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Thread: My First Lighting Kit, Which To Choose?

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    Member RONMAN1990's Avatar
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    Question My First Lighting Kit, Which To Choose?

    Hey guys I am currently in the market for a lighting kit between $500-$1000 as it's my first kit but I still want something of a reliable and good quality. I have found 2 particular kits on ebay which I am trying to decide between but not having any luck!

    I was just wondering if anybody knows what to look for in a lighting kit and if interested check out the 2 kits at the links below and let me know what you think it would be greatly appreciated!

    Kit #1: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=370232812602

    Kit #2: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=270432405767

    Regards,

    Brodie.

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    Brodie,

    I think we'd probably like a bit more information about you: what camera gear do you have, have you done this kind of photography before, etc.

    I've not used this level of lighting gear myself, but it would seem a bit of overkill if you're not setting up a professional studio.
    Canon 5DmkII + stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Brodie,

    I think we'd probably like a bit more information about you: what camera gear do you have, have you done this kind of photography before, etc.

    I've not used this level of lighting gear myself, but it would seem a bit of overkill if you're not setting up a professional studio.
    I own a Nikon D50 with 18-55mm, 50mm, 10-24mm, 70-300mm + SB-800 speedlight etc
    and although I am not a professional photographer I still do require this level of lighting as I am beginning to do a bit of work with large groups. I have used a set of Elinchrom flashes before which were absolutely amazing but I cannot afford that level of quality lighting yet so just wanted to find a cheaper option...

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    Well, it sounds like you know more than me - I'm just a hobbyist, using 1 SB off camera to light family. I was concerned that those kind of flash heads were more power than you need, but if you're lighting large groups then maybe you do.

    My concern with those kits are the brands of flash unit. Are they made by a reputable brand? Or are they cheap knockoffs? If something goes wrong with them, will you be able to get them repaired/replaced under warranty, especially since you've bought them on Ebay?

    An alternative suggestion, if you don't need that much power, is to buy a kit of brollies/softboxes/lightstands (would be ~$200-300?), and get yourself a second SB. Secondhand SB28s can be had for around $100-150 shipped from the US, and could be used in conjunction with your existing SB for a 2 light setup. Then, you could put whatever you save towards buying Elinchromes/Alienbees/etc down the track - giving you reliability/quality/power if you need it.

    I guess I'm just concerned you'd buy one of these kits and then be replacing the flash units in 6 months because they not up to the job.

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    I already have a small studio lighting kit but have been looking for a while at This ebay item

    The portability of it, along with the Bowen S-Type fittings make it a step up from the basic ebay strobe setup I'm using now. I'm amazed how quickly my initial elcheapo lights purchase now seems to be a limiting factor to how I shoot, I guess the adage you get what you pay for still stands true today.

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    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=140319449404
    this is the lighting set i purchased, so far i can not really fault it bah the fact i havent been able to get a reading below F5.8 need to get some white shower curtain as suggested by andrew in one of my posts so i can try to shoot almost open with the 50mm.

    The ebay seller is excellent, i paid for the item then 5 days later the item was at my door in rural victoria all the way from china,
    Canon 50d - 300d backup - 28/135mm IS usm - 50mm 1.8 - ettl flash - Assortmant of other stuff I hardly use
    I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it. ~Author Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfart View Post
    I already have a small studio lighting kit but have been looking for a while at This ebay item

    The portability of it, along with the Bowen S-Type fittings make it a step up from the basic ebay strobe setup I'm using now. I'm amazed how quickly my initial elcheapo lights purchase now seems to be a limiting factor to how I shoot, I guess the adage you get what you pay for still stands true today.
    yeah its definitely one of the better lighting setups on ebay i have actually had a look at it myself but I think I would be more inclined to go with a kit that has the full package (lighting stands, soft boxes, umbrellas, sync cables/triggers etc.) plus they do include a few extra little goodies such as snoots, barndoors and coloured filters which I know are probably cheap enough to buy separately but I think something on the cheaper side of $800-900 with the complete works is what I will end up going with....until I get some better paid work at least haha

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    I'd go an elinchrom d-lite 2 kit. Just at the 1k mark.
    For a few hundred more you could get the d-lite 4.

    Sure the specs don't look as good as the ebay ones but with anything electrical, I'd prefer to get a proven brand.

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    Like “Which Camera” or which lens threads, you are going to get many different answers.

    I bought a set of “photogen” lights from ebay 18 months ago. The seller, envisage, is quite well known over at the overclockers forum and I hadn’t heard any bad stories or issues about him or his gear. All items are also distributed from Adelaide (as opposed to straight from china).

    The thing though is you need to determine how much power you really need. For most amateurs who try to setup in a home studio, quite a lot of these kits are way too powerful. I use a GN76 kit (never quite sure why people keep on touting the wattage, as it’s the GN that tells the real story, but the kit I have is 2 x 300w monoblock strobes) and they are 9 times out of 10 set to 1/32 (the lower setting). If you are using bigger spaces or setting up out doors, then you may need more power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammi View Post
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=140319449404
    this is the lighting set i purchased, so far i can not really fault it bah the fact i havent been able to get a reading below F5.8 need to get some white shower curtain as suggested by andrew in one of my posts so i can try to shoot almost open with the 50mm.

