Hatch, a few questions and observations:
1. Are you shooting professionally, or for fun and enthusiasm?
Professional enthusiast? Professional hobbyist? Hobbyist who can possibly shoot at a professional level quality wise? LOL I'm looking to shoot the occasional weekend to fund my hobby or just to be creative? I can't see me walking away from my current job and making more $$$ than I'm making now. Well... maybe if I were 20 years younger knowing what I know now about photography and business...but I think that's the case for many of us? Right? That's just life isn't it... hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes.
2. Are you shooting primarily in a single room? or will you be going to a lot of different locations frequently?
The majority of my sessions several years ago were on location, either indoors at the clients house or outdoors.
3. I've had the C8 stands for a few years now. I like them for their light weight. But other than mounting a regular flash, it's not enough stand for much else.
The 12ft stand is in the cart now.. same price as the 10ft.
4. Do you need to do it all at once? Buying new stuff is exciting, believe me. But you also don't want to buy and have items sitting on the shelf for extended periods, wasting your purchase. I recommend buying ONE substantial modifier, and maximize your usage as you test its limits. Don't buy gear simply to test and compare it. Buy it to put it to use. Then as you see the need for it, but another modifier to augment what you're already using.
I have the Elinchrom Deep Octa, I'll pick up the Bowen/Eli speedring to adapt it to whatever Bowens mount strobe I end up purchasing. A couple of modifiers would be nice to have options. I typically take a few to a shoot (and a few strobes back in the day) to have more options available. Most location shoots, I'd use one or two modifiers and reflectors. So…to answer your question, I think this is a good base kit to get me started. This is why I'm going to start with just the one strobe and build from there if need be. I've never used more than 4 lights at a shoot... with the majority of the sessions being one light and reflectors.
5. The Dim Sum plate — if you're using the CL-600X or even a CL-360X inside the RiceBowl, you don't really need the Dim Sum plate. The reason is because that plate is intended more to help a regular flash to distribute its narrow beam of light out into the RiceBowl. But a bare bulb flash is already distributing its light around the entire RiceBowl.
Good to know and thanks for info.
So... the idea (fantasy) I have is to buy a base kit and do a few shoots this year while I'm in school/working and then in 2017... School will be out of the way and I can focus on photography on the weekends. I really/truly miss shooting and being creative. Not to give my life history... .. The past four years, it’s been school nonstop... (From no degree to MBA) and the last couple of years, I added work to the mix. To say it's been a busy four years is an understatement. I retired from the Air Force, had a strange transition period, where I was supposed to pursue photography as my profession, and I didn't. (fail) I have the "itch" if you will to give this another try. I simply want to have my creative outlet back and if I can make a few $$$'s to fund more gear... bonus!
I hope some of this makes sense... thanks for the input/questions.