Quote
I mostly shoot models in a studio at the moment (it's a club...a fun one). The owner has done a good job of lighting the place (strobes, banks of LEDs, etc), but the different locations for the models vary wildly (bright white, velvet black, and several in-between). I want to show-up the higher caliber Canons and Nikons I shoot against more consistently, but I'm still pretty green at serious photography, so I'm looking for personal experience and opinion: what should I be doing, as far as general camera settings, as well as that specifically pertaining to the K-70, to try to give myself an edge here? Any assistance is appreciated, thanks.

P.S: I shoot with a Pentax 18-135 at the moment.
Mate, you're going to take almost identical pictures to each other, with the same lighting and modifiers, the same position, the same background. That's why a real studio is so good. Even a little m43 camera will be for all purposes indistinguishable in its results.

There is so much power coming out of the strobes that you guys are in ideal situation to get fantastic, editorial quality images: start from f8 (it will probably be someone's job to use a light meter to ensure it's f8 at the strobe levels), ISO 100, and 1/180 or (better to prevent syncing lag errors with the triggers) 1/100s shutter speed. There will be no blur in your pictures, because there is only light coming out of the strobes for 1/1000s or less anyway.
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