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So I've been reading Light: Science and Magic and (along with jadecat9's suggestion) decided to not go and pay a bunch of money for a multi-piece lighting kit. Rather, I'm looking into a single lighting instrument that I can use various ways.

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:

Description SKU
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
Subtotal $263.00
44" Gold/Silver Umbrella 3027 40.00
Total w/umbrella $303.00

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.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
You need to talk to Dave. He broke down and bought a portable pro kit as the garbage bag over the chair thing was good, but getting a bit old for him.
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, why waste a good body bag?
Jul. 9th, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
Andy, *borrow* my cool lights and see how you like them. I bought 4 of them anyway, and if you like them, I could probably sell you 2 of them at 25% off or something. Anyway, try them and get a feel how well they work... They come with built in softboxes, and I have 2 different power level CFL.

*lj'ing from sunny vancouver*
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
I'm with Richard.
Borrow his for a while and see if you like them first.
Jul. 10th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Let me know when you get home. I'm interested in looking at the set-up and trying at least one out.
Jul. 9th, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
I'm no photographer (although for a while there I was dating two or three and learned some by osmosis); but it sounds like getting a chance to play with someone else's gear for a little bit, or talking to a pro about their gear, might be a good bet.

Another idea might be to buy something used, possibly a used-refurbished from a camera shop. Heck, a shop might let you try stuff out on the premises. And like any other hobby, people change their minds and sell off the gear when it's not fun any more. Used gear is a great way to bump up a level without spending quite so much cash.
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
You might want to show up tonight at Coffee Society in The Pruneyard and run this by the folks at the photography meetup. It's a social meeting, starts at 7 pm.
Jul. 13th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Is that a regular occurrence, and is it open to anyone?
Jul. 13th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
They don't have a fixed meeting time/place, usually there's an announcement once a month. Some of the members give workshops and classes which are announced way ahead of time. It is open to everyone, but it's best to sign up for a meetup.com account if you don't already have one, and join the South Bay Photography Meetup Group. It's free. http://photo.meetup.com/413/ ought to get you there.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )