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Archive 2013 · Newbie Lightning help

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Newbie Lightning help

Hello everyone,

I just started learning flash photography, recently I bought sb-25 and have been using it to learn lightning and looking at online learning resources I see everyone using at least two or more lights. Since I just did some spring-cleaning to free up cash I have around $350 + $100 give or take to invest on my hobby. I am planning to buy some light so wondering if you guys can help me out.

Here are some of the products I am thinking about

Interfit Photographic EXD200 ( link ) $429.99

Yongnuo YN560-II ( link )x 2 $149.98 plus light stands and umbrella and soft box

AlienBees™ B400 Flash Unit (AlienBees ) x2 $450-10%(student discount) = $405 plus shipping and light stands and umbrella and soft box

Mar 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Newbie Lightning help

Help on the product selection or determining if you need more lights? It's based on what you are trying to do.

Though the B400 and EXD200 are not the most powerful lights, I still would not place them in the same decision making category as the YN560. The Yongnuo (and nearly any other hotshoe type flash) are great for portability, but are less powerful than the other two in you list. The Yongnuo is not exactly interchangeable with the others.

Even with the above said I would still suggest the YN560 based on what you have and where you are starting out. You can train yourself on proper lighting with your SB-25 and the two YN560s....though you can do the same with your current SB-25, a reflector, and proper placement of ambient light too.

There are TONS of options to consider but it all boils down to what, where, and how you plan to shoot. In other words, your interest.

This guy in this thread bought gear but he didn't know why nor how he was going to use it. Don't fall into that situation. Get an idea of what you want to shoot and use what you have to max it out first. Go from there. Don't purchase just because you see others with 2 and 3 lights. The sun is a light. A reflector can create light. Etc.

Mar 07, 2013 at 05:33 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Newbie Lightning help

Although the monolight strobes have advantages if you're working from a fixed studio location, if you want to use them outdoors away from an A/C power source you'll need to add a battery+inverter unit.

Flash guns lack modeling lights, and are less powerful than strobes, but unless your experience shows that you need more power than your SB-25 offers I'd echo Cordell's suggestion that you get the Yongnuos or similar.

If you want to experiment with soft boxes, beauty dishes, and so forth, there are versions of them designed for use with flash guns. I use such equipment myself (see below); the only major downside is having to charge a lot of rechargeable AA cells, but the advantage of portability trumps that disadvantage for me.

Mar 07, 2013 at 08:52 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Newbie Lightning help

Thanks a lot guys i might just get two more speed light and some diffuser equipment. BrianO what brand is your softbox, umbrella and beauty dish. It looks awesome.

cordellwillis thanks for all the tips.

Mar 08, 2013 at 05:28 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Newbie Lightning help

rollingpebble wrote:
...BrianO what brand is your softbox, umbrella and beauty dish. It looks awesome.

The soft box is a Westcott 28" Apollo; it's specifically designed to work with flash guns, but can also take monolights if you get those later.



The umbrella is a Photoflex 60" Convertible:


The beauty dish is an RPS Studio 20" BeautiDish, and the small dish on the boom is an RPS Studio 12" BeautiDish. The latter is too small to be used as a traditional beauty dish, but I use it on the boom as a hair light or accent light. It comes with a sock, and I also got the optional grid. (The larger dish comes with the sock and grid.)

Interestingly, a search of the RPS Studio Web site doesn't show either BeautiDish, so they may be discontinued. I do find them still offered at Adorama:



The boom stand shown (I have two) is a Manfrotto 420B Combi Stand, and can be switched from vertical stand to boom stand with a flick of a lever. Very handy.



Mar 08, 2013 at 08:09 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Newbie Lightning help

Lots of options when purchasing 1st. set of lights. VERY CONFUSING. Speedlights are small/portable w/less power/poor recycle times (unless using a HV pac, which increases the price) than Monolights/studio pack lights. Need to determine where you want to be in a few years. ETTL w/speedlights VERY expensive/best to learn w/manual output. 2/3 speedlights (same power), same price as a Monolight. I'd pop for the PB stuff - using optical slave/manual mode diffused (small softbox) on camera fill. Down the road could pick up the Vagabond inverter for location work. Make sure that what you purchase now will have use later. When you get your large studio (down the road), the AB can be used as background/hairlight. Have no PB stuff here but he seems to be a great vendor. Might look for used gear here on FM. Just my opinion. Good Luck.

Mar 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

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