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Whats the best/inexpensive beginner studio lights/equipment?

I'm looking to set up a little studio in my house. What are some good lights like brands and watts to use? What kinda equipment do I need? Where can I get some backgrounds from? Whats the best kind of lens to use for portrait?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is one question you need to answer before you can even concider this task. How high are your ceilings? If you only have 8 foot ceilings it won't work. Plain and simple. They will be too low and will cast a glow over all your photos. If they are white, then color balancing will be impossible as they will wash out all your photos.

    Other than that, let me best answer your question. (all links will be at the bottom).

    Monolight kits by Photogenic are absolutely superior in portrait photography. There is no doubt about that. However, they are kinda pricey. White Lighting is another brand that produces good, consistent results and isn't over priced. However, you don't have the control with them.

    Some standard equipment you will need are a Tony posing table and a posing stool. Props will vary depending on the type of studio you have. Seniors enjoy a wide variety of props while family and couple posing dont' need that many.

    When it comes to backgrounds, Muslins are the way to go. They are cheap, big and come in a wide variety. You can get a whole line of muslins from a company called Denny Mfg. Also, B&H Photo carries backgrounds, props, lighting, etc. So check them out also. I'll use canvas backgrounds for intimate fine art portraits as canvas backgrounds don't wrinkle if properly taken care of.

    Lenses should be small and no larger than 90mm. Anything larger than that is not suited for portrait or studio work. My portratis are all done on a 70mm lense or smaller. I prefer Tamron lenses over all other name-brand lenses as they have outperformed my previous Canon and Nikon lenses. Even my tamron lense that caught on fire is still working to this day as good as when I purchased it. They produce lenses for Canon, Nikon and Konika.

    Ebay is a great place to start to look for used equipment. There is nothing wrong with using used equipment either. B&H Photo has a huge used department for photography (digital and film) that works out very well.

    Also, if you are going to use this as any type of income, you will have to look into insurance. I have close to $15,000 of equipment and my insurance is like $200 / mth.

    Invest into some Photography organizations like PPA, WPPI and WPJA. They all provide a wide range of training and services that are valuable to any photographer.

    Amherst Media is a great supplier of photography books for any photographer: novice or professional. They have books that cover all aspects of studio lighting, posing, photography business, fine art photography, Photoshop and more.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me: chris@wise-photos.net

    Source(s): B&H Photo http://www.bhphoto.com/ Photoegenic Homepage http://www.photogenicpro.com/ Photogenic PowerLight PL2 Series Kit (3 light setup) http://photogenicpro.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=13... White Lightning Homepage http://www.white-lightning.com/ White Lightning Portrait Setup http://www.white-lightning.com/portrait.html Denny Mfg. http://www.dennymfg.com/ Tony Table http://www.dennymfg.com/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?preadd... Posing Stool http://www.dennymfg.com/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?preadd... Studio Props http://www.dennymfg.com/cgi-bin/Shopper.exe?search... Canvas Backgrounds http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=... Tamron Homepage http://www.tamron.com/ Portrait Lense http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/1750_diII_a016.a... Ebay Camera Equipment http://photography.ebay.com/ B&H Used Equipment http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home/?O... Professional Photographers of America http://www.ppa.com/ Wedding Photojournalist Association http://www.wpja.com/ Wedding & Portrait Photography International http://www.wppionline.com/ Amherst Media http://www.amherstmedia.com/ - 10+ Years Professional Photographer - Certified Professional Photographer
  • 1 decade ago

    Wow - I had asked this question to others in last 3 days. Anyways based on what i captured this can help you-

    (1) Get decent strobes as lights govern the picture quality. For higher GN (general number) say 200 - you will cover larger groups of people. Strobes GN number = fD. Where D is the distance of taking portrait. Smaller GNs like 135 are good enough for family type portraits.

    (2) Softboxes & Umbrella to diffuse light. Both equipment will reduce the light intensity and make softer shadows

    (3) Have strobes for background light, hair light

    (4) Light positions are important for shadow minimization... approx 45 degrees of angle can be good

    (5) Green color chroma key bg is good if you want to replace bg on pc

    (6) If you search on ebay you can get kits for as low as 325

    (7) Flash cord connects strobes to camera hot shoe. They also have radio triggers. Heard wireless or camera flash triggered slave strobes may be little bit slow.. research

    good luck. search my questions for more details

  • 4 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Make Better Pictures http://teres.info/ProPhotographyCourse/?sz3C
  • 5 years ago

    Military Grade Tactical Flashlight : http://flashlight.uzaev.com/?Vzmu

  • 1 decade ago

    Alien Bees will be the best lights for the money if you are on a budget.

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