Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




739 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 145

Subscriber

# 138553 8-Jan-2014 15:20
Send private message

Hi guys, and Happy New Year to all!

This is a pretty general post about studio lighting.

Quite recently after seeing some offers on Grabone and the likes for cheap-ish studio lighting kits (eg softboxes + stands, etc..) I have realised that studio lighting is not something totally out of my reach budget-wise. 
Now, I am aware that a $99 kit from Grabone might not compare with a $500+ kit from other suppliers (currently looking at photogear/photoshack) and this is why I thought I would start this thread, to try and get ideas and pointers about what to look for in studio lights. So feel free to share any advice/experience about the topic!

Unfortunately, I will not have the luxury to have a dedicated space so something on the more compact side might be more appropriate. Probably something I would setup in my lounge or a spare bedroom so would need a dedicate backdrop as well... 

What I am looking to use that for: Kids/Wife shoots and probably baby/newborn shoots for friends and family.

Budget: Not really sure, just trying not to get something horribly crappy because I went to cheap and also can't be spending too much as this is still only a hobby.

Any help appreciated,

Cheers,

Guillaume


Create new topic
14895 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 963318 8-Jan-2014 15:26
Send private message

You don't really want studio lighting for a smaller space. Speedlites with umbrellas and radio triggers is plenty - Yongnuo is a decent cheap brand for lights and triggers. That gives you the ability to shoot at may ISO400 F8 or down to F1.4. Studio lights don't go that low. I have AlienBee lights, they work great, I use them on location with Vagabond Mini Lithium battery packs.

Don't bother with constant lights. They make people hot and squinty. I have a portable backdrop I bought and used once, a frame with a white backdrop cloth. I'd sell it to you for half what I paid - that was less than $100 from memory. I also have some Skyport triggers I mean to sell some time, though they're probably higher end/more expensive than you need.

Some more info here, bit out of date now.



739 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 145

Subscriber

  # 963344 8-Jan-2014 16:11
Send private message

timmmay: You don't really want studio lighting for a smaller space. Speedlites with umbrellas and radio triggers is plenty - Yongnuo is a decent cheap brand for lights and triggers. That gives you the ability to shoot at may ISO400 F8 or down to F1.4. Studio lights don't go that low. I have AlienBee lights, they work great, I use them on location with Vagabond Mini Lithium battery packs.

Don't bother with constant lights. They make people hot and squinty. I have a portable backdrop I bought and used once, a frame with a white backdrop cloth. I'd sell it to you for half what I paid - that was less than $100 from memory. I also have some Skyport triggers I mean to sell some time, though they're probably higher end/more expensive than you need.

Some more info here, bit out of date now.


Hi Timmmay,

Thanks a lot for your reply, and the link to that other post of yours very interesting read.

I forgot to mention I just purchased a Yongnuo speedlight (YN568EXII). So what you are saying is that especially for a small space, I should try and use that along with umbrella/softbox? I guess the continuous light thing was appealing to me in terms of being pretty WYSIWYG but I get the part about them not being all that great.

Might be interested in the background, would you have a photo of what it looks like (doesn't have tro be the exact one, but something to give me an idea) and dimensions?

Also, this is to be used with a Canon 650D which can trigger the speedlights (even the Yongnuo) remotely. Does this mean I can do without trigger? Do you have any advice in what I should be looking for in terms of umbrella? Are we talking shoot through or reflective?

Thanks,

Guillaume

 
 
 
 


14895 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 963392 8-Jan-2014 18:07
Send private message

I have this background stand system, and this white background 6x3m. Appears to have cost me $169 and $150. Yours for half that, say $150. Frame is perfect condition, used once. Background may or may not need a wash (depends how fussy you are). I used white towels on it where people were standing. I may have a small light stand that you can put behind it, though it's of debatable value.

That flash looks good. You'll want a battery pack, look at the PixelHK ones on ebay, though a store in Auckland has them - may be progear. Decreases your recharge time heaps. If you're going to be taking a lot of photos quickly you'll want a studio light, a speedlite will burn out quickly if you abuse it - though I've never managed it myself, despite turning off the safety and using them on full at weddings in the middle of hot summers. I do swap flashes occasionally though.

You can probably trigger using the built in flash, though that's less reliable and uses your camera battery up. Triggers sit in the hotshoe and are far more reliable, especially outdoors.

Re umbrella, really makes little difference, they all do the same thing. Silver one you bounce into may be a little more efficient than a shot through. Size isn't that important, medium, 40-50" is fine. Soft box is fine too, though you'd need a big one and not sure a speedlite will have enough power. Suggest umbrella for now. A white reflector for fill will be useful. I think I have one of them somewhere, used it twice in 6 years. Outside it makes people squint.

