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Thread started 09 Oct 2011 (Sunday) 22:48
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studio flash suggestions

 
GerryDavid
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Oct 09, 2011 22:48 |  #1

I think I am finally going to break down and get a traditional studio flash setup. Ive been using five vivitar 285 flashes in my studio to keep things portable, but the vivitars have been failing me and instead of keep buying new ones I think ill just invest in some strobes. The only problem is I dont have a ton of knoweldge on strobes themselves. I have an understanding on light ratio's, positioning, etc, just not the strobes itself.

I dont want to spend a ton of money, since money is tight, we just had a baby and with a baby comes bills. :)

I am thinking of getting something like this:

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …FL140_3_Light_S​tudio.html (external link)

but I got a feeling its missing something, I notice in some of the more expensive packages there something that looks like a car battery, I think its a power pack? Im not to familiar with this and its something im going to have to research some more. :)

My question is it has three 100 watt/second flashes, is that the same thing as a three 100 watt light bulbs? If so I dont see how that would be enough light with out shooting at iso 1600 at F2.8. But looking at the specs, it says its guide number is 105, and im use to my vivitar 285's which have a gn of 110. so watt/seconds and watts are not comparable?

When I first opened my studio, I played with the idea of using regular light bulbs in two towers and even with 12 or 15 cfl lights, each being the equivalent of 100 watts, it still wasnt enough light to photograph at with out using iso 800.

I know alot of people will probably strongly suggest buying a $1000+ set, but I just cant afford that. My budget is around $350. its a small studio, about 10' wide, 9' tall and 15' long. I prefer to shoot at iso 100 but im ok with using an iso upto 400 to help compensate for weaker flashes while still giving me a range of apertures to use between F4 and F11.

I'll appreciate any feedback and suggestions for studio lighting on a budget. :)


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GerryDavid
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Oct 09, 2011 22:54 |  #2

thinking about it some more, I guess I want two umbrella flashes with a GN around 250, with at least 3 fstop settings, that will give me good cycle times starting at the mid range fstop. Is there a good website for looking this sort of thing up? Like a dpreview.com version for flashes? I think that one only covers cameras, i guess Ill go look to make sure. :D


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GerryDavid
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Oct 09, 2011 23:17 |  #3

Im now trying to decide between these two:

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …wo_Monolight_So​ftbox.html (external link)
$350 - GN 115 - 2 second cycle - and variable flash output but it doesnt specify how much. and it has two softboxes

and

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …00_Two_Monoligh​t_Kit.html (external link)
$400 - GN 182 - 2 second cycle - and variable flash output but it doesnt specify how much. and it has two umbrellas.

My wireless triggers have two flash trigger cords, the pc port for portable flashes and a plug that reminds me of the large jack for stereos. I think the larger one will work with these.


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MichaelAnthonyPhotography
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Oct 09, 2011 23:29 |  #4

Look at Paul C. Buff stuff.....I am not an owner but I hear great things about them.....as with everything it is better to buy the good stuff rather than buying crap and then buying the good stuff


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wayovrpar
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Oct 09, 2011 23:38 as a reply to  @ MichaelAnthonyPhotography's post |  #5

Calumet Genesis 200 2 light kit. 2 lights, 2 stands, 2 umbrellas....great starter kit.


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Jimconnerphoto
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Oct 09, 2011 23:52 |  #6

What kind of work do you do?


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GerryDavid
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Oct 10, 2011 00:15 |  #7

a bit of everything. pets, babies, children, seniors, families, weddings and not much but some product. I do mostly location work and I bring a couple off camera flashes for those, once in a while someone wants to do a studio shoot, then I have a couple flash combinations I do using 4 or 5 vivitar flashes. few in the front, couple in the back.

Thanks wayovrpar, Ill check them out. :)

I know its better to buy great gear instead of cheaper gear first then better stuff later, but when you physically cant buy the great gear you are left with no choice but to get the cheaper stuff first. And its not the equipment that takes great photo's, its the photographer. :D better gear just makes it easier.


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sigma ­ pi
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Oct 10, 2011 11:47 |  #8

MichaelAnthonyPhotogra​phy wrote in post #13227678 (external link)
Look at Paul C. Buff stuff.....I am not an owner but I hear great things about them.....as with everything it is better to buy the good stuff rather than buying crap and then buying the good stuff

I agree. That is why I would not get the paul buff lights.


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
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GadgetRick
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Oct 10, 2011 12:01 as a reply to  @ sigma pi's post |  #9

I'm a huge fan of the PCB stuff. I love the AB800 but have been wanting to upgrade to the Einsteins.

Their customer support is excellent. Their products seem to be extremely reliable and the prices are reasonable for what you're getting.

I also have lots of friends who use their gear and swear by it.




  
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windpig
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Oct 10, 2011 12:03 |  #10

Elinchrom DLite4 or DLite2 is the minimum I would go with. Consistent color across the power settings. Start with single light, umbrella with reflector and use a speedlight for accent.


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Curtis ­ N
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Oct 10, 2011 17:04 |  #11

Alienbees (from Paul C. Buff), Calumet Genesis and Elinchrom Dlites are the usual recommendations for entry-level studio strobes.

They aren't great lights, compared to many higher-priced models. Just like a Chevy isn't a great car, compared to a Lexus.

My Chevy gets me where I'm going, and the brands mentioned above will serve your needs for a long time.


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Jimconnerphoto
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Oct 10, 2011 18:01 |  #12

In your boots I would probably just get one light for now. Getting the more expensive lights allow for more consistency across power settings, shorter duration flashes, more power, versatility and they are typically more durable. The light itself is not necessarily any better. Light is light, your modifiers are key to producing quality light but the units themselves are not going to change much.

When you invest in a lighting system you need to consider what modifiers and accessories you will eventually get. Going with a system right now that you can afford may cost more in the long run. Getting one light and slowly building your arsenal will allow you to get the system you want and not have to upgrade everything later.

For the work you are doing Alien Bees will work fine. Yes, they produce different color lighting in their power ranges but for portraits you are not going to be too concerned.
Your 285's can be used in conjunction with whatever you decide to purchase.


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tim
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Oct 10, 2011 21:13 |  #13

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=113639


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Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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Old ­ Coot
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Oct 11, 2011 17:27 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #14

Keep an eye on the mall area of the forum and buy a used set when someone else upgrades, or watch on the ebay for a used kit. Originally, I bought a cheap import light kit just for messing around and within a month found a great deal on an older Novatron kit that had been rebuilt. So, now I have both. The Novatron travels with me on location and the cheap kit stays in the backroom 'studio'.


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GerryDavid
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Oct 11, 2011 22:39 |  #15

what modifiers will I probably be interested in later? I thought an umbrella strobe would just be used for that, with an umbrella. eventually Ill want to get some other strobes, a fill flash, background flashes, and a hair light are the ones that im aware of.

and im not really liking the idea of getting a single strobe, half the picture would be dark and would probably be horrible for groups of people?

Constant color across the power range is something i didnt realize would be a problem.

I looked up the Elinchrom DLite2 and 4's, if I could get a pair of dlite2's for $400 that would be sweet.

I'll check out the used market, thanks for the suggestion. :)


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studio flash suggestions
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