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Help needed for Studio lighting

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by vincebeus, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. Hello,

    I am looking for some studio lighting. I am new to this so can somebody explain me what i need to get it to work.

    I am intrested in about 2 or 3 lights. I don't know what is the best light 250 watt or more (per light). What brand have good affordable lighting sets.

    Is it handy to have portable lighting. Because for me it would be nice to maybe sometimes set up the lighting in other place. For backdrops or other things is other concern for later time.

    What kind of softboxes or umbrella's are adviced? My main goal with the lighting is to shoot models and maybe products.

    If somebody could explain a bit what i can use or what i need for it and maybe some good brands that i can do some more research to it is really helpfull for me. Oh and what kind of trigger i need to trigger the flash from my D2X.

  2. JCPhoto

    JCPhoto Guest

    Hi Vince
    That’s a big question. A lot depends on what kind of photography you intend to do. The amount of money you have to spend and is this a hobby or a more professional thing. Look on most forums and lights like the Alien Bee’s or the White Lightning’s are recommended as a good bargain. The company has good support and a decent array of modifiers to choose from. Adorama Camera has some light kits that are reasonable and seems to be well made. You should be able to get by with 300ws lights. The Bee’s or White Lightning’s cost about $300. to $400. per light and the company has a battery system that was reviewed in a magazine recently and rated well. I wouldn’t expect to pay much less than $300. for each light and expect decent construction. You might want to start out with one or two lights and a reflector. You can find cheap softbox’s and umbrella’s on eBay. They might not be pro equipment but are strong enough for a starter set. Umbrella’s are very inexpensive and can be used for model or product work. The sofboxes are a better choice because they control the light better and give a softer light too. Another option to consider are light panels. You can make your own frames out of PVC tubing and make your own panels out of rip stop nylon. You can make your own frames cheap but the cloth panels from Calumet Photo are a quality product but don’t cost too much either. Panels used with lights and barndoors give very nice light with total control. For triggers I use Pocket Wizards and they are very reliable. There are a few choices but none of them are cheap unless you choose the imported ones from China they sell on eBay. They work but might not hold up too well for everyday use. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions and if not ask more specific ones so we can give better help. Good luck!
  3. Thanks for your information. I was thinking of multiblitz or jinbei. I saw a portable light from Jinbei Jinbei RL-330 Portable 300w/s. And a Jinbei set Jinbei set 400W/S Millennia. They look interesting.

    The multiblitz sets are more exspensive but they look nice. It is more that i can build up a light set and shoot models at my home or at locations.
  4. http://www.alienbees.com/

    Highly recommended and all I use, best bang for your buck, best customer service on the planet. They have everything you need.

  5. rloeb

    rloeb Guest

    Do you really want "studio" lighting?

    Do you need the power of larger strobes? They're great, if you need them, but they bring with them a host of other issues (and other equipment). It's sort of a slippery slope that starts with a couple of strobes, then a light meter (preferably a flash meter), a bunch of cords, then an ever growing assortment of light stands, umbrellas, softboxes, gels, pocketwizards, and on and on. I know; I've got all that, but ...

    What I use the most is a collection of Nikon SB-800s. The Nikon Creative Lighting System makes it very easy to get accurate exposure from multiple lights, even when you've got a bunch of light modifiers in use. You don't need cables, and you can control the ratios from the master, at the camera. They work great with small-midsize umbrellas and softboxes. You can mount two, top-to-top, with some velcro and a rubber band, if you need more output. They're just not going to light a really large room or a crowd out-of-doors.

    They cost about the same as a low-power Alien Bees, but they're a lot more flexible, portable, etc. If you need fast recycling, you can power them with a Quantum Turbo battery.

    Big plus -- you can start with a couple, one lightstand, and one umbrella, then build from there. (In general, I recommend against the SB-600; it's less expensive, but you give up a lot of the control and almost one stop of light. However, if money is a serious issue, then one SB-800 and a couple of SB-600s make a good start. It's just more difficult to balance the output ratios.)
  6. I allready have SB-800 flash but i wanted studio strobes. In the mean time i have bought 400w/s strobes. And i am waiting for UPS to bring my backdrop stands and my backdrops. The UPS had brought it today to the wrong house so i must wait again and hope they bring it tomorrow.

    The lights work nicely. And i use them with a trigger. They also work together with my SB-800 flash. Soon i will post hopefully some results.

  7. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    How many SB's do you have? I too use CLS for studio lighting with softboxes up to 3' x 4' in size. I went with the 600's for the remotes. This may change as I am researching lights now. Although I had an idea for a bracket that would use 4 speedlights in one softbox for a little more power. :smile:
  8. rloeb

    rloeb Guest

    I have 10 SB-800s... I had some SB-600s, but I found it too difficult to balance the difference in power, so I sold them and got more SB-800s.

    I have a bracket that puts two of them side-by-side for event shooting (www.pbase.com/rloeb/two_sb800). For portable studio use, I put two together, top-to-top with velcro and a large rubber band. The one on top is turned around so the sensors are both on the same side. Four in a softbox seems like overkill... For something that needs that much light, I'd use studio strobes (with all of the nuisance that includes).
  9. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    10 SB800's? I envy you. That is an interesting rig. The only time I need that much light is when shooting flowers in the studio and I max DOF. I already have the lights so I see no reason not to try it. It is on my winter project list. :wink:
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