Studio Lights


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Oct 4, 2015
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I am moving into a larger studio, and would like to have some some recommendations on studio lights. I currently use canon speedlite 600ex-rt as an off camera flash which I love, but still not as bright as I want. I also use Westcott2-Pack Spiderlite TD6 and have never been happy with them and I use ImpactOctacool-9 Fluorescent Light. I would like to know what are some good continuous lights and strobe lights that are more brighter. Thank you !
As with any gear question, budget is all important. Do you have $25,000 to drop on Prophoto? Or are you more $2-3000 for used gear? Personally, I love my Speedotron gear, it is built like a tank and just keeps working. Used, it is cheap like borscht on eBay, highly configurable and produces excellent results. There are a lots of other options from $100 Flashpoint monolights from Adorama to the top end such as Prophoto.
I would skip the continuous lighting, and go to all flash, just as a way to unify all the accessories. I too use Speedotron flash equipment, which is an old and established made in USA brand. It is very reliable, and has plenty of accessories available for it, and has a good, simple accessory mounting system called Speedotron Universal Mount, for things like reflectors, beauty dishes, and speed rings for softboxes. They have a low-cost Brown Line and a higher priced Black Line. For smaller, lower-powered flash units, monolights are popular these days, and there are several brands, like Bowens, Alien Bee, and Einstein, the last two both assembled in the US and sold direct-only by Paul C. Buff company. Monolights are fine for smaller lights of 300 or fewer Watt-seconds, but get kind of expensive when you need a LOT of flash power, like say, 800 or 1,000 or 1,200 or 1,600 Watt-seconds through one flash's when you need to have a LOT of power coming through one head that the Speedotron Black line brand really becomes the power/price leader, since so,so many of its power packs have been 2,400 Watt-second models, but which have either four or six individual flash head outlets.
I have 4 alien bee ab800, they're affordable, easy to use and Paul C. Buff customer service is awesome
What/where are you shooting? Just because you say studio lights doesn't mean that you'll be shooting in a studio. Speedotron is fantastic if you're not shooting on location. If you are, they get heavy fast. I use Dynalite for that reason but it's much more expensive. Personally, I'll probably end up with a few mono lights for on location shoots where time is of the essence because it's easier to deal with everything as one unit instead of a pack and head setup. I'd prefer to use a pack and head setup, but at an event or a wedding where I don't have any assistance, carrying around a pack is just one more thing I have to worry about.

As far as what I would shoot with if money wasn't an issue? Prophoto D4's. One day I may be baller enough for $20,000 worth of lighting equipment. At that point I'd switch to medium format as well. What's another $8,000?
I use Alien Bees in studio and they're fantastic. No complaints.

However, I'm beginning to do more and more newborns/infants and I'd like to get some continuous lighting just for these shoots. Currently looking at the Spiderlites and wondering why you've not been happy with them?

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