Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 12 Dec 2009 (Saturday) 22:55
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Best bargain in studio lighting...

 
JMHPhotography
Goldmember
Avatar
4,784 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2005
Location: New Hampshire
     
Dec 12, 2009 22:55 |  #1

I don't get why people think they need to go out and spend a small fortune for studio lighting. Especially when they can't afford to. I mean how many threads I have read where someone goes out and buys "A" strobe because they don't have the money to buy what they really need to do the job. Don't get me wrong... I know that some products are built better than others, hence the bigger price tag... But I have to say that there is also something to be said for not throwing your gear around like a bag of laundry.

I have been using my JTL J-160's now for 4 years now. They are CHEAP!! but they have the same (roughly) specs as the AB B400.

I've used Alienbees (in fact I used to own an ABR800). They are a decent enough product, but the only thing they really have over the JTL's that I own are the removable reflectors... but I do a LOT of on location work, so my kit is portable and all fits into a pretty small bag.

I fire mine through umbrellas 80% of the time anyway, and the other 20% of the time is split between a 20 degree honeycomb grid or a 24x24 softbox, so it's not a huge deal. But what the JTL J-160 has over the AB is price. For the price of ONE B400, I was able to purchase enough strobes to light this entire shot. 3 strobes.... Key, Fill, and background. ($69.95 x3). And like I said... I've been using these same lights for 4 years now... I've replaced the modeling lights a few times, but the strobes just keep on working. They can't be built too poorly.


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.


~John

(aka forkball)
Have a peek into my Gearbag. and My flickr (external link)
editing of my photos by permission only. Thanks

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
borto1990
Member
237 posts
Joined Sep 2008
Location: GR michigan
     
Dec 12, 2009 23:14 |  #2

I agree. I got an entire set of ebay. 2 strobes, hair light, stands, boom arms, soft boxes, umbrellas, the whole kit for less than 400 bucks. a buddy bought the same set 2.5 years earlier, he uses them semi professionally and he has not gone through a bulb or anything yet. granted I am sure build quality can be said for a lot, but I take great care of my stuff and treat it like my children!! It's a great set, didn't set me back much and works like a charm for me.


5D gripped | 50D gripped | 40D gripped | canon 70-200mm 2.8L IS | [COLOR=Red][COLOR=Blac​k]canon 24-70mm 2.8L | canon 17-40mmL | canon 24mm MkI 1.4L | canon 70-300mm IS | canon 17-85 IS | canon 100mm 2.8 macro | canon 85mm 1.8 | canon 50mm 1.8 | sigma 50mm 1.4 | sigma 24-60 2.8 | sigma 10-20mm | canon 550EX | canon 580EX | canon CP-E2

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JMHPhotography
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
4,784 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2005
Location: New Hampshire
     
Dec 12, 2009 23:32 |  #3

borto1990 wrote in post #9186480 (external link)
I agree. I got an entire set of ebay. 2 strobes, hair light, stands, boom arms, soft boxes, umbrellas, the whole kit for less than 400 bucks. a buddy bought the same set 2.5 years earlier, he uses them semi professionally and he has not gone through a bulb or anything yet. granted I am sure build quality can be said for a lot, but I take great care of my stuff and treat it like my children!! It's a great set, didn't set me back much and works like a charm for me.

I hear ya. All during year one with my lights, I kept telling my wife, "when these burn up, I'll hopefully have money to buy some real strobes", now here I am 4 years later, and they have not died. I did have one blow up after hitting the floor from about 8 feet up. (someone knocked over a stand). And I replaced it with another J-160. That was last year.


~John

(aka forkball)
Have a peek into my Gearbag. and My flickr (external link)
editing of my photos by permission only. Thanks

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JMHPhotography
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
4,784 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2005
Location: New Hampshire
     
May 05, 2018 17:35 |  #4

Just wanted to mention.... I bought these lights in 2005, posted the photo above in 2009 and I still have these lights and they still work as well as the day I bought them. :)


~John

(aka forkball)
Have a peek into my Gearbag. and My flickr (external link)
editing of my photos by permission only. Thanks

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
Avatar
12,679 posts
Gallery: 1082 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 7976
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
     
May 05, 2018 18:45 |  #5

JMHPhotography wrote in post #18620154 (external link)
Just wanted to mention.... I bought these lights in 2005, posted the photo above in 2009 and I still have these lights and they still work as well as the day I bought them. :)

That's awesome. They're $69 new at Adorma, still for sale too. Pretty cool.

I'm a few years in one some Flashpoint branded (Godox or Jinbei probably) budget series strobes, that are 120ws. They were $50 shipped a pop with modeling lights and all that. I use them for indoor studio stuff all year round. Still kicking it. They're optical so I don't need fancy triggers or wires. Works great.

