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First time - home studio lighting....
Old 05-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All... I have a question and would appreciate any insights y'all have to offer. I am finally creating my own home studio and am in the process of buying my lighting set up. In the past I have rented 1/375 w/s and 2/750 w/s lights and heads, a large softbox, a snoot, barndoors, and an umbrella.

I don't have an unlimited budget, so I am interested in hearing your suggestions for brand name, essential items, etc. Right now, I am starting from scratch bringing my shooting in house. I have ideas, but due to the importance of the endeavor want some second opinions.

Thanks and enjoy the holiday. BTW, I specialize in model portfolios, glamour, and editorial. Brian
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Re: First time - home studio lighting....
Old 05-28-2006, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I'm sure you'll get a lot of recommendations for Alien Bees, and I'd second that. And the Vagabond battery system is cool, too. You won't get anything better for the price.

I've never used them, but my next lighting system will likely be from Hensel. Alien Bees are monolights, and I really like using them on location, but I personally do prefer a pack system for studio work (right now I have one small Dyna-Lite pack, which I've never had any problems out of either, btw). Hensel seems to have all the bells and whistles I'd want without the Broncolor price tag. Several photogs here use Hensels and love them.

As for things like light modifiers, I only own one softbox, and it's a Westcott. I think it's great, and I'd buy their stuff again. I'm also looking at Photoflex's stuff, too. Their stuff seems less expensive overall, but from what I've heard here it's quality stuff.

Well, at least half of what I've said is about things I haven't actually used, but maybe it's at least a start?

Sam
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Re: First time - home studio lighting....
Old 05-28-2006, 09:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree that Alien Bees are good choices for starting out. I would suggest though that you invest in better quality accessories, such as PhotoFlex or similar, instead of going with the softboxes from AB. That way not only will you have a LOT better quality stuff to work with, but when you upgrade your lights one day to more professional equipment all you'll have to do is get new speed rings to mate the softboxes to your new stuff.

I started with Alien Bees and Photoflex softboxes. I recently upgraded to Hensel lighting (both Integra Pro Plus monolights for the studio the the Porty Premium AS/RC system for on-location) and all I needed was new speed rings.

Cheers!
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Wiring issues
Old 06-04-2006, 11:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As a side note on this topic, I'm wondering if anyone has any sage advice with respect to the hard wiring of a studio. I'm putting a modest home studio in my lower level, and the good/bad news is that the current electricall situation in th studio area needs to be enhanced. I'm in a newer home (less than 10 years old) so the base electrical system should be more than adequate. Other than "don't skimp on the number of outlets," are there any other suggestions that I should heed?
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Re: Wiring issues
Old 06-05-2006, 03:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpe Imago
As a side note on this topic, I'm wondering if anyone has any sage advice with respect to the hard wiring of a studio. I'm putting a modest home studio in my lower level, and the good/bad news is that the current electricall situation in th studio area needs to be enhanced. I'm in a newer home (less than 10 years old) so the base electrical system should be more than adequate. Other than "don't skimp on the number of outlets," are there any other suggestions that I should heed?
Consider placing some outlets at a convenient height. The conventional placement of outlets is down low - sometimes on the skirting board, sometimes about 1 foot off the floor. That's fine normally, but in a working space it can be much more convenient to put outlets around waist height (less bending!).

Also, it's a good idea to have all the outlets wired back to the switchboard on one or more separate circuits with their own circuit breakers. This is good for isolation (means you can power off the studio without affecting anything else), and it's especially useful considering that a studio may use a fair bit of power (if you are using hot lights, for example) - means you don't blow the breaker when a refrigerator kicks in. I'd suggest having a safety switch (RCD) on the circuit/s too.
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Re: Wiring issues
Old 06-08-2006, 01:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A RCD is a must. You shoudn't need more than 1 separate circuit. The most limiting factor for electrical devices is the rating of the power points themselves. They can only handle a certain current draw, but the circuit they are wired to can handle more than the points themselves, so spread your load over multiple power points.
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