Photography Studio Equipment


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Aug 11, 2013
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Lewisporte, NL
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Hi everyone, I recently started photography, and I would like to set up a studio in my home. I just wanted to get a backdrop stand, and a couple back drops, but I'm stuck on whether or not to get a softbox, or umbrella. I want something that can hook up to my Nikon d3100 so when the flash goes off, it will go to the softbox or umbrella. I'm at a loss here, and and info will b great, thanks!
The lower-cost backdrop stand "kits" sold on eBay are actually "not all that bad". However, you can also use a 9.5 foot long piece of aluminum pipe that will go inside of a roll of 9' wide Savage brand background paper, and a couple of Home Depot "J-hooks", or something similar, fastened to an overhead spot on the wall,etc. However, that's kind of a permanent/semi-permanent thing; the background stand "kits": have 2, usually 13-foot stands, and typically a three-section crossbar that assembles to be just over 9 feet long. Usually sold in a carry bag. Look around...the cheaper ones are $79, last time I looked.

The D3100 has no PC outlet on the body, so the Nikon AS-15 (Accessory Shoe, #15) allows you to hook up a 10- to 20-foor PC connector cord to most flash units, so you have a so-called "wired" connection from camera, to flash.

Umbrellas are inexpensive. I recommend the Photoflex RUT convertible umbrella in 45 inch size. For a flash...sooo many to choose from. You also will want a 9-foot light stand.

Start with a gray background paper. Think "Thunder Gray"...Google that...

Some people suggest "triggers" for tripping the flash....yeah...but for $10 + the cost of the AS-15, you will have a simple solution that will trigger the main flash each time. Optical slave trippers can then be added to additional flash units, so that they all go off at the same time.

Alternately, you can use the pop-up flash on the D3100, set in the Menu settings to MANUAL flash control, and about 1/8 Manual power output, to trip OTHER flash units which have an optical slave tripper hooked up to them.
I'm stuck on whether or not to get a softbox, or umbrella.

It might depend on what kind of photography. I'm assuming portraiture. Softboxes can be quite "spendy", and umbrellas can be less expensive, but as usual, each will depend on the quality and features of each type.

Do you have a flash now? What kind is it? Studio flash can be triggered remotely by radio, cable, or optically using their built-in optical slave feature.

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