Home studio. Complete list. Advice much appreciated!

rhiannon

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Hi everyone!

I’m new to flash photography and have been reading for quite some time on this forum. It's pretty awesome here. Thank you all for running such an amazing site.

So I’ve put together a list of gear that, I think, will work to get me started with doing portraits at home. I have a Nikon D80 with a 50mm 1.8D. Will add maybe a Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 when I have the money.

Would you be able to give me some feedback on the list? Is there anything that doesn’t work? Are there better options for any of the items? If you can give me any sort of advice in general, please don't hold back. I threw the prices in there also, so that I can track my budget. :)

Transmitter
Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger Set V4 (with 1 receiver) $39.95 x 1

Cactus Wireless Flash Receiver V4 receivers $23.95 x 2

Flash
Vivitar 285HV $87 x 3

Shoe mount umbrella adapter
Photek Shoe Mount Umbrella Adapter SMA-1000 $19.45 x 3

Light stand
Impact Light Stand, Black - 6' (1.8m) $19.95 x 2

Air-cushioned Light Stand (Black, 8') $32.25 x 1


Umbrella

Creative Light 41" Translucent Umbrella $29 x 2

Creative Light 41" Umbrella/Softbox $53 x1


Backdrop stand
Savage Background Port-A-Stand Kit $109 x 1

Backdrop paper
Savage Seamless Background Paper x 1 (107" x 12yds, #912 Stone Gray) $45 x 1

I have some doubts about the choice of the backdrop system. Problem is that I don't have much space so can't have the backdrop out permanently. I know that muslin is going to need a lot of ironing and smoothing out every time I take it out and vinyle has glare. Not sure paper would be the best choice either, especially I'll need white and black also. It really adds up. By the way the space I have is small too. Maybe 12x18. 10' ceiling.

All right, here you go my first tpf posting. yay!
 

MLeeK

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There are some awesome vinyl backdrops that don't have a glare. I know someone here has at least one, but I can't for the life of me remember who.

Why 4 receivers? I see 3 lights and no mention of another anywhere... That may be the wine... I may be missing one in there somewhere...

Are the vivitar flashes capable of being a slave? If they are you don't need all of the receivers. I have never used them. I know a few of the guys like them!
 

MTVision

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MLeeK said:
There are some awesome vinyl backdrops that don't have a glare. I know someone here has at least one, but I can't for the life of me remember who.

Why 4 receivers? I see 3 lights and no mention of another anywhere... That may be the wine... I may be missing one in there somewhere...

Are the vivitar flashes capable of being a slave? If they are you don't need all of the receivers. I have never used them. I know a few of the guys like them!

MLeek - I think it's Charlie (cgipson). But not 100% positive.
 

cgipson1

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The savage vinyl backdrops are glare free.. they have a light texture that kills glare. I have three of them, and like them very much!
 

MTVision

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cgipson1 said:
The savage vinyl backdrops are glare free.. they have a light texture that kills glare. I have three of them, and like them very much!

I was right!!!!!!!!!
 

cgipson1

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OP.. instead of the Vivitars.. consider the Flashpoint 320 monolights. Unless you need maximum portability, they are far better! You can get battery packs for the Flashpoints also.. if you do want to shoot outdoors with them
 
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rhiannon

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Thanks so much for the quick response, MLeeK! Nice catch with the 3 flashes and 4 receivers. I lost track there. :) I'll start with 3.

I can't figure out if the Vivitar can be a slave based on the description. How do you know if it needs a receiver or not?


There are some awesome vinyl backdrops that don't have a glare. I know someone here has at least one, but I can't for the life of me remember who.

Why 4 receivers? I see 3 lights and no mention of another anywhere... That may be the wine... I may be missing one in there somewhere...

Are the vivitar flashes capable of being a slave? If they are you don't need all of the receivers. I have never used them. I know a few of the guys like them!
 
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rhiannon

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Thank you, cgipson1! In what way are they better? Are they going to work with the wireless transmitter in my list? I've been focusing on hotshoe flashes. not familiar with strobes.:blushing:

Is this it? http://www.adorama.com/FP320MBS.htm...ping Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

It looks real good though, and comes with its own stand!

OP.. instead of the Vivitars.. consider the Flashpoint 320 monolights. Unless you need maximum portability, they are far better! You can get battery packs for the Flashpoints also.. if you do want to shoot outdoors with them
 

mjhoward

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Check out the yongnuo RF-602's for you triggers. They have been excellent for me and were only $70 for a transmitter and 3 reciever set on eBay. For light stands, 6' is awfully short and many times even 8' can be too short. Check out Linco stands. There's a seller on eBay that has 10' stands (which I have) for $35 and 8' stands for $25. I've never had any issues with them and actually like them quite a bit. Something else you might consider that I actually just ordered myself is a good flash gel kit. With this you can get creative with you backdrops and if you ever shoot outside with your speedlights you can color match your flash with the sun/shade for more natural looking flash.
 
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rhiannon

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That was very helpful. Much obliged, mjhoward.

