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Archive 2013 · What Lights do You Use and Why?
  
 
316shooter
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Profoto. Not because they are snobby, European lights. But rather for these simple reasons. 1. The mount alone is priceless to me when working quickly, and assistants love them. Not to mention even the heaviest banks are rock-solid without worry of falling off. 2. Color fidelity is amazing and reduces time in post. 3. Durability. In the decade I've owned them, I've had exactly two repairs. Both my own fault. 4. I can rent them if needed in any major city. 5. Simplicity/ease of use. My preference is simple dials and rocker switches as opposed to digital buttons to adjust power. 6. Modifiers. Perhaps others don't see the value in these but I often employ the magnum, narrow beam, and globe. I have yet to find other mods that compare, and I have experimented with other brands.

Those are the highlights among other reasons for the investment. Yes, initial cost is high. But honestly the acute-series is quite reasonable. That series is what I use most. For a hobby, probably overkill. But if making a living with lights, or even thinking of that down the road, I think it makes sense to invest in long-term gear. That is not to bash on any other brand at all.. just my opinion on gear that has served me well.



Feb 19, 2013 at 02:14 PM
rico
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


316shooter wrote:
Profoto. ... 6. Modifiers. Perhaps others don't see the value in these but I often employ the magnum, narrow beam, and globe.

I fully agree, budget permitting. The quality and utility of Profoto modifiers make a very satisfying experience. Magnum is great, although I have drifted to the fresnel look (portraits, tabletop). I also like the ProBox, and wish they would make a more affordable StillLight (Bron Hazylight). Narrow beam is great for throwing light but, man, it's hard for direct light (even for me ).



Feb 20, 2013 at 01:35 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I started with AB's and WL's, then added Einstein's when they were introduced nearly 3 years ago. The original Einstein's had significant issues with the mounting fingers, but in true PCB fashion, the issue was addressed at no cost. Since getting the updated Einstein's, everything else sits on the shelf. PCB made monolight's affordable to the masses, and they're still being used by photographers at all levels. If money is an issue, the Einstein's will be pretty hard to beat.


Feb 20, 2013 at 03:50 AM
jzucker
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


went through several sets of lights from photogenic to alien bees to elinchrom to einsteins. The einstens are by far the best of the lot in terms of features and reliability. The elinchroms were overpriced, underfeatured and horribly unreliable. Major melt-downs on several of them and their customer support and service is *HORRIBLE*.

Buff lights aren't perfect. I'm not crazy about the mount but performance, power range, flexibility, etc., are head and shoulders above anything else except maybe the profotos. And the service is the best in the industry, PERIOD.



Feb 22, 2013 at 06:02 PM
johnvanr
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I picked up a good deal on Profoto several years ago and slowly add more when I see other good deals. That said, it's an expensive system overall and probably not worth it for the little bit I'm shooting. Still, for me it's cheaper to keep it than building up a similar system in another brand.


Feb 27, 2013 at 10:46 PM
charleychen
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Lumedynes can be had for pretty cheap in the used market. They're fairly portable and very simple to use.


Feb 27, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Michael White
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I've got a pair of Speedotron lights ans a pack but fairly use them. I use my speedlites most of the time. I've got a 580ex2,2x 580ex and 2x 550ex speedlites that I trigger with Pocket Wizard (mini, ac3, 5x flexes and 2x plus2s) I've got brackets that allow me to use beauty dish, umbrellas, grids, barndoors, shoots, reflectors and octa boxes. If one isn't enough ill use more than one to get the power I need.


Feb 28, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Deezie
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Profoto D4 pack and heads. Terrific lights for studio shooting. A pleasure to use. Honestly, I miss my old Hensel Integra monolights. Not the digital version - the older units that came just before them. Built rock solid, easy to use, reliable, not too heavy, nice modifier mount. Wished I'd never sold them.

Edited on Mar 03, 2013 at 07:06 PM · View previous versions



Feb 28, 2013 at 02:57 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I've got one AB400 and recently acquired an WL X1600 to go with it in the PCB stuff. The polycarb of the AB series makes them lightweight (but also a bit less durable). The WL series is built like a tank (and weighs like one). The mounting fingers on the AB400 is less robust than the WL.

The AB's are definitely bang/buck ... if you can take care of not beating on them through the rigors of change/move all day long, every day. They also work for me, with my modifiers because I'm using fairly small modifiers. If I were using huge boxes, I'd likely want something more secure than the finger system of the AB's, even if just for "peace of mind".

I've got a couple of Bowens mount knock-offs I picked up dirt cheap. The locking mount has a more secure feel to it with the larger softboxes than the fingers of the AB's.

I've got no experience with others, and may pick up an Einstein in the future to go along with my AB / WL ... but, if I were thinking about LARGE modifiers, I'd have to at least look into the Bowens or others. Elinchrom didn't do much for me (in the store) as it just "felt cheap" (with a big price tag) when I handled it.

PCB service and bang for the buck scores well with many people ... but the AB lineup polycarbonate is a double edged sword (light vs. durable), and the mount is adequate but not overly confidence inducing for very large items incurring a lot of movement of on/off action ... while it works like a champ with my globe and small BD.



Feb 28, 2013 at 05:33 AM
ukphotographer
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I can tell you what I have shot, but not what I'm going to be asked to shoot and the same applies to any situation you care to mention.. you don't know what you're going to need until you're actually there doing it.

