Home studio lighting?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Hardrock, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    So I would like to get my own home studio kit. What do you guys think about this kit Fotodiox ? Would like to hear any opinions or other items that I may need or would be better for the $500 price range. Now for what ever reason the kit at my local camera store is supposed to be the upgraded kit where each strobe is 220 watts instead of 200 watts. I do not intend to make money with this it is going to be strictly for family , friends, and for me to learn how to even use a lighting kit. All comments , concerns, and advice greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I can't speak to the quality of that brand, having never heard of them...but 200 watt seconds is a decent amount of lighting power. Not a whole lot, but probably good enough for a small home studio.
     
  3. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    What is a normal range of watt second for a home studio? Also does a lower watt second require you to place the strobes closer to subject?
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You'll have a bunch of fun (and learn a lot) with that kit. Just be aware that the stands are not very tall... OK for a seated subject, but not quite tall enough for a standing subject.

    The only other thought that comes to mind is Calumet. The have a new line of lighting in this category... ummm... I THINK they call it Genesis.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  6. Big Mike

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

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    It really depends on a lot of factors, but I certainly wouldn't want anything with less than 150 Ws.
    300-400 might be an average 'main' light for a smaller studio, 600+ for bigger spaces when a lot of power is needed.

    Yes, you can control the light on your subject by moving the light closer or farther way. So with less powerful lights, you may have to have the lights closer...which is usually OK because the closer the light source is, the softer the light will be.

    But the main things we use to control the amount of light/exposure, is the lens aperture and the power setting on the light. So if you want/need to shoot at a smaller aperture (for more DOF) then you would need more powerful lights.

    Heck, sometimes the lights are too powerful for a small space and you wish that you could turn them down farther (because you don't want to stop down the lens). That's why more advanced lights will often allow you to turn the power way down. I think those lights turn down to 1/16...while better lights might go down to 1/64 or 1/128.
     
  7. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info, this kit was recommended through my local camera store. Probally because that is what they carry but I do like how it is a three light kit. The price seems right to me and I did check Calumet but the prices were higher(probally better quality) and I would have to buy alot more of the accessories. I think for me its a good place to start. I believe the kit has every thing that I would need to start shooting right away except for a backdrop correct?
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Does your camera have a PC socket (flash sync) socket? If not, you may need a hot shoe to PC adapter. Something like THIS.

    Or you could just get a wireless trigger system and not have to worry about cords. THIS is the 'cheap' version. THIS is the industry standard (you'd need two of them).
     
  9. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon 50D, I guess I better check but I think it does.
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, it does.

    So you would be OK to trigger the lights with the included cords. I'd still suggest a wireless trigger though, especially if you will be shooting with kids around.
     
  11. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    I actually have been looking at those as well. For the majority of the pictures I will be using a tripod but is it possible to also shoot handheld? Sorry if its a silly question but I think it would be easier to get shoots a different angles faster handheld that constantly having to adjust the tripod. But then again I have never used a lighting kit before other than the 430exII.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    It really depends on what you are shooting, and your personal style.

    It's almost never a bad idea to use a tripod...but one of the benefits of using strobe/flash lighting (as opposed to continuous lighting), is that it freezes movement. So even if the camera is moving (hand held) and the subject is moving (typical person) you can still get sharp images. In fact, the shutter speed doesn't affect the flash exposure at all (just keep it under the max sync speed of the camera (1/250 in your case)).

    I typically don't use a tripod when shooting people in a studio situation. But if I'm shooting something that is static like a product or still life, then it's just easier to keep the camera on a tripod so that there is one less variable to think about.
     

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