Location Lighting Wanted

Discussion in 'Buy and Sell' started by Susanfbr, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Susanfbr

    Susanfbr TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I'm looking to get the basics together for on-location lighting. I mostly photograph babies, young children and families. I would love to find an alien bee 1 or 2 light kit, but am open to other options. I also need a portable backdrop set. If someone has a stand then I could buy the muslin myself. I prefer natural light, but the Chicago winter is killing my children photography business! Who wants to play outside when it's 8 degrees???
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. Susanfbr

    Susanfbr TPF Noob!

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    I would love to just go out and buy the bees, but I'm looking to save a little money on used gear if possible.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Chicago is the home of Speedotron Corp, located down on S. Racine...used Speedo gear on eBay is super-plentiful. For example, a Brown Line M90 light unit is on eBay for $99 today, along with an MW3U for $69. A typical eBay price for a 4-outlet, D402 Brown Line power supply is $100,with $19 shipping.

    Speedo factory technicians can rebuild a clunker D402 for $89..clunkers with blown caps sell for $29 or so.

    The D402 is designed as a portrait power supply, and was often sold in a 3-light kit in a long-ish,black nylon carry/storage case with a D402 pack, an M90 light head, an MW3U head, and an MW3R head,two umbrellas, and two eight-foot Speedotron light stands plus a back light stand for the MW3R light. That three-light kit can be bought for $300-$350 usually. Add another MW3U head and you have a four-light kit for $400 or so.

    eBay, Craigslist: the Chicagoland area is full of Speedo gear for sale on the used market.
     
  5. Susanfbr

    Susanfbr TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the speedotron info. I'm a little intimidated to put together a kit myself. It's been 15 years (college) since I played in a studio. I'm a former photo-j/newspaper person that is doing "kid" photography since I am now in Mommy-land. I am intrigued by the Calumet Genesis 200 2-light kit. Anyone have any opinions if that is enough light for babies, pregnant mamas and up to 6-person family shots in living rooms?

    Do I really need to spend money on a flash meter or can I figure it out doing some test shots with the digital camera?
     
  6. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    I would think the histogram on the back of the LCD would work. But never judge the exposure just by looking at the picture on the back of your camera.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, the 2x200 Genesis kit ought to be ample for babies and maternity photos,and it'll give you enough light for doing in-home family group photos with a decent modifier. With today's d-slrs that have such good image quality at ISO 200 to ISO 400, raw watt-seconds is not all that necessary. I downloaded the Calumet Genesis .pdf brochure, and they list the Guide Number as being 125 at ISO 100, in feet, with the standard reflector. I actually trust Calumet's GN specifications much more so than some of the web-based outfits.

    You will not absolutely "need" a flash meter if you're working with a d-slr. You can easily use the "string method" for arriving at a precise umbrella-to-subject
    distance for baby shots.
     
  8. Susanfbr

    Susanfbr TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I'm going to buy the 2 200 ws genesis kit. I hate to part with the money, but I think I should be able to make enough to pay it off pretty fast.

    I also just realized I need to buy a sturdier carry case then they come with so they don't break during transporting them to shoots. I think the flash meter will have to wait a couple months until I make some money.

    Thanks for everyone's help! Wish me luck!
     

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