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Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       11-18-2008, 10:45 AM Reply   
I am looking into building a studio/office in my house and I also want some strobes for loacation shooting.

I know profoto is like the best out there, but i don't feel like dropping thousands of dollars on light right now.

I have found some stuff on ebay in my price range but it seems like the watts are a lot lower than some of the more expensive systems.

Who has studio lighting and what do you think the minimum watts per second i need for a decent studio and location shooting for lifestyle and wakeboarding.

Most of my portraits that I have shot have been with continuous lighting, but i want to get into strobes.
Old     (joshturner)      Join Date: Jun 2007       11-18-2008, 12:57 PM Reply   

the power you need is really going to be dependant on the type of shooting you are doing. i would say that the high power ratings are ussually overkill unless you are trying to kill the sun in mid day lighting and need strobes capable of f/22-32. i have bought some ebay strobes last year for cheap and in an indoor setting they normally do job just fine but you are limited with the light to subject distance. there is a profoto system at my school and in the studio we are normally shooting like f/16 - f/22 at iso 100-200. take a look at alien bees. they are a lower power than profoto but better than super cheap ebay strobes. personally i ussually use my sb-800's and they work just fine and are great for location stuff. it's fairly rare that they dont do the job. there has been like two instances where they werent quite powerful enough but considering how often i use them that is pretty low.

Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       11-18-2008, 1:14 PM Reply   
thanks for the input!
Old     (bankssa)      Join Date: Mar 2003       12-02-2008, 11:54 AM Reply   
I use two 500w strobes and I have a difficult time powering them down enough indoors. If you have tons of room you can move them further away but in a small space they are too bright.... it really depends on what you are using them for. 500+ is best for outdoors in late afternoon....and night.
Old    kc700            12-02-2008, 4:30 PM Reply   
I know ryan taylor has a pretty sweet studio setup....even has a miniramp.(I know that is completely unrelated to photography but still super rad.) He contributes here quite often, maybe he could weigh in with something helpful or you could try PMing him.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       12-02-2008, 8:23 PM Reply   
Scott, How much did you spend on the 500 w?
Old     (bankssa)      Join Date: Mar 2003       12-03-2008, 9:12 AM Reply   
I got two Bowen Strobes in a kit with umbrellas stands, case, and cables for $800. I know their are several kits out there for less cash but I teach with the stuff and I needed durability and replacement parts. I get my stuff from B&H. Again not the best price but great service and support. I was in FL a few weeks ago and a freind that shoots for some of the mags was using killer Bees and they seemed to do the job. Clearly they were not the same quality as the bowen stuff but if you are the only user of the equipment they should hold up great.
Old     (wakesurf12)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-03-2008, 11:08 AM Reply   
Well Kyle, I am sad to say that I have unfortunately left my studio space since we have last spoken. It definitely was a shame because it was such a great place but it was in a bad location which made it hard to deal with. The mini ramp has moved into a friends backyard though. Wish I still had it!

As far as strobes go you can spend as little or as much as you want on them. Unfortunately it is a never ending battle. If you aren't going to be shooting sports and you are just learning I would say that Alien Bee's are pretty good for the price. Obviously the cheeper lights are going to be made with cheeper materials but again, if you aren't shooting sports or lugging it around in the wilderness you should be fine. I have a few friends that have several of these lights and for what they are worth they are pretty nice. Plus you should have plenty of power with them for what I assume you will be doing.

If you wanted to go more durable then yeah, you would have to look into the Elinchrom's or the Profoto stuff. Definitely a lot more spendy but will last you a life time. They are mostly pack and head systems though. So yeah, you can charge them so they are portable but you have to lug the whole pack with the head.

The monolights (like alienbees) are definitely lighter and take up less space. They are unfortunately less powerful and a lot slower. Plus you would need to plug them in to use.

Like I said before, there are an endless amount of variables when it comes to lights. I would say figure out what you need (or what you can deal with) what you can afford and just go for it. The time spend without them would be less cost effective.

That being said, I should go order some more stuff! HAHA!

Also, here is a video clip of my old studio. So sad....!.mov
Old     (wakesurf12)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-03-2008, 11:12 AM Reply   
Sorry, but you will have to manually type in !.mov to the link above.
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       12-03-2008, 12:09 PM Reply   
sick studio! That is a sad day! I remember when our miniramp went to a friends house.

Yeah really want them to shoot wakeboarding in the evening and night hours, but I would like them to be versatile enough to use for portraits.

I'm going to look in the alien bees.

Thanks guys!
Old     (wakesurf12)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-03-2008, 12:24 PM Reply   
Well, if you are going to shoot wakeboarding with them I would then strongly suggest NOT going with the Alien Bee's. Sorry to mislead you in that last post. They aren't fast enough to freeze action.


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