I'm still looking at fluorescent continuous lights from LinCo/Britek, though. They seem to be the most inexpensive option on the market that's not mostly DIY. Here's the parts list:
|4x80 (1120w equivalent) Fluorescent Light Head Set||PE9030||$177.00|
|Carrying bag for PE9030/9040 Head Set||2020M||15.00|
|9' 5" Light Stand||9309||52.00|
|Carrying bag for 9309 Light Stand||B9309||19.00|
|44" Gold/Silver Umbrella||3027||40.00|
This is a smidge cheaper (without the umbrella) than their 4-piece "eBay Booster" Kit ($284), and significantly less expensive than their 4-piece Small Business Kit ($400). So what's the difference?
Well, the "eBay Booster" registers at 3000 lumens from each instrument (about 175w tungsten equivalent). The Small Business kit produces 4800 lumens from each instrument (about 280w tungsten equivalent).
The PE9030 4-bulb head uses the same bulbs as the Small Business Kit (so it's roughly the same light output in a single instrument). It includes a 32" softbox; the kits use 15-16" softboxes. I also get a 9' light stand instead of the standard 6' light stands that come with either of the kits. I'm thinking the bigger softbox and the taller stand are major advantages (as is the option of a 44" umbrella). The addition of a reflector and stand (relatively cheap) would provide additional flexibility.
The big question: Am I mad? Do I need that kind of light? Do I need 19,200 lumens from a single instrument? Would a single 4800 lumen instrument be adequate? Would that 4-piece kit with 3000 lumen instruments give me enough light and more flexibility?
Sure, I suppose I should say what for. I'm looking at studio-style portrait photography, but being able to provide that kind of lighting when using a camera that doesn't support off-camera flash.