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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Jul 2013 (Thursday) 01:49
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What equipment to start with?

90 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Mar 2013
Jul 25, 2013 01:49 |  #1

I'm reading and watching videos about studio lighting and setup, and I'm planning on buying some basic equipment for portraits and simple studio photography.

I know this hobby is going to be a lifetime thing, I keep surprising myself with the photos I take every now and then, so I don't want to purchase anything that I wouldn't keep later down the road.

I think I'll need:
- Flash stand
- Softbox
- Umbrella
- Constant light source for the hotbox, dimmable (nothing expensive)
- Backdrops (white&Black) and backdrop stand

Any good -and cost effecient- recommendations I can start with?

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Joined Jan 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Jul 25, 2013 02:34 |  #2

Why do you want constant light?

I'm only intimately familiar with speedotron(at such a young age too....most of the speedo people are OLD... I hear AARP calls foodguy regularly), but you can find a LOT of speedotron stuff for under $500.

Or are you going to go the speedlite route?

How much power do you need? How much portability? Not even in my crazy mind, is the speedotron stuff portable(explorer 1500 excluded).

PhaseOne H25
Camera agnostic

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Joined Mar 2010
Jul 25, 2013 19:03 |  #3

Personally - I find myself migrating to speed light gear even in the studio. I have a couple of flashpoint strobes that I also use. Again, this is all hobby stuff. I bought the cheetah Q-box 24 with the pro bracket. It will hold a large umbrella and any modifier with a Bowens mount. My 430 EXII is enough power for me for most situations. I think the new cheetah lights (CL-180/360) are the best of both worlds. Light, small, portable and powerful and will work with my speed light gear. I will probably pick up the 180 when I need more power outside.

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Location: Belmont, CA
Jul 27, 2013 11:58 |  #4

Those who say 'buy speedlight' either...

  • Don't understand the value of SEEING IN ADVANCE what the lighting placement does to best depict and FLATTER subject (or fail to well depict the subject)
  • Understand lighting well enough thru experience to know general placement of lights -- but this is nevertheless simply 'ILLUMINATION', not flattering a human subject or best showing off the features of an object

If you are learning, there is no better way to learn to see what lighting placement does to flatter (or not) the subject, than to view with a constant light source. When I teach lighting fundamentals I start by simply having the student get a halogen desk lamp and move it around a subject's face, so that they instantly see how it emphasizes or hides facial blemishes and flatters or makes ugly the subject. It is also beneficial to instantly see effects of different light ratios.

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Canon dSLR system, Olympus OM 35mm system, Bronica ETRSi 645 system, Horseman LS 4x5 system, Metz flashes, Dynalite studio lighting, and too many accessories to mention

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What equipment to start with?
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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