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  1. #11

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    If I were shooting BW that would be doable. I am shooting color though and I am pretty picky about my color reproduction. Just don't think a cfl bulb will cut it.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #12
    Stephen Prunier's Avatar
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    I have the HD lighting kit light like the one mentioned. I bought a 4 pack of 100 W 5500k bulbs to go with the clamp-on's. Depending on what the subject matter is, you may be surprised the the results. I haven't tried them yet with color so I can't say how that would look. I use two of them and then I incorporate my Nikon sb-28 off camera with modifiers for still life. I'm going to experiment with the set up for some self-portraits before using "real models"
    It has to be true. I read it on the internet, and you can't lie on the internet!!!!!

  3. #13

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    hi mark

    look into novatron monoblocks.
    i have had my 300ws blocks since about 1996
    and they have never given me problems.
    they have 800ws as well asa other things.
    much easier to deal light by light instead of
    battery pack +strobes, where you might need to bleed off
    light to lower the output. if you contact novatron ( they are in tx )
    they will let you know when a used/refurb comes in and sell it to you for
    around half-price ( i think? ... its been a while ) ...

    if you are a continuous lightkind of guy, you might look into lowel hot lights
    i have some totas and omnis ( with cc filter on the omnis ) i have had for years
    and besides being a heat source, they are great all around lights. lowel L-Light kits sometimes
    come up on e-blink for not too much $$ i have a few location kits of Llights, they run off of
    regular old flood lights .. have a reflector and barn doors, and a lowel clamp.
    they are great too.

    if you are interested in the totas and omnis, i have been wanting to sell them for a few years.
    they include more than a handful of replacement bulbs. and other goodies.
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  4. #14

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    Apr 2011
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    Mark, sorry I am a little late to the discussion, but my vote goes to the Alien Bees too. I screwed around playing with camera flashes and even the potato masher flashes taped to stands, but once I finally decided enough was enough, it took me right at two months searching the Bay, here and a couple other photo sites to find good Bees at the right price. It is true they pretty much keep their value so if you decide to upgrade to the really good stuff, you won't lose hardly any money doing so.

    I borrowed one of the girl's dolls and a stuffed animal or two to practice with. A good flash meter would help too. I got tons of lighting technique stuff off of the strobist and also following links on Buff's forum. If you have the time, there are some tremendous links that people have listed on that Alien Bee forum.

    I went with used Bees and then bought the accessories for them directly from Buff, have not been disappointed yet with any of that purchase. I would suggest that eventually you WILL get some sort of studio flash......don't waste a penny of your hard earned money on getting a bunch of small flashes, buy it right the first time. You will never regret buying an Alien Bee or two, they will add much to your photography options and getting to know how to use them properly or knowing how to get the effect your after will make you grow as a photographer. Still learning after a good year with mine, but I am getting better, I am getting closer to understanding why something doesn't look the way I want it to, and most importantly, my wife can be thrilled at times at the results I have gotten of the kids, despite the looks of total disgust I get when dragging out all "that" stuff.

    Oh, I mainly got AB800's. I also got some of the White Lightenings too......that is over kill......just look for the Bees as cheap as you can. Wait for your price point if needed. Sometimes it seems thought that for the small difference, it may be better to just buy new one's and be done with it....fully warrantted. I came very close many times to doing that, but just wait it out, they will show up at the price you want.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  5. #15

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    Thanks Bob. Seems like my whole photographic life has been one big waiting game. I had my first LF lens almost a year before I got my first LF camera.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #16
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I'm going to differ a bit on this, but with an important qualification.

    If you experiment with something cheap and less robust/versatile than something like an Alien Bee (or better), and if you like the results, you will almost certainly end up buying something better eventually, so it probably is wise to get something good at the beginning.

    That being said, I do see some really cheap prices on used, cheaper equipment here on Craigslist. If you go that route, you might be able to learn what you need without investing too much up front. And there probably be at least parts of your original purchase that you can incorporate into a better kit later.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #17
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Try these folks for cheap lighting, I have one of their three light CFL sets.

    http://www.cowboystudio.com/default.asp
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #18

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    Thanks rick, I looked at them but I wonder about color.

    Matt, A few bad experiences with Craigslist has me hesitant and I had written them off. Been a while maybe my luck has changed. I will give them a look
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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