Lighting setup question

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Johnboy2978, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll repost this here, as I'm not getting any responses in the "Digital Q&A" section where I initially posted it:

    Okay, well I've had a pretty productive week selling unused stuff on ebay, and would like to start looking at lights.

    Ultimately, I think I would like a couple of AlienBees 800 strobes, a softbox, and background lights. Now since money definately is an object, I can't afford all my desires currently, so, I thought I would start with one of the AB800 or 400 like this:
    http://www.alienbees.com/beginner.html

    and gradually add lights as I can afford them assuming my interest in portraiture continues. So the first question would be is 800 too much or would 400 be adequate? Second, would anyone know if there is anything else I would need to use it w/ my Pentax ist DS or *ist35mm? Neither of them have a pc input to plug them into, so I assume I would need a hotshoe adapter. Is this correct, and is there any other cords that I would need to use it w/ my cameras? I don't want to order it, get it home, only to find I should've orderded some cord that I didn't.

    If you could only afford one light to start, is this the route to go, or would you recommend something else?
     
  2. Mindii

    Mindii TPF Noob!

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    No idea..but *bump* in case someone else know...

    I was wondering though....if you were planning on photographing larger groups or just single sittings...and if this would have an impact on the size lights you would need?
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I have 2 alien bees 800s, with umbrellas and a medium softbox. You'll love them. Do you need 800? I dunno. It's definitely not too much. If you have a small studio space, you'll be fine with the 400s. If you plan to take them outside, you might want an 800 or 2.

    You will indeed need the hotshoe adapter, since you don't have a pc port. That's all you need. Each light comes with a 15' sync cord.

    As far as Alien Bees quality, you won't find any negative reviews of them anywhere.

    Here is an imformative site if you care to read more: http://davidweikel.com/E20_Page/alienbees/bees.shtml

    and they were also reviewed in PopPhoto: http://www.popphoto.com/cameraaccessories/1347/review-alien-bees-b400-strobe.html
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the response Matt. I know that you always express a positive opinion of AB and as you say, they seem to have a good reputation. So does it sound like an 800ws strobe would be a reasonable starting place and add to as the budget and needs allows?

    Also, are hotshoe adapters universal or brand specific? I haven't run into anything yet in photography that has been universal, but at the same time, when I looked at the HSA on alien bees site, they just list the one and don't mention brands.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I believe that hot shoe to PC adaptors are universal.

    I know you said you might have to get your light kit together gradually...but I seem to remember that Alien Bee has several different packages. Which would include other accessories with the lights. That would be cheaper than buying all the pieces separately.
     
  6. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    this is GREAT INFO! i have been looking for lighting since i'm new to portraits. i have 2 umbrellas and a reflector and i was going to use the video production lights with barn doors...since i do video as well. i was going to reflect 500Watts that are on all the time but i love the alienbees idea more. i think i will start with the 800watt light with wireless remote. thanks again! well i just ordered from them....the B800 WITH a softbox. this will be fun experimenting. thanks again.

    steve
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's a $25 information fee Steve, just make a donation to my bill when you call AlienBees for ordering :)

    Actually, I too was about to go the video lighting route until I decided to ask some questions here a few weeks ago.
     
  8. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    :lol: i forgot to mention your name when i just placed the order. the lights should be here this friday! with softbox. can't wait.
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe this?

    Pete
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Hey Pete, have you used that particular trigger? It seems awful cheap, but I'm badly wanting to go wireless.
     
  11. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just placed my order for the beginner bee 800 kit. Hopefully, I'll be adding to this in the near future w/ some softboxes or another unit. Thanks for the comments and advice.

    I'm sure this will be an improvement over my clamp work lights, do you think I can do decent portraits w/ this light alone?
     
  12. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You can take great portraits with 1 light and a reflector. You'll really want to get that softbox I think also.
     

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