What Lighting Equipment Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by jessica.c3, Nov 5, 2015.

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  1. jessica.c3

    jessica.c3 TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I have a Nikon D7200. I have never bought lighting equipment before (all I have is my camera). I shoot dance action shots and different types of portraiture. I am looking to buy some lighting equipment to better my photography & take photos inside in a studio setting. I am also looking to expand the types of photographs I take to more editorial portraits and high fashion portraits. What lighting equipment should I buy to get started?

    I am looking at buying these products...What do you guys think?:
    • speedlight attachment for camera & a portable softbox for the flash
    • standing speedlight or stationary light ... umbrella or softbox diffuser?
    • 5 in 1 round reflector
    • Flashbender reflector
    Thank you so much in advanced!


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think if you're going to be in a studio, then you should go for a studio type strobe.

    1. Any softbox that fits onto a speedlight will not be large enough.
    2. Speedlights don't have as much power as the plug-in type strobes.
    3. Lots of modifiers are made to fit strobes.

    Granted; some studio strobes can be operated on their own special battery packs, for those times when you need to go on location.
     
  3. jessica.c3

    jessica.c3 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much! Would you recommend using an on camera flash simultaneously?
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Speedlights are not the way to go for the beginning photographer; monolight studio flash units work better, because they accept modifiers, real, full-sized, well-designed modifiers, and because they have modeling lamps, so you can focus easily, and see what the lights are actually doing, while shooting. Monolights also have MORE flash power than basically, any speedlight has.

    You don't list a budget, and do not have a very wide list of equipment, but I recommend Adorama Flashpoint 320M monolights to beginning lighting practitioners because they are inexpensive, and have more output than an Alien Bee that costs another $149. The 320M's a la carte are $99.95, and can be bought paired with stands and umbrellas or stands and softboxes for not a lot more.

    Generally, flash on-camera is not paired with studio flash or off-cam,era flash--bit it CAN be done, as on-axis fill light, and the results can be made to look pretty good.

    BNe aware that it costs around $500 to set up a decent Flashpoint 320M kit with most of the needed accessories.
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As Derrel wrote, it CAN be done, but getting it at the correct power to work with your other lights would be a giant headache.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would want to start with two, identical lights, and add a third as soon as I could. Again, the $99 prioce of the 320M's makes this much,much,much easier than dropping $747 on three Alien Bees that have lower flash power, despite their higher numerical name convention.

    Two lights, two light stands, an umbrella or two, a softbox, plus a honeycomb grid or two, and a barn doors set; this would go great on the third light. Grids cut down and confine the light beam, and direct it mostly straight ahead, allowing you to use a light as an accent that blends in very easily with diffused lights, like an umbrella. A 35 or 25 degree grid is extremely useful. A 10 degree grid can be used to accent small areas; grids work like a snoot does, but far better, in my opinion.

    A small,light-duty boom arm is useful to have as well. A really nice, economy C-stand is another good thing to own. Look at Midwest Photo Exchange, aka MPEX.com, at their own house brand of C-stands.
     
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  7. cauzimme

    cauzimme No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you tought about continous lights ?
    I find that it's good to learn about lights with them at first, easier.
    I personnaly experienced with speedlight first as I was doing mostly outdoor photography, but if your looking for studio, a studio kit is a better idea as Derrel and Designer said.

    Also, you might want to check for the locals ads often photographers change their studio kits for better ones, or good looking\all the same brands ones, so they sell their old equipment. You can find good deals. I was 17, not so much money and I bought 3 Opus k250 with umbrellas, sync, tr├ępieds and got it for 300$ from a maternity photographer who was updating is studio...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I will respectfully disagree with this. Continuous lighting, initially seems more intuiative and easier to learn, but in fact I believe that unless you're doing work that NEEDS continuous lighting (Video), it's actually a detriment. Why? Because unless you buy the very best (Kino Flo) which is of course, VERY expensive, the lower light output and excessive heat make it very difficult to work with. Additionally, all monolight have a built in continuous modelling light, so really, you do get a continous light, and lastly, once you understand how to craft light, working with strobes is very easy, and saves you buying it after becoming frustrated by the limitations of most continuous lighting.

    Think of the beam as a stream of water, and your light as a pipe. The light goes where you point it, and just like water out of your hose, disperses with distance and bounces (reflects) off of objects in its path.
     
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