Lighting equipment - REALLY need help!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by fotophia, May 28, 2008.

  1. fotophia

    fotophia TPF Noob!

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    Ok, the help is not so much asking the same question about what to get but more im REALLY stuggling to read all the information and stats cos of my dsylexia and ive spent 3 days desperatly trying to read up on everything with no luck :( its like reading a sentence and forgetting what you just read! ARG!!

    Basically, what im after if a nice yummy studio kit.. lights, stand, lighting meter, hot shoe, wires... yada.. and i have about £900 (US$1600) to splash out of everything. (porbably another £200(US$400) if i needed too)

    I really want the best i need at the best price, and so far all ive been able to sink in is flash(obvious one), have a fan for cooling, and at least 300w modeling lamp.

    I liked the look of that alienbees stuff but being from the UK i dont have a clue about plugs and will it effect the quality ect...

    Im just getting a huge headache trying to read and workout what the hell i need.

    Is there any chance someone would be so kind as to point me in the right direction what i should buy? i need to get them bought asap really.

    I want them for portaiture as well as other things and i want something that will do me for a good while. Kits more aimed at the lower proffessional level not the begginer stuff.

    ANY help was so ever is really appreciated. im going to cry if i cant make a decision in the next week lol.

    THANKYOU for any help and advise you can offer!!! x x x x
     
  2. fotophia

    fotophia TPF Noob!

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  3. bemmermazda

    bemmermazda TPF Noob!

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  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A very difficult choice. Lighting is almost like buying a camera as you're kind of buying into a system. I think out of the higher end entry level and slightly better quality strobes, Elinchrom is going to be your best bet. The Alien Bees are good if you plan on doing action shots as their max flash duration is 1/3300 where the entry level Elinchroms are about 1/800-1/1200 iirc. The Elinchroms lights are much more consistant with their flash output and will give you more consistant shots.

    There's a multitude of other brands out there, but as the quality goes up the price does too. When you said 300w modeling lamp, did you mean the lamp itself or the output of the strobe? Most lower cost strobes have modeling lamps around 100-150w. The cheapest strobe I know of with a 250w modeling lamp is the White Lightning (made by the Alien Bees company) and they're $479 US each. You can always call AB's if you're interested and they'll get you any info you need.

    If you're asking about pack and head systems, you'll have to find some help from some one else as I'm not quite sure about which brands are worth it and which ones aren't.

    Your suggestion sucks. He asked about studio lights and not speedlights. It would take 5 580EX's to put out as much light as most entry level studio strobes.
     
  5. fotophia

    fotophia TPF Noob!

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    Hi, thanks for the imput. i almost started to think f' it. just get bowens cos theyre known for being good lol. even if would cost me way more(and even that was confusing me!).

    Ive been looking at the Elinchroms you suggested and quite liked the D-lites but then realised they didnt have a fan and since my work usually requries long shoot i dont want to risk them melting :sexywink:. Again getting very confusing trying to work out what the spec on everything is but i might just for the RX or BX series cos i saw fan and they must be better than the d-lites. Ive ran out of patience looking for something now lol. But yes, i see what you mean about Elinchroms from what i can read they do look like nice equipment.

    thankyou again x x x
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Bowens is good stuff - they also make the Calumet monolights. I'd be inclined to buy second-hand Balcar equipment. Mr CAD in Croydon usually has a good range of used Balcar.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They actually started adding fans to the d-lite series.

    Keep in mind, out of the budget gear, Elinchrom is going to be expensive. Their softboxes and everything are a bit more. You can always go 3rd party with something like Amvona with an adapter.
     
  8. fotophia

    fotophia TPF Noob!

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    I found the Elinchrom fx400 set for £ 660 with softbox and unberella and 2 lights and a couple of other things...

    But now im starting to look for all the other little things i need im getting lost again anyway. thats another 5 hours today (day 4) ive spent trying to find what i want lol.. and even if i seen some good lights .. with all the other stuff im not even close. *cries* i just wish i found it easier to read things lol


    Thanks again for the help.. i think im just gonna leave it .. im not good at all this and unless someone tells me directly what i need and what to get.. i just find it all too overwhelming (and its not like i can ask for anyone to do this since its one of those things that varies between people) i should havnt to reply on people to choose simple equipment lol.

    I really appreciate all the advise so far. thanks! x x x x x x
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Have a look at an Elinchrom D-lite kit. They're not too expensive. You might have some money left over for a Skyport.
     
  10. fotophia

    fotophia TPF Noob!

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    I would have enough money left for a skyport even getting the fx400.. so is £116 not that expensive then? just seems like an awfull lot of money for something that basically just syncs the flash???
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Try working running around a studio tethered to one of your strobes and then you'll understand why wireless is so great.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Studio lights can be a big purchase.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    1.Are you shooting just in the studio?

    2.Are you going to be shooting moving subjects where you're relying on the flash to freeze the action?

    3.Does the 900 pounds include everything or just the lights? ie. Accessories like light stands and umbrellas/softboxes

    4.How many lights do you need? 2? 3? 4?

    5.Are you willing to get a basic kit and add more later or is this intended to be your only purchase of studio lights.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I didn't even mention flash meters. You can get a cheap one and use it with a sync cable as most all studio strobes have optical triggers, or you can use radio triggers and fire your studio strobes and there are optical triggers that work with the radio triggers.

    The difference is about $200ish for a decent wired digital readout trigger vs. $850ish for the radio trigger enabled meter and such.

    It can get expensive. Anywyas, answerign those qeustions shuold give us a little better idae of what you intend to od with the storbes and what set wuold fit you best.
     

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