Getting into portraits… stand setup?


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Oct 5, 2016
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I have a canon 600exii-rt. I’d like to get a stand setup for it along with the umbrella. What’s a good setup? I’ve seen the bowens brackets that clamp in the speedlight and hold the umbrella. Is there a specific one for this speedlight. Something better? I’m not looking to spend a million bucks but I’d like something that won’t fall apart or leave me frustrated and not wanting to use the setup. Thanks n
If you want to mount your speed light using the shoe mount then a Manfrotto Lite-Tite is the ticket. However, if you want to upgrade your flash to a Godox/Flashpoint AD200 for 3-4x the power then get the Godox S2 bracket, very solid and will hold lots of speed lights and strobes.
I’m looking for a stand, umbrella, cold shoe/bracket and umbrella holder for under $200.
I would suggest buying once crying once. I have stands that are still in excellent condition that are nearly 40 years old, so the moral is don't buy crap. If you want portability I'd stay away from C stands, they are fine in the studio environment but heavy and not very travel friendly. Manfrotto make good folding stands and grip gear. Umbrellas are personal choice and pretty cheap, single speed lights don't fill big ones so I'd say no larger than 43". Photek Softlighters are very versatile, shoot through, bounce or diffuser but $$.
Check out BH Photo or Adorama for online shopping ideas.
For use at home, I would go no bigger than a 43 inch umbrella.
I almost bought a 60 inch umbrella, thinking bigger is better, until the salesman talked some common sense into me.

A 60 inch umbrella is "about" 5 feet in diameter.
1 - The average ceiling is about 8 feet above the floor. That give you only 3 feet of vertical adjustment, maybe less.
2 - Next thing about the horizontal space. If you take up 5 feet of horizontal space, how much (or little) space do you have left to walk about in?
A 60 inch umbrella is just too big to comfortably use in the average home.

Now if your studio is your garage with a 12 foot ceiling and lots of space, things are different, and a 60 inch umbrella makes sense.

Having said that, I would also consider one of the softboxes made for use with a shoe flash.
The light from a softbox is easier to control than an umbrella.
Unfortunately, a shoe flash softbox is not big, like you could have with a monolight or pack system flash. So more for head and shoulder than full length.

As for stands. Think about the height.
If you have a shoot that you have to put the bare flash up high, you need a stand that will go up about 7-1/2 feet, in the 8 foot ceiling room. And even taller in your 12 foot garage.
If you travel, how short will the stand collapse down to? I had to buy a second set of stands, because my first set would not collapse short enough to fit into a suitcase. bummer.

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