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Old Nov 7, 2005, 10:04 PM   #1
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I am very new to this, but I am looking for some strobe light kits for under $300. I think I want 2 lights, but not really sure. I don't know if 1 would be enough or not. I want to do portrait photography of my kids and family.

Anyone have any ideas?

I found this kit: http://www.adorama.com/JTSL160BLK.html

but I have heard that these lights have a problem with shocking people. Anyone heard anything about this or have any experience with these lights?


Thanks
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Old Nov 8, 2005, 2:27 AM   #2
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Babies just take it in their stride, so it certainly does not shock them. But I would not advise it . Perhaps some optical prof could say what the opinion on this is.
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Old Nov 8, 2005, 9:07 AM   #3
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You will soon find that one light will not be enough. If it were me, I would consider getting this kit instead:

http://www.adorama.com/LTBK.html

Since you said that you are "new at this," I would seriously consider continous lighting rather than strobes (especially for learning studio lighting). Try doing a search on this forum for "cheap" or "tungsten".
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Old Nov 8, 2005, 11:06 AM   #4
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If you could manage a little bit more cash outlay, I'd consider the BeginnerBee package from Alien Bees http://www.alienbees.com/packages.html

It comes with one fairly powerfull light. Using it as a Key light with a couple of home made reflectors for fill would get you up and learning.

The AB's have a good solid reputation, and if you ever want to expand to using more lights you can continue to use the one you already have and just add to it.




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Old Nov 8, 2005, 9:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info everyone.

Unfortunately I just can't swing the Alien Bees right now.

Does anyone know anything aboutthis kit (or at least the brand) from B&H Photo Video?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

It looks pretty good for the price.

Also, for family portraits, would you recommend soft boxes or umbrellas?

Thanks

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Old Nov 9, 2005, 10:56 AM   #6
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I know several people who have JTL's and like them, but I have heard of them doing the shocking thing. That would make me slightly leary of them

I have never tried any of the other low power lights except Britek which were not bad, but I agree with kaylpso if you are learning and need inexpensive, check into the continous lighting options.
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Old Nov 12, 2005, 8:20 PM   #7
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I would invest in one alien bee 400 with either an umbrella, softbox or brolly box and then buy a 5 in 1 reflector kit to compensate for having just one light. You will be able to make it fine this way and then can add other AB lights later.

The softbox is going you give you a softer light. The umbrella lighting depends on what type of umbrella. You have silver, white, gold, etc... For example I use a white /silver reversible so I can shoot either but it has to be bounced. You can get a white transluscent that come with a removeable black backing. That allows you to shoot bounced light (with the backing on) or take it off and shoot through the umbrella for a softbox effect.

The brollybox is similar to a softbox but much cheaper.

You should really go to alienbees.com and just look at the umbrella and softbox options.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 5:31 AM   #8
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Be careful: "The softbox is going you give you a softer light" (than an umbrella) is not necessarily true. A 40-inch white umbrella will give you a softer light than a small softbox (24x24 inches).

The biggest (some say only) influence of the softness/harshness or contrast of a light source is it's SIZE. Yes - size matters. If the amount of light is the same and the distance to the light source is the same the LARGER light source will produce a softer light.

That's why they make umbrellas and soft boxes. The same principle is applied to shoe-mounted flashes. A direct flash produces harsh shawdows as compared to using any of the bounce attachments available for them or bouncing them off a ceiling. All that is happening is that you are modifying the SIZE of the light source, you're making it larger and it gets "softer".

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