Budget lights can certainly do the job as if they were not budget. Granted, I'm not out in the desert or snow firing these things from a battery in the sun or rapidly changing ambient temperature, etc. I'm sure they could be tortured to death.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Ltdave
Goldmember
2,517 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
Likes: 439
Joined Apr 2012
Location: the farthest point east in michigan
     
May 10, 2018 20:51 |  #6

not that i have a dog in this fight by any means but those sound like a fabulous deal!

when i was getting serious (again after many years hiatus) about photography i picked up a pair of used 580ex-II and the pw trigger/reciever. i had nothing but fits with them and let them go. i replaced them with a pair of 600ex-rt and transmitter for about $200 or so more than i sold the 580 kit for. Profeel (PMI had a special deal on for them)...

i then started watching youtube about using speedlites and so ive watched the for sale forums and have added 3 more 600s. i now have the basics for some interesting lighting (with some cheaper but functional stands and umbrellas) but these lights sound like they are much more in tune with someone like me that isnt doing this full time for big money clients...

i DO like that the 600s are radio though. that has been very convenient...




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
-Duck-
my head is usually in the way
Avatar
1,488 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 423
Joined Apr 2016
Location: Shelton, CT USA
     
May 10, 2018 21:25 |  #7

So true. When I was first getting into studio lighting I couldn't afford expensive lights. I ended up buying a three light kit from Square Perfect for a little over $400. It came with two 400ws and one 300ws monolights, two 24" softboxes and one 7" reflector, barn doors with color gels, a snoot and grids along with some cheap (never used) radio triggers. Nothing fancy but here it is about 10 years later and I'm still using them. I even bought a second kit used from a local guy off CraigsList.

A friend of mine prefers high end gear. He feels the more you pay the better the equipment. Westcott and Broncolor are his toys. I can get the same results from my $700 that he does with his $5000 kit.


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Unitas Photography (external link)Blog (external link)Facebook (external link)Flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RPCrowe
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,822 posts
Likes: 633
Joined Nov 2005
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
     
May 10, 2018 21:51 |  #8

Over twenty years ago. I needed a pair of studio strobes to shoot the group shot at my daughters wedding... Milling about my local camera store, the owner directed me to a pair of original White Lightning WL-500 ("Coffee Can") studio strobes. The owner was asking fifty bucks each and I snapped them up along with a pair of used but, serviceable stands for a few bucks more.

Well that was then and I am still using these old "Coffee Cans" because I like the light they produce. I have other, more sophisticated strobes now but, these are still my go-to lights for dog portraits...

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Pets/MALTESE-RESCUE-CALIFORNIA/i-G4hQzZT/0/79ccf624/O/LAYLA_4845.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://photos.smugmug​.com …O/LAYLA_4845.jp​g&lb=1&s=A  (external link) on Smugmug

I photograph a LOT of dogs. My wife is the Vice President of Maltese Rescue California and I probably photograph a hundred and fifty or more dogs a year.

I don't know how you would want to pro-rate the cost of these lights. Doing the math, the lights cost me about a nickel each per week or about sixteen cents per light per dog :p

And like the Energizer Bunny, they just keep going and going;-)a

See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RandallB
Senior Member
Avatar
296 posts
Gallery: 26 photos
Likes: 119
Joined Mar 2013
Location: Montreal
     
May 11, 2018 09:04 |  #9

-Duck- wrote in post #18623547 (external link)
So true. When I was first getting into studio lighting I couldn't afford expensive lights. I ended up buying a three light kit from Square Perfect for a little over $400. It came with two 400ws and one 300ws monolights, two 24" softboxes and one 7" reflector, barn doors with color gels, a snoot and grids along with some cheap (never used) radio triggers. Nothing fancy but here it is about 10 years later and I'm still using them. I even bought a second kit used from a local guy off CraigsList.

A friend of mine prefers high end gear. He feels the more you pay the better the equipment. Westcott and Broncolor are his toys. I can get the same results from my $700 that he does with his $5000 kit.

When I am shooting standard stuff my cheap chinese flashes can get the same results as my Bron gear. The higher end gear shines when I need things like exposure consistency, colour consistency, fast recycle times, freezing motion etc. When I am shooting products I absolutely need consistency. This can involve dozens if not hundreds of items. I dont want to have to fix this in post. My Bron gear saves me hours in post on some contracts. It is for these reasons the Broncolor gear is pricier. I am fully capable in getting good shots on my cheap YN gear. The Bron kit gets me there faster with less hassles and compromise- except on my bank account ;)


6D w/Vello grip, 650 w/Canon grip, 85 1.8, 16-35L, 40mm 2.8, 100mm 2.8 L Macro Broncolor Siros 400S
BOWIE RIP!

