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emirpprime
6th December 2007, 02:02 PM
I am starting to offer product photography to local businesses and need to invest in some new lights and related kit, so I have lots of questions...

An easy one first - what is the practical difference between a 250w and 500w head? Is it worth spending more on more powerful heads, and less initially on other bits? Or would you recommend covering all the bases with lower power heads then trading up later if needed?

Modifiers? I want soft-boxes for all the lights, preferably at least one large (1x1.5m maybe) as a main light. What would you consider the most useful modifiers other than that? Barn doors? Honeycombes?

Backgrounds. Should I just 'busk' it? Or go for a light tent? Or a vinyl/paper infinity background and holder?

(I have no anticipation of needing battery packs to begin with)

The budget is a bit tight at 1000-1500 for the lighting rig.

I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice on this as my experience with 'proper' lighting isn't much.
[At the moment I use a single head + slave Portaflash system with old curtain hung over whatever is convenient and reflector set-up, which is a mouthful ;), and fine for home, but wouldn't look very professional in front of clients. ]

Lastly. Know any good stockists? (both in terms of advice and being able to see the kit) Digitaldepot is the only half decent one near me and they arn't really geared up for this. Other than them its off to a Calumet store in London.

Thanks very much for any input.
Phil

Ian
6th December 2007, 02:24 PM
I am starting to offer product photography to local businesses and need to invest in some new lights and related kit, so I have lots of questions...

An easy one first - what is the practical difference between a 250w and 500w head? Is it worth spending more on more powerful heads, and less initially on other bits? Or would you recommend covering all the bases with lower power heads then trading up later if needed?

Modifiers? I want soft-boxes for all the lights, preferably at least one large (1x1.5m maybe) as a main light. What would you consider the most useful modifiers other than that? Barn doors? Honeycombes?

Backgrounds. Should I just 'busk' it? Or go for a light tent? Or a vinyl/paper infinity background and holder?

(I have no anticipation of needing battery packs to begin with)

The budget is a bit tight at 1000-1500 for the lighting rig.

I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice on this as my experience with 'proper' lighting isn't much.
[At the moment I use a single head + slave Portaflash system with old curtain hung over whatever is convenient and reflector set-up, which is a mouthful ;), and fine for home, but wouldn't look very professional in front of clients. ]

Lastly. Know any good stockists? (both in terms of advice and being able to see the kit) Digitaldepot is the only half decent one near me and they arn't really geared up for this. Other than them its off to a Calumet store in London.

Thanks very much for any input.
Phil

I have a couple of Portaflash DL1000 1KW halogen units (not flash of course!) on stands (from memory, 650W + 350W switchable lamps in each unit) - about 2900K colour temperature - which I use for lighting test targets. I shine them into white brollies (the reflected light illuminates the targets). They are inexpensive (I think they cost about 250 in all about three years ago). Jessops sell them but they seem to be much more expensive (160 each without a stand). I bought mine from SRS in Watford, but I'd check with them first as I'm not sure they stock them any more.

These units are inexpensive, but that does mean they aren't very sturdy and I've already broken one glass dome (only 10 to replace though). You might want something more up market if you need to transport it reqularly.

Ian