Studio lighting recommendations.......

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Insp Gadget, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Insp Gadget

    Insp Gadget TPF Noob!

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    My wife is looking for some studio lighting equipment. She shoots portraits of families and has a very small space. Can someone suggest what sort of lights to get, brand name, prices etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Can you give us a ball park budget and maybe your expectation of quality (would the 'starving student kit be OK or are you looking for pro level gear?)


    Starving Student Two Light Kit

    This kit uses flash units rather than studio style strobe lights. It's a good option if portability is an issue.

    AlienBees: Illuminating the Galaxy with Professional Photographic Lighting Equipment
    This is a kit with decent quality studio strobes. They are much better than the cheap 'e-bay' kits but still 'entry level' in terms of studio lighting.
    I'd recommend the B400 (smallest) lights for your small space.

    Elinchrom D-Lite 2 "To Go Set" Includes Fan Cooled 2x200ws, 2x SoftBox 2xCases, 2xStands, 2xSyncs, 2xCaps Self-Contained Strobe 20801 - Vistek Canada Product Detail
    This is a kit with some decent quality studio lights. The 'D-lite 2' lights are not very powerful compared to most studio lights, but you probably don't need much power for a small space.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Today,more than at any time before, there are many,many choices for studio flash equipment suitable for use in small spaces. I wrote a blog post on it a few months back Derrel's Photography Blog: Low-Cost Studio Lighting Options

    One thing to keep in mind in small spaces and with today's high-ISO cameras, many of which only go down to ISO 200 with full dynamic range: high-power flash units are NOT as needed as they used to be, or as they are when working in large,spacious studios. Also, the need for light control in smaller spaces is more important than in larger spaces: honeycomb grids, diffusers, flags, scrims, and especially grids or "egg crates" for softboxes are truly helpful in controlling light output,distribution,and spill light, especially in small spaces and low-ceilinged places like apartments, basements, garages,etc. 150 to 200 watt-second monolights are ample in power with today's ISO 200 to 400 d-slr capabilities, esp. in small spaces.

    For example, in small spaces, a softbox equipped with BOTH a recessed face AND a grid is a very,very useful tool, compared with an old-school softbox with a flush face and no grid. Same thing with umbrellas; top-quality enclosed umbrellas like the Photek Softlighter (Annie Liebovitz's favorite tool lately) control ambient spill light, while shoot-through umbrellas make a mess of things, especially when you have more powerful lights, or low ceilings. Shoot-through lights are fine for Strobist use, but for professional work with "big" flash units, reflecting umbrellas give much more control and less unwanted ambient spill light.
     
  4. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    im not sure what your budget is, but i saw a book at borders last night about making a studio on a budget. it included what kind of lights to get, and how to make your own equipment such as reflectors, softboxes and backdrops. i am going to be trying a lot of the stuff in it.
     

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