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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #61113
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Subject: "Studio Lighting" Previous topic | Next topic
timf23 Registered since 03rd Aug 2012Sun 24-Mar-13 11:49 AM
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"Studio Lighting"


US
          

I have dabbled in photography for a few years now but never got real serious. I have taken some outdoor family pictures and some senior pictures for family members. Well I have been asked to take 2 or 3 sets of senior pictures this summer for friends of family. One area I lack in is studio work. I don't have any lighting or backdrops to do head shots or indoor work.

So my question is what is a good starting point for this? Will one of the 2 light starter kits with stands and umbrellas be a good start or should I not waste the money and start off with something a little more high end? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Tim

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
MEMcD Moderator
24th Mar 2013
1
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
ScottChapin Moderator
24th Mar 2013
2
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
PeterBeckett Gold Member
25th Mar 2013
3
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
timf23
25th Mar 2013
4
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
chiefmasterjedi Silver Member
26th Mar 2013
5
     Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
seres2
26th Mar 2013
6
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
NenBikonian
30th Mar 2013
7
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
chiefmasterjedi Silver Member
04th Apr 2013
10
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
DinoCardelli
01st Apr 2013
8
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
benveniste Moderator
01st Apr 2013
9
Reply message RE: Studio Lighting
timf23
10th Apr 2013
11

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 24-Mar-13 01:32 PM
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#1. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Tim,

Check out Paul C. Buff, Inc. .
They build quality Strobes at a fair price point.
AB400 = 160w/s
AB800 = 320w/s
WL X800 = 330w/s
AB1600 = 640w/s
WL X1600 = 660w/s
Einstein E640 = 640w/s
WL X3200 = 1320w/s


Best Regards,
Marty

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSun 24-Mar-13 03:32 PM
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#2. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Powder Springs, US
          

Hi Tim,

I'll follow right along with Marty. Paul Buff gets you a lot of bang for the buck. If you have aspirations and the budget, I would lean toward the Einsteins due to the wireless controls that you can upgrade to.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24 AM
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#3. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 2


San Jose, US
          


+1

Pete

  

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timf23 Registered since 03rd Aug 2012Mon 25-Mar-13 02:13 PM
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#4. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Thank you Gentlemen. I will take a look and see what I can find.

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chiefmasterjedi Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2009Tue 26-Mar-13 04:47 PM
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#5. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I agree with everyone about Paul C Buff products, I have 2x Einsteins and 2x AB800 with numerous light stands and modifiers. But if you are new to studio lights then you will have a steep learning curve to overcome. Lighting is not as complicated as some make it out to be but for the newcomer it can be very frustrating.
If you are only going to use your lights indoors for nice soft portraits, then you might want to consider constant lights instead of strobes. Constant lighting is not as powerful as strobes but it is a lot easier to for the newcomer. You just set the lights up by eye then use your camera's meter to expose the shot, just like you would outside.
On the other hand, if you intend to get serious about lighting, like shooting large groups, events, glamor or want to use your lights outside, then you will want to get strobes. If you understand how speedlights work in manual mode or/and off camera, then strobes should be an easy transition.

I hope this help,

Chris C.

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seres2 Registered since 12th Mar 2013Tue 26-Mar-13 06:48 PM
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#6. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 5


US
          

“…Lighting is not as complicated as some make it out to be...
….if you intend to get serious about lighting, like shooting large groups, events, glamor or want to use your lights outside, then you will want to get strobes. If you understand how speedlights work in manual mode or/and off camera, then strobes should be an easy transition.”

Chris C. (Chiefmasterjedi) is so right in the above statements.

Basic, manual lighting isn't that hard. I have a variety of strobes, from the smaller Nikon shoe mounts through Quantums and studio strobes, and I almost always operate in manual. Just get a couple of good studio strobes, like the AB800 models, and practice, practice, and practice some more. Don’t be intimidated, it’s not that hard.

  

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NenBikonian Registered since 30th Sep 2011Sat 30-Mar-13 12:35 AM
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#7. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Roswell, US
          

Tim,

I'm going to go against the grain a bit here and recommend you go with speed lights. I'd start with this:

2 Used SB800s if you can find them for around $300-325 each (one to use as a remote, the other to use as an on-camera master and fill-flash)

One Light Stand/Umbrella Kit Consisting of:
1 Black Manfrotto Nano Light Stand
1 Manfrotto 026 Swivel
1 Frio Coldshoe
1 Westcott 43" collapsible white umbrella with black removable cover

One Manual Boom Kit Consisting of:
1 Adjustable-length extending paint pole
1 Kacey Enterprises Paint Pole Adaptor (google it)

One Year Practicing all of the Lessons in Lighting 101, 102 and the various lighting bootcamps over at www.strobist.com.

