Lighting Advice

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fotogenik, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Hello All,

    Tax time is coming and my project for my tax refund is to set up a small home studio in my basement.

    The types of photography I am into is going to call for mostly in studio work.

    What I am trying to figure is will I be happy with an sb800 and two sb600's with the proper stands and umbrella's/softbox's or should I go ahead and step up to dedicated semi portable studio lighting such as alienbees?

    I already have one SB600 and my goal is three lights ultimately with a fourth added to it eventually.

    After some basic computations I can afford a two light alienbee kit for now and add the third at a later date or I can get the sb600 and sb800 with stands and umbrellas. Speed of recycling the flash is not particularly an issue and either one will do the job fine.

    My question is more on the quality of lighting. Will the speedlights give the same quality of light as the alienbee setup or should I go ahead and go for the alienbees for a better quality of lighting?
     
  2. Dawn Roberts

    Dawn Roberts TPF Noob!

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    I'd for sure get an alien bee. I have an SB800 and an AB800, and if I had 1 more light for a hair light, i"d be content.
     
  3. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    ok I been lookin at the Digibee package and it comes with 2 AB400's I been thinkin I should upgrade them to AB800's for $55 more each or even upgrade them both to AB1600's for $135 each that matter. Would this be a wise choice?

    Thanks,
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What are shooting? People?

    -Pete
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I like the idea of having modeling lights, so that's a plus for the bees.
     
  6. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Yes most of my subjects will be people. Most of my photography will be low key /black and white work. Some color work but that will slow to start.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OHHHH.... I'm not an equipment junkie. I had no idea the choice is between units with modeling lights and ones without. I know you'll want modeling lights.

    As for the output, I think you'll be able to easily tackle family portraits in the home with two lights at 600ws each. I'm thinking arm yourself for the toughest task you're likely to face so you won't quickly outgrow your gear.

    I hope this helps.

    Pete
     
  8. xion

    xion TPF Noob!

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    I just set up a home studio with Alien Bees - got three B 800. Works great. Check out my website - I have written a bit about the buying process.
     
  9. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    I was in my local camera shop today speaking with the proprietor. I often talk to him because while he sells a great many things, he always gives me an HONEST and UNBIASED opinion on tevhnical details. There is another well known shop here in the area whose sales staff are snobs and seem ready to do anything to make a buck.

    Anyway, I asked him about upgrading my package from AB400's to AB800's and he sed for the type of digital photography I had in mind I should not need more than 2 300w/s lights.

    My question is the 400's are 160 true w/sec but 800 effective w/sec lights. Which number should I be looking at. If it is the true then I need to upgrade to the 800's if effective then the 400's are fine.
     
  10. xion

    xion TPF Noob!

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    You should be looking at the true w/s which is 160 for AB400. The AB 800 has true w/s as 320 which is nearer your target. Alien Bees will upgrade your equipment for the difference in price + $25 for each unit.
     
  11. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Thanks this has helped me a GREAT deal
     

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