Portrait studio equipment: critique please

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by natc143, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. natc143
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    natc143 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    After reviewing several options and figuring out my budget, I am considering getting the following White-Lighting equipment (and other access. equipment) to use with my canon 20d, 70-200 IS, for in-house portrait/children photography in a 15x14 room 10' ceilings. I have a few questions...

    1) I was going to get a WL x1600 and x800 as a main light and background light. I have a canon speedlite 580exII. Would it be easier to get another x800 instead of using the speedlite I already own?

    2) I'd like to go wireless, but it appears pocket wizards may be about $400 per strobe, up to $1200. Is that correct? If so, are there any lower cost, reliable options? Or should I consider it?

    3) Should I buy the snoot & barndoors from WL or another site?

    4) Which white/shoot through umbrella do you recommend, does it matter?

    5) Do I need adapters, speedrings, flash tubes? I just have the EMPTY space (just have background, props), and am building everything from scratch.

    6) What other accessories am I missing? I would love to set the equipment up below and shoot that same weekend. I'd prefer to have everything on hand in advance.

    Thank you in advance for reviewing the equipment. Greatly appreciated!
    Natalie

    Equipment

    Light One .
    X1600/ White Lightning X-Series X1600
    TS13AC13-foot Air-Cushioned Stand
    FOB47 Foldable Large Octabox (47") with attached speedring$169.95
    LSCA25MM Set of 3 Casters
    speedrings: plastic/resin (Photoflex brand) fully metal.
    Two flash tubes: uv and non-uv (gold tube/yellow and warmer).

    Light Two .
    X800/BAGWhite Lightning X-Series X800
    UBRBackground Reflector
    ls1100Backlight Stand
    HGX4Set of 4 Honeycomb Grids$99.95

    Light Three .
    Canon Speedlite 580exII
    ls1100 Backlight Stand
    Photoflex Multiclamp with Shoe Mount

    I plan to buy the following:
    Snoot (restricts light to narrow beam)
    Barndoors
    White/shoot through umbrella
    Wireless: radio trigger system, possibly Pocket Wizard?
  2. Holy Ghosted
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    Holy Ghosted New Member

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    I am not familiar with the lighting kit you have picked out so I will comment on a few other things.
    About wireless you do not need to go with Pocket Wizards There ore other systems out now that are a lot cheaper Alien Bees make some http://www.alienbees.com/remotes.html I have not used these (they cam out after I got my Elinchrome Skyports )
    I like the Skyports they work very well and you can get a kit for around $180 with extra receivers and transmitters for around $100.
    I would also use your flash as well with a kit.
    About defusers try and make all you can without buying extra. It will give you a good learning curve and help with future purchases.
    I use Photoflex umbrellas they are good and a good price a 45" shoot through can be found for $20 or less.
    I would also look to some reflectors and holders. I use a 5n1 kit from Photoflex it runs around $200 give or take and the reflector holder is one of the best in the business and doubles as a boom and the lightstand is fairly good altho not aircushend.
    Hope this helps.
  3. reg
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    reg New Member

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    I wish I had a flash budget like that
  4. natc143
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    natc143 New Member

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    Thank you! I will look into AB now to compare. Skyports seem reasonable to me. How many would I need in total if I bought 2 strobes and had my speedlite? I know PW require six.

    Thanks again!!
  5. natc143
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    natc143 New Member

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    Hey - we can work together in NY if you'd relocate :)
  6. Holy Ghosted
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    Holy Ghosted New Member

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    If you are running three lights you would need the universal kit (skyports) (1 transmitter and one receiver) and 2 receivers. that would run you around $385 give or take. and alien bees would be a little less.
    The wireless market has really grown in the past 2 years so there are a lot more competitors better priced then PW that will work for most.
  7. natc143
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    natc143 New Member

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    Thank you! I see the kit costs approx 180 and each add'l receiver another $100 each as you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendation!! Much appreciated!

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