I want to move more towards portrait and other type photography that would require of camera lights and flashes. I have been asked to take pictures for my sister-in-laws wedding (both couples previously divorced so they were not keen on hiring a pro and do with snapshots). and yes, I understand the pitfalls of wedding photography, but the couple has seen my photos and they actually asked me to shoot, knowing I have never done a wedding.
I have a SB-910 for my D800 and plan to get a flash stand for it.
For me, I have had a few neck surgeries and I have not seen many of the monolights to tell how heavy they are. I want to be able to use external lighting but torn between getting a couple light weight monolights or just buying more speedlights and setting a couple up on an umbrella adapter.
I have plenty of time to decide and get them in, and over thanksgiving have a friends daughters who will be modeling for me to practice ahead of time.
Any suggestions on the benefits of bulky larger flash systems verses multiple speedlights.
I am not convinced on LEDs yet, but open to ideas. I have considered the Flashpoint system and if I do find I need more I could just buy a roller case to make it easier when I need to use them.
You can do quite a bit with speedlights, stands, umbrellas and other modifiers. For portability and light weight, they can't be beat.
If you are planning to be in a studio setting, strobes of some sort are more versatile and useful. But taking those on the road means you need to be sure of your power source or have a fairly hefty and heavy battery.
I'd start with a speedlight based system. The lightstands and umbrellas (and maybe some modifiers) will still be usable if you later go to studio strobes.
You also need to think about how you will control the lights. With speedlights, you can use teh Nikon CLS system very effectively indoors, and in some situations outdoors. Your D800 has teh commander mode built in so you ready to go. WIth studio lights or in many outdoor situations, you will need either cables or a radio control system. This is another expense to keep in mind.
By the way, I have both. I use speedlights for a lot of portable work, and have a good Alien Bee set-up with Cyber Commanders and a batery pack for studio work or for bigger jobs.
I agree with Mick and Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere is a big plus.. My wedding is always fast pace and I primarily use on camera SB900 with Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere. Many times no time to set additional lighting settings.
If you bring light stand / umbrella system to on-site, for a portability, you can take strobist approach to get Manfrotto 5001B 6' Retractable 5 Section Lightstand and shooting through umbrellas (42"). This light stand will fold to be short and easy to carry but you need to put extra attention because it is not stable as regular stand.
Yes I have two flashes SB-910 and a Sigma 610DG which I don't like that much since I can't adjust the power much but can still be used. I will probably by another speedlight but probably not a SB-910, since I am not using TTL I just need something that can direct a burst of light at my subject There are good cheap flashes out there that even when adding the cost of a PW III is still cheaper than a SB-910.
I have a D7000 for a backup, very good camera for the money even though it is DX while the D800 is FX. I generally keep my 70-200 on the D7000 since it is not as picky as the D800, and use the D7000 as my backup/2nd camera.
This has actually been good as I am finding using speedlights may be something I would prefer/use more than the larger lights.