First lighting kit?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Becky, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    Y'ello, looking for some advice on getting some studio lighting kit, I've seen a lot of impressive light work on here especially the likes of studio work from digital matt :)hail:), and I'm very keen to learn and understand and have a go myself.

    Does anyone have any good links or reliable resources/recommended books etc that may help introduce the subject well?

    I'm not really even sure what I want or need... doesn't have to be the best gear by any means, its mainly to experiment at this stage, but I'd like to feel equipped if necessary for an indoor portrait shoot for example.

    What items would you recommend I look into... are all-in-one beginner-type kits a waste of time? Currently the only lighting I have is Speedlite 580ex flash.

    One other question too, not that I haven't asked enough already!... whats the story with backgrounds for photographs? I.e. is the traditional fabric type sheet the best way to go or are there decent substitutes that do a good enough job? Walls etc?

    I'm really not even sure where to begin, I'd hate to buy without knowing whats going to be best for me. Price isn't too much of a big deal, as in I don't need the best at all, but I''ll save enough to pay what I need for a half decent kit.

    Muchos gracias :blushing:
     
  2. michaeledward

    michaeledward TPF Noob!

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    Becky,

    I am very much a newbie ... but I will tell you about my experience, so far. It can get pretty expensive, pretty quick. But, I don't think there is any way to discover, without shelling out a few bucks.

    I've been an ebay gear guy. I scored an Amvona muslin; an Amvona backdrop stand, and an Interfit Colorshot 350 dual strobe kit from ebay. Not all at once. But total cost of about $500.00.

    The Amvona items are auctioned fairly regularly. I just kept bidding on the next auction, until I finally scored at a price I was willing to pay. I am very happy with all of the acquisitions. Certainly, the Interfit light kit provides plenty of light. It has two stobes, two stands, two umbrellas and carrying bags. A similiar kit retails for about $600.00 +/-

    Last weekend, I took some shots of what I expect to be my primary setting ... and the my opinions of the results are posted here:

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=926711&postcount=10

    As for other ideas about how to use the lights & backgrounds .... I am going to keep trying different stuff, as the need arises.

    I was surprised how easy the lights were to use. Getting good pictures --- that will probably be something else, still.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I know I'm no pro or anything, just getting into lighting myself, but there I have been happy right now lighting with just my 430ex on a stand using a sync cord and a variety of umbrellas and other diffusion items. That might be a good and inexpensive place for you to start, using your 580 off camera. sync cords and everything else you need to connect em will run around $30

    I have seem some amazing results with just a 580ex and a 430ex combined. This is mainly outdoors tho and I haven't herd much talk about in studio.
     
  5. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    I've read pretty good things about Alienbees for starter kits of a good quality, but they seem to be a US based company and I would need to get a conversion transformer whatsit (you know what I mean...). Dunno if thats more hassle than its worth? If its simple enough they could be a very feasible choice.

    European options I've read decent reviews on seem to be Bowens and swiss made Elinchrom.... any thoughts or experience on either of these?

    DeepSpring I appreciate the consideration of using the 580ex with some umbrellas etc as a good starting place, but I'm keen to learn the workings of more common studio equipment which is why I'd thought buying some kit might be the best option.... but still unsure!
     

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