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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 17 Mar 2017 (Friday) 05:39
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Cheap Lighting Setup?

 
By-tor
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Emerald Isle, NC.
Post has been last edited 1 month ago by By-tor. 2 edits done in total.
Mar 17, 2017 05:39 |  #1

I don't do much flash shooting, but would like a cheap 2 light source setup to shoot family and children.

At the moment I have a Canon 430EXII and a old Quantaray QTB-7500A flash and have the Canon turned down to match the Quantaray's output.

A pair of Yongnuo CTR-301P wireless triggers that the strobes mount to using the hot shoe that do work rather well.

I found these on eBay but not sure they are worth the trouble.

Looking at this one for the flashes:
http://www.ebay.com ...geName=STRK%3AMEBID​X%3AIT (external link)

Would also need these to mount the flashes to the above kit.:
http://www.ebay.com/it​m/272393528195 (external link)

A continuous lighting softbox:
http://www.ebay.com ...d22923:g:cPUAAOSwZQ​RYgQWC (external link)

An this continuous lighting setup:
http://www.ebay.com/it​m/391231607109 (external link)

Thanks for looking


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Bassat
"I must be the worst photographer on the planet"
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Bourbon, Indiana - USA
Mar 17, 2017 06:00 |  #2

I use a setup like you posted with the umbrellas. I got mine from Cowboy Studios.

2 - 30" shoot-through umbrellas
2 - 6' stands
2 - mounting doojiggies
1 - carrying case

I think that was $29. I added two 30" reflector umbrellas for about $18, and two offbrand flash-mountable 8"x12" softboxes.

Indoors I mostly use the Canon visible light system to fire remote 430/580EX II units. For larger setups or outdoors, I use YN-622 stuff. Not counting the flash units, my lighting costs are next to nothing.


Tom

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texkam
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By The Lake in Big D
Post has been edited 1 month ago by texkam.
Mar 17, 2017 09:43 |  #3

Cowboy Studio has many budget lighting options. I've always found them to be nice folks.

I had a shoot in Mexico and wanted to travel light. I picked up a compact light stand and umbrella that were both small enough to pack inside my carry on luggage. : )

.... I'm happy to have them located just a few miles away from me.




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nathancarter
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Joined Dec 2010
Mar 20, 2017 11:19 |  #4

Generally speaking, continuous lighting is not appropriate for portraits: It's simply not bright enough or flexible enough.

The benefit is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), so what you see through the viewfinder will be exactly how the picture looks. You know exactly where shadows are going to fall. And, it's easy to set up: You just plug it in and it's on, that's it.

But it's not powerful enough to overcome any ambient, it's useless in brightly lit rooms or outdoors. If you want the continuous lights to be your primary light source, you have to turn off everything else and shutter the windows. And the power level can't be adjusted, other than simply moving the lights closer or father from the subject.

And, it's not powerful enough to use standard portraiture camera settings: Low ISO, moderate aperture, reasonably fast shutter speed.
You can use a slow shutter speed and risk motion blur.
You can use a wide aperture for "creative" shallow DOF, but this is only good for a single subject a time (no groups) and if you miss focus the portrait is a failure.
You can increase ISO to compensate for the relatively dim light sources, but (depending on camera body) have to deal with increased sensor noise and reduced dynamic range and color accuracy.

You likely can get by with the flashes you have now, and the first kit you linked above, and maybe the second kit if that's required to fit the stand, umbrella adapter, trigger, and flash all together.


Can you manually set the power level on the Quantaray?
I'm not a fan of TTL for portraiture. Set the flash power on each flash manually - that way, once your power settings are dialed in, your exposures for the whole set will be consistent. With TTL, if the subject matter changes, the flash power will also change - this is almost always undesirable.


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MalVeauX
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Post has been last edited 1 month ago by MalVeauX. 5 edits done in total.
Mar 20, 2017 11:36 |  #5

Heya,

That stuff is not cheap because it won't do what you need for portraits and so you'll be re-buying right after and basically lose money doing it. I did the same thing, I had a kid 3 years ago, bought a kit with continuous lights, and it was abysmal to use and I regret it now because I can't go back in time and re-do those photos of my baby. Anyhow, lesson learned. Highly recommend you avoid "kits" and especially avoid continuous lighting concepts for still photography and the word budget mixed in.

