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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Beginner lighting equipment...need opinions.
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02/01/2008 08:42:42 PM · #1
Hello everyone, I have been shooting with a Nikon D40 for roughly two years and have purchased a few lenses for it as well as the sb400. However now I was looking to get some lighting eqipment so that I could set up my own photoshoots with people. I understand that this stuff can be expensive, but I want to try to spend no more than 200 dollars. I know this isnt very much at all, but if you guys were just starting out and wanted to spend 200 dollars on lighting, what would you get? Thanks for your help guys!!!
02/01/2008 08:48:56 PM · #2
//www.strobist.com
02/01/2008 08:55:02 PM · #3
You could go the "strobist" route.. link above from Eug. Gonna require some reading on your part, but you can definitely get going under $200 that way.

For traditional studio strobes, you can go with one of the e-bay strobe kits.. probably going to cost around $300 or more or you could get one Impact brand strobe.

For a beginner to lighting, I highly recommend you start with the strobist.
02/01/2008 09:00:26 PM · #4
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

You could go the "strobist" route.. link above from Eug. Gonna require some reading on your part, but you can definitely get going under $200 that way.

For traditional studio strobes, you can go with one of the e-bay strobe kits.. probably going to cost around $300 or more or you could get one Impact brand strobe.

For a beginner to lighting, I highly recommend you start with the strobist.


Just curious- what's the difference between entry level strobes and more advanced lighting systems? I always assumed light was light...
02/01/2008 09:06:53 PM · #5
Quality of construction, color/quality of light, quantity of light, recycle time...
02/01/2008 09:15:27 PM · #6
Originally posted by LanndonKane:


Just curious- what's the difference between entry level strobes and more advanced lighting systems? I always assumed light was light...


Power, adjustability, dependability and accuracy, recycle times, availability of light modifiers.

That said... some of the mid range strobes systems, such as Impact and Alien Bees do offer most of what the pro needs.
02/01/2008 09:17:36 PM · #7
This thread has pictures and prices showing what I bought - mobile strobist gear. You can use your SB400 with a stand and umbrella.

One thing to consider though: if you want it to be mobile (mine fits in a duffle bag, which is great for storage and taking it with me), definitely go the Strobist route. However, if you're only going to use them at home, I'd browse through B&H's Impact light kits. There are a few in your price range - but I'd go for the kits with 160 W/s lights (more powerful than the 100 W/s).

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 21:18:09.
02/01/2008 09:21:41 PM · #8
Originally posted by smurfguy:

I'd browse through B&H's Impact light kits. There are a few in your price range - but I'd go for the kits with 160 W/s lights (more powerful than the 100 W/s).


That's what I use is the Impact 160 w/s strobes. I'm tempted to get a 300 w/s, but to be honest I rarely crank the 160s up over half power.

02/01/2008 09:31:49 PM · #9
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by smurfguy:

I'd browse through B&H's Impact light kits. There are a few in your price range - but I'd go for the kits with 160 W/s lights (more powerful than the 100 W/s).


That's what I use is the Impact 160 w/s strobes. I'm tempted to get a 300 w/s, but to be honest I rarely crank the 160s up over half power.


Hey fotomann_forever you have any pics with using your Impact 160 w/s strobe

or are some of your shots in your portfolio using your Impact strobes you mentioned above

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 21:33:05.
02/01/2008 09:38:23 PM · #10
Originally posted by digitalpins:


Hey fotomann_forever you have any pics with using your Impact 160 w/s strobe

or are some of your shots in your portfolio using your Impact strobes you mentioned above


Everything in my nudes collection was shot with the Impact strobes, excepts for one beach shot (which was shot with an old Sunpak 333 and a slave)

[thumb]637563[/thumb]
Here is one more modest shot using one of the strobes with a 48 inch white reflective umbrella. I do have a tendency to go with a single strobe and a reflector a lot, just for simplicity.

[thumb]613715[/thumb]
This was shot with two of them. One had a 60 inch umbrella and the other was bounced off the cieling of the church (which was low).

As always, if you have any lighting questions, feel free to post a comment on the photo itself and I will answer.

