Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-14-2014, 08:10 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 87
Budget non-pro use lighting recommendations under $100

The wife is really getting into her lightbox us, and the chintzy lights that came with it aren't really cutting it, and aren't really "dual purpose," either. (Use with and without lightbox)

The lightbox is about 3' x 3' x 3'. Looking for something off the shelf, 2 lights minimum, would be able to be used well with lightbox and standalone. $100 or less is the budget for now. Will just be used at home.

She was finding a bunch in the $60-$70 range on Amazon, but i have no idea if any of those are truly worth buying.


Open to recommendations and anecdotes!

03-14-2014, 08:58 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,742
Try 2-3 of those cheap clamp-on work lights sold at Home Depot. Use larger CFL floods with a close-to-daylight color temp. For front fill you can use cheap strobe or maybe even camera flash.


M
03-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
Veteran Member
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Joensuu (Finland)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,761
Could you post an example of your setup and onther one of the product shot to better see whats the problem?
03-14-2014, 10:58 AM   #4
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 87
Original Poster
Believe this is what she's using.

24" Photography Photo Studio Photo Tent Light Folding Lighting Cube Tripod Kit | eBay

The lights being so short, are pretty useless for doing anything but being used with the tent.


Looking for taller and better lights. Not necessarily just to be used with the tent. More general purpose. Improving on the pictures being taken in the tent isn't the only goal.

I will try to get her to pick a few pictures she's taken so far as example.

03-14-2014, 11:24 AM   #5
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 7,810
QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Try 2-3 of those cheap clamp-on work lights sold at Home Depot. Use larger CFL floods with a close-to-daylight color temp. For front fill you can use cheap strobe or maybe even camera flash.

For such a low budget, this is probably the best advice possible. Or she could get one single flash and a reflector. In that case several cheap flashes could work, but she will need a trigger or cable.
03-14-2014, 11:35 AM   #6
Veteran Member
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Joensuu (Finland)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,761
I see, the lights seem to be dicroic bulbs. Id go with CFLs but consider that no light no matter how expensive will be good without a modifier (like umbrellas, softboxes, etc). Id consider something like this: http://amzn.com/B00FFJ3QNO

If you want to use manual speedlights, the cheapest (and very very good) way is to use Yongnuo YN560 III (U$70 each) , YN-603N triggers (U$30 a pair) and cowboystudio stands (U$70 for a pair plus umbrellas) but sums up about U$250
03-14-2014, 11:59 AM   #7
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 87
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
For such a low budget, this is probably the best advice possible. Or she could get one single flash and a reflector. In that case several cheap flashes could work, but she will need a trigger or cable.
Thanks.

We recognize the value in spending more for a quality product if there's truly no value in the cheaper "entry level" kits for our very low level of expertise at the moment.

What would you recommend for a bare minimum worth purchasing?

QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I see, the lights seem to be dicroic bulbs. Id go with CFLs but consider that no light no matter how expensive will be good without a modifier (like umbrellas, softboxes, etc). Id consider something like this: Amazon.com: LimoStudio Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Triple Continuous Umbrella Lighting Kit - 2 x White Umbrella Lighitng, 1 x Table Top Mini Lighting Kit, AGG1210: Camera & Photo

If you want to use manual speedlights, the cheapest (and very very good) way is to use Yongnuo YN560 III (U$70 each) , YN-603N triggers (U$30 a pair) and cowboystudio stands (U$70 for a pair plus umbrellas) but sums up about U$250
That kit is exactly what she was looking at, thanks!

Manual speedlights are, well... something i don't even know what they are. Will research.
03-17-2014, 05:44 AM   #8
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 7,810
QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
What would you recommend for a bare minimum worth purchasing?


regarding reflectors, anything will work, so browse eBay.


Yongnuo flashes are nice. They work well and are reasonably reliable. a cheap 460 with a set of triggers would work well. A 560 would give you more power, and the version 3 has a built-in radio receiver. You could also simply get a cord to trigger the flash or flashes, but without knowing whih camera model you own it's hard to say which will work (PC sync, hotshoe?).


Having used several flashes over the years for studio work, I will say that often it's better to spend a tad more and get a more complete system, instead of having to patch or sell eventually. Cactus will have a very good kit with the current RF60 flash and soon to be released V6 triggers. That's a system you can grow with, with lots of features. I personally chose another system, however, the Godox kit. The V850 flash (sold cheaper on Amazon as the Neewer TT850) is fantastic because it uses a li-ion battery, which means more pops per charge (5x more), faster recycle rates, lower risk of overheating, plus no need to manage AA batteries. The flash sells for 100$ and includes its battery and charger. You need to purchase a trigger set for remote triggering, they sell for about 35$ on Amazon (RF-16s). You can get extra receivers for 20$ on eBay if you buy more flashes. That's the best system I've used by far. There's a review coming soon here on Pentaxforums.

03-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 87
Original Poster
We ordered the kit from Amazon, and frankly, i'm a bit astounded at the perceived quality that we managed to get for $60. (I suppose China is to "blame" here.)

She loves it, and is having a blast "playing" with them. Colors are coming out in pictures MUCH more true to color than before.


bdery: We'll look into the flash setup you mentioned. That's probably the next logical step, thanks so much for the information!
04-06-2014, 06:25 AM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobphoenix's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Norwich, Connecticut
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 347
QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
We ordered the kit from Amazon, and frankly, i'm a bit astounded at the perceived quality that we managed to get for $60. (I suppose China is to "blame" here.)

