spyn 12:39am, 17 April 2009
hi- i manage a local camera store and i want to start carrying some umbrellas, light stands, etc. in our inventory since we've been having a lot of people asking for stuff like that. one of your members recommended me to ask the group what you would like to see in stock at a store. this isn't a solicitation, i'm just trying to find out what people think would be a good brand to carry since it's not my area of expertise. thanks for any tips, you can email me off list. thanks!
OregonVelo 9 years ago
Brand is hard... everyone has a brand and an opinion. The age old question of Canon or Nikon... This is what I would say. Build an entry-level and a mid-level kit.

The entry level would contain an medium umbrella that could be used for bounce or shoot through a decent stand and the head that allows you to connect the umbrella and a strobe to stand.

The mid-level would be the same but instead of a umbrella it would have a softbox.

If you could do that for $75 to $150 for each kit. That would be cool. Call them the PDX Strobist starter kit 1 & 2 and I will send people your way.

The reason I say a kit is because over the last year I had to struggle my way through at buying piece by piece that setup and did not know anything about them or what what I needed. I would have love a kit. I know you can get some over the Internet but I try to buy locally if I can.
OregonVelo 9 years ago
metakephoto PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by metakephoto (admin) 9 years ago
here's my suggestions:

flash: vivitar 285HV

radio triggers/slavespossibly cactus triggers or a long sync cord and peanut slaves

umbrellas: westcott

grids: saxon pc speedlight grids (saxon pc is local from a guy in Hillsboro)

velcro attachment for grids:

or possibly the Honl grids and attachments (they seem to be built a little nicer, but they cost a little more too):

the biggest thing i see missing from all the local camera stores are speedlight grids and attachments...so do you mind me asking what camera store you manage....so we could recommend people in the future...
OregonVelo 9 years ago
Oh yeah. Gel packs. Pain in the ass to find.
I also agree with the grid for the flashes.
Mark Chamberlin - SmarterPics PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Mark Chamberlin - SmarterPics (member) 9 years ago
You're getting some good advice here on the above items.

You're going to need some stands and PC flash mounts as well.

See if you can resell the CyberSynch that Alien Bees sells for a radio synch. Good product for the money. That in conjunctions with the Vivitar heads is a low cost solutions to off camera flash.

The Westcott brand is popular for quality / price umbrellas.

The peanut slave that MeTakePhoto is basically an optical slave. Real affordable and easy to use for the novice.

Good luck. Feel free to contact me for any other questions / advice.

Mark - SmarterPics.com
spyn 9 years ago
Sweet, thanks for the advice. I'll also try and see if we can sponsor some Strobist events or something once we get this all going.
JAS Photos 9 years ago
Spyn - I'd be interested in stopping by once you have lighting setups in stock and possibly investing in a kit - would you mind sharing what store you're with?
OregonVelo 9 years ago
Ben Lundberg Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Ben Lundberg (member) 9 years ago
hey Jon... glad to see you took my advice but joining on here and talking with these guys about gear... i agree with OregonVelo that selling a strobist kit would be great...

here are links to the stands/umbrellas/brackets i use...

Wescott 43" bi-fold(i like these a little better since they are shoot-thru/bounce-back but fold up much smaller than the 45")

Manfrotto Nano 1b lite stand(really great stand, not the cheapest though)

Impact Umbrella Bracket(not the best but cheap)

also like they said above no where i have seen sells any grids, snoots, or flags... the Honl are good like metakephoto suggested, but like he said the are a little more pricey... also if you could find a good source for the gels that would be cool too...

hope this helps... next time i'm up there i'll stop in and say hey...

ShutterCraze (NUEL) 9 years ago
I would sure love to see a nice assortment of bags/cases. Possibly even creating our own tailor made strobist type bag/case that we can customize for our lighting gear. No one has made the perfect bag for me yet, I'm still waiting for the perfect one if there is such a thing. Can you tell I have a bag/case fetish? (not sure if I should've shared that here LOL)

I agree Nuel. We end up using oddball cases and making do. There are some really high end gear cases out there but they usually pretty spendy.

It shouldn't be too hard to carry the SaxonPC gear. He would probably appreciate a retail outlet.

So what is the name of your store and where is it????
Ben Lundberg 9 years ago
i use this bag here...

it was featured on strobist.com a long while back as a quick speed link found by some reader etc...

i use it to carry:
2x lite stands
3x umbrellas
3x flashes
speed strabs
a diy grid
some flags and gels

it's pretty easy to carry around and has nice padded sides on it... i probably could fit a third lite stand in there if needed...