    The ebay seller is excellent, i paid for the item then 5 days later the item was at my door in rural victoria all the way from china,
    thanks very much for the link i checked it out and i actually think im going to buy this kit. I've done a bit of research on it and although I couldnt find much on the actual brand I did however find a lot of other photogaphers who have bought the exact same kit and seem to be very pleased with it for the price. The only worry I had was getting replacement bulbs, have you had any trouble getting hold of these Sammi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    Like “Which Camera” or which lens threads, you are going to get many different answers.

    I bought a set of “photogen” lights from ebay 18 months ago. The seller, envisage, is quite well known over at the overclockers forum and I hadn’t heard any bad stories or issues about him or his gear. All items are also distributed from Adelaide (as opposed to straight from china).

    The thing though is you need to determine how much power you really need. For most amateurs who try to setup in a home studio, quite a lot of these kits are way too powerful. I use a GN76 kit (never quite sure why people keep on touting the wattage, as it’s the GN that tells the real story, but the kit I have is 2 x 300w monoblock strobes) and they are 9 times out of 10 set to 1/32 (the lower setting). If you are using bigger spaces or setting up out doors, then you may need more power.
    yeah i'm familiar with envisage i've bought some gear off them in the past and they are really good, very reliable. It's just trying to find the right kit to suit me and my type of work I suppose but thanks very much for the point on how much power as I do know some newbies are buying kits with multiple 600W lights which for a small home studio is obviously a bit over the top :P

    thanks again

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    The only worry I had was getting replacement bulbs, have you had any trouble getting hold of these Sammi?
    The lights have a 12mth warrenty on them, unfortunatly the seller tells me that the flash bulb is not replaceable, the modeling globes are though, youll find most cheap kits will not allow the flash bulb to be replaced, if you want somthing that can be your probably better going with something like, alian bees or elinchrome but then your looking a fair bit of a price jump

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammi View Post
    The lights have a 12mth warrenty on them, unfortunatly the seller tells me that the flash bulb is not replaceable, the modeling globes are though, youll find most cheap kits will not allow the flash bulb to be replaced, if you want somthing that can be your probably better going with something like, alian bees or elinchrome but then your looking a fair bit of a price jump

    WOW I would avoid that immediately! No flash bulb can be replaced!? GAME OVER!

    my Bowens kit - the flash bulb and modeling light is replaceable in case it blows

    flash bulbs is the heart of any strobe lighting, and if you cannot replace it - then the strobe will make for a very expensive paperweight!

    modeling lights are just light bulbs - I buy them for 50 cents whenever mine on the Bowens die - they are expendable and you can live without them.

    My only advice is to buy systems where parts can be replaceable, why would you buy something if the parts cannot be replaced after the warranty is gone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    WOW I would avoid that immediately! No flash bulb can be replaced!? GAME OVER!

    my Bowens kit - the flash bulb and modeling light is replaceable in case it blows

    flash bulbs is the heart of any strobe lighting, and if you cannot replace it - then the strobe will make for a very expensive paperweight!

    modeling lights are just light bulbs - I buy them for 50 cents whenever mine on the Bowens die - they are expendable and you can live without them.

    My only advice is to buy systems where parts can be replaceable, why would you buy something if the parts cannot be replaced after the warranty is gone?
    While I am not doubting you, It would all depends on how much you use the units and what you would expect to be an expected life time.

    For someone like you, yep, I totally agree. Why would you go down this route. You need something that is serviceable and if there is a failure, you should be able to repair it quickly.

    But, the question I have to ask, are the flash units on your “Speedlite” replaceable?

    Now, lets not forget, I am an amateur, so when the kit that I bought came in at around the same price of a high end speedlite, it really didn’t seem as bad, even if there was a failure after the warranty period.

    That being said, the plan was to use it as is. If I wanted to upgrade in the future, then a named brand would be where I head.

    Just with alien bee’s. These were on my list at one stage as they are quite affordable. I did, though, get turned off them due to voltage issues. Does anyone know a user of these in Australia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    While I am not doubting you, It would all depends on how much you use the units and what you would expect to be an expected life time.

    For someone like you, yep, I totally agree. Why would you go down this route. You need something that is serviceable and if there is a failure, you should be able to repair it quickly.

    But, the question I have to ask, are the flash units on your “Speedlite” replaceable?

    Now, lets not forget, I am an amateur, so when the kit that I bought came in at around the same price of a high end speedlite, it really didn’t seem as bad, even if there was a failure after the warranty period.

    That being said, the plan was to use it as is. If I wanted to upgrade in the future, then a named brand would be where I head.

    Just with alien bee’s. These were on my list at one stage as they are quite affordable. I did, though, get turned off them due to voltage issues. Does anyone know a user of these in Australia?

    someone at work last yr told me it costed him just over $250 to get his bulbs replaced on a 580EXII after he cooked it to death by doing bursts for some sports thing - not too bad of a price I guess, instead of having to fork out 600 for a new unit.

    but yeah, I have read of ppl using Alien Bees in Australia, as long as its with the voltage adaptor thing - I think the company can supply that too for extra cost if u ask or order it when buying the strobes from them.

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