She loves it, and is having a blast "playing" with them. Colors are coming out in pictures MUCH more true to color than before.


bdery: We'll look into the flash setup you mentioned. That's probably the next logical step, thanks so much for the information!
I got the heap umbrella kit from Amazon... (3 stands, 2-umbrellas, 3 lamp holders and 3 CFLs...) But I went back on Amazon and purchased 3 - "slave" Strobes to replace the CFLs...
Amazon.com: LimoStudio-Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit: Camera & Photo
http://www.amazon.com/Slave-Flash-Studio-Strobe-OEC/dp/B00AXNABDA/ref=sr_1_1...s=slave+strobe


Also, I was watching a B&H video where the instructor was using standard flashes at 1/4 power and he put black fabric "snorkles" over the flash to create a focused spot for fill-ins and highlighting... Really simple stuff...

The snorkles were nothing more than a two sided, padded piece of fabric with velcro tabs that were bent around the flash in a tube... The outside was black fabric and the inside was a white reflective nylon material... Very Simple and very inexpensive...! (I'm going to make some this week...)
04-06-2014, 07:37 AM   #11
Pentaxian
Class A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 10,914
QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
bdery: We'll look into the flash setup you mentioned. That's probably the next logical step, thanks so much for the information!
While bdery's Godox system is really nice, I would suggest to also look at the Cactus RF60.

I've tried to compare the Cactus RF60 with the Godox V850 in my review and also in further posts.

BTW, @bdery: You write about the Godox system that there is a "...lower risk of overheating..." but I don't see why that would be the case. Given that the V850 has a shorter recycling time (unless you add an external power pack to the RF60), the risk of overheating should be higher, if anything.

Both V850 and RF60 have overheat protection, though, so after 20 flashes at full power in quick succession, both flashes will significantly increase recycle times in order to allow the flash tube to cool down. So there is no real overheating danger with either model.
04-06-2014, 07:45 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Class A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 10,914
QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
The snorkles were nothing more than a two sided, padded piece of fabric with velcro tabs that were bent around the flash in a tube... The outside was black fabric and the inside was a white reflective nylon material... Very Simple and very inexpensive...!
I think the “Black Foamie Thing” is even simpler and probably quicker to operate.

I'm not sure since I haven't seen the alternative you are describing, but you can simply turn the BFT 360 while it looks like that the alternative will require loosening and fastening velcro fasteners.
04-07-2014, 05:39 AM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
bobphoenix's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Norwich, Connecticut
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 347
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think the Black Foamie Thing is even simpler and probably quicker to operate.

I'm not sure since I haven't seen the alternative you are describing, but you can simply turn the BFT 360 while it looks like that the alternative will require loosening and fastening velcro fasteners.
The "Black Foamie Thing" is very similar but these are really reflective inside and do a great job of turning a flood flash into a focused light...
It took me a while to find them, after I posted, but I finally did... They are called the Rogue FlashBender Reflectors (there's another company that makes something similar called Honl...) they call their product a "Snoot"

Here's a Rogue unit on a flash that is not "rolled" into a snoot...
But, I have to say, For $35.00 plus shipping I could probably turn out a dozen of them on a slow day...

Source: Best flash diffusers: 6 tested | News | TechRadar

Ever since I moved from available to artificial lighting... I have been looking for inexpensive alternatives to produce the same effect... (I even cut my own bokeh filters too...) From construction reflector at the home improvement store to LED lighting at the Autoparts place... I look everywhere to inexpensive stuff...


BTW: Finding and old projection TV on the side of the road can yield some amazing (and alterntive) lighting parts too...
A 50 inch projection TV has a 40 X 32 inch Fresnel lens (you know, the kind they used to sell for the back windows of mini vans...) and in front of the Fresnel lens is a equally big piece of translucient plastic that you can use as a light diffuser... Inside the cabinet, is a front glazed mirror (the reflective surface is on the front of the glass and not the back,) which eliminates the double reflection of your subject... and it's made out of "float glass" (that means you can take it to any glass cutter to have it cut to a better size.) The mirror surface has zero light loss to put refleted light anywhere... And that's just the upper part...! (There's a whole lot of non-reflective other parts in there too...)
Once you take all the electronics out and toss them, by leaving the mirro and front plasic in it, the cabinet only weighs about 45-60 pounds and it makes an incredibly huge, vertical, soft box by putting a couple of slaves inside... A few rollers on the bottom and you've got a 60 inch studio soft box lighting unit and you've re-purposed something that would have gone into the landfill...
04-07-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
Pentaxian
Class A's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 10,914
QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
The "Black Foamie Thing" is very similar but these are really reflective inside and do a great job of turning a flood flash into a focused light...
Neil van Niekerk argues that he does not want a reflective surface inside.

Surely, there applications for both types of flags.

The Flashbender does not look like being adjustable quickly (when you need to flag another angle).

A more expensive but more convenient version of the "black foamie thing" is the Spinlight 360.
04-07-2014, 12:08 PM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,544
I use these DIY flash diffusers all the time. I've made two of them, one regular size and one smaller size per this website DIY Reflector-Diffuser




Here are a couple of images "With" and "Without" photos to show how well it knocks down shadows.

Without



With



And a real life expample using the larger one.


Tim
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
budget, budget non-pro, diffuser, flash, lightbox, lighting, lights, photo studio, recommendations, strobist
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need advice. Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer and paper recommendations ap_exclamationpoint Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 7 12-11-2013 09:36 AM
Recommendations for 500 budget? und Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 05-17-2013 02:37 AM
Video shooting recommendations (stabilizer/lighting? torontoem4o Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 12-14-2012 03:57 PM
Top budget external flash recommendations? harleynitelite Pentax K-5 2 09-12-2012 12:27 PM
Budget Macro Lighting sharepointalex Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 6 08-30-2012 01:22 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:30 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top