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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 29 Feb 2016 (Monday) 13:52
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Newbie studio lighting

 
Flying ­ dragon
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Flying dragon. (3 edits in all)
     
Feb 29, 2016 13:52 |  #1
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What a good studio lighting set?

Is paul buff alien bees any good are they too expensive? are the Einstein better?
I had seen some cheap one from amazon for 400.

Is this all i need for a newbie studio?

The Genius - $1483.60

2 Einstein™ E640 Flash Units
2 LS3900 13-foot Heavy Duty Light Stands
2 PLM64U-SS 64-inch Soft Silver PLM™ Umbrellas
2 PLM64-WFDF 64-inch White Front Diffusion Fabrics
1 CC CyberSync™ Cyber Commander™
2 CSXCV CyberSync™ Transceivers
2 PCBBAG Paul C. Buff™ Single Light Carrying Bags

OR THIS


The Busy Bee - $1298.59

2 AlienBees™ B800 Flash
1 AlienBees™ B400 Flash
2 LS3900 13-foot Heavy Duty Light Stands
1 LS3050 10-foot General Purpose Light Stand
1 FOB47 47-inch Foldable Octabox
1 HG20 20º Honeycomb Grid
1 PLM64U-SS 64-inch Soft Silver PLM™
1 PLM64-WFDF 64-inch White Front Diffusion Fabric
1 CST CyberSync™ Transmitter
1 CSR CyberSync™ Receiver
3 AlienBees™ Single Light Carrying Bags




  
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kouasupra
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Mar 02, 2016 23:33 |  #2

The genius package would be better if you can afford it. Except I would substitute one PLM for. Softbox.




  
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cololeo
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Mar 03, 2016 04:01 |  #3

I would seriously suggest rather than jumping into the deep end of the pool, you invest in a couple of the little under $100 strobes, a couple of stands and umbrellas and maybe a flash meter and practice, practice, practice. Buy a mannequin head, as your wife, girlfriend or significant other will never pose for hours while you refine your technique. Play with it, change it and understand it.

It's not the equipment that makes the photo, but the photographer. You can create one hell of a studio under $500 that will guide you, let you expand and instill confidence and expertise.


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nathancarter
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Post edited over 3 years ago by nathancarter. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 03, 2016 15:42 |  #4

Three lights is more flexible than two lights. Sometimes you only need one light, but between those two choices I would lean toward the Alienbees for the flexibility of three lights.

If you're doing "studio," don't forget your backdrop stands and backdrops and paper.
And all the other assorted grip gear, sandbags, boom arm, clamps, etc.


Personally, I started with one Speedlight (a 430EXII), then I got two more Speedlights (Yongnuos) and stands and softboxes. Then I got more modifiers. Then I got more grip gear and backdrop stuff. Then I finally upgraded to some entry-level studio strobes (Elinchrom D-Lites), and am building an assortment of modifiers for those.

Based on this learning curve, I can still get great images with just one Speedlight. But I acknowledge that I'm still learning, and I could still get better images with more and better gear - but from here on out, the improvements will be incremental.

cololeo wrote in post #17921600 (external link)
You can create one hell of a studio under $500 that will guide you, let you expand and instill confidence and expertise.

Agree entirely.


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ksbal
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Mar 03, 2016 17:08 |  #5

Hmm.... I agree and disagree. buying Buff equipment IS a good investment, and will hold value. Buying a cheap $100 strobe is usually a very poor value with no resale.

That said...

3 good lightstands, 3 good s-type speedlight holders, and 3 good Youngnou speedlights with triggers and 3 umbrellas can be a great starter package. I started to speedlights, added strobes, and mix back and forth now depending on my needs.

There is so much to learn, that is more than buying a lighting package, it can take years to figure out what you REALLY want to do with your photography. So I'd advise starting with cheap (but well researched, reliable) speedlights and start with them, and then add as your needs grow. JMHO.


Godox/Flashpoint r2 system, plus some canon stuff.

  
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RicoTudor
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Post edited over 3 years ago by RicoTudor. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 03, 2016 18:37 |  #6

I support the less-is-more approach, having started with one Speedlite taped to a coat rack. From ten years ago:

IMAGE: http://patternassociates.com/rico/photo/misc/rico2b.jpg

Learning light is a fascinating process, and nothing beats years of practice—no joke. Multiple lights don't solve the fundamental challenge of shaping and directing the light onto your subject. After devising a lighting scheme, I find that one light source is often enough when combined with other (passive) studio elements. For emergencies only, I have six studio lights. :) From last night:

IMAGE: http://patternassociates.com/rico/contax/misc/rico110.jpg

Setup was one bare-bulb studio flash (not Speedlite) behind a diffusion panel, a white wall for b/g, a scrim for background adjustment, and stray light from the key for ambient fill (my shooting space is white). Energy was 9Ws out of 600 available. For support, three items needed to be positioned in the air, and that support should receive a generous fraction of the budget.

Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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absplastic
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Mar 03, 2016 19:22 |  #7

I'd like to know what the OP expects to photograph in the proposed studio. Is the intention a portrait studio? Because that's what people are assuming in their responses, based on the modifiers included in the suggested kits.

The Einstein kit with two 64" umbrellas is going to be able to light large objects or areas, but you need a physically large studio space to work with modifiers this size, and even with a big space they are difficult modifiers to get a variety of lighting looks from IMHO, because they make it hard to put light only where you want it (e.g. to direct it and control spill). Two huge, throw-light-everywhere umbrellas is just not how I'd start out, unless you only want to do one type of look that this setup can achieve, like a white-background clothing catalog look.

If you want to do interesting, varied and creative portraiture, it's best to start with smaller modifiers and a variety of types, to learn how they behave. Umbrellas have their place, but so do deep octas, strip boxes, beauty dishes, gridded reflectors, snoots, etc. I would highly recommend identifying what type of lighting looks you want to be able to do first, and get the modifiers needed for those looks. There are a lot of websites and books that show combinations of results side by side with the associated lighting diagrams and equipment specs.


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atsilverstein
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Post edited over 3 years ago by atsilverstein.
     
Mar 03, 2016 20:33 |  #8

Since you're already considering above 1k, a $200 difference between the two levels doesn't seem like a large gap. If it is, consider either spending way less, or just wait a bit until the $1500 is doable.

Yes, if you're going to be using it for moving targets like young kids, I'd invest in the more powerful lighting to help freeze motion. I agree with the space issue, I have one 60" parabolic and that thing is huge. But that is only one element, there's also my other light source, the stands, the backdrop and backdrop holder, and the space needed between the backdrop and subject, subject and me.

I also second the manakin.. there's only so many times I can practice on my kid before she loses interest, and she doesn't pose for me.

Here's my poor man's studio set up - under $500. She is a bit too far forward from where I wanted her to be but she is 2 and the soft lighting seems to be forgiving. I use continuous bulb lighting. At some point I'd like to upgrade to a more sophisticated setup but for now this works for me.


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DanangMonkey
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Post edited over 3 years ago by DanangMonkey.
     
Mar 07, 2016 02:35 |  #9

cololeo wrote in post #17921600 (external link)
I Buy a mannequin head, as your wife, girlfriend or significant other will never pose for hours while you refine your technique. Play with it, change it and understand it.


Rover -- My Official Lighting Stunt Dog

I totally nuked his scalp and he's still smiling...what a trooper!


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Newbie studio lighting
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