New lights!

Well, a couple of little Nanlite Forza 60s arrived today, and I just took a few test shots. The lights are small enough that they can be hand held with ease, so I took the opportunity to do so (at least with the key light – the other one was on a stand with a Fresnel lens attached), moving it to various positions to see what effect it had on the overall lighting. First impressions are good, although in hindsight I should probably have gone for a little more power as it would have given me more options with regard to modifiers and camera settings. However, I specifically wanted to try these Forza 60s for their lightness and portability, and the next model up (300w/s) is slightly heavier and requires quite a large and separate adapter/controller as well. Oh, and it’s three times the price.

This image was shot at f6.3, 1/60th of a second and ISO400; not much leeway there but it was dark/night time so there was no help with regard to ambient light (and to make matters worse – or better, depending on your POV – I had exposure compensation set to -2, albeit that it ended up at -1 after post production). I reckon shooting during the day (the lights are daylight balanced at 56,000k) might give me an extra couple of stops, though, so I’ll try again at some point soon. I also realised afterwards that I had a circular polariser on the lens, and that will have cost me at least a stop too.

The key light was just fitted with a reflector/spill kill but I shot through a light tent to soften it a bit. I’m thinking, though, that with some assistance from ambient daylight and with no polarising filter fitted, I should be no worse off shooting with a softbox instead of using the light tent. I’d probably put a softbox on the other light too, which would no doubt help a fair bit.

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My new toy

I never quite got on with my Canon G11 as a walkaround camera, mainly because I’ve been brought up on traditional viewfinders. Anyway, after giving the matter my usual nanosecond of thought I decided to enter the world of Micro Four Thirds and the Olympus OM-D EM-5 is the result. I’m delighted with it, and it’s first major outing will be the forthcoming trip to Blancpain’s factory in Biel, Switzerland.

It’s very excited about it, too 🙂