Need advice on studio lighting equipment

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by fredbergy, Dec 7, 2013.

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  1. fredbergy

    fredbergy New Member

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    i'm a newbie and want to buy a starter studio kit. I have a Canon T5i with 18-135mm. I will have some object to photograph. As i'm on a tight budget i want something that will do the job that's it!!

    What you think about this light kit :

    Photo Softbox 2400W Fluorescent Video Continuous Boom Light B w Backdrop Kit | eBay

    And about this light tent?

    New Professional 120cm 48" Studio Cube Photo Light Tent | eBay

    Also any advice for a good starter wireless flash kit??? (for portrait picture)

    I see some people talking about alien bees flash??

    They seem expensive... Any other suggestion?

    How many flash? And how many?

  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Studio photography is a HUGE topic. So all I will try here is to hit a few highpoints.

    There are a lot of these "kits", so we know they must be popular. But I prefer to build up my studio gear in steps, adding a little more each time. With the big kits there is a very real risk that the gear will be of marginal quality and low performance. Of course there are quality kits, but they will not be anywhere near eBay prices.

    Fluorescent lights are the least expensive, thus very tempting. But the fluorescent color tones are problematic, even with studio grade bulbs. So to get quality results with fluorescent you will need to master post processing. If all you can manage is fluorescent, then so be it. But I would try hard for better quality lighting.

    Tungsten lights are also continuous, like fluorescent in that regard. So no surprises there. Tungsten are not daylight balanced, so a simple Kelvin adjustment is always needed. That adjustment will have to be made in the camera for JPG shots. For RAW it can be made either in camera, or later in processing. At least this is a simpler adjustment than what is needed for fluorescent. The main difficulty with tungsten is that they are quite hot to the touch.

    If you are a dedicated shopper, flash units can be found that will put the cost about the same as for tungsten. Flash is daylight balanced, so all color issues disappear. Prices for flash cover a huge range (same is true for studio strobes). Really nice flash units will be more expensive than the most basic strobes, and still have less output.

    Studio strobes, often called monolights or monoblocs, are ideal for studio use. But not as handy outside of the studio as flash. It is perfectly possible to mix flash and monolights in the same shot. As the light quality is very nearly the same. Indeed, AlienBee is often recommended. If you don't want to pay that much, you may find lower prices for brands like Flashpoint (Adorama), Interfit, Mettle, Photoflex, or Westcott. Which work about as well as AlienBee. AB gets the big recommendation due to customer service. My monolight is Flashpoint, and I've been pretty happy with it.

    Light tents are for product photography where no shadows are wanted. If you don't mind shadows, then a tent is not needed. Here is a tabletop shot I took, without any tent -

    So if that is what you want, no tent needed.

    Links for a whole lot more background on the basics of studio lighting -

    Strobes or Continuous Lighting? What's the Better Choice for You

    Getting Started with Off Camera Flash {Photography Series} |

    How to set up a Home Studio - lighting basics

    Small Studio Flash Tips | Snapfactory

    Sample Photos using the StarFlash® 150watt Kit - PhotographyTalk

    Strobist: Lighting 101

    Kelly Cook
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