FFPHOTOG.com 9 years ago
Take a look at what Midwest Photo Exchange stocks for "Strobists" as well as cords and adapters at Flash Zebra.
noisy rabbits [deleted] 9 years ago
Umbrellas ( that could be inexpensive )

TokyoBling's says over on Strobist prime, DIY mentioned using a cheap umbrella from the Tokyo equivalent of our "Dollartree" stores.

The"DT" in (PDX) store does not carry "white" umbrellas , however a brief search showed that dozen ( 12 ), (42"dia.) ordered, starts at 3.19each & Shipping, so depending on time/effort of the group in need, it could be worth wile. MPEX is 24 + S&H. for a folding unit these found on the NET do not fold.

DIY part warning: Chrome tips and shaft ( problematic I suppose? ), have to remove & recycle the handles so as the shaft will fit into our stands. Here is tokyobling's example.


spyn 9 years ago
I'll say what store it is when we actually have the stuff set up. The delay has been just in clearing the space for it (which finally happened) and getting the time to figure out what exactly to order. So thanks for all the info.

Couple of questions:
What are your opinions of SP Studio Systems brand umbrellas, stands, and soft-boxes?

Also as far as cases for lighting gear goes, we do have Manfrotto tripod cases (similar to what ben suggested above), and they are actually pretty reasonably priced at $40-50. Also there is a really cool (and really expensive) thing called the Kata Hexabag series, but they are well over $400.. hahaha.
greenwoodimages 9 years ago
50 dollar D3's :)
Eddie Barksdale 9 years ago
Will you be starting a rental program? I think a good rental program will help boost some business with those of us who weren't born into wealth.
spyn 9 years ago
Alright, we finally got the stuff. Our store is Shutterbug at Washington Square. I now have in stock: Interfit-brand light stands for $36, Strobies-brand swivel head (umbrella/strobe onto stand) for $19.99, Interfit-brand Black/silver umbrella for $11.99 and white (softbox style) for $8.00, so the total package for both types of umbrellas and a stand and head would be basically $74.98.

I also got us in the Honl Photo stuff: 8" & 5" Speed Snoot/Reflector; Speed Gobo/Bounce Card; Color Effects Filter Kit (gels); Speed Strap; 1/8" and 1/4" Speed Grid.

Of course we already had 5-way reflectors in various sizes, holders for those to go on a light stand, the Omni-Bounce and Gary Fong stuff, the strobes themselves.

What we still don't have are soft-boxes, those Vivitar flashes, radio triggers, and some other stuff like that. I'm if this is a success though then I'll be able to expand this section into some stuff like that, and we can probably special order stuff for whoever wants it.

ʎɥdɐɹbodıd 9 years ago
Aaah, so that's you huh. (your shop I mean) Strolling the mall with the family some months back, I took a walk inside the store and was pleasantly surprised to find a bit of OCF-oriented gear. Umbrella adapters, stands, & other goodies I definitely never saw at other SB stores. Will surely stop in again to see your add'l inventory. Thanks for catering.
OregonVelo 9 years ago
I will probably drop by on Friday after work.
quietlightphoto 9 years ago
Lumiquest and Honl products. Also, the new Rosco Strobist gel packs.


BrandyVSOP PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by BrandyVSOP (member) 9 years ago
Cool to know who you are, I was in there a few times a while back. Great to know this stuff is being assembled for us!
GeoFX 9 years ago
I spoke to you few time when stop by last month. It's good to know who you are on Strobist. Now we have another place to get strobist gears.
jack satta (fnb) 9 years ago
David Hobby (Strobist) has a list in the beginnings of his site (Starving Student Kit?); basically a Manfrotto, Westcott brolly, and a Photoflex hotshoe grip (also happens to be what I have) for one light.

And there are Strobist-specific stuff to fit hot shoe flashes like the Honl and Lumiquest, gel kits, listed above, and some Photoflex gear. Chimera and Photoflex also makes a speed ring specifically for flashes, which is a good transition to monolight upselling. (and subsequently booms, heavier-duty C Stands, and all the stuff that goes with grip (weights, etc.) :D

Beauty dishes, ring flash are all nice, but I doubt you'll see a lot of sales unless these prices come down.
LukeOlsen PRO 9 years ago
Sync cords too :)
ShutterCraze (NUEL) 9 years ago
I need a lot more batteries and a charger or two?
ʎɥdɐɹbodıd 9 years ago
hey jon, nice meeting u yesterday. The two 'Strobies' flex mounts I picked up worked out great! ... but I just realized now you didn't have any of the attachments for them displayed... barn door, snoot, etc. Plan to?

Also... I do have the Rosco Strobist Gel Pack that I picked up last week from someplace else, but after seeing the Honl Filter kit at your shop... I think I wanna make the switch. Anyone interested to buy my Rosco kit for $9 at the next meetup? :)

I might be interested pip, what are the dimensions of each gel? I would prefer something that would work well with my vivitar 285.
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