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best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ok... I have $400.... I have a Camera, speedlight flash, tripod.....and do you guys think the next thing I need is a desent light? and to get a light and stand with maybe a softbox for under $400 what should I get?
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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in other words am I waisting my money looking into cheap lights or should I try to get an umbrella and use my speedlights? hmmm... I wish I had rich parents... or a better paying job... Thanks guys.
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For the past two years, 100% of my photography was accomplished with a D100, two speedlight (one with an optical slave) and two umbrellas. That equipment paid for itself several times over and produced great images (with a little help from my favorite equipment -- Photoshop). Two weeks ago I was all set to spend $400 for an Alien Bee B400 and a softbox. I did my research, and discovered that they're some of the best lights for the money. Then, an old friend decided to get out of the photography business and give me his old Norman strobe system and two 36" Broncolor softboxes. I just did my first shoot with the "studio" lights and they're beyond fantastic. If you can afford even one B400, you'll be happy.

Here are some of my first images with the new lights. Everything else on my website and portfolio are with speedlights.


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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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alien bee 400........but that is only one light.......


could look into getting some Smith Victor Hot Lamps
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I bought a cheap ($500) set of 4 Britek lights from an ebay shop when I first got started and they served me very well for over a year and a half. I know that's not long when comparing them to the longevity of higher end professional lights, but they served me well for what I paid for them.

I recently upgraded to 4 DynaLites, and while I expect them to last many years, I paid out the rear for them.

A year may be just the right amount of time to learn a little about strobe lighting in the traditional way (3 or 4 light setups), and give you time to save for a nicer set.

Here is an ebay auction selling 2 Briteks. The set I got way back when had these two heads, a backlight and a boom with strobe, a couple umbrellas, a couple light stands, etc. ebay auction

Good luck!

P.S. I am not endorsing this ebay auction in any way, just pointing out the type of strobes I started out with.
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-02-2004, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
ok... I have $400.... I have a Camera, speedlight flash, tripod.....and do you guys think the next thing I need is a desent light? and to get a light and stand with maybe a softbox for under $400 what should I get?

[/ QUOTE ]

If I was at that stage for equipment, I'd go for a couple of light stands, an umbrella and shoe mount for the speedlight, and a 3'x4' reflector.
Also, don't rule out the 50 to 70 ws flash heads that screw into a standard bulb socket. You can get a master and a couple of slaves of that style for around $150. They won't give you f16, but they'll make decent photos. - Tim
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-03-2004, 07:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Incidentally, Calumet Photo is having buy one, get one free on softboxes. You can get two for under $100. If you were feeling thrifty, you could buy one, get one free, and sell one of 'em. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Here's a link:

Buy one get one free softboxes

You can look for the "Sale Spot" link to see more stuff. All their light stands are also on sale.

M
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Re: best $300 lights
Old 04-03-2004, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Look into the Alien Bees lights but Paul C. Buff. They are very nice for their price.
http://www.alienbees.com/
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