Complete Beginner starting out through necessity need advice please.

TheBiznes

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Hi all new to this forum. :cheerful:

I would like a little advice please for starting out in product photography only.
Kit I have already
Canon 550D
50mm F8 II
Vanguard Tracker Tripod with T-bar 2 Pan Head mounts
Software Photoshop 6 and trial Light room 5
Computers, NAS plenty HD space. Will be shooting tethered
Book Science and magic
Location lounge space (Very Little Natural Light 1 alcove is used as a projector space and is painted black with white painted wall for screen. This is space I wish to set up.
Experience
Little or none taking photographs although have used older Photoshop quite a bit.
I sell quite a lot online and although this is the main necessity and reason for my starting out. Of course there is an element of being creative and hobbyist in it for me.
I am looking for advice on equipment purchases. I will outline my shopping list first then present my question.
Camera Accessories.
Mains Power for 550D
Basic Remote
Lighting
3 x Yongnuo YN-560 II Flash Gun Light Speedlite Diffuser
1x Yongnuo RF-602 wireless flash trigger with 3 recievers
3 x NEEWER 24" Portable Professional Softbox Kit for Flash
1 x NEEWER 5 in 1 43inch 110cm Portable Collapsible Round
Stands
4 x Professional Studio Photo Light/Lighting/Lamp Stand Stands
1 x Neewer Photography Studio Extendable Reflector Holder
1 x Neewer Photo Bracket Holder 24"-47" Swivel Head Reflector Arm
1 x Metal Heavy Duty Photography Video Studio Boom Arm
Table
2 x FINNVARD Trestle with shelf, white
1 x LINNMON Table top, white 100mm x 60mm
Background
1 x Paper Roll Artic White 1.35m x 11m
Suspended above on ceiling wood bar support or lower on clothing frame
1 x 3mm Clear Acrylic Perspex Plexiglass Plastic Sheet 1000 X 500mm
(looking to create a shooting table effect with Plexiglass to sit on top white with the paper later)
Batteries
2 x Sanyo Eneloop XX (HR-3UWX-8BP) 8 pcs. batteries AA / Mignon with 2500 mAh
1 x Sanyo Eneloop AAA 8 Pack Batteries (HR-4UTGA) 750mAh
1 x Youshiko YC4000 Intelligent AA AAA battery charger
Clamps
Studio Clip with Spigot and 1/4''
35mm Grip Size Photography Clamp for Background Support and Backdrop (Set of 12)
Book
Already bought reading
Extras
2 in 1 Grey White Balance Colour Card: The 6x4 Matt Plastic Card
White and black foam board and tape extras

My questions
1/ Does this set up look OK?
2/ The third softbox to be used with the boom would I be better looking for a different size. For example 120cm x 30cm instead of 60cm x 60cm?
3/ Anything I have missed or would you suggest a different setup?

This lot works out around £575 so far.
Grateful for any advice :)
 
Off hand it sounds like you will have what you need. The proof is in the pudding, as they say so try some shots and post some if you want for critique.
The key will be if your clients like your product.
 
Sounds like a good budget kit list but you don't mention what kind of products you're looking to work with.

On hte book front which is it? Light Science and Magic 4th edition would be a key reference book for lighting products (especially if you've got many differences in material types and reflective surfaces)
 
Photoshop 6 is pretty old. It was replaced by Photoshop 7 in 2002.
Lightroom 5 is current and 5.7 is the latest update.
Abobe's Photography Program subscription that has Photoshop CC 2014 and LR 5 is only $9.99 a month.

Learning how to use the lighting will be a key.
 
Off hand it sounds like you will have what you need. The proof is in the pudding, as they say so try some shots and post some if you want for critique.
The key will be if your clients like your product.

I am the client at least until I get you guys or others to comment I am heading or progressing in the right direction.

Would be nice if I could turn this into a side line hobby business alongside though if I improve. That' a lot of the reason for the investment. Hopefully a win win situation if I am any good or get good results :)

Sounds like a good budget kit list but you don't mention what kind of products you're looking to work with.

Starting with objects around 6" - 8" large mainly health related products. Will work onto other subjects or products later. I am a little restricted by the lens, but that was best I could afford to go with body.

On hte book front which is it? Light Science and Magic 4th edition would be a key reference book for lighting products (especially if you've got many differences in material types and reflective surfaces)

Light Science and Magic 4th I am half way through reading just on chapter 7 at minute. Very informative book. Read metal now reading glass all good learning I need to probably put this into practice to further understand.

Anything I have missed ..
What are you trying to photograph?

Health medical related Items 6" to 8" primarily plastic. Although items might be a lot larger.

Photoshop 6 is pretty old. It was replaced by Photoshop 7 in 2002.
Lightroom 5 is current and 5.7 is the latest update.
Abobe's Photography Program subscription that has Photoshop CC 2014 and LR 5 is only $9.99 a month.

Learning how to use the lighting will be a key.

I realize its old I purchased the complete set of Adobe programs around £800 back then. I actually started on 5 then upgraded 5.5 then 6 I think I have 7, but preferred 6 for some reason I think related to image ready. I have found it very useful throughout the years. I have seen the cloud option. Which I might take up later I don't like this model of subscription really though. Perhaps I will purchase Light Room only and use the RAW engine in that to then use the older Photoshop. That was my idea. I need some way of dealing with Raw images it seems.

