11 February 2015

Studio Almost Ready

I am using the term "studio" loosely.  By studio I mean "dining room with lights and stuff".  Like many amateur photographers I do not have a dedicated studio space.  I would really love to, but we just do not have room at home.  I would even build a winterized shed in the backyard if I had space.  Aside from that, I have much of the equipment now!

I just took delivery of a new studio strobe.  This one is a 400 watt unit, but is identical to my other 300 watt units.  How about an inventory?

1x Jinbei Spark 400 watt strobe (guide number 60)
2x Jinbei Spark 300 watt strobes (guide number 52)
2x Jinbei D200 (200 watt) strobes (guide number 42) I am considering selling one or both of these
2x 120 cm octagonal softboxes (different brands)
2x 30 cm X 90 cm strip softboxes   (no-name from Henry's camera)
2x 60 cm octagonal softboxes (no-name from Henry's) I purchased these before I found a deal on larger
2x 60 cm square softboxes (one Bowens, one no-name from Henry's)
1x 8 foot Canadian Studio boom stand
Various light stands, tall and short. 
Various umbrellas (shoot through and reflector)
Neewer RT-16 wireless triggers 
Collapsible and reversible (black/grey-white) background for head shots
2x kit bags from Canadian Studio (one with wheels, one without)

I have been building this up for a long time.  It started with finding a great deal on a continuous lighting kit on Amazon.  It came with four light stands, two tall and two short and umbrellas.  It was less for the kit than the separate components and had a bag. 

I kept my eye out for clearance sales and open box items.  My second 120 cm octagonal softbox was supposed to be a square one but I got the eight side instead.  Bonus for me. 

The first strobes I purchased were the D200's.  I purchased all of my strobes from photogear.com which is a division of 123Inkcartridges based in Montreal.  They had them on sale for under $60 each.  Then they had the Spark 300 on sale so I got an upgrade.  The Sparks have an advantage over the D200s in that they take Bowens accessories.  They all have umbrella holders built into the mounts, but you have to use a "universal mount" for a softbox speedring on the D200s. 

Performance wise I am quite pleased with the Jinbei strobes.  The Sparks work very well and I have not had an problems with them overheating.  The power adjustment is only just a dial but these are economy lights.  I just found out there is a Spark II model now that has a digital display showing the power in f/stops.  Right now I would recommend the Jinbei strobes to others. 

One thing I am considering is a larger background.  The collapsible one I have is nice, it has a strap to fit on a chair, but it is small.    A larger set up would be much more flexible. 

Hopefully we are not having any dinner parties soon.