Cheap ebay studio flash kits


webba

Link Posted 26/08/2010 - 19:41
Thinking about buying one of those ebay cheap studio flash kits , has anybody got one or used one? please tell me what you think .

I'm not intrested in hearing from the you get what you pay for brigade unless they have actully used the kits I am talking about.

Thanks in advance

Ady

webba

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 14:44
Well I didnt get a response here so I bit the bullet and orderd a 900w kit. 3 300w lights ,2 softboxs,2 umbrellas ,barn door ,wireless flash trigger and 3 stands for just under 300

I will let you all know how I get on and what I think of constuction quality ect.

Anvh

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 15:40
I think no one dared to respond.

Good look with your purchase, I hope they work well for you.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

Mannesty

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 17:09
Quote:
I didnt get a response here

We may have been able to offer constructive comment if you'd provided a link to the items you were asking about.

Good luck with the kit and show us some results.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Don

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 17:22
webba wrote:
Well I didnt get a response here so I bit the bullet and orderd a 900w kit. 3 300w lights ,2 softboxs,2 umbrellas ,barn door ,wireless flash trigger and 3 stands for just under 300

I will let you all know how I get on and what I think of constuction quality ect.

My desire to not start a flame war, combined with your request to comment if you tried a brand which you failed to name, precluded me from offering any advice.

If I was to advise something, I'd advise buying a used pro system over a new "Budget" system.

a decent pro lighting unit, range of accessories, and well built stands will last a lifetime and then some.

If you ever get a cheap pot-metal covered with chrome lug on a cheap lightstand (as opposed to solid brass/steel ones on good stands) snap and drop a hot light unit onto a person during a shoot.....

(trust me you stand anything resembling a pole up in public they are like idiot magnets, no matter how well it is marked, taped off, sandbagged, and lit up, some idiot will inevitable be magnetically drawn to it and will walk into it..)...

....Kiss your house goodbye, because unless you're incorporated (which I am), they'll be suing YOU.



so even if you buy cheap lights, you should consider decent Bogen/manfrotto stands cheap insurance.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 31/08/2010 - 17:27

pentaxanne

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 17:32
i have one and it produces very good results. its making me lots of money so people must be happy with the results.

Don

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 18:38
pentaxanne wrote:
i have one and it produces very good results. its making me lots of money so people must be happy with the results.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say you have one, as the original poster never said what he bought...

but just to be clear about what I meant with my remark...

I bought second hand Elinchroms years back and use them daily. I paid less than $1000.00 for the set of three...
the cheapest studio knock offs I've seen came in at about $850.00 for comparable light output, but less accessories available than the elinchrom lineup...
I use them almost daily.
I have upgraded to better modeling lights for video work..

Two things come to mind for me about cheap studio strobes.. on being they really don't do anything better than battery powered flashes... and won't hold up to professional studio abuse.
Case in point...
I've done a number of stop frame animations using a d-slr and studio strobes.
Try doing a day of shooting popping off several thousand shots and make a movie with the resulting images.
I bet any weaknesses in your flashes capacitors, flash tubes circuitry will show show themselves in what is a day at the office for a pro unit.
I'd bet your cheaper units could not maintain consistant light output, and color over the day in a heavy duty use situation.
try making an animation and see.


There is a little grey area between situations where I use my vivitar and pentax flashes, and where I pull out the studio strobes... as in I can use one or the other... and get results.... that little grey area is where cheap studio strobes are useful... but I got two sets of lights that already cover the area....
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

webba

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 18:52
I think if you put in "studio flash kit" into ebay you would very quickly be able work out what we are talking about.(given the clues above)

pentaxanne

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 19:08
well if my sheep things last me a year im a happy lady, the money im making using them will pay for me to but a top notch set but that wont happen untill they die) got lots of spares modeling bulbs and strobes and he stands i can get made at my husbands work if i they brake,
at the end of they day i wanted to try and start on my own and the cheep set is doing very well(no problems what so ever)
and for the price i think its very well made the stands are the worst bit but i think it will take alot to brake.

Mannesty

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 20:19
webba wrote:
I think if you put in "studio flash kit" into ebay you would very quickly be able work out what we are talking about.(given the clues above)

The point is, you asked the questions. So why should we have to 'work it out' to know what on earth you are talking about.

Quote:
I'm not intrested in hearing from the you get what you pay for brigade unless they have actully used the kits I am talking about.

