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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:57 am 
I forgot to mention that I am going to use a Nikon D7000 digital camera with Nikkor 60mm F2.8 micro lens.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:27 pm 
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nikonfreak wrote:
- Light meter (becuase the camera cant measure strobe/flash light)


Correct. Some people will use the rear screen of digital cameras (and/or a computer) and use the histogram, but I think the meter is much simpler.

nikonfreak wrote:
1 or 2 strobes with softboxes and light stand.
Reflector (these are cheap).
radio triggers


Yes, these are useful tools.

nikonfreak wrote:
greycard dish to calibrate lightmeter offset


I am not sure whether this is mandatory.

nikonfreak wrote:
calibration tool for computer screen


This is certainly good for editing colours and exposure. If you print the images, even more useful.

nikonfreak wrote:
Do you think this is all I need?


I can't think of anything else at the moment, but there are obvious small accessories such as rechargable battieres, brackets, and cases for the equipment.

nikonfreak wrote:
How powerfull does the strobe need to be? (i.e. 200 watts? 300 500?)


This depends on your diffuser, how close the flashes are, and your preferred camera settings. You can purchase a bracket that takes multiple speedlites (3 together) to increase the flash power, if required. There are different systems available. There is no correct answer available for this, but the specifications of the strobes will state guide numbers. For instance, if you look at the Lencarta website, it shows accessories, settings, and distance you can to get a decent exposure.

nikonfreak wrote:
How big does the softbox need to be, it was my understanding that the bigger the softbox the softer the light so a big box seems better then a small one, or is this not the case? (i.e. hairlight needs to be smaller? to prevent shadows).


This principal is true, but soft boxes are not usually used for hairlights. Items such as honeycomb grids are used to direct the light into a specific tight space, and to ensure no light bounces off to affect any other areas of the subject. It is good that you asked the question.

nikonfreak wrote:
I am totally new to all this stuff but i have seen some kelby training videos and it looked not very complicated at all to set it up.


If you have a light meter, it should be a breeze. Generally with a multiple light setup, you set the main light to the power of the camera (politically correct by meters), then the fill light at a lower setting, say half of that power, and other lights perhaps even less. You should experiment and review your shots. Experience is the key.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:16 am 
Oke so what should I start with?

Should I buy Elinchrom?
They have nices sets of strobes including softboxes, carrying cases, skyport triggers and lightstands but not cheap.
I can go for other strobe brands but is it as good and how can you use the remote triggers on there. If i have to buy a bunch of pocket wizzds and other accessoiries i think i end up spending more money then going with elinchrom.

Also I need a lightmeter because the histogram only uses the jpg setting of the camera and is not for RAW.
I was thinking about buying sekonic. But which one do I need?
Is it good to have one that can calibrate the WB offset and have camera profiles?

My goal is (and in my opinion that should be the goal of every photographer) to have the photos as correct as possible, so white balance and exposure are spot on so i don't have to spend half an hour in post processing to correct all that every time i do a photo shoot.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Elinchrom are a good brand and considered one of the industry standard brands, but it depends if you need them. Pocketwizard is one of the most expensive brands of triggers, and can easily be avoided.

What country are you from?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:56 am 
I am from the Netherlands but I live in China untill september 2013 then i go back to the Netherlands (if the world does not end today).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:22 am 
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I was asking because there are different products available in different countries.

What you use for flash lighting could be - Speedlites (flashguns), mains powered, or 'hybrid'.

Speedlite - battery powered, low(er) power and fast
Mains powered - mains electricity, but slow
Hybrid - mains/battery, and fast

The hybrid is best of both worlds if you require speed, but it depends what you are shooting. If you don't require it, the mains powered are the best power for the price (with some), and Speedlites are portable and affordable. Prices do vary on specification though.

Mains powered usually have accessories available, like 40 odd, that just fit on straight away.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:19 am 
Yes thank you for your information. I don't want to use speedlights. The reason why is that with studio strobes and softboxes you can already see what the photo will look like. So if you make a portrait photo you can already position the light exactly how you want it and the photo will look exactly like that.

With speedlights i cannot autofocus in bad light conditions. And also it is hard for me what the light is going to look like with speedlight flash. Maybe it is something you can learn but i think it is so much easier with studio strobes.

Also if you buy lets say 2 Nikon SB-910 flash units, buy batteries, stands, softboxes, remote triggers it is about the same price or maybe higher then buy a Elinchrom studio kit with 2 BXR 500 watt studio strobes including stances and softboxes and remote triggers etc.. and you hav e more power if you need it.

Elinchrom BXR 500 watt studio kit with two 500w strobes, two stands, two softboxes, skyport, sync cable is about 1200 or 1300 euro
If i buy two Nikon SB 910 speedlights with a commander unit it is already 1000 euro, stands and softboxes.

So it is probably about the same prices but with less power available to you with speedlights.

I have been studying up a bit with some Scott kelby training videos and a lot of pros use Elinchrom studio strobes and not speedlights. Oke it sounds expensive but buy a couple of speedlights plus accessories and it is not really cheaper at all (although at first glance it may look that way).

I was thinking to have just wall socket powered units not with power packs because that is going to be to expensive to start with.

Let me emphasize that at this point in time I still can do a lot of studying up etc... And also it does NOT have top be elinchrom equipment it can be an other brand to but since all thos scott kelby instructors use all elinchrom equipment it almost looks wrong to not buy elinchrom. And also I have no idea what other bnrands are out there except a nikon speedlight flash unit.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:03 am 
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nikonfreak wrote:
Also if you buy lets say 2 Nikon SB-910 flash units


That is one of the highest end models on the market designed to be used as a 'Master'. If you ran multiple, you would probably look into something like the Yongnuo 560. I agree that they are expensive, and that is why I would prefer to use alternatives. I own one Canon 430 II as my main TTL flash, and the other Speedlites are third party. I am continually building though, but for reference, they are two YN 460's.

