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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Question on studio lighting and backdrops
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02/18/2016 09:59:18 AM · #1
I'm interested in getting more lights. Every time I attempt to take a portrait I have harsh shadows and am constantly having to adjust the lighting several times between shots. I don't do many portraits and actually don't really enjoy doing them too much but I think it's because I have no real lighting to help me get good shots. I currently have an umbrella and speedlite for lighting. I usually find myself using it as a slave with the onboard flash.

All that being said I do enjoy still life's and product shots so I think continuous would be good for that as well.

I'm looking for something cheap and as a starter setup so was thinking of going with continuous light instead of strobe. I've watched plenty videos and read a lot of the differences between the 2 and think I'll be more comfortable starting with continuous so I can actually see what I am snapping.

I'm looking at this setup from Amazon. I like that it has 4 bulbs so I can run 1 to 4 bulbs depending on light needed. Anybody see any thing that would concern them in regards to this company and product? Do you want to talk me into a different setup? If so why?

amazon link

Message edited by author 2016-02-18 10:01:36.
02/18/2016 12:26:29 PM · #2
Disclaimer: I'm just a self taught hack.

I would think if you're just looking to learn then this would be great. I get worried about getting so much for so cheap but again, as a learning tool I think it would be great. I would think that if you combined this with reading thru the 101 at strobist.com you would be well on your way.
02/18/2016 01:14:56 PM · #3
A couple of things:

Strobes usually come with a modeling light, so you can aim them, and have a pretty good idea of what you're going to get.

Neon can be problematic due to its tendency to fluctuate/vibrate. This is an issue for video, but shouldn't be an issue with photography. However, this 4 bulb design with no controls means the power is not variable other than by adding/removing bulbs. In addition to not having gradual control over the light stream, it seems really cumbersome to add/subtract light. You will tire of this in your first shoot. Plus it doesn't say how much output this gives.

I started with a very similar set of strobes - extremely cheap, but served the purpose. I learned within the first couple of weeks what the issues were with cheap lights, their limitations both in design and function, and outgrew them in 5-6 months, when I went for the good stuff.
02/18/2016 02:58:18 PM · #4
I think you are much better off getting another umbrella, stand and cheap speedlight. Add in some cheap radio triggers and you now have a system you can control from your camera, so you can adjust your lights. Even cheaper again if you forego the on camera control and just go with dumb triggers.

The studio strobes with modeling lights would be ideal, but if you are going on a budget, I would stick with the speedlights. I can do almost anything I want with the 4 speedlights and radio triggers I have.

Message edited by author 2016-02-18 14:59:14.
02/18/2016 04:53:54 PM · #5
just abandon the idea of continuous light. do yourself a favor an get some strobes (alien bee makes some great affordable lights) or go with speedlights. you dont need eTTL, just a few manual speedlights.

strobes will give you more power and be easier to work with, speed lights will be portable and cheaper for a multilight setup.
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