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RyanH Jul 2, 2004 10:28 PM

I have a couple of quick newb questions regarding studio lighting.

I would like to purchase a couple of studio lights with umbrella and/or light boxes for misc family portraits and what not. I have a Canon PowerShot G3. Does anybody have any suggestions? Looking to try and spend as little money as possible.

What type of product would I stick in the camera hot shoe to make these flash units fire? Any suggestions?

And one last question, I see people stating that a flash meter is required. What is a flash meter and what does it do? Any suggestions on these as well?

Thanks in advance for you help.

CastleDude Jul 3, 2004 10:35 AM

1) You can't go wrong with Alien Bees ( I advise buying the heads and then picking up lightstands and umbrellas from ebay. If you really want to go cheap I have had good luck with JTL 160s (I use them for travel and with my bigger lites for addons).

2) To fire the flash you can use a hotshoe converter to wire it in, an infared or radioflash unit, if it's controllable you can even use the onboard flash on the G3 providing it only does a single flash. I'm using a radio system.

3) Flash meters are nice and make it easier to set up the lights. You canpick up an inexpensive digital one for around $100 (JTL) a real cheap analogWein unit is under $50. But you can also use the histogram feature of your camera with an inexpensiveblack/white card.

Ebay contacts I have used:
joesphotoauction 2000 .. Has IR triggers, radio triggers and cheap
umbrellas, softboxes ... Slow shipping but good products at a cheap price.

flint350 Jul 3, 2004 5:55 PM

Kind of hard to say when you don't say what "little money as possible" means. I would have suggested Alien Bees also - but would suggest the DigiBee kit which gives you 2 AB400's with stands and umbrellas included. It would cost $599 though and I don't know your budget. Putting together separate parts might go higher or lower. As for light meters - you get what you pay for. I (personally) wouldn't go with a $50 meter unless it was local and I could try it out. I'd suggest the extra $220 for a known product like Sekonic L358. All comes down to your budget and how much you are willing to spend/compromise on equipment. Sep 28, 2004 6:11 PM

I have purchased 2 - AB800's I purchased the Beginner bee kit (twice). I am happy I went for the extra power of the AB800 over the AB400's.

I just order the radio transmitter Castledude recommended from Joesphotoauction2000.

How or why is this a better option than the Interfit IR trigger? I went Radio for the distance 100ft, and the ability to have the strobe around corners, etc. I don't want to be stuck with line of sight with IR. People have also commented on the high trigger voltage of the Interfit trigger, but others have said it works fine.

What do you think Castledude?


I have not had goog results triggering AB's with internal or external camera mounted flashes. I think a wireless trigger is a much better way to go.

Nizidramanii Nov 13, 2006 10:03 AM, do you have a link to the radio trigger you purchased? I'm looking for a trigger right now, and I cannot find one from that seller. I don't know if I trust the other ones.

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