The Elinchrom studio kits are of a high standard, but what comes with that is the price tag. If you were to use a brand such as Lencarta, you would save funds. I don't endorse or own them yet, but have been following them, and they appear to offer good value for money.

I agree that power is important, and that is why Speedlites are not brilliant, but I am using them to get started with to save money, storage space, and expensive accessory prices, as some of the studio style diffusers can be expensive when the price adds up.

There is nothing wrong with using only two flashes, but you will probably want to use more. An example of this could be two on the background, and 3 on the foreground (main, fill, hair). That is 5 lights in total, imagen all of that in Elinchrom, the price tag of it.

nikonfreak wrote:
it almost looks wrong to not buy elinchrom.


That is what Elinchrom want you to think :D

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:50 pm 
I dont think you need a flash system for the background. Maybe just normal lamp.
And also if you go just for some Elinchrom D-lite RX2 and /or RX4 sets it is definitely not more expensive then a speedlight setup.

I am just not sure how much power I will need. d-lite 200Watss or BXR 250 watts have more speed, D-lite 400 Watt or BXR 500 watts have more power but less speed.

1 x Nikon SB-910 is 389 euro
Elinchrom D-lite RX4/4 set with 2 x 400 watts units, skyport system , light stands, softboxes and umbrella is 949 euro.
I think elinchrom is cheaper if you ask me.

Yes of course there arte cheaper alternatives but all we talk about is quantity of light, but what about quality of light.
I will look into lencarta when i have time.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:59 pm 
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The quality of the light, I think, is similar between speedlites and studio setups, and the images can be edited afterwards to adjust settings, such as colour. Build quality can be important if you are a professional, bashing the products around, throwing cases in and out of vehicles, but I think 'what the product does' comes first.

Do you require speed, for instance to freeze motion?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:21 am 
I don't see any reason for high speed flash at the moment. But If you need it later and don't have it then you have a I wish i had... moment.

For know I am looking at three options:

Elinchrom D-Lite ONE RX 100watt/s with 1/2200sec speed kit that is 579 euro
Elinchrom D-Lite RX 2 200watt/s with 1/1200sec speed kit that will be 839 euro
Elinchrom BXR 250 250 watt/s with 1/2750sec speed kit that will be 1039 euro.

All kit packages have two strobes and lightstands and softboxes.
I think i want two strobes one for main light and another for either background and or fill light or hair light.

I like to have color consistency throughout the shoots. I dont want some el cheapo 100 dollar strobe that the first shiot has good color and the next shot my photos have a blue haze and the next shot a green haze.

Of course you can use photoshop to correct but I think this is the wrong way to begin with. Fix everything in photoshop.
If you want to fix everything in photoshop in my opinion you are not a good photographer.

Of course it is a tool to rescue you from nasty things but it should not become the main focus to do everything in post processing. I got better things to do with my time.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:07 am 
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Speed is usually required to freeze motion, such as a model spinning around. For basic stills portraits, you don't really need it. Look how many studios go with the regular mains powered slower models. I have started using speedlites, and I see your concern about the absence of the modelling lamp, it isn't easy to see where the light is illuminating, but I usually shoot some test flashes, and this is mandatory for the meter to read from anyway.

The idea of using a lamp to illuminate the background was mentioned earlier in the conversation. You don't mean a desk lamp, do you? Any form of light should be adjustable, as the flashes will be. I would prefer to use the same platform for the whole shoot. Either all continuous, or all flash.

If you do wish to purchase the Elinchrom, you are investing in a quality product, but this depends on whether you want to pay for such build quality. The frequency of use will be another decision factor. I don't use my equipment often, therefore I prefer not to invest high funds into it.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:12 am 
Well I was thinking about buying an Elinchrom D-Lite ONE RX 100watt/s for 579 euro.

That is not to bad for the whole package including a complete wireless system, softboxes, light, stands etc... and also is fast (1/2200 sec).

I was first a bit concerned about having not enough power but after reading up a bit it seems that 500 watt models are to powerfull. And you can only stop them down 5 stops so even at lowest power setting they are already to bright to shoot at F2.8 for example.

I think the 100 watts set is a good start because i want to be able to shoot at F2.8 but also at F8 or F11.
If I run out of power I can always go from ISO 100 to ISO 200 which is one full stop extra, even ISO400 should be pretty clean on a Nikon D7000.

Maybe I can go for the 200 watt set elinchrom D-lite RX 2 complete studio set. which will be around 839 euro for a complete kit but it is not as fast (only 1/1200 sec) and maybe even a bit to bright already.

Before I buy I go to the dealer where I buy all my stuff and ask them for advice (they are professionals and sell all the pro stuff and I they let me try lenses etc... and get good trade in prices if i upgrade).


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Yep, whatever it takes to get you started ! :D

Do keep the thread updated with what you have purchased and how you are going, or start a separate one linked to here.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:16 am 
I am not going to buy it for a while but I was just checking what I would need to start a basic studio and how much it will cost.
At first I wanted to spend money on A Nikon D600 but I think the money goes now to a new strobe kit and a lightmeter.

The body is not that important unless you shoot above ISO1600/ISO3200 all the time. For good photos light and composition is way more important.


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