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Ltdave
Goldmember
2,517 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
Likes: 439
Joined Apr 2012
Location: the farthest point east in michigan
     
May 12, 2018 02:21 |  #10

so, im looking at these JTL lights...

adorama really doesnt do a very good job with the description, i dont think...

im currently using the 600ex-rt with the canon radio transmitter the ST something 3 something...

i DONT like the thought of using a sync cord, having gotten spoiled (i guess) with the radio transmitter...

i dont know how other triggers work. im seeing one set for about $50, and most others close to $200 (or more) on adorama...

the one kit im looking at (a light stand, small-ish shoot through umbrella and a 160 head) doesnt show any kind of reflector on the flash head. would a standard "bowen" type ring work for mounting modifiers? do these take standard umbrellas? ive got a really nice 44" (? or is 50") that id like to use if it works...

lots of questions i know but i dont think theres enough in depth description...




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
-Duck-
my head is usually in the way
Avatar
1,488 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 423
Joined Apr 2016
Location: Shelton, CT USA
     
May 12, 2018 13:53 |  #11

Many monolights (like the JTLs) usually come with optical slaves (a sensor that fires the flash when it perceives another flash firing) This is great in a studio situation because you can radio fire one flash which in turn will fire the others.

I have been using PocketWizard remotes for eons but there are many others available now. Even the inexpensive radio triggers today are able to do a good job. On my system I connect one flash to the radio trigger with a patch cord (1/8 male to 1/4 male for my system) and it works great. No sync cables needed. If you have a pop up flash you can even just use the optical triggers on the monolights.

As for mounts, keep in mind that you will eventually want to expand on your collection of modifiers. The Bowens mount is the most common and you can get just about any type of modifier in that configuration, from softboxes and beauty dishes to simple reflectors and snoots. You can even get mounting rings by themselves should you want to make your own modifier.


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Unitas Photography (external link)Blog (external link)Facebook (external link)Flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
Avatar
12,679 posts
Gallery: 1082 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 7976
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Florida
     
May 12, 2018 15:37 |  #12

Ltdave wrote in post #18624284 (external link)
so, im looking at these JTL lights...

adorama really doesnt do a very good job with the description, i dont think...

im currently using the 600ex-rt with the canon radio transmitter the ST something 3 something...

i DONT like the thought of using a sync cord, having gotten spoiled (i guess) with the radio transmitter...

i dont know how other triggers work. im seeing one set for about $50, and most others close to $200 (or more) on adorama...

the one kit im looking at (a light stand, small-ish shoot through umbrella and a 160 head) doesnt show any kind of reflector on the flash head. would a standard "bowen" type ring work for mounting modifiers? do these take standard umbrellas? ive got a really nice 44" (? or is 50") that id like to use if it works...

lots of questions i know but i dont think theres enough in depth description...

The info is in the specs:

Built-In Slave ............... yes

On top of the unit, there's an optical slave sensor. It will trip with any other flash. You won't need sync cables.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RPCrowe
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,822 posts
Likes: 633
Joined Nov 2005
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
     
May 13, 2018 12:41 |  #13

When shooting with studio strobes that have an optical slave, my favorite way of triggering them is to use a YinYang IR trigger.

https://photos.smugmug​.com …/O/YangYang%20T​rigger.jpg (external link)

The trigger will only fire the strobes, I cannot control the power of the strobes from the trigger. However, my strobes are older and I really don't mind controlling the power from the individual unit. There is no HSS or second curtain flash capabilities but, my strobes don't have that capability anyway.

OTOH: this little unit is foolproof. It cost less than $20 bucks and I have been using one for over twenty years with absolutely no problems. I do need line of sight between trigger and the optical slave sensor on the studio strobe. I like this little unit so well that I purchased a backup but, have never needed to take the backup unit out of its box except for initial testing...


See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Ltdave
Goldmember
2,517 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
Likes: 439
Joined Apr 2012
Location: the farthest point east in michigan
     
May 13, 2018 14:08 |  #14

RPCrowe wrote in post #18625015 (external link)
When shooting with studio strobes that have an optical slave, my favorite way of triggering them is to use a YinYang IR trigger.

this sounds like a great little piece of equipment...

where is it available? i looked on BH Photo and Adorama and the might Amazon, to no avail...

im really leaning towards radio though because depending on modifier or orientation, im afraid the receiver sensor might be blocked...




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
F2Bthere
Senior Member
Avatar
854 posts
Likes: 358
Joined Oct 2015
     
May 13, 2018 23:53 |  #15

Unless you tell them, two things are clear:

1. On the internet, no one knows if you are a dog.
2. On the internet, no one can say which strobe you used.

Be careful out there and only get flare when you want it. ;)


C&C always welcomed...
On my images, of course, and on my words as well--as long as it's constructive :).
https://www.instagram.​com/storyinpictures_co​m/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

1,913 views & 6 likes for this thread
Best bargain in studio lighting...
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Ronaldwilliam
649 guests, 283 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6430, that happened on Dec 03, 2017

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.