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Thread: Regarding umbrellas/softboxes

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    Regarding umbrellas/softboxes

    Thanks for all the help so far. In my quest to have a home studio I'm ready to buy more equipment. Having learned the differences between umbrellas and soft boxes it sounds like it's a good idea to have both. Not knowing what I'm looking at, I'm on ebay and I see what looks like some pretty good deals. For example:

    Flash Light Kit Photo Studio Photography Lighting 3X 33" Umbrella Softbox Strobe | eBay

    That seems cheap. So is it too good to be true, or is the quality so ****ty that I shouldn't even consider it? And then I want to ask, is quality really a factor when we're talking about an umbrella?

    Give me a yes or no, should I buy this kit? If not, and someone can point me to a similar setup I'll gladly take your advice and buy it. I need a light stand and bracket that will work with a Canon Speedlite, and an umbrella and softbox for starters.

    Thanks!



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    The listing is confusing. It states it is continuous lighting... which usually means fluorescent bulbs.. not enough power to do people.. only still objects with longer exposures.

    Then below it lists strobe type information... doesn't make sense.

    Untitled-1.jpg

    That price is very cheap... I would call this junk personally.

    Look at Adorama Flashpoint strobes.. they are decent... Flashpoint II FP320MK Monolight Kit, 150 Watt Second FPML320MK Get one, and learn to use that before getting another.... if you are wanting good monolights!

    If you just want to use a flash.. any light stand, with an umbrella adapter with a coldshoe would work!

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    I saw the same thing...but it LOOKS from the picture to be low-cost strobe lighting. These types of lower-powered, non-replaceable bulb flash units sell for as little as $35 from some of the Hong Kong and CHina vendors...we have a TPF sponsored vendor that this very week, advertised some very low prices on flash units. These kits are very low-spec,low-cost stuff. In the modern era, light stands made in China are cheap. Same with umbrellas made there. Same with flashes and softboxes. It's hard to believe that two flash units, three umbrellas, a softbox, two light stands, and a case can be sold for less than $120 American. But that's possible when a Chinese-owned factory that supplies workers payed $10 a day is making this stuff.

    Here is one of TPF's supporting vendors: http://www.linkdelight.com/DLK3Q3QA-...rying-Bag.html

    THOSE appear to be the same flash units, and they are 180 Watt-second units. This is a type of "economy" studio flash unit that is readily available from multiple CHinese manufacturing outfits. These lights are available in the $50 range if you buy direct. They are the low end of electric-powered studio flash units.

    The Adorama Flashpoint cgipson1 is suggesting is about 2 notches higher up the quality/construction/feature scale, and the Flashpoint 320M has a user-replaceable flashtube.
    Last edited by Derrel; 06-30-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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    Guys there are no lights included in this kit. I thought that was pretty clear. It says 2 light HOLDERS (flash/strobe). And I'm not looking for lights. As I mentioned in my original post I need a stand/bracket to work with a Canon Speedlite, which this appears to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjd228 View Post
    Guys there are no lights included in this kit. I thought that was pretty clear. It says 2 light HOLDERS (flash/strobe). And I'm not looking for lights. As I mentioned in my original post I need a stand/bracket to work with a Canon Speedlite, which this appears to do.

    The listing states that it comes with "2 Flash Units". There's a picture of the softbox, and a close-up showing the flash unit's design...the listing seems to indicate it comes with two flashes.

    As it states in the What's Included section:

    "
    2 x JULIUS STUDIO Photo Studio Flash/Strobe Light Holder 180W
    • Color Temperature : 5600200K
    • Voltage: AC100-120V 60HZ
    • Flash Power Control : stepless
    • Modeling Lamp : 75WS
    • Recharging Time : 0.5-3s
    • Flash Triggering Method : Sync cord, Slave, Test button
    • Flash Duration :1/2000-1/800s
    • Fuse : 5A
    Package Contents
    • 2 x 180W Strobe light
    • 2 x 75W Modeling bulb
    • 2 x Power Cord
    • 2 x Sync Cord"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Derrel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jjd228 View Post
    Guys there are no lights included in this kit. I thought that was pretty clear. It says 2 light HOLDERS (flash/strobe). And I'm not looking for lights. As I mentioned in my original post I need a stand/bracket to work with a Canon Speedlite, which this appears to do.

    The listing states that it comes with "2 Flash Units". There's a picture of the softbox, and a close-up showing the flash unit's design...the listing seems to indicate it comes with two flashes.
    I agree... that listing clearly states it comes with lights...

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    These are some midrange options... the truly cheap stuff I would stay away from...