Check out the yongnuo RF-602's for you triggers. They have been excellent for me and were only $70 for a transmitter and 3 reciever set on eBay. For light stands, 6' is awfully short and many times even 8' can be too short. Check out Linco stands. There's a seller on eBay that has 10' stands (which I have) for $35 and 8' stands for $25. I've never had any issues with them and actually like them quite a bit. Something else you might consider that I actually just ordered myself is a good flash gel kit. With this you can get creative with you backdrops and if you ever shoot outside with your speedlights you can color match your flash with the sun/shade for more natural looking flash.
 

cgipson1

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Thank you, cgipson1! In what way are they better? Are they going to work with the wireless transmitter in my list? I've been focusing on hotshoe flashes. not familiar with strobes.:blushing:

Is this it? http://www.adorama.com/FP320MBS.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

It looks real good though, and comes with its own stand!

OP.. instead of the Vivitars.. consider the Flashpoint 320 monolights. Unless you need maximum portability, they are far better! You can get battery packs for the Flashpoints also.. if you do want to shoot outdoors with them

That is it... however, I would recommend buying without that stand, and buying better stands with broader bases, and more height. The will work with wireless triggers that have a cable output. The Flashpoints jacks are 1/4" mono.. so you would need that and whatever your triggers take. These are much more powerful than hotshoe flashes.. and much easier to adjust! Plus they have modeling lights.. which can be helpful. Plus you can use larger (better) softboxes, umbrellas, and brollys with them. They are also excellent optical slaves!

You can get heavy duty Flashpoint 9' stands for around $30-40... they are very stable.
 
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rhiannon

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I agree, now I'm leaning towards getting this kit: FP320MPWK Flashpoint 320M Portrait Wedding Monolight Kit, with Two 320 Monolights,9.5' Stands,Umbrellas, Snoot and Carrying Case.

I'm confused by what you said about the wireless triggers, though: "The will work with wireless triggers that have a cable output. The Flashpoints jacks are 1/4" mono.. so you would need that and whatever your triggers take." So it will need a cable? The flashpoint monolight says that it has built in slave. What kind of trigger will work on them?

Thank you, cgipson1! In what way are they better? Are they going to work with the wireless transmitter in my list? I've been focusing on hotshoe flashes. not familiar with strobes.:blushing:

Is this it? http://www.adorama.com/FP320MBS.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

It looks real good though, and comes with its own stand!

OP.. instead of the Vivitars.. consider the Flashpoint 320 monolights. Unless you need maximum portability, they are far better! You can get battery packs for the Flashpoints also.. if you do want to shoot outdoors with them

That is it... however, I would recommend buying without that stand, and buying better stands with broader bases, and more height. The will work with wireless triggers that have a cable output. The Flashpoints jacks are 1/4" mono.. so you would need that and whatever your triggers take. These are much more powerful than hotshoe flashes.. and much easier to adjust! Plus they have modeling lights.. which can be helpful. Plus you can use larger (better) softboxes, umbrellas, and brollys with them. They are also excellent optical slaves!

You can get heavy duty Flashpoint 9' stands for around $30-40... they are very stable.
 

cgipson1

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I agree, now I'm leaning towards getting this kit: FP320MPWK Flashpoint 320M Portrait Wedding Monolight Kit, with Two 320 Monolights,9.5' Stands,Umbrellas, Snoot and Carrying Case.

I'm confused by what you said about the wireless triggers, though: "The will work with wireless triggers that have a cable output. The Flashpoints jacks are 1/4" mono.. so you would need that and whatever your triggers take." So it will need a cable? The flashpoint monolight says that it has built in slave. What kind of trigger will work on them?

Thank you, cgipson1! In what way are they better? Are they going to work with the wireless transmitter in my list? I've been focusing on hotshoe flashes. not familiar with strobes.:blushing:

Is this it? http://www.adorama.com/FP320MBS.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

It looks real good though, and comes with its own stand!

That is it... however, I would recommend buying without that stand, and buying better stands with broader bases, and more height. The will work with wireless triggers that have a cable output. The Flashpoints jacks are 1/4" mono.. so you would need that and whatever your triggers take. These are much more powerful than hotshoe flashes.. and much easier to adjust! Plus they have modeling lights.. which can be helpful. Plus you can use larger (better) softboxes, umbrellas, and brollys with them. They are also excellent optical slaves!

You can get heavy duty Flashpoint 9' stands for around $30-40... they are very stable.

The Slaves that are built in are optical.. they need to see a "FLASH" to go off! So you need at least one flash going off to set them all off. The wireless triggers usually have a cable plug.... you use a cable that has the correct plug for the triggers on one side, and a correct plug for the flashpoints on the other. I use pocket wizards.. so my cable has a 1/8" mini mono plug (not a stereo plug) on one end.. and a 1/4" mono plug on the other end for the Flashpoint. Like this Amazon.com: Hosa CMP303 1/8 Inch Mono M to 1/4 Inch Mono M 3Ft: Musical Instruments

I don't know the triggers you are getting, so have no idea what cable you need.. you will need to figure that out! Hope that helps! :)
 

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