Q1: Which kit is right for me?
A: An easy guide to our kits can be found here: studio-lighting-kits.html
Strobe power is measured in watts-seconds (or Joules). Below is a comprehensive list of each series of strobe, and what power ratings they are available in. Each strobe is allocated a guide number (GN) which is it's effective range in meters at 100ISO.
Q2: Are there comprehensive instructions in the kit?
A: With the new Trinity Pro systems there is a full 12 page operation manual. Instructions on softbox assembly, radio trigger use and basic set up guides can be downloaded below.
Basic Kit Guide
Q3: How do I assemble the softboxes?
We've included a softbox assembly instruction in with the Basic Kit Guide PDF above, but here are a couple of videos of the most common softboxes being assembled. Please excuse the quality - we've done these in a hurry due to demand.
Q4: How should my camera be set up?
We recommend the following camera settings. This is not set in stone - you are your own photographer, but the basic set up should be employed and then modified.
Mode Setting: Manual
Shutter Speed: 1/60s - 1/250s with the wireless sync you are unlikely to achieve a shutter speed higher than 1/200s unless you have specialist equipment (like Pocket Wizards). Connection via sync cable could be up to 1/200s
ISO: 100 or your lowest setting. Medium format and film users should try 50 ISO if possible for maximum quality.
White Balance: 5600 Kelvin (K) or Flash
Aperture: set to your chosen depth of field and then match your lights to your aperture setting.
Q5: Will this equipment work with my camera?
Q6: Do I need anything else to connect the lights to my camera?
For cameras without PC Sync you will need an adapter to connect the lights to your camera, unless you are using a wireless connection. We can provide a generic hotshoe adapter for this purpose but we strongly recommend that you consult your warranty card/instruction manual before using a generic hotshoe as some manufacturers have their own hotshoe adapters available.
Minolta & Sony cameras have specific hotshoe configurations and will require a dedicated hotshoe adapter unless the camera has a built in P.C. Sync socket.
Q7: How do you fold reflectors and pop up softboxes?
Reflectors are one of the most useful tools in studio photography, but also one of the most demanding to pack away if you don't know the technique. The same technique applies for our flashgun softbox. It's actually really easy....
50 50 Softbox:
Q8: How do I connect multiple lights? Do I need more receivers? Do I need cables?
A: All of our lights have built in slave cells that will detect another light flashing. It does require an element of "line-of-sight" (see diagrams 1 & 2 below). Too much ambient light in a room will render a slave cell inneffective. If you are working in areas with high concentrations of daylight, or other bright lighting, you may wish to consider multiple receivers for your radio trigger system. No cables are needed between the lights.
Diagram 1: In this instance the head with the softbox is connected to the receiver. The head with the umbrella is not receiving light, therefore the slave cell will not synchronise.
Diagram 2: Switching the trigger over to the head with the umbrella has solved the problem, as the slave cell on the other head is now exposed to the light.
Diagram 1 Diagram 2
I'm not sure that all of my heads are firing. How can I check?
This is an easy check that should be done at the beginning of each shoot. Make sure each flash head has the audible alert (beeper) switched on. Change the power settings on each head, so that the recycle times vary (i.e. put one on FULL, one on 1/2, one on 1/8 and one on 1/32). Press the test button on one of the heads and you should hear multiple beeps (depending on how many lights you are using). if any of your lights does not beep, it has not slaved in. Refer to the above diagrams for trouble shooting.
The most common telephone call we receive is about the radio triggers set up and use. Our radio triggers have dip switches on both transmitter and receiver. These switches need to tally on both parts in order for them to communicate. The most common problems that occur with radio triggers are:
1: Random flashing. This can often be caused by radio signals in your area.
Resolution: Change the frequency that you are using by moving one or more dip switches, until the random flashing stops. If the flash head continues to discharge even when disconnected from the sync cable or radio receiver, please switch off immediately and call 0844 272 7778 (option 2) for advice, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2: It flashes when the test button is depressed on the transmitter, but not when I take a picture.
Resolution 1: Check the connection between your camera hotshoe and the transmitter. It should line up squarely on your central pin. If your camera does not have a central pin (Sony/Minolta) you will require a specialist hotshoe adapter. These can be obtained fairly cheaply on eBay, although we do sometimes stock them ourselves.
Resolution 2: Your camera's hotshoe may be disabled. Consult your instruction manual to enable it.
3: It does not work at all.
Resolution: The battery in the transmitter or receiver needs changing. Most of our kits have an AC receiver that does not require batteries, but our B Series uses the DC receivers which require 2 x AAA batteries. The transmitter has a small 12v LRV08 battery inside it. Turn it upside down and undo the small, cross-head screw to access the battery compartment. These batteries are common and can be purchased from most supermarkets or hardware stores for about £1.25 - we sell them here: LRV08 Battery
If none of these resolutions fix the problem, please contact us on 0844 272 7778 or email@example.com
4: My photos are coming out completely black, but the lights are definitely flashing.
1: You have incorrectly metered the lights and your aperture setting is causing under-exposure. Try metering the lights individually and checking your ISO settings and aperture.
