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Author Topic: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots  (Read 2154 times)

omar

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Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« on: May 31, 2013, 04:55:49 AM »
Can someone give me some pointers for buying a lighting kit

I want to use for studio shots
Are light that connect to the camera flash trigger more expensive?

I also want the lighting for video work - though this isn't essential as I can live without + have access to a trio of Arri Red heads

Thanks


Omar

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Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« on: May 31, 2013, 04:55:49 AM »

jonathan7007

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 01:48:36 PM »
Single excellent kit for both video and stills i believe is rare, but would your video needs be served by lights as dim as modeling lights? Probably not...

I just took delivery of Buff Einstein heads. They are flexible and accept widely-sold adapters or accessories of Balcar configuration, which matters for studio flexibility. I have started using them for location work but I used to have a studio and I know these would have been good in that environment. Especially in location work I  wish I had dug  a little deeper in my pocket to buy the radio commander which allows control of ratios and levels from the camera position. No walking out, climbing up to, the head to change the power. This is the only downside seen so far for going to the monoblock configuration compared to having the power pack on the floor near your tripod.

Good engineering and customer service, too. Check them out.

docholliday

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 03:18:58 PM »
It depends on what quality of light you want and how much quality you need. I prefer accuracy, repeatibility, and fast quench times, so Broncolor is the choice for studio strobes. I don't care for video much, but Kinoflo is the way to go for if you need continuous for studio and/or video.

Strobe-wise any of the majors (Bron, Profoto, Elinchrom) are the choice of pros. Profoto is great because almost any rental house or camera store can get / loan you gear should you need more for a shoot. Bron is the best in consistency shot to shot. And, Elinchrom has the Ranger kit which is great for out-and-about shooting with full studio quality.

I usually stay away from the lower brands, Buff, (chinese knockoffs), and other like such - a 200-400K color temp drift and +/- .5-.75 stop variance is enough to drive anybody crazy who is critical of their work or who needs each shot to be identical to the next. Needed some extra heads for a shoot and was loaned some Buffs - yanked them off set quick because they were causing random color tints to the backgrounds, sweeps, and highlights.

If you shoot Pocketwizard TT5/TT1s with battery flashes, then the Elinchroms have a PW adapter that allows you to dial power and ratios from the AC3 to the studio strobes.

Be weary of many of the cheaper lights with their "power rating". Most of them rate the power with a specific reflector combo and greatly hype the ratings. High end gear gives true reading and I can dial actual stops of power into the packs, not just random clicks of power levels.

jonathan7007

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 09:42:20 PM »
Good to have a warning about color variance, although I won't have to worry about it (in small increments) on common location assignments that I do which aren't required to be color accurate at that small margin. For tabletop or other more controlled requirements I will test carefully first. I did read that the Einstein was better color-controlled and consistent than earlier Buff-stuff. Not in your experience, Doc.

A close friend is all BronColor in his Rhode Island studio and I am jealous of the modifiers available. Nice system. Way more expensive, but you just charge the client what they must pay to get the quality they ask for.

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 11:12:46 AM »
It depends on what quality of light you want and how much quality you need. I prefer accuracy, repeatibility, and fast quench times, so Broncolor is the choice for studio strobes. I don't care for video much, but Kinoflo is the way to go for if you need continuous for studio and/or video.

Strobe-wise any of the majors (Bron, Profoto, Elinchrom) are the choice of pros. Profoto is great because almost any rental house or camera store can get / loan you gear should you need more for a shoot. Bron is the best in consistency shot to shot. And, Elinchrom has the Ranger kit which is great for out-and-about shooting with full studio quality.

I usually stay away from the lower brands, Buff, (chinese knockoffs), and other like such - a 200-400K color temp drift and +/- .5-.75 stop variance is enough to drive anybody crazy who is critical of their work or who needs each shot to be identical to the next. Needed some extra heads for a shoot and was loaned some Buffs - yanked them off set quick because they were causing random color tints to the backgrounds, sweeps, and highlights.

If you shoot Pocketwizard TT5/TT1s with battery flashes, then the Elinchroms have a PW adapter that allows you to dial power and ratios from the AC3 to the studio strobes.

Be weary of many of the cheaper lights with their "power rating". Most of them rate the power with a specific reflector combo and greatly hype the ratings. High end gear gives true reading and I can dial actual stops of power into the packs, not just random clicks of power levels.

This was mostly true until Einstein... and with Cybersync, It's just too good to pass up.

If you need bigger light than 640Ws/head, You'll going to need an expensive pack system.

omar

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 11:32:30 AM »
guys thanks for the replies
can u give me links to shops for this names?

+ what would be the cheapest but ok, light set for photography and also separately for video
(i assume from advice given below, lights that are good for photography aren't good for video?)

if the costs are too high, i might not contemplate going into portrait photography until i make money!

thanks

jonathan7007

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 01:41:41 PM »
Omar,
You decide about buying based on web search and purchase issues local to you. In this forum the valuable info comes from other photographers' past and current photographic experience or perspective. And the debates! 

Click back through the older forum posts about "studio" lighting gear. If you are in good enough shape financially to invest all at once in one setup, that makes life easier but you still have the learning time which you must invest and is hard to acquire skills without using the gear to make photographs again and again and again. 

Get some lights, get some assignments, start shooting. You will probably change the lights after a while. Hope all goes smoothly, but it's usually at least a slightly bumpy road. Hope it will be fun for you as it has been for me.

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 01:41:41 PM »

Harry Muff

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 03:55:25 PM »
I've had a D-Lite kit for a year and a half and I love it. Reliable, easy to use, comes with radio trigger and has consistent output.


Cheap, all considered, too.
Some cameras… With Canon written on them. Oh, and some lenses… Also with Canon written on them. Oh, and a shiny camera with Fuji written on it too...

Feel free to have a wander round my flickr

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Re: Need advice buying a lighting kit for studio shots
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 03:55:25 PM »