    Lightstand Amazon.com: Flashpoint 7 Air Cushioned Black Three-Section Lightstand: Camera & Photo Only 7.5'.. I would recommend the 9.5' ones

    Umbrella Flash adapter Amazon.com: ePhoto bracketB Off Camera Flash Bracket and Umbrella Holder Adapter: Camera & Photo

    Umbrella - Millions options:

    Cheap Amazon.com: ePhoto bracketB Off Camera Flash Bracket and Umbrella Holder Adapter: Camera & Photo

    Better - Westcotts are good! Amazon.com: Westcott 2011 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible with Removable Black Cover Umbrella (Black): Electronics

    Softbox... take your pick... Lastolite makes good ones... there are a lot of no names on Ebay cheap....
    Rosy likes this.

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    The lights are in the "upgrade" section. You have to pay close attention to these ads. If you look at the yellow "what is included" you'll see there are NO lights, only light holders for $119.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjd228 View Post
    The lights are in the "upgrade" section. You have to pay close attention to these ads. If you look at the yellow "what is included" you'll see there are NO lights, only light holders for $119.
    still junk... wouldn't do it! You call, not mine. Good luck!

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    In your quest to build a home studio and buy more stuff, have you learned lighting or are you just hoping that having the gear will get you good pictures? Don't take clients that you don't already know. Umbrellas were big before soft boxes but not as much now. Soft boxes give you a bit more control over light and more softness. The Wescott Apollo soft box works well for Speedlights. One Speedlight can't adequately fill a large soft box so you need a Speedlight soft box.

    Non-brand continuous light kits are useless. I know from experience. I got a Limo green screen kit and I'm selling it. The wattage looks high but unless it's in the thousands it's no good. The lights have no power. They literally could not provide enough power to make a green screen photo. And seamless paper is much better than a cheap white or black cloth BG. Cloth is too difficult to make look good. Go to Adorama and look for Speedlight soft boxes, Lastolite, Wescott. Most of their stuff is free shipping. EBay is OK for used name brand gear but I wouldn't invest a penny in non-brand lighting stuff.
    Last edited by hirejn; 07-02-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hirejn View Post
    In your quest to build a home studio and buy more stuff, have you learned lighting or are you just hoping that having the gear will get you good pictures? Don't take clients that you don't already know. Umbrellas were big before soft boxes but not as much now. Soft boxes give you a bit more control over light and more softness. The Wescott Apollo soft box works well for Speedlights. One Speedlight can't adequately fill a large soft box so you need a Speedlight soft box.

    Non-brand continuous light kits are useless. I know from experience. I got a Limo green screen kit and I'm selling it. The wattage looks high but unless it's in the thousands it's no good. The lights have no power. They literally could not provide enough power to make a green screen photo. And seamless paper is much better than a cheap white or black cloth BG. Cloth is too difficult to make look good. Go to Adorama and look for Speedlight soft boxes, Lastolite, Wescott. Most of their stuff is free shipping. EBay is OK for used name brand gear but I wouldn't invest a penny in non-brand lighting stuff.
    I'm like some kind of lighting ninja/guru/super genius. Thanks for your concern
    Now regarding soft boxes, is 24x24 a good general size to have? For example this link:

    Amazon.com: CowboyStudio Photo / Video 24in Large Speedlite Flash Softbox with L-Bracket, Shoe Mount and Carry Case: Camera & Photo

    Although you suggest name brands, so I'll definitely consider that. I'm more concerned with understanding how different sizes are used for (what) different kinds of shots.
    Thanks!

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    I'd suggest going with a name brad, something proven to work, that has a mounting brackets and mounting rings so you can adapt the softbox to other light scources down the line. something cheap is likely only able to be used on whatever cheap light it was made for so your looking at replacing it when you go with something better. This stuff can last you years if you take care of it so go with something that will last and can take you up to the next level.

    soft box size depends on what you want to do with it. a 24x24 would be good for head shots but maybe not nessicarily full body shots. I went with a 30x42 softbox to start off with because i can pretty much light anyhing with it.
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    Here's an article that has as its goal to try dispelling the myth that a speedlight flash unit can not "fill" a large softbox. It compares flash readings from softboxes as small as 16x22 inches to as large as 54x72 inches.

    Time To Dispel The Myth About Speedlights and Softboxes The Lighting Academy

    The overall diminishment of the speedlight's light output AND ALSO, more-importantly, the degree of fall-off from center to edge, was a LOT less than most people would expect when going from small boxes up to larger-sized boxes. I know I myself was surprised to see the author's results.
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    Has anybody tried either the eBay or LinkDelight ones? If its pretty much the same thing I would rather save those extra bucks.

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