Camera \ Lens Selection for Studio Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Trilateral, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Trilateral

    Trilateral TPF Noob!

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    Hello every one

    Great info on this site, need some advise.

    I am looking into setting up a home studio to take portraits of babies and some family portraits also. I was wondering what type of camera everyone would recommend and also which lens. I would be using a soft box for the shoots ( any help with that would also be much appreciated )

    I would like to get a decent camera right out of the gate but also don't want to spend a fortune. On the other hand I also want to keep it for 4-5 years and want something that will last.

    Which websites have good deals on cameras and gear?

    I have enrolled in some workshops and hopefully can get started soon.

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    biggest question is going to be what sort of budget you have to work with - there are low cost and highcost setups you can use and without some idea of the amount of money you have to put into this we can't really give much of a direction.

    As for what websites - Adorama, B&H, Amazon - those would be the best picks since they not only have good prices but are also reliable traders - and that is important because there are many websites that will offer stuff cheaper - but many might be bait and switch scams/import scams or just outright scams where you will get no product.

    A good tip is that if they mentoin payment by Western Union or bank transfer walk away - its very easy to send money this way and very easy for the recipient to be untracable after the money is sent
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    As mentioned, it would really help if you give us a budget to start with. "don't want to spend a fortune" means different things to different people.

    I would assume that you are looking for a digital camera, but maybe that's not the case. A medium format film camera could be a great studio camera....but for shooting babies, it sure is helpful to have to have the 'unlimited' capacity and instant feedback of digital.
     
  4. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D3X
    nikkor 50mm 1.4
    85mm 1.4
    adorama.com
    amazon.com
    TJ
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony and many other camera makers products will work just fine.

    You'll need different lenses for family portraiture than for infant portraiture.

    You may want to consider using both umbrellas and soft boxes. Each has it's pluses and minuses.

    A good studio setup will consist of 3 to 7 lights; main (key) light, fill, second, hair, kicker, rim, background.

    Tell us what gear you already have.

    I recently helped a hobby photographer I mentor set up a home studio. He spent $30,000, not including camera gear. What is your budget?

    I would add a 105mm and a 200mm to TJ's lens list.
    www.bhphotovideo.com
    www.calumetphoto.com
    www.keh.com
    www.fjwestcott.com
    www.alienbees.com
    www.buydig.com A division of Beach Camera
    www.lumiquest.com
    www.rawworkflow.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  6. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Really? You offer him probably the most expensive setup? lol Not familiar with nikon but I know the D3X is like 7K and If that 85 is priced like the 85L its around 2K. and the 50 is probably not much cheaper.
     
  7. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend getting a used canon 5D( can be had for about 1100) or if you can afford it a 5D mark ii (2700 new ) I would also recommend getting the 85 1.8 (under 400) and the 50 1.4 (under 400 as well ) These will last you a long time. Of course if you want to spend more there are plenty of other options. My take is that if you are looking for stuff that will last you a long time, you shouldn't go any cheaper than this.
     
  8. Inst!nct

    Inst!nct TPF Noob!

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    I'm guessing by not a fortune he meant under 2000.
     
  9. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well thank you for noticing that I am showing that the OP should post a budget. Maybe not a fortune just means no H3D for this person. I'm not a mind reader sorry.
    TJ
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Your budget determines what you can afford. I would suggest two 36x48 inch softboxes so you can create a large area of soft light,where infants and babies and small kids can move about without causing dramtic light fall-off.

    KmH is not kidding about 3 to 7 lights; I'm old school,and have worked in several portrait studios,and I prefer box and cable aka pack and head flash systems over monolights; you can make ALL the changes from ONE power pack with monolights, plus the system is cheaper when you need a lot of lights.

    If you are on a budget, the Spedotron 2403B power pack has six head outlets, capable of delivering 400 watt-seconds through each of six lights,or many other combos, with dial-down power. These packs are cheap on eBay and can be reconditioned for very little money, if they need it. For lights, I would want to have two 202VF variable focusing heads, and four more 103 fan-free heads. Softbox with a recessed face, removeable front, an internal diffuser, and an eggcrate grid are a must-have.

    Umbrellas work great too. Photek Softlighter is a nice enclosed style umbrella. You would want two identical ones of those in a medium size. This subject could fill a book. You need to do some research to figure out what you need.

    Have you tried calling a *professional* photo dealer, like Calumet, and asking to speak to a lighting department rep who could maybe give you an idea of what you're in need of for your location and your desired budget? Because, really, like KmH noted, it;s easy to drop 30k on studio gear,grip,backdrops,posing tables,etc.
     
  11. Trilateral

    Trilateral TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the helpful advise.

    My Budget was $4000- $5000 Total.

    For camera, 2-3 lenses and lighting. I was thinking one soft boxes and a couple lights.

    I want a fairly simple setup but want good results also.
     
  12. HelenOster

    HelenOster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I always recommend checking the customer feedback and ratings at www.reselleratings.com, before parting with your credit card details!

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


    helen.oster@adoramacamera.com
    www.adorama.com
     

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