Best source of portable light for photoshoots

cnick975

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Just for general photography whether it is portrait or whatever, what type of lighting kit would be best for a beginner. I heard that strobes are the best bang for your buck and get you some good light if set up with umbrellas and all that. Someone point me in the direction of a decently priced kit that I can start off with. Thanks! Preferably something that is portable and does not have to be plugged into an outlet.
 

tirediron

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There is no 'best source'; it really depends on what you're doing. You can do a lot of work with just a couple of speedlights. 2-3 Yongnuo speedlights and collapsible soft-boxes & stands are very portable and give you a lot of flexibility. If you want a little more power, than look at Adorama's Flashpoint line. They have some very reasonably priced lights and battery packs.
 

nycphotography

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Such a simple thing with such wide application... you'd think there are thousands of competing solutions. Oh wait, there ARE thousands of competing solutions!

I'd suggest you read through the teachings of "the strobist", specifically with regards to using "speedlights" "off camera".

He'll lead you to a point where you can pick from the various "speedlight" solutions, with stands, umbrellas, etc.

Someone here should have a link to the particular articles I'm referring to. Basically, his earlier stuff back when he was showing how to do it on the cheap with basic equipment and before he started making a living from pitching higher priced gear.
 
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cnick975

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I will check out the speedlights that is a great suggestion and I know there is no best source what I meant to say is a recommended source that someone has used before that might fit my needs for photography.
 

orljustin

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We don't know your needs.

Strobist is s good read tho.
 

Derrel

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Buy a couple (or three) of these: Flashpoint II FP320MP A/C-D/C Monolight, 150 Watt FPML320MP

These are 150 Watt-second monolights--easily over twice the power of speedlights, and they each come with a 15-ounce DC battery pack, or they can be run off of AC wall current. Pretty good for $199 per set-up.

Then, add three decent-quality, 9-foot light stands, and three Photoflex 45-inch umbrellas, or two umbrellas and an inexpensive "umbrella-style" softbox, the kind that sets up instantly because it is mounted on an umbrella shaft, and which does not use a "speed ring" to connect to the flash.

Speedlights are fine. But, the tend to overheat when used hard. They offer ZERO modeling light, so no help with light to focus or compose, and even worse, NO modeling light to help a new shooter actually see what light placement is doing before the shot is on the LCD.
 

kathyt

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Here is my tool kit for on the go light.
-Speedlights 580ex ii x2 (I rarely use 2)
-reflector x2 (one super large rectangular one for more then one person and a regular circle one)
-some modifiers for my speed lights.
-pocket wizards
-whatever is left of the sun
I will often times bounce my speedlight off of my reflector. Just go out and play around to see what works for you. That's it.
 

hirejn

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I'd recommend understanding light before getting into lighting. Light and lighting are different things. If you don't understand the first, you won't get the second. Without understanding, no equipment is helpful. By portable light I assume you mean electronic. The best is up to you. What I like is a strobe because it enables me to freeze action when necessary. Continuous lighting does not. Each has advantages. However, I don't think continuous light is as advanced as it could be. MacBooks can run for 12 hours on battery, but the Ice Light lasts for like 30 minutes or an hour. That doesn't make sense. If I pay $400 for a continuous light, I want it to be super bright and last at least four hours. But the type of light isn't as important as knowing how to use it.
 

tirediron

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I'd recommend understanding light before getting into lighting. Light and lighting are different things. If you don't understand the first, you won't get the second. Without understanding, no equipment is helpful. By portable light I assume you mean electronic. The best is up to you. What I like is a strobe because it enables me to freeze action when necessary. Continuous lighting does not. Each has advantages. However, I don't think continuous light is as advanced as it could be. MacBooks can run for 12 hours on battery, but the Ice Light lasts for like 30 minutes or an hour. That doesn't make sense. If I pay $400 for a continuous light, I want it to be super bright and last at least four hours. But the type of light isn't as important as knowing how to use it.
Good point, but it's also hard to learn the theory if you don't have the tools to practice. I can read books all day about how to use a hand-saw to cut lumber, but if I don't have a saw and board on which to practice, I'm never going to know exactly how to do it.
 

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