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hayden Dec 28, 2006 6:02 PM

I'm looking to get started taking portrait type photos. I saw the following on ebay:

Is this worth even looking at? I'll be using an olympus dSLR. Any help is appreciated.

Dec 28, 2006 6:51 PM could piece the same thing together for less. You don't want to buy something so cheap you end up buying the same thing (but better) later.

HughesInNC Dec 29, 2006 5:51 AM

Not an expert (Far form it), but these lights appear to be very low power, as indicated by the guide numbers.

hayden Jan 1, 2007 12:13 PM

Okay, so it looks like it is pointless to spend 89 bucks on that one since it will probably be underpowered so much that I'll end up frustrated and throw them away.

I bought some home depot reflector lights this weekend and have played with them a little. It is a little painful trying to get them set up since I need stands. Clipping them to the doors and makeshift stands hasn't been fun. Also, I get a lot of squinting.

So I'm thinking I will need to go with strobes, but based on the info I've read here, I'm going to get the type that have the lights that stay on so that you can see shadow before actually taking the picture.

Now I'm looking at these two:

I think the first one looks better, but I don't know much about Guide Numbers and w/s, so it could be way underpowered also.

Jan 1, 2007 1:24 PM

You stuck on Ebay for any particular reason? I always recommend

Their units have built in modeling lights and are very high quality.

hayden Jan 1, 2007 1:50 PM


Not stuck on ebay. I did take a look at the alienbees site before I ever looked at ebay based on reading posts by you and others on the forum. They look pretty nice, and its also cool that they're made about 3 hours away from where I live. I'm sure the construction quality is much, much better than those on ebay. However, to get the same amount of lighting, the remote, etc. , I'd have to spend about 8-900 at alienbees.

If I were going to make a living doing this (or even a serious hobby), going with alienbees would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, I've got a feeling these will be used 10 times over the next three years. Also, we've got our firstborn due in 2 months, so even spending 300 is a stretch right now.

Thanks for your input, Kalypso.

Jan 1, 2007 3:29 PM

In that case, I would look on Ebay for name brand lighting. Deals can be found...I bought a 3-light Norman system off there for less than $200.00.

Jan 1, 2007 5:07 PM

Or you could get this setup from B&H:

Add a couple of good flashes (like Vivitar 285HV's, with guide #120) from Amazon:

Add a couple of Wein Peanuts & you'll have a totally portable flash system.

hayden Jan 2, 2007 8:30 AM

Very cool. I would have never thought of going that route, but it looks like a great idea. I'm sure it would be more reliable than the ebay route as well. And, if I end up getting seriously bitten by the bug, the portable stuff wouldn't need to be trashed.

Thanks for your help, Kalypso. I'll start looking for good quality flashes.

Jan 4, 2007 3:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I use a Vivitar 285HV all the time on one of my light stands...just added the flash adapter, a peanut & use an infrared tigger on my camera. Shot this with just that light & a Lumiquest pocket bounce (very tight quarters):

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