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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Looking to put together a light kit
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12/16/2008 10:15:48 PM · #1
Hey everybody,

So recently I've been having a lot of fun taking portraits of my friends outside–I just got a reflector, which greatly improves the quality of the pictures. I'd like to do senior pictures for them next year. But right now, natural light is my best option for stuff like that, and only when it's reasonably bright/sunny outside, and as the weather permits. Wisconsin winters aren't really conducive to fun, comfortable portrait sessions outside, what with the clouds, frigid temperatures, snow, and freezing rain. It can be tough to plan around summer weather too.

Thus, I would love to have a lighting setup that I can use indoors in any weather, at any time. I've been doing a little reading on Strobist, and got into this article: The Starving Student Off-Camera Light Kit.

I'm looking for a lot of portability, ease of use, full manual controls, and compatibility with my 10D.

The recommended flash is the Nikon SB-24.

I have a few questions though: Does anyone have any experience with this flash? Is it worth the money, or is there something better that's also cheap that you would recommend?

Would the SB-24 be easy enough to use with my canon camera? Is that the only unit I would need? Does it just connect to the camera and that's it or is there like a master unit that actually sits on the camera?

Any insight and advice on starting out with light kits would be very welcome, recommendations on cheap but good equipment, etc.

Thanks in advance!
12/16/2008 10:27:37 PM · #2
You'll need a way to trigger the SB-24, you can't simply mount it on a canon camera.

You could use a Sync-cable, radio triggers (poverty wizards won't set you back more than $40 a set), optical slaves (perhaps the SB-24 has one built in... not sure).

Keep reading the strobist post about "getting your light off camera" for more info.
12/16/2008 10:38:11 PM · #3
The article did say that you would need a sync cable that seems fairly easy to put together. I was just wondering whether or not that single flash would be the only one I need to start out with. After rereading the article, I think that's the case though.
12/16/2008 10:38:12 PM · #4
The article did say that you would need a sync cable that seems fairly easy to put together. I was just wondering whether or not that single flash would be the only one I need to start out with. After rereading the article, I think that's the case though.
12/16/2008 10:46:54 PM · #5
One flash would do you fine!
Remember that having one flash effectively gives you at least two lights (ie. the sun or your ambient is also a light for you), you can even introduce a third light source by using a reflector.

The things I can recommend are:
- A lightstand (get a cheapy, it doesn't need to be fancy)
- A shoot through umbrella
- A cereal box (for DIY gobos and snoots)
- Radio triggers if you can afford them, they're so much easier!
- Read strobist until you've memorised it, then go read the strobist forums on flickr

Good luck, look forward to your work
12/16/2008 11:54:52 PM · #6
Yeah any of the older Nikons are good SB24,25,26,28 or the old 540EZ canon e.t.c. Need tilt, manual control e.t.c.

I am going against the grain here..... but seriously consider the 5 meter screw pc cable from flashzebra.com (Lon is very reliable and great to deal with for bits-n-pieces). They are FAR more reliable then the cheap wireless and will save you some hair... I started with the flee bay ones and going back to cable for one flash and optical for the others is far better for learning. Move to cybersyncs, PW's or maybe radiopoppers once you know what you need.
12/17/2008 12:07:04 AM · #7
Here's what I'd recommend to get started... mpex.com has put together several "strobist style" kits. This one is the Starving Student kit which gets you EVERYTHING you need to get started: //www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/4,6626.html

Can you grow from there? Certainly. Is it sufficient to get you started? Absolutely. Can you afford it? The complete kit is only $222... that's less than a fancy new flash from Canon or Nikon!

Then read up on strobist.com for lots more information.
12/17/2008 07:37:46 AM · #8
Bump.

Good replies people. Now let's get this kid a job!

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01/02/2009 01:48:09 PM · #9
I just thought I would post to this so all that money ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' strangeghost is tossing around falls on me.

Originally posted by strangeghost:

Bump.

Good replies people. Now let's get this kid a job!
01/02/2009 04:42:32 PM · #10
You could make some of your own:

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Yes, its continuous light, but cheap. By making this myself, I learned a lot about controlled lighting....

Message edited by author 2009-01-02 16:43:25.
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