Need a quickie lighting lesson..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ottor, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, I know absolutely nothing about lighting other than the Sunpak I bought with my Canon 450D - I'd like to know more about some off-camera lighting options... I know nothing except perhaps some theory... where you have a transmitter on the camera that trips an additional lighting setup. What would I need for a very basic setup - say one umbrella/flash - and - do you have an 'approximate' cost for that transiever and off camera flash unit? You give me a couple of specifics, and I can do some research for the rest of my questions, but I need to start somewhere....:confused:

    thanks in advance...

    Rick
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The old standby flash unit, the Vivitar 285HV flash works very well with the Photoflex brand RUT convertible umbrella in the 30 inch and 42 inch sizes. I suggest that specific umbrella because it is well-made, comes with a storage/transportation tube,and because it is NOT a shoot-through umbrella by design. it can be converted to a shoot-through by removing the back cover,however.

    You need a light stand,an an umbrella swivel mounting bracket. The Strobist.com blog/web site is the place to go for centralized information on this stuff.

    Triggers are a new eBay sub-category (almost!). Cactus and Gadget Infinity are popular names. The web site FlashZebra.com is one source for a LOT of flash accessory products in one very small,compact web site.

    Mpex.com,another site that has partnered with David Hobby, the strobist.com originator, has what it calls "strobist kits"--not the cheapest prices, but very reputable stuff which dovetails in nicely with the tutorials on strobist.com.
     
  3. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am sure a lot of people will point you to the following link

    Strobist

    Take a look at the Lightning 101 first.

    As for the off camera flash, I use multiple Vivitar 285HV flashes (just bought a used SB-800) with silver reflective/white shoot through umbrella and one Apollo softbox. I am still a beginner and learning the lightning stuff now.

    btw, I am using the cheap ebay radio triggers.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I also like Digital ProTalk

    good luck and enjoy it
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Two basic types of lighting...continuous & flash. Continuous would be things like incandescent or fluorescent bulbs etc.
    For shooting people (or moving subjects) flash is usually the best option.

    So then there are a couple types of flash/strobe lighting.
    One is 'studio' style lights. They are big and require AC power.
    Another type is 'flash units'. They are smaller and usually run on AA batteries.
    There are pros & cons to either choice.

    Read THIS for a basic run down of the things required and some techniques.
    HERE are some assembled kits.
    One of the main pieces that affects the price is the radio trigger set. The 'Pro' kit comes with Pocket Wizards which are the industry standard but very expensive. The 'starving student' wireless kit comes with a cheap radio trigger set that works, but may not be reliable enough for your needs.

    My solution was to get something better than the cheap ones, but not as expensive as the PWs. AlienBees: Illuminating the Galaxy with Professional Photographic Lighting Equipment
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Forgot about the cost.
    Used 285HV flash is about $50 each
    ebay radio trigger is about $20 a set (trigger and receiver, cost more if multiple receivers)
    Umbrella with light stand mount ..... I believe it is about $20 to $30 (non-name brand one) I believe the Westcott umbrellas and speedlight softbox are not bad.
    The light stands are about $30 - $40 (not 100% sure) I bought 4 used Manfrotto light stands with one backdrop bar for $75 almost like new in original box.
     
  7. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm a firm believer in you get what you pay for - hv just found some kits on EBay for about $150 ...... I realize what kind of quality that would entail, but that said, is that something that would function and be of practical use for, say, another year? That would let me know if it's something that I'd even use, and later upgrade to a quality setup ... I 'have' heard that once you get involved in that kind of lighting, you wonder how you got along without it, but - since I'm not into portrait photography, I'm just not sure how else I'd benefit from this...... I will be taking some pic's of my dog later this evening, as he just got back from the groomer, so I guess that would be one opportunity, huh? :D

    r
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    How about a link to the gear you found?
     
  9. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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