need advise for lighting

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dragsternj, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    Hi, new guy here

    i am in the process of setting up a little studio and need to purchase some strobes. i am looking at the elinchrome, white lightning as well as the alienbees. i have not really an idea what i have to look for . Studio is not going to be very large. Looking probably at 3 lights, 1 main, one hair and a kicker ?

    what is a good solution to get this fired wireless ? also i need a lightmeter? what am i getting? i was looking at one at B&H which also worked wireless.

    any help is greatly appreciated
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Paul Buff is supposed to be releasing the Einsteins later in Feb. Supposed to have a more consistent output than the AB, though I've never had much issue w/ ABs. If you go w/ AB, White Lightning or Einsteins, they also have a wireless transmitter you can purchase to run it. I have one for mine and it works very well. Can't speak to Elinchrom, but they seem to have a good reputation. Lightmeter, I would recommend Sekonic 258.
     
  3. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    thanks looks like the sekonic may be discontinued. there is a 358
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    sorry that was a typo. the 358 which sells for about 250.
     
  5. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Where are you located?
    If you are not in the USA, Alien Bees might not be the best choice for budget lights.
     
  6. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    i am us based, and i did not know that the lights i am looking at are budget lights. Not even sure what that means ? :) Is there anything better and if so why are they better?
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wouldn't call them budget per se, perhaps a good value. I think they are a really good purchase for the money. There are many other brands out there from ebay specials (which I would consider budget) to top of the line Briese BRIESE Lighting . I think they are an excellent option for folks who want to give portrait photography an honest attempt while having a really capable product. Later if you still want to continue this, then you can look at the more professional grade. I guess I consider Alien Bee a pro-sumer grade. I think you could certainly use them in professional business (and have seen them in many studios). Many will discount them due to inconsistent output, but I really haven't had that problem with them. I find them to be a good value for the price. I suppose I would now invest in the Einstein line when they come out, but the bees do the job. I'm not sure which is supposed to be superior between the Einstein line and the White Lightning line. All 3 are Paul Buff products though.

    With AB you have a continuous control, user replaceable bulbs, and a decent price. What's not to like?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  8. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    i was looking at the new einsteins. they seem decent. i am by no means a pro but do not want to be discouraged by bad equipment and loose interest because of it. i will use the equipment sometimes for taking pictures at client locations.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Elinchrom has been making lights for many years. The have some reasonably popular lights, like their D series models. The Paul C. Buff Einstein has been ready to come onto the market for months on end now, but are still not here yet.

    For a small studio, the biggest problem is having too much light; in the film days, not enough light was a problem, but now with d-slr cameras often beginning at 200 ISO, lower-powered lights are actually quite useful. In the Alien Bee line, I'd definitely look at the Bee 400 model as being ample for a three-light setup shot in a smaller space, with modern,efficient light modifiers.

    For a hair light, I think an excellent one is a strobe fitted with a 7 to 11.5 inch reflector (NOT the Buff long-throw sports reflector in 11 inch!) fitted with a 20 degree honeycomb grid, and a diffuser, and a barn door, for a lot of control. I think many people go overboard on hair lights, and run them far too hot.
     
  10. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    i called Buff the einsteins are supposed to ship by end of month but since they had a waiting list they are not available to purchase for the public for some month according to the sales rep.

    so what is my next best option ?


    Thanks to all who help.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Something from a company that actually has products for sale: the AB Max was hyped,hyped,hyped,hyped and pre-orders were taken for months on end; then, the AB Max was cancelled and the project was renamed Einstein, and they were supposed to ship in January; then the date was pushed back to February. Now they are telling you that there's a pre-order backlog,and there will be no product that YOU can actually buy, right???? Well--consider that the pre-orders for the next greatest thing from Buff Enterprises (which has been been promised for well over a year now) will divert the first production entirely to those long-suffering Buff fans who are on the Einstein pre-order lists.

    If you want to buy lights now, it would make sense to purchase an actual product that is currently available for sale. There are good lights available right now from multiple companies. I would not buy version 1.0 of studio lighting, from any company. What is your budget for lights? $500? $1500? $2100? There are lights at every price point, from $99 per monolight, like Adorama's FlashPoint 620 lights, on up to $700 per light monoblocs from Calumet, and even higher-priced units from other makers.
     
  12. dragsternj

    dragsternj TPF Noob!

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    i have no real budget maybe around 2 - 2.5 k ? would like to get the receivers and transmitter included if i could, even better a softbox
     

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