What would YOU Recommend for Lighting?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kmhadi27, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. kmhadi27

    kmhadi27 TPF Noob!

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    First things first, here is my gear:

    Nikon D60
    Tamron 18-200mm
    Nikon 28-80mm (manual)
    Nikon 15-105mm (manual from early 90's but amazing quality)
    tripod (2x)
    m3 remote for wireless camera trigger


    Now, I want to upgrade my gear for studio portrait photography. I'm interested in doing shots for people for a cheap price in my spare time. What I'm looking for is a backdrop (Blk & White) and lights.

    I have a budget (everything that can fit in $500 budget).

    I was looking at 3 point lighting systems on ebay. The continuous lights run at around $250 for about 2100 watts. What is better? continuous lights or strobes or speedlight flashes?

    My thing is the continuous lights and strobes work for my budget except they aren't as portable as speedlight flashes. I've seen all kinds of discussions and debates about continuous vs. strobes, but my question what is the difference in brightness between the two? Is a 180 watt strobe bright enough to compare to a continuous light with 5 flourescent bulbs in it?

    Is is better to have 3 strobes with a total output of 900watts? or 3 continuous lights with 2100 watts? all running through softboxes/umbrellas etc.

    Or what is a good number of watts for a bright ideal setup? What I like about the continuous lighting is that you can turn off the bulbs if you need to make it less brighter...


    Please help, it is appreciated.
    Thanks




    Edit: here is examples of what i seen on eBay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/2800-Watt-Photo...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d299d796d

    http://cgi.ebay.com/3-LIGHT-SOFTBOX...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3caec0a58c

    http://cgi.ebay.com/900W-STROBE-STU...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19bd4e859c
     
  2. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Have you checked your local craigslist?
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you thought about hanging out at a local photo studio and seeing what they use?

    Be sure to tell them what you want to charge so that they won't think that you're trying to steal their customers. ;)
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Here is what I would suggest. SPEEDOTRON D200 BROWN LINE W/2 STROBES - eBay (item 280537911227 end time Jul-31-10 12:40:23 PDT)

    Buy-it-now price of $225-A two-outlet, 200 watt-second,small power pack and two MW3U 400 watt-second capable flash heads designed for umbrella use. Buy it now price is reasonable.

    Buy it now $250, a Brown LIne 800 watt-second, 4-outlet power pack, an M90 flash head, and an MW3U head.http://cgi.ebay.com/speedotron-BROW...ultDomain_0&hash=item19be25ea3f#ht_500wt_1154

    So, for $500, you get two power supplies of an almost ideal power differential (200 and 800 watt-seconds), and the capability to power SIX flash heads. An additional used M90 or MW3U head can be bough off of e-Bay for $69 most weeks.

    This setup will give you actual studio lighting capabilities,and ought to last for many years. A complete capacitor rebuild from Speedotron's Chicago service center is $79 on the smaller packs like the 800,400,and 200 w-s models.
     
  5. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    I really love my Bowens monlights, though I need a to get there travelpak. They things have always gave great light
     
  6. kmhadi27

    kmhadi27 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Derrel - Don't I need to get stands, clips, and boom kits to stand those lights ?


    edit: Do you know of any complete kits? with everything I need included? Or is it better to buy piece by piece?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  7. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    You don't need booms. Just light stands. I would buy a set off craigslist if you can. Older more sturdy ones are FAR better than newer cheap ones. Under 500 for a lighting kit is pretty hard to do. If you can do 1,000 you would be much better off. Then you would have plenty of options to play with. THe background stands and a white and black background paper will cost you around 150-200 on its own, and only allowing 300 for a 3 light setup is damn near impossible, unless you take a strobist route, which for me doesn't look professional as a person charging.

    My .02 cents

    Eric
     
  8. kmhadi27

    kmhadi27 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks...well I'm lookin on atl craigslist for a good deal but to me the prices seem around the same for an older pair vs. new kits on eBay. So what about continuous flourescent vs. strobe lights?

    Also umbrella or softbox?
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Stobe over continuous.
    Softbox over umbrella.
     
  10. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the business, you'll do well, do lots of free shoots just to get used to the lighting you buy, then 5 bucks a pop afterwards, be right up there in the top ten earners in no time. H

    PS. Oh, sorry forgot to add you need pscs 5 too, CAF can't be left out.
     
  11. superhornet59

    superhornet59 TPF Noob!

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    I kind of took the 'cheapo' route on lighting, but I've actually been super happy with the results. bought a couple of those 10 dollar flash umbrella + flash/umbrella holder combos off ebay along with some pretty cheap lighting stands. I also bought a couple of speedlights from dealextreme... they won't do TTL or anything, they're really not very 'advanced' things.. but for ~40 bucks you get a powerful slave flash that has yet to cause me trouble (I see no point in buying something as high-tech and expensive as an SB-600/800 just for slave use). And I've never been too big on continuous studio lighting, except sometimes a low power 'warming' light.. but mixing lighting can be dangerous. I prefer to keep a single color-temp in my lighting, then adjust WB later if I need something warmer or cooler.

    If you plan on doing anything outdoors, a soft light reflector is a very worthwhile investment if you have an assistant.

    My entire lighting arsenal probably cost sub $150 total, and I've extremely pleased with it. Budget photographers, fear not studio lighting! :p It was the muslin backdrop that got me where it hurts.. the back left pocket.
     
  12. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've seen Novatron and Calumet kits going cheap on the craiglist here (Jax Fl). You need to be patient and keep an eye out. You figure for 700-800 new you can get a "workable" three light setup from somewhere like B&H so I'm sure someone else has already made the purchase and is now looking to sell. I agree with others, you need to save some more money.

    Remember too that hot lights (continuous lighting) are called that for a reason; THEY GET HOT! If you have a small room in your house with enough lighting to get good shots it will get hot in there.
     

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