Lighting systems

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Reverend, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Reverend

    Reverend TPF Noob!

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    I've been taking more portraits than anything lately, so I've almost decided to take a plunge and buy a strobe lighting kit.


    I've been looking at this ($669.95):

    http://www.adorama.com/SAPSKP.html
    [​IMG]

    And its little brother ($239.00):
    http://www.adorama.com/SAPSKSP.html
    [​IMG]

    I've always heard that the alienbees stuff is good, but you're really just paying for the name more than getting a quality product.

    Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing that might be able to shed some light on the subject (pun intended)? I'm pretty much looking for a "basic" kit, something that I can tote around to gigs and pretty much have everything neccessary in it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    The savage is on line with the JTL systems. The opinions on the web are really all over the place. Some pro, but alot con. I was really looking for the same thing at the beginning of the year, but after much reading and looking, opted to up the budget and get the Alien Bees. After researching them, I don't at all think it's a paying for the name. The lights are on par with more expensive systems out there like Photogenic at a nice savings.
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend TPF Noob!

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    I was just looking at the AB site, and the "digi" bee comes with a similar package. Two lights, a "shoot-thru" umbrella, a silver/white umbrella, stands and tote bags. It does not come with the barndoors and gels, or the bacground w/stand, but that background stand looks short and cheesy anyway.

    The basic setup is a little cheaper, too, at about $600 new.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Alot people on the forums have started with that kit and then expanded from there. It's a good one. I actually have a Savage background stand I got through Freestyle Photo. I paid around $100 for it. It's pretty beefy with air cushioned stands. Really pretty pleased with it so far.
     
  5. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do these lights have user replaceable bulbs? When I was looking I found many options in that price range that did not. There is not much of a description on their site. Does it have a stepless range of power? I was wading through lighting options a few months ago and opted for the AlienBee 800. I went for the cheapest kit with the intent of adding to it in the coming months/years. It is truly a quality product. They have a 5/f stop stepless range of power. The bulbs are rated for 250k-500k shots. You can't go wrong with AB.
     
  6. Reverend

    Reverend TPF Noob!

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    I'd love to see some of the shots that it produced, and explanations on how you used it effectively. It would give a much better idea about what features in a system are good to have, and why.
     
  7. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few I did recently, going with a kinda high key look. I used a AB800 with a medium soft box in front and a AB400 on the background.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here are some examples of shots that were produced using an AB800 strobe by itself and no other light source really other than minimal ambient light. The first two were taken the first day I got it, so they are probably a little darker than I would've liked.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really like that it has stepless power and I can set it any where between full power and 1/32. It is very easily controlled and I think it's just a quality light. Still playing with fine tuning how much distance is needed between the light and the subject. Kevin's examples are much better, those are really nice.
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend TPF Noob!

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    So how far away were you from your subjects in some of those shots?
     
  10. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    For me, I was sitting about 4 feet away with the soft box just above my head. Shooting at 250th sec at f5.6.
     
  11. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The softbox is something I've been coveting for a while now. It does a nice job.
     
  12. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    By the way John, I really like the child with the flag. When you get a second light, you can use it to backlight the child to give you that seperation from the background.:thumbup:
     

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