If you are specific, we can give good advice. Your post was very vague, which is why you got no response. Why should we be bothered to work out what you are trying to say, if you can't be bothered to be specific?
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 31/08/2010 - 20:22

Don

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 20:35
well I'm glad people are happy.

that is the real thing .

me I view heavy duty use and fast strobe, and consistent color/power output to be important in a studio strobe. as well as accessories...
and lightweight, controllable output and battery power to be important in a portable flash. as well as low cost...

A cheap studio unit to me is giving you the worst of both types of flash...

like an El Camino...



you got the passenger capacity of a light truck...
and the cargo capacity of a car.
the worst of both worlds.
I'm sure somebody thought the El Camino was a great idea... but I fail to see the logic.

Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 31/08/2010 - 20:38

amoringello

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 21:04
webba wrote:
I think if you put in "studio flash kit" into ebay you would very quickly be able work out what we are talking about.(given the clues above)

Basically, hate to go against your wishes, but you get what you pay for.
Is it acceptable? Quite honestly, it might be!!

Alien Bees are very popular here. They are relatively inexpensive.
But they are not consistent with color and power. (shoot ten photos and you probably have five to ten different results).
Still, there are pros making lots of money using these things (see Zack Arias). They know the limitations and find them acceptable.

For the most part, the client may not notice a 300K change in color or a 1/3 stop change in lighting.

But if you were doing stop motion and piecing together the images into a movie... darn right you'd notice!
Or if you need to have color correct lighting for a product - a big name product for which your client pays millions of dollars a year to ensure the color is perfectly matched on every item they sell... they will want to make sure your images are reproducing that color correctly.

Which is right for you? We cannot answer that.
Take the info for what its worth.

As you figure out what it is you're trying to do and what it is you want as a result, perhaps you'll find you have more specific questions that we can help you with.
Last Edited by amoringello on 31/08/2010 - 21:07

Don

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 21:13
I think the best system on the market right now is the Elinchrom Ranger quadra...
that gives you the best of portable flash and the best of studio flash.... but for a price...

Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 31/08/2010 - 21:14

pentaxanne

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 21:18
amoringello wrote:
webba wrote:
I think if you put in "studio flash kit" into ebay you would very quickly be able work out what we are talking about.(given the clues above)

Basically, hate to go against your wishes, but you get what you pay for.
Is it acceptable? Quite honestly, it might be!!

Alien Bees are very popular here. They are relatively inexpensive.
But they are not consistent with color and power. (shoot ten photos and you probably have five to ten different results).
Still, there are pros making lots of money using these things (see Zack Arias). They know the limitations and find them acceptable.

For the most part, the client may not notice a 300K change in color or a 1/3 stop change in lighting.

But if you were doing stop motion and piecing together the images into a movie... darn right you'd notice!
Or if you need to have color correct lighting for a product - a big name product for which your client pays millions of dollars a year to ensure the color is perfectly matched on every item they sell... they will want to make sure your images are reproducing that color correctly.

Which is right for you? We cannot answer that.
Take the info for what its worth.

As you figure out what it is you're trying to do and what it is you want as a result, perhaps you'll find you have more specific questions that we can help you with.

you say you get what you pay for and you are right but its like people say why buy a pentax when you can get a canon or nikon,

amoringello

Link Posted 31/08/2010 - 22:22
[/quote]you say you get what you pay for and you are right but its like people say why buy a pentax when you can get a canon or nikon,[/quote]

And some would say "that may be acceptable".
There are certain things that Pentax just does not do as well as its $8000 competitors.
Nothing to be ashamed of... if the $1000 body works for what you need then it is worth it.

If you *need* 10 frames a second, ISO 128000, shooting to two memory cards at once, a broad and easy-to-find selection of any lens you need (including 600mm f/4), then Pentax is NOT going to cut it.

I cannot compete in the same arena as my friend with the Nikon D3S because he is quite capable of shooting action stopping shutter speeds in very low light (ISO 12800) and maintain sellable products at a higher quality than *his* competitors.
If my market changes and I have a need for that style of shooting, I will need to change brands (or perpetually wait until Pentax catches up... )


So yes, it still applies... you get what you pay for.
Is it acceptable? For now, for me, Yes!
And quite honestly, for probably 90% of people who buy SLRs, Pentax does plenty.
I have to laugh when the soccer moms come up to me asking for advice on a *cheap lens* because she cannot afford anything else after getting the $6000 camera body.


Although I'll tell ya, having a flash sync speed of 1/500 would help me out a lot.
Or if Pentax would simply not have crippled the camera to disable the flash sync pins at 1/180 I'd be a lot less likely to switch brands right now. Taking action shots even with a fast with flash and a Pentax still results in too much motion blur if you have to work where there is ambient light.
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