Sarah.Lynch 10:35pm, 16 September 2011
I'm debating on whether or not I can get away with just speedlights while shooting indoors this winter. I'd like to open my mind to other options that may not be so portable but offer other benefits.

If anyone is considering upgrading their current equipment let me know. I'm *cheap* and don't want to blow any cash on lights that might get very little usage most of the time. I have more questions than specifics about what I want so feel free to email me if I've been less than clear...

I just know that a lot of folks like to have the latest gadget and may have perfectly good older equipment lying around.

I'd check on ebay and CL, but I'm not even sure what I need or want yet. Polish that sales pitch!

Also considered - seamless paper set ups and backdrops....
JohnVillalovos 7 years ago
Of course you can get away with just speedlights indoors, IMHO. Use some foam board or white ripstop nylon to defuse the light and you should be good to go for little money.

Of course it depends on what you are planning on shooting. I'm thinking portraits for above advice. If you are doing interior architecture shots, then less likely.
JohnVillalovos 7 years ago
I just saw this video posted which is about using speedlights in a small studio.
Kaos_Photo 7 years ago
I shoot quite often with just speedlites. Infact, I tend to use my bigger strobes more outdoors to have a little more power when fighting the sun. When you don't have sun to deal with, speedlites are more than enough.
Sarah.Lynch Posted 7 years ago. Edited by Sarah.Lynch (member) 7 years ago
Thanks for your replies guys.

Yes, I know that speedlights will work fine in a studio setting. I do run into issues where they overheat though. Yes, I know I could just slow down....

I am also looking for backgrounds and seamless paper options. Oh, and modifiers, cookies, snoots, grids, pixies, and free chocolate. I am interested in any of those.

I figured I would give a heads up to everyone in the Portland group in case someone had something collecting dust or was about to sell something I could use.
Studio Gentry 7 years ago
My backdrop is PVC pipe and queen sized bed sheets. Not fancy, but it serves well enough.

If you're feeling industrious, may I suggest - Digging back through the blog archives you can find many tips on where to buy on the cheap or how to DIY. :-)

The Strobist blog also has some equipment pointers in the Lighting 101 & 102 archives. Midwest Photo Exchange also offers weekly deals in a banner on the blog (top of main page)
Jayesunn Krump 7 years ago
I would suggest that you look at some used Alienbees strobes if you are going to be shooting in a studio this winter. They are not expensive at all and you would not need the most powerful units either. A couple of 400's can get you far.

For modifiers I am sure that you can pick up some used or even new convertible umbrellas for next to nothing.

If you have a large enough space you can always get a roll of white seamless to go black so that makes backgrounds versatile and easy.

Pro photo supply tends to have some lighting gear used at a fairly good price.

I used to get my rolls of paper from citizens photo and they seem to also always have some used gear to check out.

dath1974 7 years ago
I think I have an old crazy PVC backdrop setup that I put together in a fit of cheapness around somewhere still. . . It's yours if you want the wretched thing. How's that for a sales pitch?

I know you're looking to get your own gear, but if you'd like to shoot with me sometime, I'd be happy to share my studio lights in an indoor setting so you can see if the setup really gives you much value over just shooting with speedlights. Personally, I really like the bigger lights, even when I don't need the power. Recycle times are fantastic and I've never overheated one. I hated all the artificially induced pauses when shooting speedlights on high power. . . Plus you can get away with using light-eating modifiers more easily. All that said, I actually use a combination of speedlights and bigger lights when I shoot in studio settings most of the time, I just try to use the speedlights on lower power settings for little accents, hair, kickers, etc.

Kaos_Photo 7 years ago
Thanks a really good point on the recycle times of bigger strobes vs speedlights. On high power they can take several seconds of usable shooting time to recycle.
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