Monolight suggestions?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Luxowell, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Luxowell

    Luxowell TPF Noob!

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    I'm getting really tired of renting a light kit at my local photo shop when I have a shoot to do. That once rare occasion is now turning more frequent, and I decided I just need to pony up and buy my own.
    Now...
    I really prefer to use softboxes, but could certainly make due with umbrellas and upgrade later...
    A 2 light setup would probably be plently for me to start with for now...
    And, honestly, money is a bit tight for me usually, so while I'd love a really nice $1000 set, it's definately more than I can afford, and probably more than I need.
    I mostly need them for small weddings and small (non group) portrait work.
    If anyone has any affordable suggestions, I'd really appreciate it!
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do a search on Amazon, there are many options there... but no matter what, you will get what you pay for. A saying amongst portrait photographers is... you replace your cameras often, but you should buy your lights only once.

    Alien Bees seem to be somewhat popular at reasonable prices, check those out too.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Alienbees are quite popular, especially among the amateur & new pro crowd. They are a decent product at a pretty competitive price. I've got a few and I am quite happy with them.
    There are, of course, other brands...so look around.

    I agree with the sentiment of what Jerry is saying. Don't cheap out too much on your lights, because you will end up having to replace them a lot sooner than you will want to. Spend the money up front and use them for a long time.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Elinchrom dlites might be a better alternative to the AB's. They're priced similar but more consistent. Users of the AB lights were complaining at a color shift when the lights' power was turned down. Some one did a test an came up with a pretty big color shift at the lower temperture. Everything turns out magenta.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not really similarly priced. The AB400s are available for $225ea and the D-lite 4's are priced at $375ea. For a pro the $250 difference is minimal, but for the home enthusiast, the difference may push them towards the ABs, if they shoot RAW and the colour shifts are not terribly obvious.

    Mike, is this something that you can confirm? Do you get colour cast differences at different power outputs?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I've never tested that specifically, so I can't confirm or deny. I haven't noticed any color problems with the lights themselves.
    I usually use them at around 1/8 to 1/2 power...so I'm not mixing high and low power settings on different lights.
     
  7. Luxowell

    Luxowell TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, whenever I do get to use a kit, it's usually at a pretty low power setting... and I tend to shoot in raw, just for safety sake more than anything else (it's saved my ass a few times)
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should probably compare the AB400's and the D-lite 2's for price as well as the AB800 and the D-lite 4's.

    The 400's and 2's put out close to the same wattage with the d-lite 2 putting out a little more and the same with the 800's vs the 4's.

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=443418&highlight=alien bees
     
  9. Foxtrot

    Foxtrot TPF Noob!

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    have a poke around your local Henry's...unless you have no henry's...I know they have a two light/umbrella/stand kit for like 200 bucks
    Good deal..plus you can always add to the kit as you go....I think its a great starter
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    For $200...it's probably a constant light system, rather than a strobe.
     
  11. renegademaster88

    renegademaster88 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Bowens 750 which is an execellent double head light kit. it would be at the high end of your price range however.
    My top tip is to buy the battery pack at the same time as this will save you money in the long run. But watch out it only comes with one power cable even though the battery can power two lights!! Cheeky bowens makes you buy the second cable extra.

    Nick
     
  12. Luxowell

    Luxowell TPF Noob!

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