Monolight Setup

 
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pshooter
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Joined: 10 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Monolight Setup Reply with quote

Looking to invest in my first light setup and want to purchase something that will last me a while. I am willing to spend more now for a reputable, dependable, monolight setup with consistent light output that will not hinder me as I become more advanced. I will be mainly shooting location portraits both indoor and out (mainly indoor) and will shoot groups (3-5) on occasion.

Brands I have researched: Profoto, Alien Bees, Elinchrom.

How many lights should I start with?

What types of light modifiers would you recommend? (umbrellas, softboxes (rectangular or octo))

Help?
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Bob MacDonald
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Lights Reply with quote

Another brand you may want to check out is Calumet Travelites.
I've been using three 750 w/s for about 6-7 years without problems.

As far as light modifiers (umbrellas, softboxes, etc) I'd get the largest that you can afford at the time. You can always add and go even larger as your budget allows. Smile

I know that sales folks would like to sell you as many heads as possible, but; there are many portrait type shots that have been done beautifully with a single head and a reflector for fill.
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len_whistler
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get lots of different answers for this because the light/modifier combinations is almost unlimited.

I have a Norman P800D with 3 lampheads, this system is very well built but heavy. I also have 2 umbrellas and a 3'x4' softbox. The softbox is too awkward to set up on location so I only use it in the studio, the umbrellas are good for location shooting.

I would recommend at least 2 lights, but 3 would be better for the studio. On location 1 light would be fine, but a 2nd for backup is a good idea. Reflectors for your lights are also needed for the background.
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I hoping this wouldn't turn into a tech forum. There are so many out there where you'll get way more response.

That being said, when I first pictured the portrait on location situation, I though of three heads. There are those group shots where you might need a couple lights to light the group and another to throw onto the background somewhere. I think three is the safest minimum.

Since I am the Supreme Overlord, I am right and everyone else is wrong. :-)
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Bob MacDonald
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
since I am the Supreme Overlord, I am right and everyone else is wrong. Smile


Well.... Laughing sometimes being an "old fart" with a large waist size can "see your Supreme and raise your Overlord" especially when the old fart is topped with a white beard! " Check and Checkmate!" Laughing
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newbie just doesn't fit you Bob, so I fixed your Ranking. Smile
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Bob MacDonald
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: "Old Fart" Reply with quote

Well.... I must say, "It's about time!" Laughing
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Tom McKenzie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using three Alien Bees, two 640's , and one 320. I find when I shoot, like the Supreme Old Fart Laughing I use only one, sometime two heads. The third is just to get some seperation from the bg once in a while. They were affordable and work great, but I am now wishing they were a little faster.
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Murn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooks wrote:
Well, I hoping this wouldn't turn into a tech forum. There are so many out there where you'll get way more response.


Brooks, would you consider starting a thread (in the appropriate place here) where we can learn about some of the "better" forums to find equipment suggestions?

(pshooter, I recently took the plunge and purchased a Dyna-lite Uni400jr kit. Everything needed to set up two heads, in a handy carrying case that weighs only 25lbs. [I have some misgivings about the ultra lightweight stands -- fortunately no accidents yet.] When I feel the need to add more heads, may choose to add with pack system. Mail me through here or flickr if you want to hear more.)

Murn
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Brian Payne
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used Dyna-lite uni 400's for years. And they have spent as much time at Dyna-Lite for repair as they have on assignment. The tubes come loose in transit, the capacitors constantly expire and I have the Jack Rabbits rebulit every year. When they work they area great. But, unreliable. Finding the great mono-light that can work both ac and dc is a challenge. I've been shopping and buying for years and actually the White-Lightning stuff isn't bad.

Good luck. When you find the perfect reliable system let us know.
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a repair service in Hollywood called Robal, and the owner was telling me recently that he thinks Elinchrom makes great mono heads. Now this is not coming from a photographer as much as it's coming from someone who repairs strobe equipment.

Robal Co.
1545 North Wilcox
Hollywood 90028
(323) 466-8662
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