What lighting kit to buy?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by simply_photography, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Hello everyone. I need an inexpensive portable lighting kit and a backdrop that can break down easily for an on location indoor portrait session. I will need continous lighting, not flash. I am considering one of the following three options and hope someone can give me a pointer on which direction to go!
  2. Jessica, It might help to do (or at least tell us) two things: 1) what you think you need your lighting to do, and 2) what your budget is. Two of the links weren't directly to a link with prices and the one to fleabay was not much more than a lightbulb, stand and umbrella. I saw 30w bulbs. That's barely bright enough to read by, let alone light a portrait or still life. You would be far better off with buying one better quality monolight at a time. Even a 1600 ws Alien Bee or SP would probably have more light from the modeling lamp than the kit on fleabay. I understand the difficulty in getting into lighting. I started out with little more than shop bulb lights. I'd rather see you work with an open window and a white mount board than waste money on an underpowered light.
  3. Budget is 200-500. Sorry, missed that question :)
  4. Why do you need continuous lighting? A couple of 250 watt halogen bulbs is likely to be on the dim side exposure wise, depending on the subject. Years ago I used continuous lighting for full length wedding portraits, but the studio had the wiring to run approx 40 kilowatts of lights. Nowdays you can pack the equivalent amount of light from electronic flashes in a medium sized camera bag.
    If you explain your needs in a little more detail, maybe someone can give you some better advice.
    BTW, most half decent mono lights have a 250 watt halogen modeling lamp.
  5. A grey or black seamless paper background with a light on it will do just fine. And a second, softer light, such as an umbrella. If you are bouncing the light off an umbrella you really need at least 500 watts, 1000 would be better. I saw one of the kits you were looking at offered 50 watts. Forget that. You do not need or even want 3 umbrellas. Two lights are enough for a beginner.
  6. Ok, let's try me not pointing out what I have found and maybe someone pointing me to what I need.
    200 military couples posing for ball portraits in two's. Backdrop will be an earth brown muslim. The lighting conditions already there are not known. I have no problem with flash, I just thought continous might be easier since I will be working at a very fast pace.
    Budget- small $200-500
  7. Jessica, continuous lighting gets HOT. The juice your lighting will need to have for your purposes will likely make your setup a small furnace by the time you've shot a few dozen :) Strobes are probably a much better bet AND they should be more than fast enough and give you more bang for your buck.
    <p>Check the strobist, you will find some great info there. Keep the lighting simple. You may find all you need are a couple of flashes off camera with shoot through umbrellas. Also check out alienbees. They have packages for lighting that are around your price range...
  8. I agree with Mark, check out the Strobist and try to get hold of a camera flash and an umbrella and a stand.
    What is your camera brand, Nikon or Canon? Nikon has good off-camera functions to their original. Canon require some extra equipment to run the flash off camera a cable or a transmitter. You can use the TLL control if you got a flash with the same brand as your camera. That is real good if it is in a hurry and you have to shoot quickly and be pretty sure to get it right
  9. I haven't checked prices lately but a single SP monolight with an umbrella mounted high should do the job, 2 would be better and should fit your budget. They aren't top of the line but have decent features and get the job done. Look at lighting on the B&H web site.

    Rick H.
  10. I looked back at preceding Q here after the secondary thread...ah hah.... A dress ball i am thinking.. I shot a bunch of military couples at a ball with one flash and a shoot through umbrella on a stand for pay. It worked and worked fine. Your budget of 500.00 whoo, is going to be tough,mine was a couple hundred above that even then.Never say die is a good approach, nothing is impossible, but some things are tougher than others and may lead to frustration and when you are taking orders and cash, uh uh not a good risk situation on lowball stuff or worse, junk. Q: Any way rent a full checked out kit anywhere? Even have it shipped, another way to go,maybe and I myself would not overlook that one. It might come with a Sekonic meter, an Elinchrom IR or a cable which has been used for years you know, and more , maybe a blessing and high five from the rental place.

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