Basic Portrait Setup

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Ccauceg, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Ccauceg

    Ccauceg TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    Lately I have been interested in buying some lights to get a basic studio together. My interest right now is doing some portraits to start with and go from there. My budget is around $1500, i would really appreicate some suggestions on any lighting kits out there.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I recommend looking at strobe/flash rather than a constant light system.

    So if we are going with strobe/flash type lighting, there are two main ways to go. Smaller, more portable units (hot shoe flashes) that run on batteries or 'studio' strobes that need to be plugged in.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both but which way to go, will depend on what you want to do. Do you plan on setting up a 'studio' in your home and having people come to you? Or are you planning on going 'on location' to photography people?
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Strobe is the way to go.

    I like the Calumet/Bowens Travelite 750 kit, plus I'd tack on a nice softbox for aorund $100.
    http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CE1440/

    Dyna-Lite I hear also makes good stuff.

    Or a used Speedotron Black Line setup would be nice. I hear the M11 heads are very versatile, and a pack/head setup offers more configurations and generally easier additions/upgrades in the future.
     
  4. Ccauceg

    Ccauceg TPF Noob!

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    Probably the best to start off with will be setting up a studio. Well for my lifestyle at least.

    Thanks for your help so far.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    A studio without lights?
     
  6. Ccauceg

    Ccauceg TPF Noob!

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    Well I actually am interested is strobes but i just wanted to know how many lights would i would need. Maybe even other lighting sources would be nessesary?
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I personally use one powerful strobe (600 w/s) that triggers a Sunpak 544 gun flash via an optical slave. I tend to use a 34x44 softbox on the strobe and will either bounce the smaller light off an umbrella, shoot through a white umbrella, or I have a bracket that cost about $25 that lets me mount a speed ring and shoot it through larger modifiers.

    That particular setup cost me a little over $600 used and I rarely have a need to add more lights, provided I have a reflector or two lying around.

    Hope that helps.

    And I'll go ahead and preempt any of the others who will jump in with a suggestion that you use a "strobist" setup. To say the least it's not ideally suited for studio work and isn't that much cheaper.
     
  8. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    A bit over your budget, but it is getting good reviews and the price/performance seems good. No personal experience to speak from, but I've seen quite a few people recommend these.

    http://www.alienbees.com/busy.html
     
  9. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    I must agree, thought ive only used the calumet travelite 750, I thought i was excellent and very easy to use. So thats what i would recommend.
     

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