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View Full Version : Need advice on Mini Studio lighting set up



tim11
01-22-2009, 03:13 PM
I want to set up a mini studio. Something to get me started that give better light than ONE single external flash.
I'm looking at this type of setting (see attached).
Brilliant Pro 160Di Head Specifications:
* Power: 160WS
* Colour Temperature: 5600K
* Guide No: 38
* Recycle Time: 0.5-5 sec
* Variable Power: 1/8-Full, stepless
* Modelling Light: 75W Halogen
* Trigger: Test button, slave, sync cord
* Power Source: 200-240V AC
* Fuse: 2A (Spares included)
* Dimensions: 165x70x75
* Weight: 1000g

Or should I buy a couple of stands, umbrellas and a couple of speedlights? Which will give more lighting power? How do I compare the power between the above system and speedlights setup?
Thanks.

zmikers
01-22-2009, 04:04 PM
Check out these (http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/CF0502K1/). I just bought two of these 2 light kits. I've heard really great things about these strobes and so far I'm really happy with them.

tim11
01-26-2009, 02:05 PM
Thanks zmikers. I am also looking some similar units or maybe I will just get a couple of flashs with stands and umbrellas.

NWcityguy2
01-27-2009, 08:11 AM
I use Alien bees, so I don't have any experience with the two lights being discussed here, but let me see if I can help.

The big advantage of going for the monolight is going to be power and recycle time. The big disadvantage is going to be that you need a plug in. Battery packs were expensive last time I looked at them.

With flashes you can get the actual unit for not much money, get off brand, buy some triggers and use in manual mode is my recommendation. But you are going to have less power, long recycle time and will want to invest in some rechargeable batteries.

If you plan on mainly shooting in your house, or plan on shooting pets, get the monolights. For pets just because they are so unpredictable, you need a quick recycle time because they won't wait for a longer one. If you plan on mainly shooting away from your house, flashes may be the better bet.

Also, no matter what you buy, get a good studio lighting book. For the price you spend on the lights, it only makes sense to spend $20 on a book.

Looking at the specs of the lights you are looking at, and a calumet ones, I'd recommend the calumet ones. The ones you are looking at only have 3 stops of adjustment below full power. 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th. The Calumet ones offer 1/16th and 1/32nd as well. The Calumet ones also have a cooling fan, which is a nice feature, and come standard with much brighter modeling lamps. They don't look like they come with a transmitter or receiver though, so you will need to buy that separately.

Remember, if you have any more questions, ask before you buy :).

zmikers
01-27-2009, 05:59 PM
I use Alien bees, so I don't have any experience with the two lights being discussed here, but let me see if I can help.

The big advantage of going for the monolight is going to be power and recycle time. The big disadvantage is going to be that you need a plug in. Battery packs were expensive last time I looked at them.

With flashes you can get the actual unit for not much money, get off brand, buy some triggers and use in manual mode is my recommendation. But you are going to have less power, long recycle time and will want to invest in some rechargeable batteries.

If you plan on mainly shooting in your house, or plan on shooting pets, get the monolights. For pets just because they are so unpredictable, you need a quick recycle time because they won't wait for a longer one. If you plan on mainly shooting away from your house, flashes may be the better bet.

Also, no matter what you buy, get a good studio lighting book. For the price you spend on the lights, it only makes sense to spend $20 on a book.

Looking at the specs of the lights you are looking at, and a calumet ones, I'd recommend the calumet ones. The ones you are looking at only have 3 stops of adjustment below full power. 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th. The Calumet ones offer 1/16th and 1/32nd as well. The Calumet ones also have a cooling fan, which is a nice feature, and come standard with much brighter modeling lamps. They don't look like they come with a transmitter or receiver though, so you will need to buy that separately.

Remember, if you have any more questions, ask before you buy :).

You are correct, the calumet genesis lights don't come with transmitters or receivers, but you can buy some decent ones for not too much money. I picked up these (http://www.ppmag.com/web-exclusives/2007/10/flash-waves-wireless-synch-kit.html) ones, a little bit more cost but the receiver has a built in hot shoe for use my speedlites. They do however have a photo cell sensor to be triggered off of another flash and of coarse they come with sync cords. I agree that if you are going to do more outside work, then these might not be the best choice, but for inside they are great. I've tested the consistency of the flashes and so far all 4 are spot one.

tim11
01-29-2009, 03:15 PM
I recently pick up another speedlight intending to take advantage of Nikon CLS. I place order for light stand, flash bracket and some umbrellas. Even without the umbrella yet I can see the stark difference an extra flash makes already. I can't wait for the kits to arrive. Thanks for your inputs people.

zmikers
01-30-2009, 05:05 PM
Absolutely. The difference is amazing. It also means less time post processing. Congratulations, can't wait to see some results:D

NWcityguy2
01-31-2009, 10:05 AM
Yep, have fun.