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 21:42:05.
02/01/2008 09:41:43 PM · #11
If you're willing to spend a bit more (around $350, IIRC) I'd get the SB-800. You can set up the SB-600 as an off-board slave and the SB-800 as a commander on your D40. After that, set up is amazingly simple -- no wires, just put the 600 where you want it, and the flash level is controlled by the camera/SB-800 combo. You can adjust the settings on each flash from the SB-800 setup menu. Its a bit pricier, but I think it makes up for it in ease-of-use.

02/01/2008 10:04:22 PM · #12
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by digitalpins:


Hey fotomann_forever you have any pics with using your Impact 160 w/s strobe

or are some of your shots in your portfolio using your Impact strobes you mentioned above


Everything in my nudes collection was shot with the Impact strobes, excepts for one beach shot (which was shot with an old Sunpak 333 and a slave)



ok thanks those look great with that lighting equipment.... I may pick them up!!
02/01/2008 10:05:47 PM · #13
Home Depot is the poor mans lighting source.
02/01/2008 10:16:33 PM · #14
Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Home Depot is the poor mans lighting source.


The sun is cheaper.
02/01/2008 10:19:43 PM · #15
Originally posted by LanndonKane:

Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Home Depot is the poor mans lighting source.


The sun is cheaper.


Yeah, but if you read the OP you would of seen that this person is wanting to purchase equipment.


02/01/2008 10:22:36 PM · #16
Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Originally posted by LanndonKane:

Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Home Depot is the poor mans lighting source.


The sun is cheaper.


Yeah, but if you read the OP you would of seen that this person is wanting to purchase equipment.


Reflectors ...Sun AND buying equipment :-D
02/01/2008 10:25:15 PM · #17
These are all shot with the Impact 100's. It's all I need at home (very small workspace)
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I also have an alien bee 800, but I hardly use it's lighting capacity.
02/01/2008 10:28:58 PM · #18
very nice...

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thanks for sharing though... I am seriously think about picking up one of the sets from B&H
02/01/2008 10:32:03 PM · #19
Originally posted by digitalpins:

I am seriously think about picking up one of the sets from B&H


Can't go wrong if ya do. Personally though, I'd let them keep the softboxes (get the umbrella kit) I originally got the kit with the softboxes and hardly ever used them because they were a pain to (dis)assemble.
02/01/2008 10:33:35 PM · #20
lol ok thanks for the info I was looking at that set too but I dont want to get frustrated with taken them apart
02/01/2008 11:57:50 PM · #21
Wow guys! Thanks for all the helpful comments!!!! I feel so overwhelmed by lighting to be perfectly honest with you. Right now those impact 100 w/s look pretty tempting to me. As far as umbrellas are concerned, where do you all buy them from? Thanks again for all the help guys!
02/02/2008 12:11:18 AM · #22
I pretty much bu all my umbrellas from B&H, along with everything else).

For the 60 and 46 inch umbrellas, I use white convertible umbrellas. They can be used as either white shoot through umbrellas, or a black cover can be put over them to use as reflective umbrellas. For the smaller umbrellas that I use for potable "strobist" setup, I use silver reflective umbrellas (for less power loss).

Generally speaking, for studio type work, you want an umbrella close to the size of your subject. So for full body, a 60 inch, for 3/4 body the 48 inch will do. For head and shoulders, even smaller will do. I use the 48s quite often, because generally I don't shoot head-to-toe standing poses and the 60 inch umbrellas just take up too much space.

Message edited by author 2008-02-02 00:12:37.
02/02/2008 11:51:11 AM · #23
Originally posted by xTheBadFishx:

As far as umbrellas are concerned, where do you all buy them from? Thanks again for all the help guys!


No problem - we love this stuff. =D

B&H Umbrellas
02/02/2008 01:08:13 PM · #24
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by digitalpins:

I am seriously think about picking up one of the sets from B&H


Can't go wrong if ya do. Personally though, I'd let them keep the softboxes (get the umbrella kit) I originally got the kit with the softboxes and hardly ever used them because they were a pain to (dis)assemble.


I have never dissasembled them. They are small enough that I can store them in a closet. I rarely use umbrellas anymore. I find I prefer the softbox.
02/02/2008 01:22:53 PM · #25
Hi, I know this thread is for low budget lighting equipment, but I dont wanna open a new lighting thread, has someone has the "Square perfect" brand? I saw a very large equipment in ebay, at an affordable price and would love to know if it is a good brand...
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