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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:13 am 
Hello everyone. It has been awhile since you have heard from me, however, I'm on here almost everyday reading. I'm still in the learning process that I started years ago. Photography is a continuous learning process.

A year ago, I had purchased studio lights. Actually not long after purchasing my camera. My "studio" lighting setup includes continuous lighting, 3 light stands, Westcott 6-in-1 42" reflector kit, Photoflex backdrop kit and I have a couple backdrops, multiple carrying cases and thats about it. (Excluding camera related items and 580exII flash and Pocketwizards)

My lights are:
(1) Photoflex Starlite Kit
(1) Photoflex Octodome Kit

My problem is this:
I don't have a place for these lights so I barely use them. My original thoughts were that I would go to people's houses and set up if they wanted portraits done. I haven't done that yet. I have taken many photos for people: parties, family get-togethers, senior portraits, personal portraits, publicity photo shoot for a friend (for the back of his book) and out of everything that I have done, they were all done with my 580ex ii flash off camera, bouncing the flash with my reflector kit. And majority of them were outdoors, on location.

I'm thinking about getting a mobile mono-light setup. Possibly Alien bees with a Vagabond II battery pack(?). My question is this: Should I sell my continous lights to fund a portable, on-location setup?

I might be taking a big loss though. I have a couple options:
1) Sell everything, buy new. Including new softboxes and stands. (My thought is that I'm more likely to sell everything together than just two light fixtures with bulbs)
2) Sell lights only, buy new lights and buy new speedrings for my softboxes (that I would keep).
3) Keep the lights, save up and buy a portable setup in addition to what I have. (Money is a problem)

I also have another concern: Photoflex sells two different, but similar, types of softboxes. One of them is for continuous and the other is for strobes. If I bought alien bees and bought the photoflex softbox connector to match, would I get good results using the boxes I have that are designed for cont. lights?

So, If I sell what I have, it would include: (2) continuous light fixtures, (2) 1000w bulbs, (1) 500w bulb, (1) medium softbox, (1) medium octodome softbox, (2) speedrings.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:03 am 
I am by no means an expert in lighting. I'm learning at the moment myself. But It seems to me that equipment you never use sitting there is a big waste of money and resources. If you feel that you will use a lot of off camera speed lights instead of a continuous lighting rig then by all means sell what you have and buy some great pro gear in exchange. With the amount of money you have into your lighting gear you can certainly pick up an Alien B and a couple more speed lights + a soft box or two and a good umbrella set up. These will be easier to move and so much more versatile for location shooting where your hauling a lot of gear around.

My advice.. sell everything .. buy new.. and buy what you will use on a daily basis.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:44 pm 
Thanks Slick3358

I was leaning towards that when I initially decided that something must be done. But I still wanted to get some other insight before making a decision.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:24 am 
I was in a similar situation when it came to deciding what type of lights to buy. I gave up on the studio lights as most of what I do is on location lighting, and a power socket is not always available. In addition to that, having wires snaking around the place adds an element of risk to both gear and subject.

That's the reason I've gone over to using a pair of flash guns. They're faster to set up, lack wires trailing all over the place, support TTL metering. The only downside is the lower power output and the possibility of running out of juice midway through a shoot. I've found that a good set of 2700 mAh batteries can power my flash guns for over 300 shots at ISO 200. If I bump up the ISO, that number is just going to increase. Since they're AA batteries, you could also just buy a few spares. So no worries about the power supply.

You can get some decent lights from Metz for a reasonable price.

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