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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Sep 2014 (Saturday) 10:52
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Building portable studio on budget

 
Yogesh ­ Sarkar
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Sep 20, 2014 10:52 |  #1

I am planning to venture into portrait and lifestyle photography (on location, at times with cars/motorcycles), and for that I need to put together a cheap and portable studio.

How cheap?

Around US$ 100-150 or maybe even less than that.

I already have a 430 EX-II (radio triggers are on their way as well) and in the above budget I am planning to buy a manual speedlight (getting a decent new speedlight for around US$50) and couple of light stands, light modifiers and accessories needed get the whole setup working.

Now prices in India as well as the brands available will be different, but then again most of the stuff we get here is imported from China as well, so things shouldn’t be all that different :D.

So I am looking for recommendation on things I should get (in particular things related to light modifiers and accessories/equipment for light stands) and whether I am starting off in the right direction or not.

I have plans to add things later on, whenever there is a need and my budget permits, but at least for next few months, above setup should be able to get things done.

Sorry about the long post.


My Travel and Photography Blog (external link) | My Facebook Page (external link) | My Portfolio (external link)
Gear: Canon EOS 60D, 1000D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, 55-250IS, 50 f1.8, 430EX-II, Yongnuo: YN560 IV, YN-560 III, RF-603 II

  
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drisley
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Sep 21, 2014 22:11 |  #2

Which radio triggers did you get? I highly recommend the Yongnuo brand of flashes and triggers. I had a 430EX and bought the YN-560EX last year for like $70 Canadian and LOVE this flash, it's built at least as well as the 430EX, and other than TTL or HSS, it beats the 430EX for other features (like optical triggering, and audio notification when flash is ready to fire again).

(It's a bit confusing because the new YN-560EX's are actually YN-600's with a different model. My YN-560EX is before that change. I think mine is also now known as the YN-560 II)

So I just bought the RF-603II transceivers for $40 CDN and the new YN-560EX III ($75) which has a built in radio trigger! So I can now use the 603 II to trigger the Canon flash, and the YN-560 III flash, and the YN-560EX will fire optically (the optical trigger is very sensitive and works very well even in daylight).

So there is a 3 light setup for about $200 plus the cost of my Canon flash (which I had years ago).

I am looking at modifiers now as well, like a medium sized foldable softbox that can be gridded for speedlights.


1D Mark III - 5D Mark IV - 24-70/2.8L - 70-200/2.8L Mark II - Samyang 14/2.8

  
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Yogesh ­ Sarkar
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Sep 21, 2014 22:19 |  #3

Thanks Drisley. I had ordered cheap Chinese triggers from Ebay.com, got a set of 3 (1 trigger and 2 receivers) for less than US$ 19 (including shipping.) I have seen these work decently well, and they are sold under various brand names.

Since yesterday, I am also thinking about picking up YN-560 (didn’t knew model name has been changed). Since the flash I was earlier looking at, doesn’t seems to specify its guide number, though that one comes with local warranty, while Yongnuo wouldn’t. I didn’t knew 560 had radio trigger built in, I thought it had IR trigger like the one in 430EX-II.


My Travel and Photography Blog (external link) | My Facebook Page (external link) | My Portfolio (external link)
Gear: Canon EOS 60D, 1000D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, 55-250IS, 50 f1.8, 430EX-II, Yongnuo: YN560 IV, YN-560 III, RF-603 II

  
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drisley
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Sep 21, 2014 23:41 |  #4

The model scheme for the YN flashes can be a bit confusing. My YN-560EX is not the newest one, which used to be called the YN-600EX or something, which has TTL. Mine I think is what is called the YN-560 II now. None have infrared triggers in them. But the newest YN-560 III (that's the 3rd edition) now has a built in radio slave reciever that works with the Yongnuo triggers which is nice!

As far as gain goes, the YN-560EX that I have is more powerful than the 430EX. It's actually closer to the Canon 580EX, just slightly behind.

I order mine from Yongnuo's ebay store and they come with a 1 year warranty. Not sure how easy that would be to deal with though if something happens. But I couldn't be more impressed with the Yongnuo flash and triggers (they keep coming out with more and more stuff so it's hard to keep up!) I really like the new triggers they have that allow power control over their flashes right on the trigger. It can be a bit of a pain to have to go around changing flash power without an assistant sometimes.

As I mentioned earlier, the optical triggers on the YN flashes work really well. Up until recently, I had been using my ST-E2 Canon infrared trigger to fire my Canon 430EX in manual mode, then set my Yongnuo to fire using the optical trigger and it worked perfectly, even outdoors (it has optical triggers for both basic M mode, and a delayed optical trigger so it will work even if you are using TTL mode with a preflash on your Canon, but of course the YN will fire only manual power)). Very nifty, well built (to me feels better than the Canon) and cost me 1/5 the price of a new Canon 430EX and about 1/8 the price of a 580EX).

If you google "strobist" you can find lots of info for speedlight setups btw. This is a very good place to start as well... http://www.strobist.bl​ogspot.ca/ (external link)


.


1D Mark III - 5D Mark IV - 24-70/2.8L - 70-200/2.8L Mark II - Samyang 14/2.8

  
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Yogesh ­ Sarkar
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Sep 22, 2014 00:23 |  #5

True, that is why I hoping to use 430EX as fill or hair light and 560 II as key light.

No official presence of Yongnuo in India, so I will have to spend 15-20% of the purchase price, in order to send it to China to get it fixed.


My Travel and Photography Blog (external link) | My Facebook Page (external link) | My Portfolio (external link)
Gear: Canon EOS 60D, 1000D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, 55-250IS, 50 f1.8, 430EX-II, Yongnuo: YN560 IV, YN-560 III, RF-603 II

  
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Building portable studio on budget
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