ART OTAP School me in studio light-kits


New Member
Apr 26, 2009
G'day blokes,

I have been hunting around the net and looking at lighting for some time.

Most of the time if I owned a lighting kit it would be used in my studio. At the moment all I have is a home made backdrop with linen sheets, plus strobing through an umbrella and using a reflector. However I do see that it would be handy to take the kit out in the field where there are no power outlets.

That being said, there's Elinchrom, alien bee, cheap ebay crap, not so cheap ebay crap and so much more...what's good and what's not? I don't get the chance to see any of this stuff as there are no retail shops in Canberra that sell it. All I can go by is what I read and what people tell me.

As far as light output is concerned, some use watts, some use lumen, some use the heck can I compare? What should I be looking for? What does it all mean? AAARRGGHHH ..meltdown...

What's gimmicky accessories and what's actually good to have?

I guessing I need as a bare minimum:

Backdrops and stand
3 Lights and stands (Key-light, fill-light and hair-light?)
2 or 3 large softboxes
Snoot, flags, grids, beauty dish, barn doors, large reflector, and some extra stands and grip
Sandbags to hold down light stands?
Portable power?
Wireless trigger

Is it best to buy this in a mix-and-match kind of deal or are there good kit deals out there?



OT Supporter
Aug 19, 2002
dirty souf
Baz man,

I can only tell you what I use and like. I have four Photogenic mono lights, 4 or 5 stands (13' airsofts are the best I've found), a boom pole, several sandbags, a Vagabond II portable power unit, a large 4'x3' softbox, a large octobox (which sees very little use) a smaller softbox (hairlight/rimlight) three umbrellas, a reflector and a few other odds and ends like grip clamps and some other grip stuff. I use Pocketwizards to fire all my lights. I also have CTO gell for each light to convert it from daylight temp to 3200k.

However, having said that, my speedlights still get used the most as they are the most portable. But there are times when a larger light is the best way to go.

My units are measured in watts/seconds with 1500 being the most powerful strobe I own (capable of burning your eyeballs out), two others are 360 w/s and one is a 160 w/s. The smaller unit is less powerful than my cheapest speedlights but light isn't necessarily all about power, rather it's about control. I rarely use my mono lights at near full power.

I also own a backdrop system and two 9' rolls of seamless paper (one black the other white). I don't' use any other backdrop, preferring to shoot on location on against seamless.

Elinchron is generally top notch gear from what I've read. Alien bee's are middle of the road, much like my Photogenics. They do a fine job.

Hope this helps in some way.


Jul 21, 2006
if you need a lot of power outdoors, get an elinchrom ranger rx kit
or if you want something a lot lighter and more portable, get the elinchrom quadra kit

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