Things for you to read up on via google: Niel VN's tangents blog, and The Strobist.

3217 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 427


  # 963424 8-Jan-2014 18:28
Send private message

I got the $47 1-day backdrop kit recently.. its a little short, and quite toy-like but if you fold the tripod legs past normal you can gain another foot or so as a trade off for stability. They ship with 2 bits of jute cloth. Less than ideal but fine for a start. They would be better off replaced with plain calico and a hole sewn for the cross-member to go through.

I used it last weekend to take a snap of myself in my 501st costume, however it does give you a nice plain backdrop to allow easy selection to remove and make artificial backdrop with a click or 3 in your fav editor.

In itself will be fine for headshot/2person portrait.

I have a more sturdy spring loaded lightstand, from photoshack in AKL. Does the trick. I also obtained a $11 tripod head from ebay (phottix version) which is milti use. It has a foot slot, spigot if removed and umbrella holder.

I also got a 60cmx60cm pop-up softbox (I think photoshack again.. or trademe). And again, it does WONDERS. You put your flash in the rear of it with my youngno non TTL triggers.

Great as it teaches you manual lighting exposure techniques. I was low on ambient light for my portrait so had to do some trickery to even out the shadow casting. But when I recently used it for a shoot with 2 lovely young ladies as a fill mixed with a white wall and a window.. the results were impressive.



739 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 145

Subscriber

  # 963701 9-Jan-2014 09:40
Send private message

timmmay: I have this background stand system, and this white background 6x3m. Appears to have cost me $169 and $150. Yours for half that, say $150. Frame is perfect condition, used once. Background may or may not need a wash (depends how fussy you are). I used white towels on it where people were standing. I may have a small light stand that you can put behind it, though it's of debatable value.

That flash looks good. You'll want a battery pack, look at the PixelHK ones on ebay, though a store in Auckland has them - may be progear. Decreases your recharge time heaps. If you're going to be taking a lot of photos quickly you'll want a studio light, a speedlite will burn out quickly if you abuse it - though I've never managed it myself, despite turning off the safety and using them on full at weddings in the middle of hot summers. I do swap flashes occasionally though.

You can probably trigger using the built in flash, though that's less reliable and uses your camera battery up. Triggers sit in the hotshoe and are far more reliable, especially outdoors.

Re umbrella, really makes little difference, they all do the same thing. Silver one you bounce into may be a little more efficient than a shot through. Size isn't that important, medium, 40-50" is fine. Soft box is fine too, though you'd need a big one and not sure a speedlite will have enough power. Suggest umbrella for now. A white reflector for fill will be useful. I think I have one of them somewhere, used it twice in 6 years. Outside it makes people squint.

Things for you to read up on via google: Niel VN's tangents blog, and The Strobist.


Cheers, Timmmay.
That background system looks quite cool. I think you live in Wellington though, any idea how much shipping would be on it (I am in Auckland)

Thanks a lot for the links, currently going through The Strobist's lighting 101 and loving it.
I think I am now decided on buying just a light stand (maybe LP605) and  shoot through umbrella. Just a damn shame everything is so more expensive in NZ... Any tips on where in the US I could order these?

Cheers,

Guillaume

14895 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2795

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 963705 9-Jan-2014 10:01
Send private message

Pretty sure a standard courierpost ticket on each would get them there, they cost me about $8 each from memory. So around $16 I think.

Check out that site I link to for decent quality gear at good prices, umbrellas and such. Umbrellas break eventually no matter what brand they are, I rarely use them these days but when I did I kept spares.

Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Huawei's scholarship programme showcases international business to Kiwi undergrads
Posted 22-Jul-2019 17:53


Spark Sport launches across a range of new devices
Posted 22-Jul-2019 13:19


Dunedin selects Telensa to deliver smart street lighting for 15,000 LEDs
Posted 18-Jul-2019 10:21


Sprint announces a connected wallet card with built-in IoT support
Posted 18-Jul-2019 08:36


Educational tool developed at Otago makes international launch
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:57


Symantec introduces cloud access security solution
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:48


New Zealand government unveils new digital service to make business easier
Posted 16-Jul-2019 17:35


Scientists unveil image of quantum entanglement
Posted 13-Jul-2019 06:00


Hackers to be challenged at University of Waikato
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:34


OPPO Reno Z now available in New Zealand
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:28


Sony introduces WF-1000XM3 wireless headphones with noise cancellation
Posted 8-Jul-2019 16:56


Xero announces new smarter tools, push into the North American market
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:20


New report by Unisys shows New Zealanders want action by social platform companies and police to monitor social media sites
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:09


ASB adds Google Pay option to contactless payments
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:05


New Zealand PC Market declines on the back of high channel inventory, IDC reports
Posted 18-Jun-2019 17:35



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.