"Learning how to use the lighting will be a key."
I have been researching a lot over the Christmas period and this is the main point I know and most interesting and challenging area as well it seems. Perhaps I could display a few images once i get started here, for some constructive criticism :)

Is there anything I have missed otherwise or could be better getting? I would rather I have most things in place.

I have almost scrubbed the idea of the more rectangular softbox. They seem to be sparse for speedlights or very expensive.
 
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The large softboxes are your best accessory, and they just need more powerful flashes, such as inexpensive studio flash. Once you have this working properly, there should be nothing more that is lacking in the way of lighting equipment.
 
The large softboxes are your best accessory, and they just need more powerful flashes, such as inexpensive studio flash. Once you have this working properly, there should be nothing more that is lacking in the way of lighting equipment.

In the items listed though as I have opted for three lights two 60cm x 60cm either side what would you recommend for the overhead light? I had been looking for other options for this as my table at 100cm - 120cm or background paper 135cm is a lot larger than the 60cm. That is why I asked earlier in the thread if a 120cm x 30cm although it seems harder to locate these for speedlights and they seem a lot more expensive. Couldn't more speedlights be added to this if the mounts allowed it?

I wondered also not having studio lights would I find it harder trying to understand lighting without modeling lamps. I suppose it will just take a little more trial and error with speedlights.

Out of interest I doubt whether I will change much away from my list, but what is the lowest priced equivalent roughly in a studio light set up price wise? Is this of any benefit to me at all?
 
As for what lights to put where, that is what the book will help you with.

Studio strobes are not only more powerful but you get more power for the money over speedlights. I recently purchased an inexpensive ($49.95) studio strobe rated at 120ws that is quite enough light for product photography. I had to turn the power way down almost as far as it would go.

As far as I know, nearly every studio strobe has a modeling light built in.
 
I would buy some proper studio lighting from Lencarta instead of speedlight, loads of cheap light shapers in Bowens fit
 
On reflection I second the points regarding using studio lights instead of speedlites. Studio lights will indeed give you more power for less cost.

The only real downsides to them are increased bulk (not a huge issue if you're already using stands and softboxes) and also mobility - because they have to be powered by the mains*.

If your setup is purely for studio work (or dominantly so) then studio lights would be the best and easier choice to work with - ideally get a set that have a built in modelling light as that way you can use the modelling light to help you position the lights.



*you can get generators and batteries for mobile setups, but they are costly, heavy and bulky (generators being the most so, but with fuel offer the longest continuous power supply)
 
If going down this route what wattage/sec is equivalent to speed light or surpasses it? and what is average cost of the light that does this equal or just above speed light please?

How are the lights controlled via a Canon 550D optically or wireless or more cables.

I have looked at lights from Lencarta perhaps I should speak to them or other firms also before deciding, but you are correct it's mainly indoor work only

Also is a mono light better if i understand it right all power is on board the light itself rather than separately? Don't I need to shoot mainly in F8 for best reproduction with the present lens I have. If so what light will match this best in say a 12 foot square space.

I may be asking all the wrong questions, but in some ways it looks more complex than speed light shooting. Probably only because I haven't researched it enough.
 
If going down this route what wattage/sec is equivalent to speed light or surpasses it? and what is average cost of the light that does this equal or just above speed light please?

How are the lights controlled via a Canon 550D optically or wireless or more cables.

I have looked at lights from Lencarta perhaps I should speak to them or other firms also before deciding, but you are correct it's mainly indoor work only

Also is a mono light better if i understand it right all power is on board the light itself rather than separately? Don't I need to shoot mainly in F8 for best reproduction with the present lens I have. If so what light will match this best in say a 12 foot square space.

I may be asking all the wrong questions, but in some ways it looks more complex than speed light shooting. Probably only because I haven't researched it enough.
Mono light are much easier to use more powerful will last longer, light shapers are much cheaper, bigger and more flexable, for the price nothing matches Lencarta I have had Lencarta lights for about 3 years now
 
If going down this route what wattage/sec is equivalent to speed light or surpasses it? and what is average cost of the light that does this equal or just above speed light please?

How are the lights controlled via a Canon 550D optically or wireless or more cables.

I have looked at lights from Lencarta perhaps I should speak to them or other firms also before deciding, but you are correct it's mainly indoor work only

Also is a mono light better if i understand it right all power is on board the light itself rather than separately? Don't I need to shoot mainly in F8 for best reproduction with the present lens I have. If so what light will match this best in say a 12 foot square space.

I may be asking all the wrong questions, but in some ways it looks more complex than speed light shooting. Probably only because I haven't researched it enough.
Yes, a "mono" light contains the flash tube, the power supply, most likely a modeling lamp, and all the necessary electronics to operate it. Just plug it into the house mains.

To compare studio strobes with flashguns, you will have to convert "watt-seconds" to "guide number".

The most complicated part of studio strobes is to figure out what modifiers will fit, what adapters you need, and what, if any, accessories are interchangeable with what other makes. If you purchase one make of strobe, you will probably want to purchase the modifiers from that same manufacturer.
 
As above flashguns don't have modeling lights to see how the light is falling so it is a lot a guess work
 

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