Buying studio equipment for work.. how's this stuff?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by bhop, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I work for a fashion company. We're going to be selling stuff on the web and they want to set up a studio in-house so that we can take pics of our products (mostly tee shirts). They also might want to do some outdoor shoots with models.

    Everybody here knows i'm the resident photo nerd, but i'm not that experienced in studio lighting and such, more of a natural light guy... plus i'm a Nikon guy and they're going with Canon. Any help here would be great as far as how this stuff would stack up or if there's any other 'must-haves'.

    So here's what they want to get so far:
    -Canon 40d package w/28-135 IS USM, 4gb card, spare battery, remote release
    -one more battery
    -Canon Speedlite 580EX II
    -Omni Bounce diffuser for speedlite
    -bogen manfrotto 190xprob tripod
    -Smith Victor K75 studio lighting package (adorama link)
    -background paper and stands

    I suggested a wider angle lens as well (or instead of the zoom), but i'm not familiar with canon lenses so i'm not sure what would be best.

    I think that's about it from their list.. anything else we should get?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. DanPonjican

    DanPonjican TPF Noob!

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    Assuming you are getting all this equipment at reasonable prices, I say it looks like a great start. Probably way better stuff than most start off with!
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    You might want to add a wireless trigger for the lights on to that, tripping over a cord and breaking a light would suck.
     
  4. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    An optical/infra red trigger would work too.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Except that the kit he linked is a continuous light source.

    And you're getting a 580EX II? That's kind of impractical.

    If they're going to spend the money, look at something like this:
    http://alienbees.com/busy.html

    $1600 and everything you'll need. $300 extra will get you a battery which will do about 600 shots on location with two of those strobes. Getting a 580EX II by itself won't do much for you. Trying to mix continuous with strobe can be a bad idea unless the continuous has a daylight WB or you're gelling all your strobes correctly.

    A wider lens would be practically useless. Unless you're going for a weird distorted look, Wide Angle lenses aren't very good for fashion photography.
     
  6. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Hmm.... If you;re on a budget I could point you in the direction of very cheap and effective lighting. Try some tripods with secondhand Metz 45 CT1s attached. Might have to gaffer tape them on but the client doesn't know any better - they'll just think they're well worn. Use with cheap chinese ebay triggers.

    Bonus - it's very portable. If you want a reflector then cardboard is very cheap and widely used.

    Personally, unless this is a permanent studio then I'd go for the above. I went wild and wacky. I bought a set of constant lights. Never used them and in the end I sold the damned things. My problem with constant lights is that they're not very powerful and drain so much current that they are liable to trip breakers. A battery-powered flash system is much better. If you don't want to go the Metz route at $25 per flash unit secondhand then I'd suggest Sunpak 383s at $75 apiece. Plenty power and not so much money.

    If your lighting is pretty oblique then you aren't going to have to worry much about bouncing - direct flash should be fine.
     
  7. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    What about the lens choice? I don't do this type of photography, but my SWAG would be that a fast, sharp prime might be useful for him -- like a 50mm 1.4, maybe? (And goodness knows that my SWAG's are never wrong.)

    Any thoughts from people who actually have, you know, some experience?
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very subjective. Sometimes not enough power I would say.
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Sorry I missed that the lights were not strobes,
    I would recomend going to look at the alien bees others have listed above, Strobes are just nice to work with, Quartz lights are known as hot lights for a reason, I would not want to sit under them for very long
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    This would not be enough power for shooting models in clothing, I love the strobist ideals, but sometimes things call for big light, and fashion work, weather it be a magazine spread or t-shirt product shots for a website need the light. Last fashion shoot I did we were running 5 strobes, I think I would have needed 20 or more speedlights to get that kind of light. at that level speed lights are not practical.
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1

    Bees are the bomb.
     
  12. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the tips, i'll pass 'em on to the people doing the buying.
     

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