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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Bjorn planning to buy a studio flash kit, didn't expect that one coming, did you? I do though, wanna buy such a kit, and I need some advice, please. I won't bother you all with my reasons for buying studio equipment, but I'll just tell you that it's for portrait and still life photography.

First of all, let me just tell you what set I've been looking at:
Falcon Eyes SS150 F, which consists of:
- 2x flash 150ws SS150F
- 2x tripod 240cm
- 2x Softbox 50x70cm
- 1x Sync cable
- 2x 220 volt cable
I can't find an English link on Google at the moment, so I'll give you guys a link to the Dutch store here.

Some specs translated from that page:
- power: 100ws
- guide number: 42 (ISO100)
- adjustable power: full to 1/8th
- colour temperature: 5600K
- *permanent* light (?): 50 watts
- charging time: 4,5 sec. (after full power)

I have a couple of questions, which I'd very much like some people with experience or good knowledge to answer:
  1. Is the Falcon Eyes any good? As far as I can tell, their products seem to be good enough, but then again, I know close to nothing about all brands in studio equipment...
  2. What are the important disadvantages of buying a cheaper set? The main reason I'm looking into this set is the costs, obviously, it only costs a 175 euros, which is all I'd be willing to spend at the moment. But apart from difference in quality with higher-end sets, what would be the difference between the set above, and one that costs ten times as much?
  3. Which is more convenient, a softbox, or an umbrella? I've read more on both, and to me, the softbox seems the prefered option, but I'd like your opinion as well. Which one would work best for a beginner like me?

That's all questions I can come up with now, but it's late, so I might think of more tomorrow. Don't worry about answering only one question if you don't really have the time to answer all of 'em, all replies are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:08 pm 
I've never heard of the brand.

Re: lighting equipment, look for the build, power of the modelling light, dial adjust or digital power adjustments, cooling, and the refresh rate.

Cheaper equipment ends up with getting what you pay for - quality, durability & build wouldn't be stellar.

Softbox or umbrella? Either. If you know how to use lighting properly, it doesn't matter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:10 am 
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I'm not sure about that brand, or kit. If it was me, I would buy some alienbee's b400's (400 w/s) some ebay cheap softboxes (mr. studio one) and some cheap lightstands (mine are like just over 2m for 20usd each)

or just get some portable battery strobes.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:16 am 
JakeOConnell wrote:
I'm not sure about that brand, or kit. If it was me, I would buy some alienbee's b400's (400 w/s) some ebay cheap softboxes (mr. studio one) and some cheap lightstands (mine are like just over 2m for 20usd each)

or just get some portable battery strobes.


I believe the b400 are actually 160 watts, b800 are 320 watts and b1600 are 640 watts.

i have heard great things about these lights


EDIT: according to the website...

The B800 will perform 320 true wattseconds and 800 effective wattseconds of power.


what does that mean? is this 320w or 800w ?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Tomis wrote:
JakeOConnell wrote:
I'm not sure about that brand, or kit. If it was me, I would buy some alienbee's b400's (400 w/s) some ebay cheap softboxes (mr. studio one) and some cheap lightstands (mine are like just over 2m for 20usd each)

or just get some portable battery strobes.


I believe the b400 are actually 160 watts, b800 are 320 watts and b1600 are 640 watts.

i have heard great things about these lights


EDIT: according to the website...

The B800 will perform 320 true wattseconds and 800 effective wattseconds of power.


what does that mean? is this 320w or 800w ?


Honestly, not 100% sure how big of a deal 320w and 160w would be. Unless you're like trying to seriously overpower daylight..
I'd love to eventually get some Alien Bees gear, I've read that they make some amazing lights.

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Canon EOS 40D | 28-135mm IS | 50mm f/1.8 |Vivitar DF 383 | Vivitar 285hv
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"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Thanks for the replies so far guys!

One more question, I don't know whether you'll be able to answer, because it might be different on Nikon and Canon DSLRs: Is it possible to use the flash kit via the Sync cable, and at the same time, fire the pop-up flash to remotely fire my flashgun? Why I'd want to do that? I'd like to have a third light for illuminating the background.

I hope to go to the store where these sets are sold soon, try it and see whether I like it or not...

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Thanks again everyone who's responded so far. However, I don't really need any replies. After some time of considering, weighing up, I've decided not to buy the set, but I'll try renting one. I need it for just one day/evening, after that I'd have it for fun only, which at the moment seems too much like a waste of money.

Sorry!

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:44 pm 
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
One more question, I don't know whether you'll be able to answer, because it might be different on Nikon and Canon DSLRs: Is it possible to use the flash kit via the Sync cable, and at the same time, fire the pop-up flash to remotely fire my flashgun? Why I'd want to do that? I'd like to have a third light for illuminating the background.


No idea. I either use the CLS or studio lighting. I've not tried both in combination. CLS gets used more often with lighting external locations.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:54 am 
I always use CLS, with the Canon it's the same concept but a slightly toned down version of the Nikon. As for Sony and other brands you'll have to use a Pocket Wizard if you want wireless control.

However the Skyport system by Elichrom is what I now use with two Norman ML400 strobes. The pocket wizard proved to be overkill for me anyway.


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