All in one studio package


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Jan 25, 2012
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Jax, Fl
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Looking at getting a cheapo studio package (continuous lighting)......I will be taking portraits and head shots and shots for a new clothing line I am starting up as well...

out of these 3, which would you think is better?

CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories


CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories

orrrrr Strobe (I already have a speedlight and ghetto softbox though)

CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories

Thanks for any help...i like option 1, as its 3 lights and 2 background colors but am unsure of the wattage on the lights being enough?
Definitely strobe, and definitely not CowboyStudio.

I'd recommend reading the Lighting 101 over at Strobist.

He goes over theory and equipment, and will give you an understanding of how to select items yourself. Better than buying a package of subpar quality that may contain items you don't need, or versions of items that are not ideally suited to your needs.
Run far from Cowboy. I have spider lights from Westcotts. LOVE THEM. Great for my photography and perfect for my youtube videos.
Continuous lights won't work very well for shutter speeds of less than 1 second.

A 150 watt continuous light outputs that 150 watts over a one second period (1 watt = 1 joule per second). If you are using a shutter speed of 1/2 second the light output is down to only 75 watts. With a shutter speed of 1/100 the light output is down to 15 watts.

1/100 is about the slowest shutter speed that will consistantly control both camera shake and subject motion if you use live models. Obviously, fake bodies don't move.

Those Cowboy kits have 30W, 50W and 85W bulbs.
At a shutter speed of 1/10 those will actually deliver 3W, 5W and 8.5W, and that doesn't count the losses from reflecting in the umbrellas ot the Inverse Square Law losses.

The light stands won't go high enough to light a standing model. You really want at least 8 foot light stands
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To add to the pile: Referring to Cowboy Studio equipment as "junk" is to truly insult real junk the world over. From the information page on your third option: "a guide number of 30 at ISO 100 and a recycling time of 5-7 seconds. It also comes with a 50 watt removable modeling lamp"

A GN of 30 (putting aside the whole GN on a studio strobe discussion) indicates a light output slightly more than your average candle. A recycle time of 7 seconds???? That will QUICKLY become VERY, VERY annoying, and a 50watt modelling lamp? Useless!

You indicate that you want to use these for a business. Well, it takes money to make money. You don't need to spend $1200 - 1500 per head for your lights, but this is just throwing your money away. Look at the Adorama Flashpoint series as a decent, budget-priced system.
If you have never really used lighting then I am going to suggest you slow down and take the pragmatic approach where you learn as you go. Buy ONE good strobe, stand, modifier such as an umbrella or softbox, trigger of some kind, background stand and some roll paper, maybe a reflector or two and a decent flash meter. Learn to get the most from one light. Then add a second light, learn to get the most from two lights. Then add more as you need. Once you have a grasp of lighting with one strobe, it becomes much easier to start understanding things like placement, lighting ratios, subject to back ground placement and light modifier use etc. It will also keep you from making purchases that you find out you don't really need or want.

I suggest strobes over continuous lighting for most situations. Continuous lighting is hot, and as some have mentioned can have it's own set of problems.

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