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Thread: Home Lighting Setup

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    Member Wingnut's Avatar
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    Home Lighting Setup

    I am looking to create a small (i.e. in my study) space to setup to shoot small items. What are the things I will need to look at purchase.

    Just go the basics at the moment, camera and tripod. I am assuming a small softbox would be the thing I need but what extras do you need? Can you purchase a "kit" somewhere?
    Last edited by Wingnut; 15-01-2011 at 1:35pm. Reason: grammer
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    Hi
    I recently had to do a product shoot at short notice - not something I had ever done previously - and the results were very "so-so". So I have been looking for options (wounded professional pride) - and came across this from a site sponsor - looks ideal to me, especially for the price - but haven't tried it. However, you may wish to consider this set-up, depending on the size of the item you have in mind. Let me know how you go - just in case I get another impromptu request!
    http://protog.com.au/light-tents-c-50.html

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    It's quite surprising how little you can actually get away with for a small space.

    I just managed(just now) to shoot a few macro shots all in low light, in my kitchen(more floorspace than my study ATM) with nothing more than a torch, a few plastic cups, a large ice cream container, at magnifying glass at one stage, and then I eventually brought out the speedlight(Nikon SB800).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
    I am looking to create a small (i.e. in my study) space to setup to shoot small items. .......
    Because you have the benefit of a small space, lighting requirements should be kept modest for now. At least one manufacturer(ie,. of your camera brand) is a good idea, only because they will be known to work perfectly with your camera.
    For supplemental flash/speedlight lighting, the cheapie Yongnuo and so forth can work well. Could be slightly different in colour compared to your manufacturer speedlight, but this is usually not an issue unless you are seriously into professional quality reproduction work. I'm guessing you are not and may be, in fact, looking to do some fooling around.

    What camera brand?
    What level of expenditure are you looking at? Makes it easier (for others)to recommend stuff. I generally don't recommend anything in terms of lighting, other than Nikon's Speedlights for their brilliant versatility.

    I'm going to head back into the kitchen to my silly salad chef experimentation ... I even tried a standard 12" flat ceramic plate as a reflector diffuser at one point, nothing overly fancy, just like the one you eat your dinner off... but it didn't work as I wanted it too.

    so.. basically!! Your options can be as simple and cheap(or free) such as powerful torches(I like the cheapie Aldi high powered LED torches) and empty ice-cream containers... or the other end of the spectrum where the sky's the limit.
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    I have a Nikon D90. Looking at just that, fooling around taking photos of stuff, glasses, bottles, tools, jewellery etc. Have done some but light is the main problem.

    I really don't have a budget in mind. Any advice would be welcomed.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
    I have a Nikon D90. ....

    I really don't have a budget in mind. ....


    for a quick and easy setup, to get you started in the minumum of time, a pair of SB700's or SB900's would be ideal. This would allow you almost limitless flexibility for this study studio you want to start off with.
    I think having two portable speedlights is never a waste, even if you end up with vastly more powerful lighting needs for a larger studio environment.

    As the D90 has the ability to control Nikon's wireless capable speedlights, having two external powerful lights such as any of the SB600/700/800/900, allows you to place the lights in any positions(within reason of course) with no danger of tripping over wires and suchklike. Of course there are various radio trigger solutions available as well, whcih you can mate to thirdparty flashes and save yourself a few hundred dollars, but the ease and efficiency in how the wireless Nikon Speedlights work is worth the extra money spent
    Note tho, whilst any of the 600, 700, 800, and 900 speedlights work well in wireless mode, the SB700 and 900's are far more easy to set up than the SB800 and 600's. Note too, SB600's are the only one of the family that can't operate as a master controller for the wireless sytem.

    As I said earlier, I was only just playing around with some ideas I've had, and how cheap lighting can be made to work to a specific requirement.
    My need was very basic, the kitchen quite dark.. as in f/16 without any external lighting would have required shutter speeds of 10-20s or so, but this lil ripper torch I got a while back from Aldi for $10, works very well(and I want a few more eventually if they ever stock them again.

    here's an image that I was about to post up:



    and then I added some other 'artistic' influences, like opaque coloured cups(for tint and so forth) and also as a 'backdrop' in some cases, to colour the background.

    Here's a list of what I had around at the time:


    the torch in the lower LH corner of the frame is the Aldi torch, which is a head worn type. They also had a handheld as well, but I thought that the head mounted type seemed more flexible. It has a variable power output, and this torch is literally!! blindingly bright, even at it's lowest power setting, and a focusing adjustment, although not quite as good as the $100 equivalent name brand models, but it at least allows you some ability to concentrate or diffuse light a little bit.
    I'm thinking I could easily setup 5 of these on some kind of carrier device to diffuse light and spread it more evenly around a subject(good for macro and closeup stuff).
    Of course a torch(or a series of them) is not going to give you the same type of light as a speedlight can give, especially a wireless one where you can literally hold it only a centimeter from the subject if you need too, so I also pulled out the SB800 to add some more variation to the light conditions.

    I reckon at the moment, the SB700 is possibly still inflated in price compared to the SB900(eg. DWI prices: SB900=$445, SB700=$439!! ) so a pair of SB900's for less than $1K is going to give you a ton of bang for your dollar. May sound expensive, but I think it's the best value for money way to go.

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Arthur, I can't believe you actually shot that frame above through the Dick Smith magnifier. I wouldn't have thought that possible.....but on the other hand, just about anything is. Very, very inventive
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Didn't shoot that particular frame with the magnifier, the alligator clips work well as restraints on recalcitrant subject material

    Eventually tho, I did shoot through the magnifier too, and the shots are OK(the glass has horrendous optical properties), and also tried 'diffusing/magnifying' the light sources as well shining the torch and the speedlights through the magnifier onto the subject... just to see what'd happen.

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    Thanks Arthur for the advice. I have been thinking of the SB900's as I need something better than the inbuiilt flash on the camera which sucks, but I wanted something that could be fired off camera, and these are perfect I think. I agree, stay with the same brand and eliminate the hassles (I have enough of those already!)

    I have an LED torch ($5) so will have a play with it, but I doubt I will get as brilliant a result as these photos which are fantastic for the kit you used.

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    Hi Wingnut,
    There are many options when it comes to lighting; one method I use is simple and works with my Nikon D90 & D300S.
    The camera is setup as the command unit whilst the speedlights (SB-900,800 and 600's) can all be setup as slaves.
    The camera can be setup so that when the popup is raised, it triggers the remotes but doesnt flash.
    If youre budjet wont stretch to a SB-900 then check out fleabay for a 2nd hand SB-800, they are quite affordable at present.
    An SB-600 would be ok if all you wanted was to camera mount or use as a slave, they are easy to use but dont have all the features of others.
    Good luck ...

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