What light equipment should I purchase?

Question by Laura: What light equipment should I purchase?
I am going to be purchasing some studio lighting equipment, and I would like some advice.
I mostly shoot portrait photography that is more on the side of conceptual and fashion and I do in fact have two lights with soft boxes already along with reflector disks.
However, I have been looking into other light units that involve a main control unit and quite honestly I’m completely lost.
Any advice on sites to check out or specific equipment ideas?

Best answer:

Answer by Eliot K
I like Dynalites because they are very light weight.

I have two 500ws units, and one 2000ws unit.

I have several 2040 heads – they’re small and easy to use.

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3 Responses to What light equipment should I purchase?

  1. HisWifeTheirMom says:

    What are the lights you have now? What is your budget? I assume you are looking for strobes? I would not recommend constant lighting for portraiture. It’s pretty uncomfortable to use for the subject and can heat a room up pretty fast. You can get some great cool temp lights, but you are talking some GIANT dollar investment for them.
    Sounds as if you will need quite a bit of flexibility in your lights for what you are doing. You may need a lot of light or just a very little, you could be lighting up several people or just one and doing it dramatically. Am I on the right track here? .
    The new Einsteins by Paul C. Buff are pretty incredible and that is what I would go with if I were purchasing today. They are spendy but 100% worth it. You will also need a trigger setup to go with those lights. Choice 1 would be pocket wizards. Choice 2 would be the Cyber Commander setup by Paul C. Buff.
    If that is out of budget there are a whole bunch of other options out there. Next step down being the alien bees by Paul C. Buff.
    Whatever you purchase a minimum WPS of 300. A 150WPS light is good for a background or hair light, but won’t give you a whole lot of help when lighting up a family shoot.
    I generally shoot with 2 300WPS strobes and 2 150WPS background lights. I usually only USE one of those background lights, but occasionally you will need a second one as a hair light or fill.

  2. Fantastical says:

    Dynalites are fine, but they can break easily. I suggest that you go with a 900 W Outrevicy Lamp and a flame torch. I love including fire in my photography.

  3. si stewart says:

    A full time fashion photographers advice:
    Your budget and requirements are key here. If you are a professional or intend to be one and have the budget pro-foto is really the only way to go. their packs (which is what i guess you refer to as a main control unit) are the industry standard in pro studios in Europe and the USA for a reason. Uber reliable and fast and don’t burn out when subjected to repeated heavy use e.g. 5000 cycles a day.
    If you have little budget stick to monoblocks (self powered strobe heads) the Chinese make reasonable units from as little as $ 100 each you can afford to have a few as backup when they pop.

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