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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 26 Feb 2015 (Thursday) 20:40
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Studio Light Setup Help

 
kma16
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Feb 26, 2015 20:40 |  #1

Hi,
I am looking to purchase some studio lighting. The more I read online, the more confused I get.

1 - Suggestions on table top product photography lighting (feasible but decent quality)
2 - Suggestions on portable lighting equipment for indoor family formals at weddings. Would a 400W strobe with a 7' parabolic umbrella be sufficient?
3 - Anyone use video lights to light up wedding dance floor? If yes, suggestions on video lights?

Thank you!




  
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windpig
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Feb 26, 2015 21:49 |  #2

What's your budget?


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diveguy
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Post edited over 4 years ago by diveguy. (3 edits in all)
     
Feb 27, 2015 01:13 |  #3

There are many considerations, and you'll find a lot of info in these forums.

As a start, I would suggest:

1. Alien Bees - AB 800's are $279 each, plus stand and umbrella. Very popular, decent quality, affordable, can't go wrong. (Note the AB800 is not 800ws, it's actually 320ws). Source: http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/alienbees.php (external link)

2. Einstein E640. All digital control, consistent output, people love these. $499 each, plus stand and umbrellas. http://www.paulcbuff.c​om (external link)

3. Profoto D1 500 kit. Premium quality, beautiful light, all digital, a top brand. $2,300 for a kit of two 500ws strobes, stands, umbrellas and case. If 250ws will be enough (plenty for studio/tabletop) you can get the 250 version kit for about $1,600. http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …1025_D1_Air_100​0_w_s.html (external link)


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kma16
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Feb 27, 2015 08:44 as a reply to  @ diveguy's post |  #4

Thank you, I'll look into these for sure. A good starting point anyways.
I've been looking into the The AlienBees™ B1600 Flash Unit but maybe I'll read into the Einstein E640. to bring to weddings with a 7' parabolic umbrella. I suppose I could use these strobes for table top product photos as well ....? But was originally thinking of a smaller and portable set up.




  
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kma16
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Feb 27, 2015 08:47 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #5

I don't have a specific budget set right now. I'm not looking to spend thousands. I'm hoping for mid range equipment but deliver quality.

For strobes, I'm thinking $200 - $500/strobe
Tabletop set up - $300 ...?

I'm looking for a starting point and to build upon throughout the year.




  
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Strobo
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Feb 27, 2015 10:49 |  #6

kma16 wrote in post #17452219 (external link)
For strobes, I'm thinking $200 - $500/strobe
Tabletop set up - $300 ...?

I'm looking for a starting point and to build upon throughout the year.

Have a look at something like the Einsteins, mainly for their wide power range. You'll want to be able to dial the power way down for tabletop.




  
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seres
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Feb 27, 2015 11:02 |  #7

Strobo wrote in post #17452384 (external link)
Have a look at something like the Einsteins, mainly for their wide power range. You'll want to be able to dial the power way down for tabletop.

My biggest problem in small product photography is to get the power down low enough.


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Alveric
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Feb 27, 2015 12:15 |  #8

seres wrote in post #17452414 (external link)
My biggest problem in small product photography is to get the power down low enough.

You must be shooting at very large apertures!!

Forget about the AlienBees: if you're into product photography you need consistent colour. The AlienBees vary their colour temperature when you change their power; unless you want to be shooting a colour card every time you adjust the dial, they're more trouble than they are worth. The Einstein would be a better solution here, due to its 'colour consistent' mode or whatever PCB calls it.

Yes, you can grow as you go along, but you must keep in mind that you're marrying a system, just like you did with your camera. Although there are quite a number of third party adapters and converters so that you can use light formers from a certain brand with another, this is hardly ever an optimal solution. Systems like the Profoto (which I find good but not THE ultimate flash), although 'expensive' are more rugged, durable and versatile than budget lighting, let alone the garbage that comes from across the Pacific.

You might think about going with elcheapo now and then sell it and buy good stuff from Hensel, Multiblitz, Profoto or Speedotron, but you almost always end up losing money that way. It's always best to start with the good right away, even if you can only afford one light and a couple of modifiers, and grow that good system as you go.


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bsmotril
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Feb 27, 2015 12:46 as a reply to  @ kma16's post |  #9

The AB1600 is not what you want for tabletop stuff. It does not dial down to as low a power as the Einstein does. If anything, and AB400 would be a better choice, but still not as versatile as the Einstein.


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mike_d
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Feb 27, 2015 15:09 |  #10

bsmotril wrote in post #17452589 (external link)
The AB1600 is not what you want for tabletop stuff. It does not dial down to as low a power as the Einstein does. If anything, and AB400 would be a better choice, but still not as versatile as the Einstein.

If he's using modifiers, that'll eat up a good amount of power so the 1600's could work unless he needs narrow DOF. Nothing an ND filter couldn't solve. Sure, the Einsteins are better, but they're more expensive. Its easier to reduce the power of an overpowered strobe than to make more power from an underpowered one.




  
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Strobo
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Feb 28, 2015 09:49 |  #11

mike_d wrote in post #17452742 (external link)
If he's using modifiers, that'll eat up a good amount of power so the 1600's could work unless he needs narrow DOF. Nothing an ND filter couldn't solve. Sure, the Einsteins are better, but they're more expensive. Its easier to reduce the power of an overpowered strobe than to make more power from an underpowered one.

For tabletop I think it's easier do to multiple pops with a lower powered strobe than deal with nd filters and their colour cast issues.




  
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dmward
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Feb 28, 2015 13:34 |  #12

The Einsteins are the only lights to buy if one wants to have the versatility from low power to high power with one light kit.

I've used mine for everything from table top setups shooting sun glasses for a website to shooting models on white seamless for fashion catalog.

Great tools. I don't do that stuff anymore so mine are going up for sale.


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Studio Light Setup Help
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