If you can make magic happen with the equipment above, then you'll be able to make magic happen with anything.

Good Luck,
Ben

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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chiefmasterjedi Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2009Thu 04-Apr-13 05:29 PM
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#10. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

>Tim,
>
>I'm going to go against the grain a bit here and recommend you
>go with speed lights. I'd start with this:
>
>2 Used SB800s if you can find them for around $300-325 each
>(one to use as a remote, the other to use as an on-camera
>master and fill-flash)
>
>One Light Stand/Umbrella Kit Consisting of:
>1 Black Manfrotto Nano Light Stand
>1 Manfrotto 026 Swivel
>1 Frio Coldshoe
>1 Westcott 43" collapsible white umbrella with black
>removable cover
>
>One Manual Boom Kit Consisting of:
>1 Adjustable-length extending paint pole
>1 Kacey Enterprises Paint Pole Adaptor (google it)
>
>One Year Practicing all of the Lessons in Lighting 101, 102
>and the various lighting bootcamps over at www.strobist.com.
>
>If you can make magic happen with the equipment above, then
>you'll be able to make magic happen with anything.
>
>Good Luck,
>Ben
>
>


This is also great advise from Ben. I've only recently moved to studio lights, before that I used speedlights for everything. They have plenty of power for "normal" indoor/studio use and are also fine for about 75% of outdoor lighting, the other 25% can be cheated with high speed sync using CLS.
Speedlights are also very lightweight and can be placed just about anywhere, I've velcro'ed them to street light poles and hidden them inside cars.

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Visit my web site.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010Mon 01-Apr-13 10:58 AM
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#8. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 01-Apr-13 11:00 AM by DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
          

I have a complete set of Alien Bees 3 x 800 1x400 with a Ringflash...

Softboxes - 10x36 / 24x32 / 47" octabox / 40x60

couple of key issues...

The bees and any other lighting source with large softboxes are heavy....

You need to get the heavy duty stands from Paul Buff....as well, you'll need some large sandbags...

The Buff cyber system works well, but, I prefer using the Pocketwizards along with the AC 9's for the Bees....

go to pocketwizard.com for more info....

You can do alot with just two light and a backdrop.....

As mentioned, it's not difficult, just takes practice and learning to control the light a bit...

I also have the hand strobes (SB910's, 900's, and 600's), different softboxes and technique....personally, I think the studio Bees are much easier....but, a light source is a light source..

If you are going to be moving about...the VAGABOND system is a nice to have for portable shooting..

Overall, be prepared to spend about $2K plus for a nice, home set up with two Bees, softboxes, backdrop stands, paper, etc.... the next step up is the Lighting series, then the Einsteins....you get a good bang for your buck with the Bees....they do a nice job and are easy to handle and service....don't forget to buy extra bulbs in case the stand falls over....ask me how I know this

The bees hold their value, so if you decide to get rid of them, you'll get at least 60-70% on the $1 for them on Ebay....

Plus, Buff has a 60 day no questions asked warranty if you decide it's not for you.


dc

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benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Mon 01-Apr-13 12:58 PM
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#9. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Boston Area, US
          

So my question is what is a good starting point for this? Will one of the 2 light starter kits with stands and umbrellas be a good start or should I not waste the money and start off with something a little more high end? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Have you considered renting gear or even renting an entire studio for the shoot?

While you can accomplish a lot with a 2 light kit, I don't recommend the inexpensive "starter kits" offered on eBay and elsewhere. A number of years ago I thought I was buying a better grade of gear than those kits, and I still ended up replacing almost everything even for my amateur use.

I was about to buy Paul Buff lights when I "fell into" a deal on a Hensel set-up. I'm very happy with the Hensel's, but at least in the U.S. they aren't very common. So accessories can be hard to find.

"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck

  

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timf23 Registered since 03rd Aug 2012Wed 10-Apr-13 03:09 PM
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#11. "RE: Studio Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Thank you all again very much. Very good info and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

There is a local studio that advertises on Craigslist that rents out at $25 per hour so maybe this would be a wise choice before investing in my own lighting.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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