Good brands for lighting equipment?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, May 9, 2009.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    Hi All,

    i wanna have a private studio but wanna learn with the equipment in hand. what are the good advanced and long lasting brands?

  2. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2006
    A lot of my friends have been using Alienbees and swear by them.
    They are sturdy but not expensive.
  3. georgemann macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2005
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Best Studio Lights

    The best American studio lights (used by commercial photographers):

    Dynalite - (very high quality - light weight - expensive)

    Norman - (an industry standard)

    Speedotron - (big power - low cost)

    Novatron - (light weight - lower end)


    Alien Bees are not bad but cater mostly to traveling portrait photographers and amateur photographers (no offense intended).

    My personal favorite is Dynalite and I can vouch for their quality, having dragged them all over the world for more than 20 years.

  4. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    A lot of people swear by Profoto stuff recently. They also seem to be available at a lot of rental houses meaning you could easily expand the setup as needed for individual shoots.
  5. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    All I use is Profoto, I have four of their lights. Really good lights but they are pricey. But I have to say, they are worth their price.

  6. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I have Alien Bees, love 'em.

    Service is great too.
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    You should decide first if you want a pack and head unit or monos. I have a Novatron pack and head system and Alien Bee monolights. I prefer the Bees, since they're relatively consistent temperature-wise but much more adjustable than the pack system. Given the cost difference, the Bees were a good decision for me- though PCB also sells the more expensive White Lightening brand that's supposed to be more resilient. PCB has some new lights either coming out or out called Einsteins that look very interesting as well- if your space is small, just make sure that whatever you get isn't overpowered or can adjust down pretty far.
  8. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2003
    My choices for Studio type lighting;

    1. Norman lights for Continuous Lighting
      Bowens for strobe
      Broncolor if you have the money

    My choices for portable type lighting that encompass all types of Photography & videography;

    JTL Everlight Kit
  9. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    Bowens (I use 1000DX lights)
    Alien Bees (location)
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The above is correct (I use a Norman power pack system) but you don't have to stick with US brands. (Do you use a US made camera?) One of the absolut best lighting systems is made by "BronColor", a Swiss company.

    Don't forget about Calumet Photo's "house brand"

    You can buy any of these top brands used. The equipment will last "forever". Some of my Norman stuff is about 30 years old and if it ever fails the factory is local. Hunt the ads used stuff sells for 1/2 the price of new and works as well

    If cost is an issue then look at some of the light duty monoblocks such as Allen Bees, White and the like. But these do not compare with the like of Speedotron and the others.
  11. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Light is light for the most part. There are a few instances where you get color shifts, but it's no brand-based as much as it is strobe-design-based. I've yet to see a picture taken with a Speedtron that couldn't be taken with something from Paul C. Buff, Inc.

    Speedtrons are built like tanks, but that doesn't make a bunch of difference if (a) you don't do a lot of travel and (b) when you do, it's not all that uncivilized. Also, the price difference gets you more heads, which gives you more redundancy if you're not traveling all that light, or if you're in a single studio. I also think these days you're not going to get the same level of resiliency as the number of capacitor manufacturers and capacitor quality isn't what it was in the days when a lot of the units gained their reputation.

    My Novatron pack and head system is probably 10-12 years old, and my Bees are about a year old, neither of them have caused me any issues so far. If the ABs didn't have their own fans, I could see a better argument against them, but the fact is that PCB has fully 50% of the strobe market- way more than any of his competitors, and if they sucked then there wouldn't be many successful weekend warriors using them and it'd be plastered all over the Internet.

    The fact that the next set of ABs will work on non-sine wave inverters says a lot about PCB to me- since they make really good money off of their battery packs with the sine wave inverters.


Share This Page