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Archive 2013 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash sys...
  
 
hpfish10
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


Hi, I have the Nikon D800 camera, and am thinking to set up a beginner portrait light system at home.
I contemplate these 2 options:
- 2 Flashpoint 600 mono lights
or
- 1 Nikon 910 and 1 Nikon 700 flash system. I don't own any flash, so I will need to buy both.


I have been into landscape/travel photography, and want to get into portrait photography.
What would you recommend and what are pros/cons of each option?
Thanks for any comments.



Dec 04, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


Do you only want to work at a home studio, or will you also want to do field work that requires battery power? The speed lights have less light, and no modeling light, but are battery powered. The Flashpoint monolights have an LED modeling light, which may not be as bright as some other monolights, and they look like they have an option for adding a battery for field work.

If you are leaning toward monolights for studio type use, you may want to look in to Paul Buff gear, perhaps a pair of Alien Bee monolights. They have a brighter modeling light, which is useful. Might cost a bit more to start with, but in the long run a better system with lower long term costs. And the Paul Buff battery pack system can allow you to use the monolights in the field.




Dec 04, 2013 at 10:28 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


You can do a lot with one light and a reflector panel or two, so you could start with one monolight and add more later.

A Speedlight is also something that I think you need, for times when you want to add more light while on the go.

One option would be to get one Speedlight and one monolight, and get a monolight that will work with Speedlights so you can use both at the same time.

http://www.elinchrom.com/product/D-Lite-RX-ONE.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/906641-REG/elinchrom_el_20485_1_d_lite_rx_one_100ws.html

(Don't let the B&H site's poor wording confuse you; this isn't a flash head, it's a complete monolight.)




Dec 05, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Etienne Otero
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


you'd be surprised of what magic can come out of just a flash and a soft box, perhaps a reflector... in portraits less is better but you must get it right


Dec 07, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Deezie
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


You have a lot more options using monolights in terms of modifiers. Generally speaking, large soft boxes or any large modifier, for that matter, provides less contrast, which is more flattering to the human skin. With enough experience you can utilize complimentary light through on-camera flash or available light. It comes down to your personal aesthetic preferences.

If you decide to purchase monolights, I would recommend that you buy a brand other than Flashpoint. Something like the Einsteins or Elinchrom would be better because once your skill set really goes up, you won't have to reinvest in a new set of lights. Both of these brands will serve you well for a very long time.



Dec 07, 2013 at 04:18 PM
 

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Waki
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


An SB-910 with a 60" Softlighter II coupled with a $4 30x40 white foam board from office max works pretty well for a portrait. The Softligther can also be used with a moonlight later on too as you grow.


Dec 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM
bvphotos
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


BrianO wrote:
One option would be to get one Speedlight and one monolight, and get a monolight that will work with Speedlights so you can use both at the same time.



Don't all monolights work with speedlights. In the sense that the monolight could be put in slave mode and triggered by the speedlight?



Dec 14, 2013 at 12:48 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


bvphotos wrote:
Don't all monolights work with speedlights. In the sense that the monolight could be put in slave mode and triggered by the speedlight?


If the speedlight is in manual mode, so that it emits no preflash(es), yes, but in ETTL/iTTL mode or if using the speedlight's CLS/Wireless Control system, where one or more preflashes precede the main pulse the monolights would be triggered prematurely. The Elinchroms can be programmed to ignore the preflashes; this has been a feature since the D-Lite i.t. (Intelligent Triggering) model.



Dec 14, 2013 at 12:55 AM
bvphotos
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


Got it. Thanks for the explanation. To avoid this problem, what if the flash were put in slave mode?

I'm planning on using the 1 monolight + 1 (Canon) speedlight combination. I already have the flash, and am looking to add a cheap monolight since this is a hobby at best. I know there are a lot of highly regarded (and expensive) monolights out there, but I came across a Neewer 250W system for less than $70. Is this too good to be true?



Dec 14, 2013 at 01:26 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New portrait ligh setup- monolights or external flash system?


bvphotos wrote:
...To avoid this problem, what if the flash were put in slave mode?


It depends on the flash; some have a simple slave cell (like on a monolight), but others (like Canon Speedlites) use a series of coded flash pulses from the Master to control the Slave(s). Those command and control flashes would trip the monolight prematurely. If you only have one flash, putting it in Slave mode wouldn't accomplish anything because there's no Master to trigger it. Manual flash mode would be the way to go if your Speedlite offers that. (The 430EX does.)



Dec 14, 2013 at 01:50 AM





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