Lighting Equipment Help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Marissa Foto, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Marissa Foto

    Marissa Foto TPF Noob!

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    Except for a couple headshot assignments, I've always shot on location. I'm wanting to turn my dining room into a studio area, but I'm clueless on what to look for in regards to lighting. Any recommendations? Once I know what I need, I'll be looking in the "Buy & Sell" section for lighting, backdrop stand, black backdrop, white backdrop, soft box, and reflector.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, I would look at Strobist.com to see their lighting 101 and 102 sections. For a home studio, the portable speedlights in umbrellas can be a good solution. They also pack and travel easily.


    If you want to go with full strobes, you will find a lot of opinions on them. Alot of people use the alienbees.com strobes and have good results with them. I personally have a speedotron set and LOVE it. Its just quite a bit more pricey.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I would go used speedotron black line. It's a very affordable and very reliable system. And you can always buy an Explorer if you decide you wanna take your strobes out of the house.
     
  4. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    The Speedtron Blackline is a Great and very reliable system, but the price can sometimes seem a bit more than someone starting out wants to pay.

    Another budget option would be to look at Alien Bees. They do not have as much power, but for smaller spaces like a living room they would work fine.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bottom of the line Explorers are about $100 more than the Vagabond II from PCB. If you are not shooting more than 500 shots a day using 1-2 lights, the Vagabond is up to the task.

    If you want to get serious about 3 or more lights or pushing day long 1000+ shots on some really strong lights, Explorers are great... but don't expect to pay $299... lol
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You're forgetting the pack/monobloc distinction. I would argue that pack lights are more versatile because they can be used in the studio and then with a portable power supply when you want to get out.

    A) AlienBees only makes the Zeus in the power pack category.
    B) The Zeus heads will not plug run directly off a Vagabond, only a Zeus attached to a vagabond.
    C) The Zeus system isn't very cheap, either.

    It's really apples and oranges. I can see the argument for AB's if you're wedded to monoblocs. Otherwise, I think packs are more versatile and AB does not make a pack system that can also be used with a battery.
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I should also add that pack lighting can save you a lot of money in wireless triggering devices since you only need one receiver on the pack to trigger mutliple lights.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Most monoblocks have built-in optical slaves, so you would only need one receiver anyway...unless you are in a situation where there are other shooters around.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    The optical slaves in most monoblocs are not that great. Especially when your modifiers get large and your optical slave is on the body hiding behind them where little light ends up. One of the most annoying things I've ever done in a studio is try to position a light so that it's optical slave is picking up light from other stobes. It's cumbersome to say the least.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also pray that there is no one else around with anything that has a flash in it... exercise in frustration.
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Without looking at it right now...I couldn't tell you where the optical slave is on my lights...but I've never had a problem with them not triggering. Although, I could see that being an issue in some situations.

    Another option would be to plug in a cord with a peanut slave on the other end, then you could put the peanut just about anywhere around light, to pick up the master flash.
     

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