Flash Equipment Recommendations

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AllanK88, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1 on a decent tripod.
    It does not have to be an EXPENSIVE tripod. I got mine used, off Craig's List for a decent price.
    But you want a STEADY and durable one, that is easy to adjust, and that is tall enough (with the center column down).

    What are you shooting?
    60cm/24inches is on the small side for a softbox, unless you position it pretty close to the single subject.

    With umbrellas and softboxes, in general, bigger is better, for lighting. BUT, bigger = clumsy, and it can really get in the way, in an average size room. As much as I wanted a 60 inch umbrella, it was too big and clumsy to deal with. So there is a balance to reach between size for light and size for bulky/clumsy.


     
  2. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    third party equipment is fine, start with a shoot thru or reflective umbrella, off-camera flash and stands then build from that
    www.flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless
     
  3. AllanK88

    AllanK88 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for everyones input :D It has helped

    I've come to the decision to buy a 60cm softbox/octagon for my first light :)
    I've found two options:
    1: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HWAMART-Um...ncoding=UTF8&refRID=4KGFPSY11VNT9EZZ9Z4A&th=1
    2. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Collapsibl...ncoding=UTF8&refRID=6TC51KDNWM7P8HR4F230&th=1


    And here is the speedlight bracket I'm considering:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Godox-Mult...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DQTGNFKNKEDPGNBC0J6P

    Will I also need this or is the above speedlight bracket enough:
    https://www.amazon.com/Anwenk-Flash...rd_wg=Ej1xD&psc=1&refRID=D1BBKHXMYBBC7YHQMRXY

    For the speedlight and trigger I will go with this:
    Flashpoint V860II Speedlight Kit

    2 of the following light stands:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Profession...8&qid=1514667855&sr=8-3&keywords=light stands

    And for my camera tripod:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Albott-178...ords=camera tripod&refinements=p_72:419153031

    What do you guys think about all the above equipment? Am I missing something? :)

    Allan
     
  4. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think you’ll find that tripod to be very flimsy and it won’t last long. A tripod is one area where you’re better off spending a little more up front, because otherwise you will buy 3-5 more before you realize that you should have gone straight to a good one. I’ve owned 5 tripods:

    1.) cheap one from amazon for $50-70.. used it - few times before I realized it was garbage and didn’t hold the camera steady
    2.) A $150 manfrotto. This lasted a year and then I replaced it with a stronger one to hold more equipment.
    3.) a $300 vanguard that I thought would be my last tripod ever. Loved it so much that I bought a second one when this one broke after a year.
    4.) Second vanguard, also broke after about a year.
    5.) My current tripod, a really right stuff combo that I basically sold my left kidney to buy. But it’s been worth every penny.

    The lesson here: don’t waste your money on a $30 tripod. You’re better off holding the camera because it’ll be just as steady with good technique.
     
  5. AllanK88

    AllanK88 TPF Noob!

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  6. stk

    stk TPF Noob!

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    The Godox S-Bracket is all you need. It can hold your speedlight and attach either umbrellas, bowens mount equipment or collapsible softboxes. (and I will cry myself to sleep now that I've seen the price on Amazon compared to what I paid)

    The other bracket is only for speedlight + umbrella.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  7. AllanK88

    AllanK88 TPF Noob!

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    Stk, will the Godox S-Bracket fit with the octaboxes mounts? :)
     
  8. stk

    stk TPF Noob!

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    I don't have any experience with the octaboxes in question, but according to the description they have a Bowens mount and will therefore fit the Godox bracket.
     
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  9. AllanK88

    AllanK88 TPF Noob!

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    I'm also looking for a light meter for both still photography and film cinematography.
    Something with reflected and incident metering, and the ability to wirelessly set off strobes/speedlights.
    Does anything like that exist in the price range of 200-300 or am I simply being to unrealistic? :)
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    YES, it will fit onto THIS type of Bowens mounting/speedlight holder: https://www.amazon.com/Godox-Multif...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00KZF6T0U

    This is _exactly what you want to own__ for use with a number of Bowens-mount accessories!!! Buy it!