2: Your shutter speed is probably too high for the triggering method you are using. Slow your shutter speed down as low as 1/60s and try again. REMEMBER: Your shutter speed does not determine the exposure in studio situations as you are only exposing the film/digital sensor for the duration of the flash, which is typically 1/800s - 1/2000s. In a studio environment without any external light sources you should be able to take a photo at 1s exposure and 1/60s and it be identical. If there are external light sources, ambient light or daylight involved you may need to use a faster trigger method, such as sync cable or Infra Red, or invest in professional syncro systems like Pocket Wizards.
If you are getting a black line across your exposure this is DEFINITELY the shutter. Either slow your shutter speed or check your camera is not set up to trigger at "rear curtain"
5: I have switched my light on but it won't charge up or fire when I press the test button.
Reolution: The most common reason for this occurance is the flash tube failing. Your flash tube typically has a life expectancy of around 400,000 - 600,000 flashes, dependent on how it is used. There is no reason for it not to last many years if looked after properly. If your flash tube does fail, they can usually be replaced quite easily by the user. We do, however, offer a free fitting service if customers wish us to do it for them. B Series lights do not have replaceable flash tubes. If replacing the flash tube does not resolve this issue, please call us on 0844 272 7778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately for advice.
6: One of my modeling bulbs blew and now my light does not work at all.
Resolution: When a bulb blows it usually does one of two things: a) trips out your RCD on your fuse board or more commonly b) blows the fuse inside the light. To replace the fuse please refer to the instructions for the correct type. The fuse is clearly marked on the flash head and can be accessed by either unscrewing the fuse capsule ( B Series & M Series ) or inserting a flat head screwdriver into the tiny slot by the power input and levering the fuse drawer open.
To prevent modeling bulbs from blowing regularly please do NOT handle then with bare fingers. Your skin has an oily residue which will heat up significantly on the surface of a bulb and cause hotspots. This will weaken the integrity of the glass and may result in small holes appearing which will ultimately cause the bulb to blow. Diffused Halogen Bulbs can be volatile if mishandled. they are designed to withstand far greater temperatures than average bulbs and therefore the glass casing is much thicker. The resulting blow can be quite loud and startling. rest assured we use only the best quality bulbs in our lights.
7: My light is getting slower and slower at recycling.
Resolution: Slow down your shooting intervals or turn your power down. All of our lights have built in overheat protection that is designed to prevent terminal damage to the lights if used over prolonged periods at high power concentrations. We recommend no more than 6 flashes a minute at full power, and 15 minutes cooling time for every 60 minutes used. The lights in our studio get used 8 hours a day, every single day, and we never have over heat issues, so it is a rare occurence. Check the ambient temperature in the room - check to see if there is adequate ventilation to allow fresh cool air to be circulated by the cooling fans inside the lights.
If you find yourelf shooting at full power the majority of the time, your lights are not powerful enough for you. You should invest in the next power grade up.
Q9: How long will it take to get to me?
Accesories packages have a one off charge of £7.99 up to 10 KG to UK mainland address. Offshore Isles & Scottish Highlands will incur a surcharge of £15.86 (in VAT). Please see the out of areas postcodes below the shipping chart. All of the weights are volumetric and not actual. These are calculated by (W x D x H) / 5000. Volumetric weights are installed into each item and will automatically calculate shipping. Worldwide customers should contact us for a quote prior to purchase.
|Zone 1||NI||IE||Zone 3||Zone 4||Zone 5||Zone 51||Zone 6|
Zone 1: UK
Zone 2: NI & IE
Zone 3: Belgium, Netherlands
Zone 4: France, Germany
Zone 5: Denmark, Finland, greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden
Zone 51: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia
Zone 6: Liechenstein, Norway, Switzerland
Postcodes that incur a surcharge (£13.50 + VAT = £15.86):
AB37 - AB38, AB44 - AB45. AB53 - AB56
CA18 - CA27
HS1 - HS9
IV7, IV9 - IV12, IV14 - IV28, IV30 - IV32, IV36, IV40 - IV56
KA27 - KA28
LA15 - LA23
PA20 - PA38, PA41 - PA49, PA60 - PA78, PA80 - PA88
PH17 - PH26, PH30 - PH44, PH49 - PH50
TR21 - TR25
Our professional range of heads come with an 12 month return to base warranty*.
All stands, reflector arms and modifiers come with a 12 month return to base warranty**.
*Flash tubes are guaranteed for 12 months. Modeling bulbs are guaranteed for 28 days only.
**Softboxes are warranted against manufacturing defect or fault. Once the product has been received and checked the warranty is deemed fulfilled. As softboxes can be subject to wear and tear it is impossible to warrant them once they are in use and working. Because of the nature of use of flat pack softboxes no warranty returns can be made for tears, rips, bent rods or other damage caused by use. If used with care there is no reason that softboxes should not last for many years. Our commercial studio is in use 7 hours a day, 6 days a week and we have never had to replace a rod or canvas. If a fault should develop with a softbox you should contact us and then return it for inspection.