Speedlights are pretty easy to use in Manual but they have loads of useful features making them versatile and easy to use, I don't see why I need to give any of that up just because I need a higher output. For that reason I use Quantum.

I could list the restrictions.. but those would be less than any other system available.

Trio, T5d-R's, X5d-R's all have their place at different output levels. They can all be used together as a system or separately. Beyond this capability, conventional monolights or power packs can be used and added to the mix, or just used entirely.

Favourite/Most Versatile: X5d-R, 400Ws controlled by CoPilot.



Feb 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM
 

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RDKirk
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Interestingly, a photographer portrayed on a "Grey's Anatomy" episode a few weeks ago was shooting with Einsteins.

But I went with Buff years ago primarily because of their remote power control system, which was and is very important to me as a one-man show with a preference for fairly complex lighting setups on location. Today, they still have the most comprehensive remote power control system (albeit a bit fiddly, but with great comprehensiveness seems to come great fiddliness) at any price.

I also like Buff's on-location power options better.



Mar 03, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Two23
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I actually have two sets of light, depending on what I'm trying to light up. When I need portability and can get by with relatively low power, I use x7 old Nikon SB-25 flash on lightweight Raven RS8 stands. These are triggered by CyberSyncs (I have about a dozen.) These give me exposures around f4 & ISO 800, twice that if the ground is snow covered. When I need a lot more power, I have x7 White Lightning X3200 monolights, each with a 13 ft. stand and a Vagabond battery. With the LRT reflectors these give me plenty of reach for things like bridges across wide rivers etc. It's about 10,000ws of power. I have rarely felt the need for more. I'm a big fan of Paul Buff gear. It works even at 30 below zero, and the service/support is excellent!



Kent in SD

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh123/NoctFoamer/AllanHouse.jpg

Edited on Mar 03, 2013 at 06:46 PM · View previous versions



Mar 03, 2013 at 06:43 PM
dougfatheruk
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


The Elinchrom Brxi is excellent, they save a lot of dicking around.

The ability to be able to trigger and adjust the power without going near the lights is a huge bonus.

The 250's kick out a shed load more light than a speedlight and I often find myself wanting less even on the minimum power setting.



Mar 03, 2013 at 06:44 PM
thumphrey
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I started with Profoto. Can't say enough about what a good mount they have. Then I began to need portability. Went the Quantum route for a while. Sold my Profoto equipment and jumped into Elinchrom with both feet. I bought 2 Ranger RX Speed units and later got a Quadra. The Quadra gets the most use because of it's convenience. Elinchrom modifiers are beautiful, but the ELinchrom mount is not in the league of Profoto's. The Quantum kit is awesomely adequate, but unless you are buying used, they are expensive to put a kit together. In closing, I am very happy with my Elinchrom equipment. Very reliable.


Mar 03, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Thats Fresh
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Alien Bees
- Wedding formals and reception lighting
- They are small and pack light. Usually just need light for fill or backlighting. I can use them with Vagabonds and stick them anywhere

Profotos
- Headshots, studio, location
- consistency, power, built in pocket wizards




Mar 05, 2013 at 03:54 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


ukphotographer wrote:
Speedlights are pretty easy to use in Manual but they have loads of useful features making them versatile and easy to use, I don't see why I need to give any of that up just because I need a higher output. For that reason I use Quantum.

I could list the restrictions.. but those would be less than any other system available.


You should be able to squeeze two of those Quantums in the new Lastolite Ezybox II modifiers, which would further reduce the "restrictions".



Mar 08, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Corojo
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I have Eilinchrom, Photogenics, Quantum TD's and Canon speedlights. Looking today, I'd pop for PB AB 800 stuff (w/invertors for location work). However, the QUALITY of your lights (whatever brand) depend on what you put around them - don't scrimp on your light modifiers (I prefer Larson). All light sources will work when used within their limits. Started playing around last month w/daylight ballanced flourescent lights. They work too.


Mar 08, 2013 at 11:58 PM
ukphotographer
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


BigIronCruiser wrote:
You should be able to squeeze two of those Quantums in the new Lastolite Ezybox II modifiers, which would further reduce the "restrictions".


You could quite easily mount two together for 800ws, but output has never been a restriction and I have never needed to mount two together before. I use the 400ws units mainly, If I ever had to consider squeezing two of anything in anywhere I think I'd just use something else instead.

I suppose an advantage of the Quantum system in this respect would be that if you ever did want to use 2x, 3x, 4x..or whatever amount of heads together for some purpose, you could use them all controlled by only the one radio receiver and daisy chain the heads together by control cables, or if you have radios already on every head, simply group them together.



Mar 09, 2013 at 12:09 AM
marioalejandro
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


Hey Stuart,
Have used Novatrons, comets, Speedotrons, Bowens, AB's, Broncolor, and have settled on Photogenic Powerlights. I shoot everything on location, headshots and team sports and events, soooo, weight 5.8lbs ea, 500ws, very consistent light temperature, contralable from camera position, no BS light modifiers and very, very sturdy. Oh, and color corrected flash tubes. Hit me up with any addtl questions if you like.
mario



Feb 16, 2014 at 10:45 PM
irish-george
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · What Lights do You Use and Why?


I've been using Bowens for more than 25 years now with no complaints and no equipment failures. My Prolites are still doing fine and the color temp varies about 200 Kelvin with power on those. I also have their Elite and Gemini (but haven't measured color temp on those). The modifier selection on Bowens is great and they have a nice bayonet mount.


Feb 16, 2014 at 11:00 PM
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