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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 03 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 14:45
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Best Strobe Kit for Appox $1,000?

 
Josh ­ V
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Feb 03, 2013 14:45 |  #1

Hey all,
As the title says it, right to the point.
That's my budget and $1,200 is really pushing it.

I will be using primarily for portraits and sometimes group photos.

These would be my first strobes so I have a few questions.

1. If possible, I would like some with built in receivers to use with a pocket wizard transmitter. I seen another photographer use lights like this but didn't catch the brand of the lights he was using. Well, actually his lights did say Com Pact. A big space between Com and pact. I don't know if that's a brand.

2. Also, I do video and already have a set of continuous lights. I was wondering if the modeling light used in strobes could be used as a continuous light source for video in a small room. If this is possible, then I would just like to sell the other light set to use towards other gear. If not recommended, please explain why.

Thanks for any help.


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kouasupra
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Feb 03, 2013 15:26 |  #2

PCB Einstein.

2 x Einstein will put you there in the $1000+. Or you can go with 2-3 alienbees 1600 instead. Both strobe works really well with pocket wizard.




  
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Yasmin
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Feb 03, 2013 16:45 |  #3

How about Elinchrom BX-Ri 500 ?

Gotta love Elinchrom range of accessories.

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …BXRi_500_500_To​_Go_2.html (external link)

http://m.youtube.com/w​atch?v=ACJKbhe-NQ8 (external link)




  
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Josh ­ V
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Feb 04, 2013 16:46 |  #4

Thanks for the recommendations. I was looking at those Einsteins. Do they have Pocket Wizard receivers built in?

Anyone else have some input? I'll be making the investment in about another week so I just want to get as much info as I can from people with personal experience.


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Josh ­ V
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Feb 04, 2013 16:47 |  #5

And it doesn't have to be a kit necessarily, just a pair of strobes.


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SMP_Homer
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Feb 04, 2013 16:52 |  #6

Alien bees and mini vagabond lithium battery pack!


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Pearlallica
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Feb 05, 2013 15:07 |  #7

Josh V wrote in post #15572160 (external link)
I was looking at those Einsteins. Do they have Pocket Wizard receivers built in?

Wouldn't that be nice? No, no they don't. If you don't already have PW I would invest in cybercommander if you went the route of Einsteins.

I have a slew of Elinchrom lighting and am biased towards their products, however. They just released some new BXR-500 heads which have some attractive specs. It would be pushing your budget. With built-in receivers, you'd be ahead of the game getting buying a used (or new) transceiver for a hundred extra bucks or less.


jonathan @ tlcphoto.com (external link) - pro wedding and portrait photog
5d2 5d3 50L 16-35 70-200 ElinchromRX600 580EX 600EX VIV285

  
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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 05, 2013 16:01 |  #8

If you already have two Pocketwizards, you can plug one into one of the lights. If you don't already have Pocketwizards, the Cybersyncs listed below will do the job for a lot less cash.

Alienbees B1600 @ $360 x 2 = $720
Cybersync transmitter @ $60
Cybersync CSR receiver @ $70
Light stands @ $40 x 2 = $80
48" convertible umbrellas @ $35 x 2 = $70
Total $1,000

Buy the light stands and umbrellas locally. Promaster makes good ones for the money.

I suggested the B1600 because the power will be useful for large groups. If you're only doing small groups then you could downsize to the B800 and have a little leftover.

If you don't already have a flash meter, you need one of those. The Sekonic L-358 is a great choice.

Modeling lights from strobes could be used for video, but you'll probably want something with more horsepower.


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BrickR
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Feb 05, 2013 16:16 |  #9

Portable power for Elinchrom seems considerably more expensive than PCB, am I looking in the wrong place for prices?? (B&H for example)


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Pearlallica
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Feb 05, 2013 16:29 |  #10

BrickR wrote in post #15576293 (external link)
Portable power for Elinchrom seems considerably more expensive than PCB, am I looking in the wrong place for prices?? (B&H for example)

If you also need your lights to be portable the best value would be alien bee and the vagabond. Elinchrom portability comes in their quadra ranger pack and heads (2500 bucks). You get more features / quality from monos if portability isn't your driving necessity.


