Buying my first lighting set up

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by andrewdouv, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. andrewdouv

    andrewdouv TPF Noob!

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    I want to buy some nice lights so I can do some studio shots, but I have no clue wear to start! I don't have a very big budget and I want to know how cheap I can get a decent set up. Any suggestions?!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    What is 'cheap' to you? Just give us a budget number to know what ballpark we are playing in here.

    Here is a link to a 'starving student' lighting set up that could get you started.
    Strobist Starving Student SC3 Lighting Kit
     
  3. CygnusStudios

    CygnusStudios TPF Noob!

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    Really need to post more info. What type of photography do you wish to accomplish with the lights? How large of an area are you working with? What is cheap to you?

    Alien Bees has some great basic kits.
     
  4. DSPhotography

    DSPhotography TPF Noob!

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  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Cheap is cheap, decent is moderate. Eh, honestly, whatever works will do, even if it's lamps you have around the house. Personally, I'd recommend nabbing a Speedlite or two (speedlite on Canon, speedlight on Nikon...I know...weirdo camera manufacturers), and a couple cheap stands. You should take a look at Strobist: Lighting 101 for ideas.

    If anyone tells you you should get Alien Bees, I say, you don't need no stinkin' modelling light! ;)

    Edit: Holy moley. I got ninja'd by three posts! Man I'm slow. I stand by what I said about Alien Bees. Flashes are portable too.

    Oh, and for radio triggers, get the Cactus V4's if you can afford the lil' extra bit of cash. They're better built, take AAA batteries (instead of weird Japanease-only batteries that cost way too much to import), and don't put the flash too high on a stand with umbrella.
     
  6. CygnusStudios

    CygnusStudios TPF Noob!

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    Please share what the problem with Alien Bees could be? I have a set that I use on location, as they are easy to transport, not nearly as expensive as my Pro Foto setup (in case of accidents), and provide good power.
     
  7. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    My only problem with them is the modeling lamps are not strong enough, even in a dark studo.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Any decent hardware store has pretty much everything you need, and you can get out of the store for under $50.
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Ummm, no...........

    Any decent hardware store has some stuff you can MacGyver together to make some hot lights that are not temperature balanced and will be painfully uncomfortable to sit in front of for any length of time.

    I agree DYI projects can be fun and can yield some wonderful results, but there are just some things in photography that should not be purchased at home depot.

    There are many lighting systems out there and in all price ranges. I guess we would need to know your budget to give you a good recommendation.
     
  10. andrewdouv

    andrewdouv TPF Noob!

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    I can maybe cough up 300 bucks, maximum at the moment. thanks for all the quick replies!
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, the key......How much money do we have to spend??????
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Here is a kit. I know several people who have purchased the kit and love it. It's a bit more than your $300 but is the least I would recommend for a 2 light setup. Frankly the 400 ws 2 light kit would be better.

    If you explore the Calumet site further you could get a 1 light setup in your price range.

    Personally, I prefer shoe mount speedlights used off camera on a light stand with an appropriate modifier. That way I can do the same kinds of set ups on location.
     

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three things to look for when buying lighting setups