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02-11-2008, 10:17 PM   #1
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cheap affordable lighting?

what do you guys use for cheap affordable lighting, or have used in the past, to get started? i wont buy anything too insane so don't even think about mentioning some setup you have that cost $1000, i just want to practice :P

i've seen some mini halogen lights that look decent. but i did buy a work light today, anyone have success with them? i just read they aren't great.

02-11-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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Lighting isnt that expensive. Even studio flashes like Alien Bees are quite affordable, of course depending on how many extra accessories you want to get.

I picked up two used Nikon sb26 flashes (around 80 dollars each), light stands (around 30) and umbrellas (around 20). so a single light with stand and umbrella would be around 130.

mpex has complete strobist light kits available, including or excluding flash.

for continuous light, home depot and similar has lots of stuff and there have been examples on strobist of various setups. see codicac's recent ringlight shots here at pentaxforums.
02-12-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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No joke

QuoteOriginally posted by impete82 Quote
what do you guys use for cheap affordable lighting, or have used in the past, to get started? i wont buy anything too insane so don't even think about mentioning some setup you have that cost $1000, i just want to practice :P

i've seen some mini halogen lights that look decent. but i did buy a work light today, anyone have success with them? i just read they aren't great.
The cheapest most affordable lighting is obviously the sun.

I don't say this to be funny, but in a recient photo magazine, and I dont remember now which one, or what issue other than I saw it in the last 3-4 months, they devoted an article on how to use a single window, a couple of reflectors (made from foam board or silver thermal blankets, and a simple back drop.

Aside from the backdrop, the lighting setup probably cost all of $10.
02-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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EDIT: damn it! beat me to it..


anyway you can get a cheap setup if you shop for used.

also you can make your own reflectors and defusers using household items like tinfoil and paper

02-12-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by impete82 Quote
what do you guys use for cheap affordable lighting, or have used in the past, to get started? i wont buy anything too insane so don't even think about mentioning some setup you have that cost $1000, i just want to practice :P

i've seen some mini halogen lights that look decent. but i did buy a work light today, anyone have success with them? i just read they aren't great.

The work/shop lights (quartz or bulb) from hardware stores spread light too widely, which is both inefficient and difficult to control effectively. Further, they often spread light unevenly resulting in multiple hot spots. In other words, I don't recommend them. If you want inexpensive photo lights, then buy inexpensive PHOTO lights.

Smith-Victor manufacturers a fine line of quartz lights specifically designed for photography, used for over fifty years by many millions of photographers worldwide. This type of lighting is ideal for the beginner since it allows one to actually see the light falling on the subject (making adjustments easy) while also using the camera's standard metering modes (use tungsten WB).

I would recommend the two or three Q80 lights ($75). These accept the most widely available quartz lamps (GZ9.5 socket, which accepts DYS, EKB, DYH, DYR, JDC, and other lamps), can be used anywhere in the world by simply fitting the appropriate voltage lamp and plug adapter, and are lightweight enough to use with even modest light stands. And if you shop around, you can find, and save money with, lamps with an average life hours exceeding 1000-hours.

Two of these lights fitted with 500-600-watt lamps can be bounced into soft silver (best), or highly reflective white (okay), umbrellas, with the remaining light fitted with a 150-300-watt lamp and a snoot (homemade) or barndoors (standard $46 or thrifty $30) for a hair or background light. A setup like this would be effective for anything from small objects (macro) to portraits.

stewart
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