help buying a lighting kit

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by subtleRIPPLE, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. subtleRIPPLE

    subtleRIPPLE TPF Noob!

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    Hello:

    I am an amateur, have been assisting various photographers and have a couple projects in mind and think that I would prefer to buy my own lighting system - as a longer term investment in eventually going professional. Then spend money on rentals. I do not have a huge budget, ideally would not spend more than $1000.00 down (unless I finance it - which I'd be willing to do, if it was the most sensible option.)

    I am primarily interested in a pretty portable kit I could use for portraits, food/still life/product stuff, but one of my projects includes taking shots of interiors of houses.

    I have one umbrella, one ten foot light stand and an SB800. Obviously I am starting from scratch. I think that a kit is a good idea for value? Or do I build this up slowly in the used arena - and rent as needed?

    I hope to rent a kit next week (which I will need to do the interior house project next week) from Calumet, and am considering these options:

    Dynalight kit, Prophoto Kit or Calumet Kit.

    What key aspect am I missing and why would you reccomend one kit over another?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!!

    Angeline
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    All three brands you have mentioned are good. I use Dyna-Lites, all of which I bought second-hand. They are portable, as far as power pack / head systems go. Profoto has the widest range of heads that I know of, but at a price. In the Calumet range I'm only familiar with the monolights, which are made by Bowens, and are compatible with Bowens accessories.

    You might also like to consider second-hand Black Line Speedotrons. Can you get in to New York to have a look at the stuff that B&H, Calumet, the Flash Clinic, and Lens & Repro have in?

    Even if you go for Dyna-Lites or Speedos you could probably use Profoto heads after modification by the Flash Clinic. You can also use LiteLight heads with Dyna-Lites.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. The Phototron

    The Phototron TPF Noob!

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    Where do you get second hands? I looked around, but they rarely pop up.
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Of those three, I would opt for the Calumet. I've used the Travelite 750's and they're really nice. I think they're better quality than Dynalite. Profoto lights are positively superb, but very expensive.

    However, I think there's a better option if you're just starting out. The Elinchrom D-lite 4 kit is a great setup for someone in your situation. It comes with 2 400 w/s monolights, stands, softboxes, and cases. Anyone will tell you Elinchrom makes really great lights (reliable and w/ consistent color temperature). The kit is on sale for $999 at Adorama (http://www.adorama.com/EL20812KIT.html), plus Elinchrom is offering a $100 manufacturer rebate, which puts the kit at $900. The rebate is here (http://www.adorama.com/pdfs/rebates/elinchrom2_123107.pdf)
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There is a lot of Dyna-Lite equipment on eBay. It is also worth asking the Flash Clinic and Lens & Repro in New York. For a friend, I recently put a four-head kit together with two 800 Ws (sic) power packs for $500 using D series Dyna-Lites. One power pack and two heads, with all cables, fit into a medium-sized cooler bag.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy second-hand Balcar, Profoto, Dyna-Lite or Speedotron - in fact I wouldn't buy those new unless absolutely necessary.

    Max, which Dyna-Lite equipment are you referring to as being lower quality than Calumet, and what in particular is of lower quality? I assume that you mean the Comet stuff, not the real Dyna-Lite. I'd say that Dyna-Lites were more heavily built than Travelites, but it is all good stuff.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. The Phototron

    The Phototron TPF Noob!

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    I would pay you 600 for the same thing!
     

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