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Old Nov 19, 2006, 8:08 AM   #1
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Good day,

I own a Canon Rebel XT and want to set up a small portrait studio in my house, and am looking for suggestions on lighting kits, and back-drops. I have about $500 to spend, but could go a little higher if needed. I have a number of fix focal point lenes, including the 50mm 1.8f from Canon.

I am not looking to create a "professional", or "high-end" studio, just something that I can take pictures of the kids, family members and other objects...

If someone is aware of a kit that can be purchased from say B and H, that include everyting, then that would be great.

Regards,
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 9:44 AM   #2
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Hi Rowanp,

Don't forget you will need a "FLASH" meter to adjust your lights. For what you want to do all you need is probably one light with a nice large white umbrella and a large reflector to use as a fill light. Remember to use a studio strobe you will need to set your camera to manual mode and meter the lights to suit your camera settings.

Go to the Lightinglinks at the very top of this forum page and you will find a lot of very valuable information to help you decide what you will need to purchase.

Ronnie

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Old Nov 20, 2006, 2:14 PM   #3
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I recently purchased a "home studio" kit, and I'm very pleased with it. I got all of my stuff from eBay. I purchased different items from different vendors to get the best deal.

If you'll scroll down in this forum, and find a topic called something like "Softbox or umbrella" thread, I give a pretty detailed description of what I purchased, and an example of a pic I took using the setup. And, it was around $500.

I've placed a link below to the thread, but I'm not sure if it's going to work (Fingers crossed)

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=54

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm VERY pleased with the setup I purchased. The wife and I had a photo shoot last night, for Christmas cards, and they turned out very well.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 7:50 AM   #4
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I am doing the same thing, and seeking portability for setup in other locations. Have 2 of the $69.95 Westcott umbrella kits on "Backorder" at Adorama which I may cancel today and order the individual components from either them or B&H, and with little compromise in quality, may be a little cheaper. Don't know what flash unit (if any) that you have - other than the Rebel's pop-up, but this is based around a hot-shoe type flash rather than strobes. Another benefit of that setup is that you can easily take flash/stand with or without the unbrella to another room of the house and have off camera bounce flash to fill for natural lighting, etc. Also, if you have a camcorder, or at some point upgrade the Rebel, you can easily/quickly convert the head to an AC unit for difuse contineuos lighting when shooting video.

In my research, ruled out most kits on amazon, ebay, a locally available kit and even the B&H kit because they didn't meet my minimal 40" umbrella and/or 7+ ft stand requirements. That is essentially how they became much cheaper with 6' stands or 33" umbrellas.

Backdrop/frame - check ebay and amazon as I saw relatively inexpensive as I was searching umbrella kits. I am toying with constructing as a DIY project as electrical conduit at Home Depot appears to have the weight/strength/bulk that PVC, galvanized or copper lacks. Just need to figure out the corners, and crimping so I can cut the 10' pipe in half and re-attach.

Finally, firing the flash. Here, I am at a bit of a disadvantage as I am working from a Nikon setup and don't know the Canon system. I am going to assume that the Rebel XT does not have a wireless flash commander capability that mates with certain Canon flashes. Basic options are 1) optical slave, but that madates use of the on camera pop-up to trigger, 2) a PC cord connection (and possibly hot shoe adapter), obviously limits placement distance from camera, but could also be used as a trigger flash with option 1 if using multiple flash units but each flash unit would also have to have the capability on the flash to adjust light output, 3) wireless with a preference for radio trigger over infared or optical. These can range from inexpensive, such as Cactus, to the quite expensive Pocket Wizards, which adds a lot more featured too. Focus on radio control, transmitter that lets you adjust all flash units light output from the transmitter located on the camera hotshoe, and maintaining TTL would be nice, but expect manual operation. I think the Cactus V4 will do the second part, as will the Radiopopper "Studio" Jrx ($159 - transmitter + 1 receiver) and of couse the Pocket Wizard which would blow your budget.

Additional resources:
1. Some other threads here on Steves

2. http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02...-strobist.html Lot of information such as all the topics in "Lighting 101". Also, their related store has the cactus transmitter and one receiver on sale for $34 this week. Likewise, just went off sale were the umbrella kits - available with/without flash and with/without Cactus units - that are still a good deal with all the extras inclucluded. I used their specs for the umbrella kit to set what I would look "as minimal" for when shopping, but theirs on sale was a good deal if you beeded the gels and everything else. That is what caused me to rule out many of the kits as noted earlier.

3. Check your local library. I just checked out Minimalist Lighting by Kirk Tuck. Decent easy read, but some places put me to sleep - like details on batteries. Best part were the case studies in the final part of the book. The first part is basically a primer with the case studies being the application.

4. Another source, http://www.studiolighting.net/, referenced in the book above has a lot of educational articles in addition to equiptment. A quick review noted a DIY for making your own backdrops. Speaking of which, be sure to view the video on the Strobist site (#2 above) creating a backdrop by firing a colored light through drinking glasses wih the shadow projected on the blank wall behinf the subject.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by tizeye; Apr 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 10:24 AM   #5
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i have some interfit 150w mk2 http://www.interfitphotographic.com/.../EX150mkii.php

there not the best built but were rather cheap and ok for learning with i just set them up in my front room when i feel like it.... i dont have a light meter so i always fire a few shots off and alter the settings manually

some say start with at least 250w but i getby
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Last edited by simple; Apr 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 5:15 AM   #6
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Hi Rowan,

Sure you can fix the studio in your home itself. Choose best Lights for your studio and get right now with your expectation level. Available more LED Interior Bulbs, Compact Fluorescence Bulb and more Halogen Portable Work Light. Hope this will help you
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 7:32 PM   #7
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Backdrop DIY...JoAnne Fabrics

In the quilting area, they have muslin well beyond the normal 60" wide. Several selection 95-120" wide at $6.99/yd - plus can usually find a 40% off coupon in their Sunday ad. In addition to the normal white or off-white/brown muslin which you can dye, also have dark colors black, navy, burgundy.
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Old May 27, 2010, 9:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowanP View Post
Good day,

I own a Canon Rebel XT and want to set up a small portrait studio in my house, and am looking for suggestions on lighting kits, and back-drops. I have about $500 to spend, but could go a little higher if needed. I have a number of fix focal point lenes, including the 50mm 1.8f from Canon.

I am not looking to create a "professional", or "high-end" studio, just something that I can take pictures of the kids, family members and other objects...

If someone is aware of a kit that can be purchased from say B and H, that include everyting, then that would be great.

Regards,
er~$500 ? you can refer to the site http://www.linkdelight.com

maybe the price fit you
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