so i'm about to set up a home studio

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by flightless_beaker, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. flightless_beaker

    flightless_beaker TPF Noob!

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    I've been a landscape and nature photographer for some time now. Not because that's what I like but because it is the most convenient for the equipment and resources I had. I've always wanted to get into portraiture and still life and my experience is limited. I have done portrait shoots before but with one flash and black and white film. They came out ok. Other portrait shoots have taken advantage of natural lighting. There is finally a spare room in my house and I have money to play with so now I want to make the push to do still life and portraits. Here's the deal though. I don't have a lot of money but I want good reliable lighting.

    I did quite a bit of research and pricewise, the Flashpoint budget light kit seems ideal to me at the moment because of price, in particularly this kit: BFK4 Adorama Budget Studio Monolight Flash Kit #4, with 3 100 watt Second Budget Flashes, Light Stands, 2 Umbrellas, Barndoor, Snoot, and Softex Carry Case.. But reliability according to my research doesn't seem to be too good. I don't want to buy something that's going to crap out when I need it.

    I read that people like Alien Bee lighting for the price and they say its a good value and the lights are reliable. But for the kit I want its considerably more, the Busy Bee package: AlienBees: Illuminating the Galaxy with Professional Photographic Lighting Equipment. Problem is this is way out of my price range and I'll have to scrounge up money I don't really want to spend unless its totally worth it.

    Based on what I've researched, I want to have at least 3 lights as I have experience with three point lighting and I know I can make 3 lights work for what I need it but 4 would be better as I'd like as much freedom as possible. I can always start out with some basic modifiers for now and buy more later. I feel a bit overwhelmed with what to do and am wondering what you all think and if there is other things or brands I need to consider. Thanks :)
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    If you are on a budget forget a 3-4 light studio setup chances are you will only be disappointed. In other words if you are trying to get a $1,200 lighting bargain you are out of luck. Save your pennies and invest in quality lighting.

    Plan B is work with what you have until then. Fancy lighting does not make great portraits. Photographers and their creativity make great portraits and still lifes.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. SimpleFoto

    SimpleFoto TPF Noob!

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    I would stick to fewer, but better lights. You will be happy in the long run because you have good equipment and won't have to buy it twice. There is a lot you can do with just one light even - if that is all you can afford, just buy one. I would go with the alien bees as the cheapest option.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think you need to look at another type of lighting; the Adorama kit is of a type of equipment that's pretty basic and not all that flexible.

    Have you looked at Speedotron's Brown Line lighting equipment? It is widely available all across the USA, used on Craig's List and eBay. It is quite possible to buy a 400 or 600 watt-second power supply that will power 4 lights, along with three to four light heads, for prices in the $250 to $400 price range, more or less every week or two.

    There are many Speedotron air case systems, with a power supply and three light heads, plus usually a barn door set, and two light stands, or three stands, that sell on eBay for around $350, usually with the D402 power supply, which was designed as a small-studio portrait kit. This is three light units,with stands, for the price of one Alien Bee light.

    If you want to go low-price, new, look at the Adorama FlashPoint 320 monolights, for $99 each. They are a step above the ones in the kit you referred to.
     
  5. flightless_beaker

    flightless_beaker TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, I don't have anything to work with except my onboard flash on my 7D :confused: I'd definitely rather invest the money in good quality lights than the cheap stuff where I feel I would have to replace quickly anyway.

    That's what I was thinking. I was thinking about starting off buying one or two lights to start out with and as I save more money, invest more.

    Derrel, I haven't seen any of those lights you are talking about but I'll definitely look into them.

    Thanks all :)
     

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