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Lighting Setup Advice

Ste1337

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Hi, Ive just recently started acquiring some photography gear and i was wondering what would be a good basic setup for portraits. I just have a few questions. I currently have a tripod, a century stand and a 120cm octabox with a trigger and 2 flash guns. I plan on eventually getting a magmod setup and a light blaster for the lighting background effects.

How many stands and softboxes would you say i need in total?

Are C-Stands always better than a normal stand just harder to carry and more expensive?

Are there any other softboxes/umbrellas i should have? If so what size?

Also what size case do i need for a C-Stand? Are there any affordable ones?

Thanks in advance for any help :)
 

DonS

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I moved this to the lighting section, just trying to keep things on topic.

How many? Well, it depends. (Yes, I stole that from Rick Sammon). Many lighting setups are 1 light, but 2 light and 3 light happen as well. It depends on the look you are going for. Softboxes, well, different sizes for different looks. Also consider a beauty dish, which can be had in a fold up style as well (I have one).

I have never used a C stand myself. I have fold up stands, so I cannot give any advice on those. I know some here have used or own them.

Umbrellas can be had fairly cheaply, so I would recommend at least 2 shoot through and 2 reflective (gold and silver). For softboxes, it depends on what you are doing. However, a really large octobox softbox does produce nice light for many situations. I have a 120cm one, but you can get bigger. Bigger light = softer light.

For cases, get whatever size you need. I have a Godox hard side case for my stands, but there are many out there.
 

Ste1337

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Ok thankyou for moving it, im still new to the forum :)

Is the MagBox considered a beauty box? Im a bit confused as to what a beauty box is, is it just a smaller and deeper version of an octabox?

If i have 2 stands would that usually be enough? I was thinking it would give full coverage for lighting from both sides, or i could use 1 for shooting a backdrop and the other for lighting effect. Also if i am using a softbox will i ever use an umbrella at the same time? My understanding of it is that umbrellas give a more natural "daylight" type of lighting in a studio set up? What size umbrella would you recommend as i notice they come in a lot of sizes.
 

oldgeezer

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When you say flash guns, what are they ?
Speedlight's or Studio Strobes ?

Depending on what colour you want as a background will decide on the amount of lights you will need.
White will need 2 for background and one for key light minimum for pure white.
Anything else can be done with 1 light which is a very pleasant way to shoot.
Start with one light until you find your positioning which you like.
Get used to what it does in different positions before jumping into multi lighting.
Umbrellas are very versatile and you don't need massive ones.
Silver or white reflective (not gold) and a couple of shoot through. Very cheap.
Your softbox is fine and a decent size.
More info from you on the lights and what you expect to do with them then we can go further.
 

Ste1337

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I have a Canon 550EX but i am ordering 2x Godox 860ii and the XPRO2 trigger to use instead as they are li-ion and have the 2.4ghz receivers.

Are the umbrellas easily attachable to the C-Stands? My partner works in the adult industry and its basically a small at-home studio set up for her photography so it looks a little bit more professional. The light blaster and magmod gear was more for some artistic sort of stuff more for my own enjoyment whilst taking the pictures.

So you recommend i get 2x silver/white umbrellas and 1 transluscent one?

Thanks for the advice :)
 

oldgeezer

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Get a couple of these. They are better than the usual cold shoe mounting .
They will take your umbrellas and have Bowens mount for modifiers.
They fit on lightstands and are more secure than other mounts.

s-l640.jpg
 

Ste1337

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Are they the S Bracket Bowens Mount? I have already ordered a couple off of amazon i think, here is the link :)

 

oldgeezer

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Are they the S Bracket Bowens Mount? I have already ordered a couple off of amazon i think, here is the link :)

Yeah, they are the same.
 

Skyshot

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How many stands and softboxes would you say i need in total?
I'd say a max of three to get you started and add more as you need them.

Are C-Stands always better than a normal stand just harder to carry and more expensive?
C-stands are much better for studio work and are easy to stack in a corner as you add more to your collection. To get you started though and for mobile use, you'll be better off with normal stands. I'd recommend air-damped ones and don't be tempted to buy lightweight ones. Although you may only be using speedlights, the softboxes will still make them unstable unless you use sandbags.

Are there any other softboxes/umbrellas i should have? If so what size?
As Don has said; the bigger the better. It all depends on what you want to achieve. I would strongly recommend you do a lot of studying and research about lighting techniques before you go buying lots of gear. If you don't you're going to be wasting a lot of money.

Also what size case do i need for a C-Stand? Are there any affordable ones?
I don't know of a dedicated C-stand case, but I imagine they're available somewhere. Probably something heavy-duty like flight boxes.

I got this incredibly strong and good value microphone stand case from Germany and it comfortably fits six of my heavy-duty three metre lightstands in it: https://www.thomann.de/gb/gravity_bgms_6_b.htm
 
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