Recommended home studio kit?

Started Feb 11, 2011 | Discussions
corei5 Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Recommended home studio kit?

Hello, im planning to build a small studio in my room the room isn't really big but it can probably occupy some basic lightning equipments. Planning to spend not much since it'll be my first studio price probably around £250.

Having a thing in my head either to get a flash 430ex II or a small home studio kit.
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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,243
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

You and have both if your studio space is small.

Buy a Canon EX580 II, or the the functionally equivalent and cheaper but not quite so rugged Nissin Di866, and a Canon EX430 II, or the functionally equivalent and cheaper but not quite so rugged Nissin Di622 Mark II.

That way you will have one high powered flash that can act as a Canon system wireless master and one lower powered flash that can only act as a wireless slave.

Alternatively you can get a couple of flash units like the Vivitar DF-293 Bounce Zoom Swivel Flash for Canon and an inexpensive RF trigger set. You will have to manually adjust the power and zoom length with these flash units, but they are pretty cheap.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=DF-293-CAN&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

http://www.lightingrumours.com/bumper-xmas-budget-flash-trigger-review-691

Mate your two flashes with one of these kits.

You will have a flexible and portable studio kit as well as a couple of flash units you can use on your camera if you want.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/425220-REG/Impact_DFUMK_Digital_Flash_Umbrella_Mount.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/621577-REG/Interfit_STR120_STR120_Twin_Umbrella_Kit.html

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OP corei5 Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

580ex II is quite expensive for me at the moment and I'm planning to save up some money for my lens. I know flash set up is very portable than a proper studio kit.

whats the difference between Nissin Di866 and Canon 430ex II, which one is more powerful between the two?

I found this basic lightning on jessops cost £199 but I dont know if its good.

http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/74367/Show.html?cm_re=RECENTLY-_-110510-_-RecentlyViewed

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,243
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

Sailor Blue wrote:

Alternatively you can get a couple of flash units like the Vivitar DF-293 Bounce Zoom Swivel Flash for Canon and an inexpensive RF trigger set. You will have to manually adjust the power and zoom length with these flash units, but they are pretty cheap.

Another popular choice is the Vivitar 285HV Flash with Zoom Thyristor. They sell for $90 new at B&H.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=285HV&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

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OP corei5 Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Re: Recommended home studio kit?
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,243
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

corei5 wrote:

580ex II is quite expensive for me at the moment and I'm planning to save up some money for my lens. I know flash set up is very portable than a proper studio kit.

whats the difference between Nissin Di866 and Canon 430ex II, which one is more powerful between the two?

The Di866 is more powerful than the EX580 II and has the same functionality. The Di622 is more powerful than the EX430 II and has the same functionality. The Nissin flash units are about $100-$200 cheaper than their Canon counterparts.

I found this basic lightning on jessops cost £199 but I dont know if its good.

http://www.jessops.com/.../Show.html?cm_re=RECENTLY-_-110510-_-RecentlyViewed

The 150 Ws strobes are too weak for much studio work beyond head shots unless you are willing to use ISO 200-800. You will be doing the same thing with flash units, but their battery power gives you the flexibility to use them anywhere that you won't have with the Interfit kit. That flexibility is worth working at ISO 200-800 instead of at ISO 100. For some strobes, like the Vivitar 285HV, you can use external battery packs, which are easy to make. The external battery packs decrease the recharge time and give you more flashes between battery recharges.

If you are only going to work in a studio, and not transport your lights or work out of doors, then get a 300 Ws studio light kit with softboxes between 24" and 36". My softboxes are 100x100 cm (37"x37") on 300 Ws lights and I can work with a single light 2 m from the subject at 1/2 power, ISO 100, and at f/8-f/11. That is because my softboxes are brand new. As they age I will have to go to higher power or ISO because the silvery lining will tarnish some.

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Dennis Brooks Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Interfit kit, it's a lot of kit for the money and enough power for a small room. I have the Interfit Stella 150w and hardley ever shoot at full power.
Cheers,
Dennis.

