studio flash


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 07:46
I have been searching for a simple flash set up so i can enhance my learning curve and do some 'studio' work, i've noticed on youtube and other sites that a lot of people seem to be using simple flash guns (they look like the same ones you would attach to the cameras hotshoe)with an optional soft box. I am aware that a 'good' studio flash would cost hundreds but is the smaller flash gun set up an acceptable alternative or is it the case that only a professional would know how to use this set up?
B Murray


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 08:01
I've been using a set of 3 normal studio lights 250w c/w softboxes, umbrella's, stands and triggers for £250 delivered to the UK, for 3+ years at least monthly and very impressed.

OK, there not professional quality, but there pretty good, check out " Link Delight " on fleabay or google them.

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax DFA 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax DFA* 24 - 70 F2.8

Samyang 14mm F2.8, Pentax DFA* 70-200 F2.8

K3iii + K3ii + K5iis converted to IR, Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Pentax 55 - 300 F4.5 / F5.6 PLM


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 10:22
The cobra flashes with soft boxes will deliver softer shadows than the flash alone, but they don't cover an area large enough for a "full body", and the soft boxes absorbs quite a bit of power.

That said, I regularly use them when I need portability over anything else, and they do an acceptable job.

To cover a larger area, like a standing person, a translucent umbrella is a better alternative, but you need a fairly powerfull flash. To me, the AF 360 FGZ is not powerful enough, but the AF 540 FGZ is.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 16:25
if you want cheap, I'd say go with simple clamp on styled incandescent light available from the hardware store for under $15.00 and try out some incandescent/cfl/halogen/led bulbs... but some gels and parchment paper for color / diffusion and make your self some "paintcan" lightstands and get good with your lighting skills, becuase everything you learn from that bit of kit, will be directly benificial when you start working with flash, and there are cheap slave flash units that screw into standard light sockets so your "Ultra cheap" lights and stands will still be usable with your slaved flashes... then move up to more expensive gear...

Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 03/03/2012 - 16:26


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 16:53
I'm no studio flash expert, but I've gone through the same decision process recently.

I opted for:-

2 x Konig light stands , about £12.00 each.
2 x Kaavie 40" Umbrellas, about £23 each.
3 x Flash/Umbrella bracket, about £14 each.

To these, I attach my 2 x AF540FGZ flashes as my main lights and 1 x AF500FTZ flash for the background. I trigger them with Seculine TwinLink radio triggers.

I opted for the Seculine radio products because Pocket Wizards are way out of my price range, but you might consider Cactus 5 triggers as a cheaper option. They are well regarded but were not available when I went through this exercise.

If you choose to use umbrellas, go large, 40" minimum. You'll soon discover that the smaller umbrellas supplied as standard with some kits don't have a wide enough spread.

As for flashes, you don't need top of the range, all singing all dancing kit, but they will need to be reasonably powerful. AF500FTZ's can be had quite cheaply nowadays, but other flashes having GN's of 50+ are also available at reasonable prices.

Happy hunting.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 19:31
Flash umbrellas etc very very cheap on the ubiquitous 7 Day Shop just now. I've no idea what to buy mind you as I'm new to all this stuff! 40 inch translucent umbrella £5.79 for example!


Link Posted 03/03/2012 - 21:29
Don and Peter, that sounds very useful, thanks. Bill, i'm with you It's all a bit harder than I anticipated but im determined to see it through, I've already got 3 bookings from firnds of friends for various events. arg!!!
B Murray


Link Posted 04/03/2012 - 12:57
I forgot to add that you'll probably need a flash meter as well to get correct exposures. Have a look at the Sekonic range. I use the L-358.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 06:43
does anyone have an opinion on this kit? its my friends brother has them in his garage and said i could borrow them to try them out with a view to buying them:
2 x courtenay 4000 monoblocks with stands and brollies
2 x courtenay 2000 monoblocks with stands and brollies
1 x lastolite background support system with 'curtain' background
1 x sekonic L0308B flash/ambient light meter with accessories
sundry lighting accessories inc. snoots, honeycombs, reflectors.

i would be grateful if anyone could tell me if there is a wireless trigger compatible with this and if its compatible with a pentax k-r.
B Murray


Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 08:01
Sounds excellent,you dont need four heads to begin with. One or two and a reflector is enough to start learning on.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 08:10
BMurray wrote:
i would be grateful if anyone could tell me if there is a wireless trigger compatible with this and if its compatible with a pentax k-r.

I think most, if not all wireless triggers are generic, that is, they all work with everything (in theory anyway). With some, you may not get full synch shutter speed.

You'll not get P-TTL or TTL control with them because they use only the centre contact of your camera/flash, so you'll need to learn full manual control of your camera and flash setup. The flash meter will help you a lot.

At the top end, you have Pocket wizards preferred by many professionals, but they are very expensive. I use Seculine Twinlink products which have the benefit of both IR and radio triggering and work up to 100 metres outdoors. A popular option is the Cactus V5 system which I believe can also be configured as a wireless remote shutter.

I had a bad experience with the cheaper PT-04 type and cannot recommend them, but I know others have had good experiences with them. I had one transmitter and 3 receivers. Within 6 months, two of the receivers died and I switched to Seculine which have never misfired or let me down.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 07/03/2012 - 08:12


Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 21:43
oh, i think i've found it on ebay 180W STUDIO FLASH LIGHT KIT + STAND + UMBRELLA+ TRIGGER this looks like it would do me for starting off with.
B Murray


Link Posted 17/03/2012 - 10:47
It might be a bit late but check out

I got there 3 smart flash setup around 1-2 years ago now and I have had nothing but a great experience with them.

1sec refresh rate at 200w/s(full) power, full down to 1/16 (4 stops of control) as well as a 150watt modelling lamp.
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.