    The other one you listed is for holding a basic speedlight and is a so-called "umbrella swivel mount", and is for using a speedlight slid into the shoe, with an umbrella shaft slid through the hole below the flash mounting slot. The Bowens or Bowens S-type holder holds the flash unit in the clamp,aimed into the light modifier. The light modifier, the 16-rib box, has the rods fitted into a metal or plastic "plate" at the back; that plate has three lugs, and those three lugs slide into the Bowens-fit speed ring or mounting plate (both names are used), and then the light box is rotated a bit, and the lugs lock-in the modifier to the mounting ring and flash combo.

    As to the silver-interior unit or the white interior...they would likely be a bit different in their light output; I've found that silver-interior umbrellas and boxes tend to produce a bit more specularity to the light output, a little more Snap! , and give a little "crisper" light output than do dull-white interior units. For B&W photos, I prefer silvered-interior units, and sometimes in color, I prefer a silver-interior box or umbrella, other times a duller,white-interior box.

    This is an area where sometimes the differences are subtle, but can be seen if you do a direct A-B comparison shot. One thought...you can paint a silver-interior box with white paint if desired...
     
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  11. AllanK88

    AllanK88 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Derrel,

    Thanks for your response :)

    Do you mind me asking for your personal advice in regards to the two softboxes/octaboxes I've chosen; which one would you recommend?
    My issue with the pixapro is that it doesn't come with a diffuser and I wouldn't know where to get a grid for it but it has many positive reviews.
    On the other hand I'm leaning more towards the HWAMART one because it comes with the diffuser and grid but it has no reviews at all, which makes me a bit hesitant.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would watch this video for some more information on products of this type.

    If it does not have a diffusion panel for the front, it's not a softbox, it's an ...umbrella...that is my feeling. A softbox that does not offer a fabric grid option is less-useful than one that has a grid option; a fabric grid, sometimes called an "egg crate", is almost always fitted in front of the diffuser white fabric, and the grid keeps the light's "spill light" from spreading out, sideways from the front of the light AND it also keeps the light "close to the front", with pretty rapid degree of falling off of the light intensity, which can keep the light 1)off of a close-behind-the-subject backdrop or wall, and 2)helps create a lighted subject/darker background effect, almost automatically.

    With the low-cost nature of all the newer-era Made in China light modifiers, it's possible to buy five or six for what ONE, SINGLE Chimera box used to cost in the mid-1980's. Seriously, not exaggerating one bit. I would most definitely suggest getting a box of this type that offers 1)a removable white diffusing front fabric--that is the most important thing to have, IMHO. 2) The egg crate or grid option is super-helpful, especially if you work in small spaces, like apartment living rooms or a garage studio, with a low ceiling and short spacing distances between the lights and the walls or backdrops.

    Since you will own a Bowens-mount flash mount, you will have access to other softboxes, like square ones, and rectangular ones, which are based on a 4-rod (metal or fiberglass rods) and speedring system; the 4 rods pop into sleeves inside the softbox, and the rods are jammed into 4 holes on the 4 corner points of a "speedring". That Bowens speedring is then attached t the front of a Bowens-mount monolight flash OR to the front of the Bowens S-mount speedlight holder you're going to buy.

    These new, circular-shaped-front softboxes in question are the more-modern, multi-rib type that is gaining popularity these days.Designing and making a fabric grid for a round-shaped softbox is more difficult than for a square or rectangle shaped box...but the multi-rib or "umbrella-style" or "pop-open" type boxes like the two you show, set up and tear down MUCH easier and MUCH faster than the 4-rod old-style boxes do.

    I would not let lack of reviews on MIC boxes be a factor...they are all at least decent, and for the money, many are excellent. You _want_ a front diffuser panel, and a grid adds a huge degree of control to the unit. I would buy the white-interior Pixapro modifier; it says it comes with a grid and a diffusing fabric!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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