Lighting

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Johnboy2978, May 18, 2006.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have been playing around doing some family portraits with my wife and daughter. Given that this is a hobby for me, most of the money I've spent on this has been in the form of the cameras themselves and lenses. Therefore, my backdrop consists of a neutral colored sheet and work lights such as that in a workshop (w/ 75w bulbs).

    If I got actual photography lighting, what kind of money would I be talking about? I'm looking for most bang for the buck, budget lighting. Like a primary, fill light, hair light, and background light at the most.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    Check out AlienBees. Although I'm in the UK and have no experience of them, there are some people here who have achieved TOP quality results with them and they look to be only a couple of hundred dollars.

    Rob
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can get a 2 light alien bees set with stands, umbrellas, and cases for about $600.

    http://alienbees.com/digi.html

    Check out some of my recent posts in the portrait gallery to see the results from this setup. I also added a softbox to my purchase.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Yeah, I customized a 3 light set-up through Alien Bees for around $1100.

    I'm not endorsing them but you can get JTL's even cheaper. Some like them, some don't.
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    I should have said "a couple of hundred dollars each"! And guess which person I was thinking of.... ^^^^ (Digital Matt!)
     
  6. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    ;) @ Rob

    The only problem with Halogen lights, or any continous output type light, is that they not usually bright enough, and they aren't easy to control, as in, change the power of the light. I've used a setup like that for the last few years and it has worked, but I was never able to get enough depth of field. There was just not enough light. Not to mention I ended up shooting around 1/60 and wound up with lots of camera shake.

    Strobes allow you to shoot stopped down, and at your sync shutter speed, which is probably 1/250 or 1/500. Also they allow for lots of different light modifying accessories, like softboxes, umbrellas, snoots, colored gels, etc....

    It's a good investment if you plan to do portraits, and just like your camera, it's a system that you can expand.
     
  8. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Itchycoo Park
    They are also miserably hot and notorious wasters of precious electricity.

    Cheap “generic” strobes can be found on Ebay, but I would be wary of them. A friend purchased a set, and discovered that their output is so inconsistent they are nearly unusable for any serious portraiture work.

    Rob is on the money (as per usual) with his suggestion to invest in Alien Bee’s. They are fairly robust in build quality, are consistent in output levels and priced right.
     
  9. snownow

    snownow TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    So cal.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    E-bay amvonia (or something along those lines) has a 3 pc set, with lights, softboxes, stands, all sub $400. Good starter set, but as matt said i think the way to go is with strobe, let me know if you go that route and find something reasonable.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Eddington, ME
    I bought a set of cheap monolights from ebay. Bought 4 as I figured they would probably fail pretty quickly. They are low powered but seem to put out consistant light. Unlike some other inexpensive monolights, they have replaceable bulbs, and stepless adjustments for the modeling light and flash unit. Lowest I paid was $48 with shipping and most was around $66 with shipping. 2dreammaker is the seller. The only problem I have with them is the they will not fire with a radio remote plugged into the pc socket. They will with direct conection and light slave, but not with radio. The radio works with other flashes though. So not sure what is up with that. Also they are 110v plug in only. No battery power supply.

    For a home shooter they are holding up. But are definately limited in power to small sets.
     
  11. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm new to this whole idea of looking for lighting, as such I know nothing about it. I assumed you would want continuous lighting. How do strobe lights work?
     
  12. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    They flash when you fire your shutter, like an on camera flash
     

Share This Page