Lighting Kits for Christmas Gift

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ken, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

    My wife wants to know what to get me for Christmas.

    I would like some kind of "studio" light kit that is portable and will
    allow me to get some experience with studio photography without having a
    real studio - portable so I can take use it at other people's houses as
    well as use it at my house.

    What would be the best bet, under $400? Or, is there something else you
    would suggest I "hint" at that would help me get experience with
    lighting for portraits?

    I have a digital rebel with three lenses, one of them a 28-80 f2.8.
    Ken, Nov 23, 2004
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  2. Ken

    Crownfield Guest

    look at two of these lights.

    they will work as is,
    and you can get 4x8 sheets of white styrefoam from home depot
    to use as reflectors. if that is too big, cut them to 4x4, or 2x4.

    ideally, you would get a flash meter to make accurate measurements.
    that and other lights and reflectors can come later.
    Crownfield, Nov 23, 2004
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  3. Alien Bees are good...I hope as I have just ordered one. But, one is not a
    kit. One is not enough. And, even one, with a stand and accessories as I
    ordered it is $650. So that does not meet the stated requirements. There
    are, on EBay, some kits that are crap compared to the Alien Bee. But, your
    money will get a couple of lights and accessories. They are still working a
    year later and will still have uses as long as they work. Meanwhile I have
    learned a lot about product work...and the cheap lights have paid for
    themselves several times over.
    Gene Palmiter, Nov 23, 2004
  4. Ken

    Crownfield Guest

    part of the goal is not only to give him
    options which meet his original goal,
    but perspective on the direction to head in the future.

    good customer service, and good warantee are important.
    both AlienBees and WhiteLightning include them.

    (expandability options)

    actually one main light
    with a white foam reflector for fill will surprise you.

    2 B400's with the reflector are a total of $450 and ready to go.
    add 2 stands for another $80, add shipping,
    and you went over budget, but you really got a lot of capability.
    and for less than $650.

    add 2 4x8 sheets of white foam panels from home depot,
    and you will be amazed as to what you can do.

    they make instant soft light sources. you can't beat the price.

    when you get the money, you can add accessories,
    and they will all work with White_Lightning strobes up to the X3200.

    later you can add flash meter,
    large reflectors, umbrellas, brolly boxes, softboxes,
    stands, booms, castors, more lights, bigger lights,
    radio remotes, and cloth panels for diffusion and reflection.
    Crownfield, Nov 23, 2004
  5. Ken

    Ken Guest

    What is the difference between Strobe and Monolights? If I understand
    correctly, Strobe is used as a flash and monolight can be on all the
    time. If this is true, would monolight be easier to use without having
    to use a flash meter?
    Ken, Nov 23, 2004
  6. Ken

    Crownfield Guest

    (leaving out the one piece flash attached to the camera)

    strobe is another word for electronic flash.

    the monolight is an AC powered strobe
    made as a one piece power supply and flash head.
    every monolight is plugged into AC power.
    it will have a sync cord to the camera.
    it will have a modeling light.

    the other type of strobe is a power supply
    that may accept as many as 7 separate light heads
    that can be plugged into the same power supply.
    only the power supply is plugged into AC power.
    it will have a sync cord to the camera.

    each head will have a modeling light.
    each head will have a cord to the power pack,
    but no AC power cord, no sync cord. these come from the power pack.

    for example, look at for sample monolights
    lighting / studio / power packs
    not true
    both power pack heads and monolights have modeling lights.
    meters are the best way, but you can try your strobe,
    and calculate a guide number, and use that.
    Crownfield, Nov 24, 2004
  7. Ken

    Ken Guest


    Sounds like I need to read a book or more and maybe a class on the
    subject before I drop any money on the equipment
    Ken, Nov 24, 2004
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