New Lights - Westcott TD6 Spidelites

Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,117
Location
St. Joseph, MO
I have been trying to find a light setup for my studio that will fit my wants and needs. I am wanting to create the old masters style of lighting like Monte Zucker uses.

First set was an old pair of White Lighting 5000 series. I picked up a set of 3 for $300 plus some related items and thought this would be a good way to get started. Two issues that I ran across. The first being only 3 power settings. Althought the lights had plenty of power, they were too bright for my small studio. The second issue was accessories were very limited. I like shooting with softboxes and there were not that many choices.

I sold the set and purchased a pair of Photogenics 1250s. These were very powerfull light and had 8 power settings (I think it was 8). And there were a lot of choices for softboxes. I ordered a large 3'x4' and a 12"x36" strip light.
But then ran into the same issue, too much power. I put the lights on the lowest setting and still had too much light coming out. So I sold the set.

I had attended a class being taught by Clay Blackmore and he used the Westcott TD5 spiderlites. So that was my next step. Right before I was getting ready to order them, I attended another class taught by Sandy Puc and she was demo-ing the new TD6s and then I was sold.

The week the lights came in my 17 year old broke his wrist (skateboarding), two lens I ordered were stolen from my front porch and then my car broke down while driving on a Boy Scout campout that was about 120 miles from home.

So after all that and getting the lens re-ordered, I finally found some time to get the TD6s setup. (I had sold my 2.8 lens to fund other items for my studio and for about 2 weeks had no lens which took it's toll on me )

Setup was fairly straight-forward and did not have any issues with the first light. Had the 36x48 softbox and it was easier to assemble that other softboxes I have used in the past.

Went to set up the 2nd light and as soon as I plugged it in, a huge spark happened at the wall outlet and tripped a breaker. Removed the 6 lightbulbs, made sure the power switch was turned off and tried it again. Same results so there is some short in the head.

Contacted Westcott and they sent out a pre-paid label to have the head shipped back. It's in transist to Ohio so this gives me a good test for their customer service. I have never purchased any Westcott equipment so this is a first for me and their customer service. So far they have been professisonal and polite.

I am only using one light with the large softbox and a 4'x6' Larson reflector. I like the results with the light so far, but as others have stated, I have to use a slower shutter speed. I am using 60 @ 4.5 with ISO at 400.

Camera is a D700 and the lens is the Nikon 28-105mm.

I've attached a few images along with the simple setup of the session.

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and one of my son going to his first prom
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Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
253
Location
Mpls, Mn
some nice lighting there, but why didnt you just get some strobes with lesser watt seconds? I have a pair of 150w/s and those work really will with a small studio and lets you use 1/250 at iso 100 and like f7.1-f11, knowing everything will be sharp and still, as opposed to just continuous light that is limited to its output. just a thought i guess.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,117
Location
St. Joseph, MO
I am combining video and still images into my sessions and the continous light seemed to be a good fit. Also, I don't normally use a large DOF on portraits as I like the background to be out of focus.

The only time I use a large DOF is with commercial/catalog images and then I am on a tripod for the longer exposures.

When my second head gets returned from the factory, I should be able to bump up the shutter speed. With just the one head, I am limited to 1/60 which is a little slow when photographing little ones. Then I would like to use the higher shutter speed that you are able to use. It's a trade-off for me at this point.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
4,363
Location
Mississippi
Little late to this thread but I have the same set Spiderlite setup. I like it...taken me awhile...and I'm still experimenting.

Here are some of my test shots

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