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Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-28-2007, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all,
I'm just starting doing portraits and glamour shots and am currently running with a 2-light alien bees system but want to upgrade to a Hensel system, becuase I know I will eventually and might as well do it now.
What I need help on is the best place to buy and the best set-up you all recommend. I currently have a b400 and b800 with a 22" beauty dish as my only "accessory" besides the umbrellas that came with the kit. I'd like something similar and would love to have a portable pack as well.
My budget isn't as high as I'd like it to be. Where would you guys recommend I go to find a good package and price and what do you think will work best for me?
All advice is appreciated!
And if anybody wants any Alien Bees mine are up for sale
-JESSICA
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 05:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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B&H and Samy's Camera have competative pricing on Hensel syatems. I bought a two light system from B&H last year and added a third light this year. Kit comes with umbrellas which I don't use and a small softbox good for only a headshot.

I got a hensel beauty dish which I use a lot and a 5 ft octobox which is a pain to setup and tale apart so it stays setup most of the time.

I got the 'pro' system with the built in trigger that works very well.

My last order from B&H was a disaster of customer service, so I'm trying Samy's for my next purchase.

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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 07:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A) How much do you want for the ABs?

B) This isn't the advice you want, but if I were you, I'd spend the money on good modifiers - say a Plume softbox or such, which will give you additional control and capabilities, rather than upgrade your lights. Even though you may get more quality and reproducibility (not to mention more "effective W-s") with the Hensels, it seems a strange choice (to me, at least) for a beginner to do that rather than to gain more varied tools.
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jford View Post
This isn't the advice you want, but if I were you, I'd spend the money on good modifiers - say a Plume softbox or such, which will give you additional control and capabilities, rather than upgrade your lights. Even though you may get more quality and reproducibility (not to mention more "effective W-s") with the Hensels, it seems a strange choice (to me, at least) for a beginner to do that rather than to gain more varied tools.
I have to agree with this advice.
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 12:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I third what Jford said... definitely. I've seen books on photography where the author is using alien bees... if they're good enough for that audience I'm sure they'll work well for a newb.
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If there is some other light you want for a specific reason, get it. But don't get it thinking the light output will be a different quality from the ABs. ABs are fine.

Even if you do get something else, hang onto the ABs. I use Dynalites but have a few ABs for this and that. They're what I take with me when I go somewhere to shoot on location.
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-29-2007, 04:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The only reason I'm wanting to upgrade now is that I'm starting to need to invest in more modifiers and accessories and don't want to be spending more money on this system if I know I'm going to be upgrading and selling this equipment down the road anyways.
Thank you for everybody's advice!
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-30-2007, 06:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the majority, keep the AB's (use WL UZ 1600s myself, a bit more easily compatible with accessories) and get a vagabond pack for the portability.
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Re: Switching set-ups, need advice
Old 03-30-2007, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jess,

I see and agree with your point about not wanting to mix modifiers. However, unless you need the cash flow from the sale of the AB's, perhaps you should hold onto them as we can never have to many lights.

An umbrella will fit ANY light and you can get a speed ring for any flash.

I sometime permanently mount lights to the ceiling for background washes and fill lights and I don't' want to have to take them up and down and re-balance when I go on location, so they can stay there. The AB's are a very cost effective for that type of use.

Also I keep a small portrait kit assembled with just two lights and umbrellas for those quickie shots on location and they could fill that niche as well.

And finally, as accent lights and kickers they are very flexible.

I wouldn't worry about those few posts who talk about inexpensive flashes not holding f:stops or color balances. I am sure the AB's will work just fine.
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