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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 01 Oct 2011 (Saturday) 13:44
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What studio lighting do I get next? (after 580ex ii)

 
MelissaJoppPhotography
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Oct 01, 2011 13:44 |  #1

Hi All,
I use my family room as my in home studio as it has the most natural light but most times I still need a flash. I have a 580 ex ii right now and I use it on a stand with an umbrella. Is there a way I can take a 5 person family session indoor with this flash alone and no harsh lighting or what slave flash should I get? I need to get something cheap as I will also have to buy another light stand, umbrella, trigger etc. Otherwise, would it be better to get a studio light like alien bees?
Thanks for your time!
Melissa




  
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canonguy14
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Oct 01, 2011 13:58 |  #2

If your budget allows, I would get an alien bee setup. Use that as your main and the 580 as fill.

You can get a AB400, 10 foot stand and 48" shoot thru umbrella for around $300 bucks. I started with a single strobe and my 580 as fill and had a ton of success with it.

I know there are other packages that have 2 strobe setups with stands and umbrellas at B&H that are around the same price as the alien bee.

Here's a few kits:
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …KI_Two_Monoligh​t_Kit.html (external link)

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …ite_Plus_Monoli​ght_2.html (external link)

With the Wescott, you still need stands and modifiers, but it's a start.


Canon 5D MkII x 2 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 | Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro | Canon 17-40mm f/4L | 600EX-RT x 2 | 580EXII | AB800
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MelissaJoppPhotography
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Oct 01, 2011 14:55 |  #3

Thank you very much! Do you know a good place to get alien bees? Ebay? How would you compare the alien bees to the others strobe kits you listed?




  
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Vixen89
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Oct 01, 2011 16:50 |  #4

Alienbees can only be bought used through other people or new from PCB.

http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/alienbees.php (external link)

For what you're trying to achieve I wouldn't wanna break the wallet with high end strobes like everyone else is telling others to get.


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canonguy14
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Oct 02, 2011 08:14 |  #5

Here's a couple of AB800's for sale on this forum:

https://photography-on-the.net …t=1095216&highl​ight=ab800

https://photography-on-the.net …t=1097568&highl​ight=ab800

That's a great price on both considering they are $275 plus shipping from their online store.


Canon 5D MkII x 2 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 | Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro | Canon 17-40mm f/4L | 600EX-RT x 2 | 580EXII | AB800
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canonguy14
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Oct 02, 2011 08:22 |  #6

Oh, and to compare the Alienbees to the other kits......I would give alienbees the +1.

Alienbees recycle time is .5 sec. vs. 2 and 3 second from the other 2
Alien bees have a built in fan and the other 3 don't. Keep in mind, this feature is usually limited to higher end strobes.
Alien bees are a bit lighter than the other 2.
Alien bees have a 2 year factory warrenty.


Canon 5D MkII x 2 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 | Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro | Canon 17-40mm f/4L | 600EX-RT x 2 | 580EXII | AB800
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kokakaste2
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Oct 02, 2011 08:34 |  #7

AB400 is only 160Ws, which is not that much. Maybe look at more powerful one? (AB800?)


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Peacefield
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Oct 02, 2011 09:16 |  #8

But wait; why are you looking to buy anything? Just for a 5 person portrait in a family room?!?

Studio lights are overkill, IMO. The reality is, if you have neutral colored walls, just bounce your flash off that. Your light will be much bigger and softer than any softbox or umbrella. If your walls aren't neutral, just get a 36" or so white shoot-through umbrella. Set your 580 to M, also manual zoom set to the widest setting, I'd even flip down the little diffuser. The point is, your 580 more than powerful enough and you can make it's light just as beautiful as a studio strobe.

When I'm shooting group portaits at a wedding, I'm working with a single off-camera 580 shot through only a 22" umbrella for portability. And those portraits are shot in dark churches or banquet halls. Here's a portrait from a couple of weeks ago of 19 people done with only one 580 and my little 22" umbrella:

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IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Certainly, more is always better. I could have made better light with one of my Calumet 400's (I personally prefer them to AB) and a 50" softbox, but that's just not practical when shooting a wedding on location.

If you want to get into bigger and more complex lighting because you enjoy the hobby, that's one thing. But if your only objective is to take a nice photo of five people in your family room, first think about bouncing, then think about your 580 through a rather inexpensive umbrella.

Robert Wayne Photography (external link)

5D3, 5D2, 50D, 350D * 16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 100-400 IS, 100 L Macro, 35 1.4, 85 1.2 II, 135 2.0, Tokina 10-17 fish * 580 EX II (3) Stratos triggers * Other Stuff plus a Pelican 1624 to haul it all

  
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PhotosGuy
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Oct 02, 2011 20:14 |  #9

Except for the kid in the center, that looks pretty good & is well within the limits needed for RAW
processing.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
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Peacefield
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Oct 03, 2011 06:44 |  #10

PhotosGuy wrote in post #13196468 (external link)
Except for the kid in the center, that looks pretty good & is well within the limits needed for RAW
processing.

Thanks. The kid (who is the couple's son) was a challenge all day. I wanted him out in front because I knew he'd otherwise get lost in someone's shadow, but he just wouldn't have it. Ugh.


Robert Wayne Photography (external link)

5D3, 5D2, 50D, 350D * 16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 100-400 IS, 100 L Macro, 35 1.4, 85 1.2 II, 135 2.0, Tokina 10-17 fish * 580 EX II (3) Stratos triggers * Other Stuff plus a Pelican 1624 to haul it all

  
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PhotosGuy
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Oct 03, 2011 10:13 |  #11

Peacefield wrote in post #13197808 (external link)
Thanks. The kid (who is the couple's son) was a challenge all day. I wanted him out in front because I knew he'd otherwise get lost in someone's shadow, but he just wouldn't have it. Ugh.

Sit him on the table. Have the ladies behind him each grab one of his ears! :D


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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MelissaJoppPhotography
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Oct 03, 2011 15:51 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #12

WOW! Thank you all for your help! I may not be more confused then I was before but at least now I have different options to think about. I would love to just stick with my 580 but I thought with the umbrella the light really only spread about 3 people wide? I have been using it as a reflector, would it make more sense to shoot through the umbrella? unfortunately my ceiling is high so I can not bounce my flash :(.




  
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MelissaJoppPhotography
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Oct 03, 2011 15:54 |  #13

Ok, I took a closer read and did see that you recommend shooting through the umbrella. I prefer outdoor all year long so still getting use to studio set ups and may sound like a bozo at times. I apologize.




  
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Frugal
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Oct 03, 2011 16:43 as a reply to  @ MelissaJoppPhotography's post |  #14

I use one stop shoot through umbrellas by westcott and others Some shoot though ones can lose 2 stops of light. - Important if you don't have a lot of light to start with.


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canonguy14
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Oct 03, 2011 18:58 |  #15

You can adjust the 580 in manual mode. Over ride the zoom on the 580 and set it to it's widest setting. This will allow you to cover a bigger group.

You'll have to compensate aperture once you do this but it will allow you to get the effect you're looking for w/o spending any cash if you don't need to.


Canon 5D MkII x 2 | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Sigma 85mm f/1.4 | Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro | Canon 17-40mm f/4L | 600EX-RT x 2 | 580EXII | AB800
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What studio lighting do I get next? (after 580ex ii)
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