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isoMorphic
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Feb 05, 2013 18:12 |  #11

Mettle also has a a battery kit worth looking at which has gotten great reviews on here.




  
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Josh ­ V
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Feb 05, 2013 18:28 |  #12

Pearlallica wrote in post #15575973 (external link)
Wouldn't that be nice? No, no they don't. If you don't already have PW I would invest in cybercommander if you went the route of Einsteins.

I have a slew of Elinchrom lighting and am biased towards their products, however. They just released some new BXR-500 heads which have some attractive specs. It would be pushing your budget. With built-in receivers, you'd be ahead of the game getting buying a used (or new) transceiver for a hundred extra bucks or less.


Are these the Elinchroms you're talking about?
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …x_500_500_2_lig​ht_to.html (external link)

They should have been available today.

Anyway, I recently got a rotating gig from my friends job where I would need to take photos of actors on a small stage. I initially declined because I only have speedlights but my friend insisted because he wants to help me to gain more experience so how could I really say no? I know though that my Speeadlights are not going to cut it.

The other photographer that rotates shows with me, uses some Profoto lights but that's too much for my budget.He's kind of cocky and hard to talk to so I don't bother for his advice.

Would the Alien Bees B1600 be powerful enough to light the small stage. More specifically, to light a group of up to but no more than 5 actors? Its probably just more intimidating to me that it really is. I don't have Pocket Wizards. I have some cheap Ebay triggers that I use with 2 580 EXII flashes. The Einstein trigger system looks good too. This can't be use with the AB's correct?

Also, yes, I would like to use for on location shoots so a cheaper power pack would be nice..


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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 05, 2013 19:22 |  #13

Would the Alien Bees B1600 be powerful enough to light the small stage. More specifically, to light a group of up to but no more than 5 actors?

It's all relative. The image below was done with two B1600s with Photek Softlighters, shot at f/4 ISO 400. Honestly, unless you're going to do big groups or go outside and try to compete with the sun, the B800s will be fine.

Read the specs carefully on the Paul C Buff site regarding their components. The Cybercommander can be used to adjust power on both Alienbees and Einsteins, they just require different receivers.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/Christian-Youth-Theater/Peter-Pan/Formal-Color-Portraits-Cast/i-7sxWZks/0/L/Peter%20Pan%20Cast-L.jpg

This stuff is quite scalable and holds its value pretty well, so don't buy what you don't need today. You don't need remote power adjustment unless the light is somewhere out of reach. Keep it simple.

"If you're not having fun, your pictures will reflect that." - Joe McNally
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Josh ­ V
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Feb 05, 2013 21:18 |  #14

Curtis N wrote in post #15576232 (external link)
If you already have two Pocketwizards, you can plug one into one of the lights. If you don't already have Pocketwizards, the Cybersyncs listed below will do the job for a lot less cash.


If you don't already have a flash meter, you need one of those. The Sekonic L-358 is a great choice.

How about the Cyber Commander to trigger your flashes and use as a flash meter. Is the Flash Meter on this good enough?


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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 05, 2013 23:06 |  #15

Caveat: I don't own a Cybercommander. I'm going off published specs and reviews from people I trust.

The integrated flash meter is certainly good enough for metering studio lights, individually and as a group. I don't know what its capabilities are (if any) for metering ambient light or mixing ambient and flash. These capabilities of the Sekonic L-358 I have found invaluable for outdoor work.

I think it's logical to think you can save a few bucks on a meter by getting the Cybercommander instead. Just understand you also need to buy the right receivers to get all of the functions of the Cybercommander, and you need a separate receiver for each light.

So if you're comparing Cybercommander plus CSR+ receivers vs. a Sekonic plus Cybersync transmitter and one receiver, it probably comes out pretty close in dollars. So the question becomes which would you rather have, the fingertip adjustment capabilities of the Cybercommander system, or the more versatile light meter.


"If you're not having fun, your pictures will reflect that." - Joe McNally
Chicago area POTN events (external link)
Flash Photography 101 | The EOS Flash Bible  (external link)| Techniques for Better On-Camera Flash (external link) | How to Use Flash Outdoors| Excel-based DOF Calculator (external link)

  
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Best Strobe Kit for Appox $1,000?
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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