Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    10
    Real Name
    Brandon Goffner

    Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Hello Cambridge community!

    I am looking to break into the world of fashion and lifestyle photography in Miami. This style is relatively new for me. I am a Nikon user... shooting with the D300 & D7000. I'm seeking the communities help to find out a few questions:

    Which studio lighting setup is most efficient?
    Which studio lighting (brand etc.) is the best to use and why?
    Which cost effective brand is suitable?
    What are some must haves (equipment) in fashion/lifestyle photography?
    Any other tips or advice


    thanks before hand

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Hi Brandon,

    Perhaps you could post some examples of the types of things you'd like to be able to create? How much space do you have in your studio?

    For lighting - there are numerous brands. My personal experience is with Elinchrom (I use 5x 1200RX heads) - but after that there is a host of things like soft boxes - snoots - grids - reflectors - barn doors - beauty dishes - umbrellas - triggers - props - backdrops etc. And that's just the basics.

    Here's a photo of my 8 x 10m studio if it helps (click for bigger view)

    Studio lighting and equipment ideas

  3. #3
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Hi Brandon, I've done all the research and agree with colin about elinchrom if you can afford them, the triggering system is great and the lights are excellent quality. ellinchrom use to have a rep for overpriced modifiers (soft box's etc) but they seem to have adjusted their prices i think that you might find 5 x 1200's a little to much light unless you have a studio as big as Colins! I'm waiting for my space to become available and will be bending Colins ear for advice on what power lights to buy when i know what size it is! good luck with it all.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Hi Brandon, I've done all the research and agree with colin about elinchrom if you can afford them, the triggering system is great and the lights are excellent quality. ellinchrom use to have a rep for overpriced modifiers (soft box's etc) but they seem to have adjusted their prices i think that you might find 5 x 1200's a little to much light unless you have a studio as big as Colins! I'm waiting for my space to become available and will be bending Colins ear for advice on what power lights to buy when i know what size it is! good luck with it all.
    Hi Mark,

    The triggering (skyports) is "OK" - being able to adjust the power for up to 4 zones from the camera is very very handy, but the actually triggering can be hit and miss at times. I can get 100 triggers in a row - then it'll stop working until I turn the transmitter off and on again or reseat it (and I have 3 transmitters). Not bad enough to be a "problem" - just bad enough to be "annoying". In the end I hooked them up to my PocketWizard Plus IIs as well - so triggering is done from a Plus II and adjustment is done from a skyport. With Plus IIs, they fire EVERY TIME (without exception). I'm not sure if it's the skyports fault or not - I understand that they work on the same band as WiFi / many cordless phones / and other electronic equipment - so might just be simple interference.

    I've got a lot of Elinchrom genuine accessories - and they did cost an arm and a leg. I've also started buying some "replica" products and for all intents and purposes, there isn't any difference (just slight design variations). They've literally saved me thousands of dollars.

    To be honest, some days I'd like more than 5 lights! It's easy to use them up ... 2 to light a white backdrop - one for key - one for fill - one for hair. I don't need 5 all the time - but without 5 I can't do all of the shots I like. Power wise I don't often use them at full power (so a 600W/S would do most of the time) but that would also mean I was working a 600W/S light much closer to it's maximum all the time, which I wouldn't like to do. Also - some of the bigger softboxes - and the snoot - can suck up the power.

  5. #5
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Hi Colin, was going to wait until i got the studio before i started pestering you! I'm going on a course when i get back from this duty tour aboard ship. the course is on basic studio lighting and technique which will be elinchrom based. I already own pocket wizards 1 x mini 2 x flex and an ac3 would i be better to get the st4 (is that what they are called) and not bother with the elli trigger set? do you ever have too much light? situation where you wish you had a couple of 600's or are you able to dial down you 1200's enough all of the time? so would i be better to go for a mixture of powers or get all 1200's? What modifiers do you most commonly use.

    sorry for all the questions

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Studio lighting and equipment ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    I already own pocket wizards 1 x mini 2 x flex and an ac3 would i be better to get the st4 (is that what they are called) and not bother with the elli trigger set? do you ever have too much light? situation where you wish you had a couple of 600's or are you able to dial down you 1200's enough all of the time? so would i be better to go for a mixture of powers or get all 1200's? What modifiers do you most commonly use.

    sorry for all the questions
    Hi Mark,

    Good questions

    The AC3 is certainly 1 approach. I'd think it should work OK, although (a) You'll only have 3 zones to work with instead of 4 (for me 4 is better), (b) The TT1 / TT5 miss a few shots too (not a lot, but some), and (c) Some Elinchrom units have the Skyport built in (like the BXRi series) - so all you'd need is the transmitter. The advantage is that you could tie your lighting in with existing flashes using the TT5s.

    1200 Ws units (<- see Mario!) are pretty grunty (there are more powerful though) - and one can go down 5 stops from there - so there very much is a minimum power setting. In reality this definitely comes into play as it regulates the minimum power put into the fill light (the weakest light) - then key lighting is relative to that (typically 1 to 2 stops higher). In reality (the theory and practice vary a bit here) it means that I "have" to shoot at about F11, but it's not a problem because DoF becomes an issue with a FF camera below F11 when shooting tight compositions in the studio. If one really wanted to shoot a wider aperture then they could use an ND filter on the camera (but AF performance drops off) or an ND gel on the flash (I've got them, but never use them). Backing off the light is another approach, but then you tend to get less control over it's direction (so I try not to "go there").

    Personally I'd rather have a car that does 100mph & only drive it at 50 than one that only does 50 and drive it flat out all the time.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •