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A Cheap Lighting System - any ideas?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Mart61, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    Hi there

    I'm looking for a cheap and cheerful lighting set up to use with my 80cm light tent. I really don't want to spend much money at all and was considering using some workshop-based work lamps. Things such as:


    These things come in all kinds of wattages and retail for as low as £5 each.

    Would you think that, if I get my white balance right, I could use these or similar? Anyone used such items or, if not, could recommend an alternative?

    Bottom line - I really don't want to spend more than £50 on the solution and would appreciate any input possible.

  2. Two problems:

    1. Heat from continous lighting. I use a pair of 250w floods with a light tent when I just need to snap a picture of something that is going up for sale. But even those in a 14x14 room get warm faster then you might think. Lights like the one you suggested get HOT real fast.

      Even Photo continous lighting gets hot, although they do make LED lights that don't but they are no where near your price range anyway.

    2. Color tempature. you'll probably need to custom white balance, or post for color. This might not be too bad. Get a gray card and stick it in the set every now and then and you can post process for color with out too much trouble.
  3. genehsu


    Apr 15, 2007
    How about finding some old shoe-mount flashes and optical slaves? You already have an SB-600, so you can control that with CLS. If you get too close, you may get funny highlights from the built-in flash, so an SG3-IR (or exposed film or red filter) might help as well.
  4. they throw out a suprising amount of heat apart from that should work fine :) 

  5. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
  6. Ptchfork


    Jul 8, 2007
    New York City
  7. lbhs_rwb


    Oct 16, 2006
    EDIT: Wrong thread
  8. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
  9. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Sorry, I did notice that you're from UK. So Home Depot and Lowe's will not apply to you. I think you should be able to find something similar to those Clamp Lights (from Commercial Electric) at your local hardware stores. Key is to find something cheap and you can use the right temperature bulbs for your application. ( I recommend the 5500K daylight bulbs, and adjust your camera WB setting to Kel temperature 5600K and above)
  10. I have an old flash. How would I go about integrating it with my new SB800. Is there some kind of hot shot slave that I can use?

    With respect to "cheap" studio lighthing, do you think that you could use 1-4 clamp lights like the one shown in this link with daylight bulbs for shooting an indoor portrait where lighting is less than ideal. I just got a SB800 that I still need to tryout, but I am thinking that I might want to use some clamp lights for added light, especially behind the subject. I was also thinking of wiring them up to a dimmer so I could control the amount of light that I want.

    Lastly, I was also thinking of using a reflector to better bounce some of the light from my SB800.

    Any thoughts?
  11. Mart61


    Dec 23, 2006
    Camberley, UK
    Thanks for the tip. I've looked high and low and these shop lights are just not available here. Apparently they do not meet our safety standards.

    I have found them in Germany and, as i go there quite often, I'll pick some up there.
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