Advise needed for studio lighting.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by thefizz, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    A friend of mine who has a kitchen furniture company has asked me to take photographs of the various kitchens in his showroom. He has offered to purchase the equipment I need to take such shots. He also wants me to visit some customers to photograph their finished kitchens for future brochures and for his web site.

    What I need is a portable 2 light set with various soft-boxes & brollies etc. It would need to be suitable for your average size kitchen.

    I have located two suppliers who are selling the following makes:

    Elinchrom
    Prolinca
    Portaflash
    Bowens
    Kaiser-phototechnik

    I have used the Bowens lights before and found them to be good but I would like to know which makes others have used and what they recommend.

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  2. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I used Comet & Chimera equipment and can recommend them both as good quality equipment for both the studio and location.
     
  3. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I have used Elinchrom and although a little expensive they are very well made units. I found that they took a special "Elinchrom" umbrella rather than any umbrella because of the locking mechanism for the umbrella shaft.
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I use Novatron but AlienBees make a good unit and they're cheap.
     
  5. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    I use Speedotrons. With furniture shoots, you're gonna need a LOT of space.. You will also need a huge overhead softbox. I recommend using softboxes insead of umbrellas so you can control the light. Umbrellas just spill all over the place!

    I would recommend up to 5 strobes to do the job properly.

    Andy
     
  6. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Thank you all for your replys, I will have to do my research on this one.
     
  7. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I second Eric, I have an Alien Bee light and want to add some more someday. My girlfriend's sister recently got married and photog used Alien Bees lights for the formals. I asked him how they held up and he says he uses them for weddings and portrait sessions and never had any problems.

    On my light the polycarb cracked a little and they replaced the unit free of charge. Great customer service!
     
  8. Dandy97

    Dandy97 Member

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    I use Profoto and Chimera stuff these days. I find it to be good equipment. I do quite a few interior space shoots and IMHO a two light setup is going to be nowhere near enough for an average sized kitchen.
     
  9. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    My stuff is a bit of a mix. At work, I have 4 Photogenic StudioMaster packs and heads (yes, the old S-200 packs!), and for my traveling kit, I use 5 White Lightning monolights, 2 10000 and 3 5000 units. If I were to be buying new lights now, I'd probably buy a few of the Alien Bee 800's and 1600's.
     
  10. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    all the buzz..

    I have the Bee's...4-1600's and accessories. Good stuff. Keep the heads on stands with the case/cover on head and in my truck when I'm "buzzin'" around. I also have the vagabond 300 battery...also good stuff. Now I need a nice Wein transmitter & receiver... Always something we need...never ending.

    Some lights bounced off large foamcore works well too, to soften a bit without a softbox...good spread.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Go first class

    Elinchron has a first class reputation. If he is buying I would get the Elinchron. They are very repaetable and consistent in color temp and power regulation and should recycle fairly quickly. Of course if you want to have the very best it is probably a high end Bron...being portible is another matter entirely different.
     
  12. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've been using Dynalite Mx1000 Packs for quite a while, now. They are compact, LIGHTweight (read: good relative portability), have arc-proof connectors and have customer-replaceable flash tubes. All are UV corrected ... having attended a "Turkey Shoot" (I don't even want to think about it!) recently - and working with decidedly Un-UV corrected lamps ... I've vowed - NEVER again!

    Paul Buff's Alien Bees enjoy a good reputation - many I know use them, as well as Elinchrom. Speedotron and Normans are used widely around here, as well.
     
  13. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Boy, where to begin. A few years ago we got rid of all the big Norman and Speedo stuff. Went to strobe with heads all in one. They are cheaper and faster to set up and tear down. we shoot with raw light most of the time with a couple umbrella's in the forground to soften shadows. We also use criss cross light to create the illusion of depth of field but one side is always subservient to the other. Don't be afraid to shoot light through windows and doorways to create direction. Radio slaves are really handy for the lights you put outside. We never bounce light off the cealings as a fill for lots of reasons. I also recomend mixing hard and soft light to help create decending shapes. We have 16 heads in our shooting kit plus a lots of little 25 and 50 watt socket strobes to add a burst of seperation where needed. Our heads range in power from 2500 watts down to 300 watts (6 of these) so that so that each area for exposure has the appropriate volume of light. we usually shoot at around f11 1/2 at 1/8 of a second. The ambiant really varies depending on the color of the available light. I don't mind the film going to about 4400K. Each kitchen set usually uses 8-10 heads with 2 outside shooting through the windows to establish base exposure and light direction. Both these are on radio slaves and will trigger all the indoor lights. If there are resessed lights the socket lights come in really handy for centralized fill. Be sure and bring a 2 or 3 step ladder to install these and shift the camera down to eliminate the ceiling where these are visible. This is a really quick summary, hope it helps.
     
  14. david b

    david b Member

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    FWIW, I just got a Calumet Travelite set-up and will be selling my Speedotrons. They have all the power I need are a very portable (no power pack needed).
     
  15. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Thanks for the advice everyone.