If you want an effective lighting setup on the cheap, I would get some basic wired strobes, some stands, and some basic modifiers like an umbrella or two and call it good. You could use speedlites too. But I prefer wired strobes for indoor studio so that I can just use them without considering batteries or anything and modeling lights are a big help, plus the spread of a strobe allows for a more effective use of large modifiers. And I'm a big fan of big modifiers, even indoors.

Example:

Adorama Flashpoint Monolight Strobe, 120ws ($49) (external link) x 2
Two Pack, Neewer 8 foot light stand ($36) (external link)
Godox 47" Brolly Box (Softbox Umbrella) ($29) (external link) x 2
Impact 60" White/Satin Umbrella ($36) (external link)

$179

I use those strobes indoors for my studio stuff. And I use that 60" umbrella for kids and couples. I use the 47" brollies for almost everything as they're excellent and control spill. Everything is good quality but inexpensive. Modeling lights and good light output. Has optical triggers so you can trip them in several ways. Good output, similar to a speedlight, but wired and with a modeling light. They work great. Light weight.

Here's the kind of light I get out of the above stuff:

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3819/33020232252_bc5763d408.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SiTj​Db] (external link)IMG_5160 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3672/33020238482_30f91714b3.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SiTm​uA] (external link)IMG_5137 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1607/24435130535_161e1010b5.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Defr​14] (external link)IMG_0541 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Inexpensive, effective, reliable, works. I've had these for years now.

If you want to be portable and do this outdoors, you can with an AC outlet access. But I don't recommend them for outdoor use.

++++++++++++++

But if you're truly doing it outside a lot, just use speedlites, a single stand, and an umbrella (and gels to color your light).

For that, I use a good boom stand, some manual Yongnuo 560 III's x 2, I pair them up, 1/4 CTO gel, and a big shoot through umbrella at close range to subject:

Flashpoint Pro Boom ($89) (external link)
Dual Hotshoe Umbrella Holder ($19) (external link)
Phottix 60" White Umbrella ($39) (external link)
Westscott 43" White Shoot Through Umbrella ($21) (external link)
Lee 1/4 CTO (20x24" sheet) ($12) (external link) (Cut to fit your flashes)

$168 above with both modifiers. You can get one if you feel you only need one (I prefer having options, so get two).

If you want two good built in receiver manual flashes, take a look at the Yongnuo 560 III or IV ($50~60), or the Flashpoint R2 (TT660) ($70) (external link) for cheap high output good speedlites.

Use your existing speedlite, add another speed if you need more output as an option too.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5745/22804495704_c24f6d6295.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/AKa1​5q] (external link)IMG_9707 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5789/22805809553_4d17e7404d.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/AKgJ​CZ] (external link)IMG_6076 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5759/23137253730_67dc4f6277.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Bfyt​rL] (external link)IMG_6096 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Cheap, good, portable.

Very best,

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

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Wilt
Wilt is an old fart who has extensive experience with many brands and many formats of cameras, and extensive lighting knowledge of both studio lighting and speedlights
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Post has been edited 1 month ago by Wilt.
Mar 20, 2017 11:40 |  #6

MalVeauX wrote in post #18305977 (external link)
Inexpensive, effective, works. I've had these for years now.

what are you using, to light these? I see evidence of the pinkish shift that Buff products (before Einsteins) have been known to exhibit at their lowest two power levels.


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MalVeauX
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Post has been edited 1 month ago by MalVeauX.
Mar 20, 2017 12:00 |  #7

Wilt wrote in post #18305982 (external link)
what are you using, to light these? I see evidence of the pinkish shift that Buff products (before Einsteins) have been known to exhibit at their lowest two power levels.

Cheap flashpoint strobes from Adorama. The ones linked above and said used.

Whatever pink shift you see is from these lights and/or the white balance used over that white muslin.

Very best,


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

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Cheap Lighting Setup?
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