OP corei5 Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

I might post an image of my room where I'm going to put my lightning kit.. I will try to empty it first before taking a picture of it so we can see whether what kind of budget lightning I can get.
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ProTL Regular Member • Posts: 408
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

From what I gather it seems you’re a hobbyist looking for a starter kit. For that purpose either the Interfit or Genesis kit would be fine. As long as you are aware that price and build quality go together. If you’re not using them every day for hours on end then they should serve you well with some common sense care. Genesis offers a 200 series if you are interested, although it’s just outside your budget in $

Of course all of this depends on what you intend to shoot. A full length shot with 150 watts isn’t going to cut it. Head and shoulders portraits on the other hand should be just fine. Remember you are using your lights to light your subject.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=30296440

http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/Gear/Search-Results/Photo-Accessories/Interfit-EX150-Mark-II/

I’m not sure on the plant but maybe this?
http://www.nb-jinhui.com/En/Series.asp?Mid=1212&id=3501

http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/product/calumet_genesis_200_2_light_kit/cf0502k1

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InspectorHud Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: Recommended home studio kit?

http://www.mpex.com/browse.cfm/4,12316.html

These guys specialize in just what you need.

mbloof
mbloof Senior Member • Posts: 1,376
Think of the end result.

Greetings,

There's a few different directions you can go in, depending on what your planning on doing in the short term, long term and what your willing to invest.

Many of the photographic stores have 'starter kits' that cover a WIDE range of usefullness, price and quality. The same could be said of 'ebay' where $250 might barely cover the cost of a single light or an entire kit of 6 with light stands and modifiers.

1st lets address space. You mentioned you have a "small room"? Define "small". The home/office room I'm currently sitting in is 9x12 feet, the bedroom down the hall? 8x10 feet. (The living room where I do most of my practice and shooting has much more room) The closer your lights are to the subject, the less power is required and smaller modifiers can be used.

2nd What are you going to light? (assuming humans here) A head? A bust? A torso? 3/4 length? Full length? Two or more people? Lighting larger areas with "soft light" requires more power and larger modifiers.

3rd What is the goal or outcome? Is this a single purchase that will only be used in the small room or something that you intend to build on and use elsewhere? What are you planning on doing with the lights 6 months or a year or more from now?

Many folks recommend learning lighting starting with just a single light source and then adding more later. While even in a small room (such as my office) I could have a: Key, fill, hair/kicker and two background lights however without proper modifiers, paint, flooring and gobos it would be hard to control the light "spill" from 5 lights in such a small area. (assuming that I could get all the above + myself, camera/tripod and a subject/chair to fit)

Many kits come with umbrellas and non-air-cushioned light stands. While umbrellas are the cheapest 'bang for the buck', they also have a lot of light spill. I know I discounted the usefullness of air-cushioning when I got my 1st kit (a 2 umbrella+ 2 lightstand B&H kit $99) but I'm slowly replacing my non-cushioned ones.

Ok, lets talk lights. I'd recommend considering getting only one or two equal power lights. As you recognised there are two ways to go, inexpensive studio lights or battery powered portable flash units. Both can go from the very cheap to the very expensive.

A popular choice is getting monolights. Many come with built in 'modeling lights' that can help you set the shot up, 4-6stop power adjustment, built in optical triggers and come in a wide range of price, quality and power. You may be able to purchase 2 lights, stands and softboxes with wired/wireless triggers and stay within your budget.

Getting one or more battery powered hot shoe flash units presents a few more decisions and choices. There are cheap ($90) 'dumb' flash guns and expensive ($320-500) 'smart' speedlights. The least expensive have no power adjustment (you have to use distance/light fall off to adjust brightness) and the most expensive can use automatic wireless ETTL adjustment/triggering.

Since you don't have much space to work with, I'd recommend staying away from the cheapest ones and get units that you can manually adjust the power level. Most of the units that have manual adjustment are also ETTL compatible when mounted on your camera's hot shoe. (you won't have wireless ETTL but will have a decent on-camera flash)

Personally I started with 2 580EX2's and the afore mentioned B&H 2 umbrella kit.

The 580's and the less expensive (Metz mecablitz 58 AF-1 $320 a copy) flash units with wireless ETTL have the advantage of being able to adjust the power level from the camera as well as using Canon's smart ETTL lighting ratio's.

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