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Studio Lighting for heavy use. Cheap v Expensive kits?

Lucian 8 562
26 Sep 2011 9:49AM
It is my intention to do far more portraits now and i currently use elinchrom d-lite 2 and 4 studio heads. I have been looking at different studio lighting kits and notice that some kits can cost about 3000 for a 2 head kit as opposed 2 just a few hundered. I would like to know what the difference is. Are the 400 kits up to withstanding heavy use where 500 shots are taken in one session on a regular basis or will they go fauty before an expensive kit will. I am considering opening a studio so would like to puchase more lighting that suits heavy use if my current kit is not up to it? Any advice.


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strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2011 9:56AM
I think you already know the answer Lucian, of course the more expensive kit should have a longer service life, and no the 400 kits are not designed for heavy use. So either buy two or three sets of the lower cost stuff so you have spares and just accept you will kill it quickly. Check that the warranty covers your type of use.
Lucian 8 562
26 Sep 2011 10:27AM
Hi Strawman. Thats what i was thinking regarding warranty. I could get cheaper kits that are under warranty and if they went wrong i could get them replaced under warranty. The reason i was asking is because i already have elinchrom d-lite heads and dont know if it is a good idea to use different lights on background and subject so did not know if i should buy another identicle set or go and puchase more expensive lights. I will need to puchase 4 heads so i dont know if anyone could recommend what sets to get.

thewilliam 9 6.1k
26 Sep 2011 10:37AM
We've used Broncolor since we first set up because it was used in the studio wher I learned my craft.

The greatest single advantage is that it's WYSIWYG - the light quality from the modelling lights exactly the same as you're going to get from the flashtubes.

They do a superb range of light-shapers.

Broncolor is probably the most reliable and longest lasting of all marques. We can plug a 30 year old head into a current pack. We did renew all the packs when we went digital because the older versions aren't as colour stable.

Broncolor is one of the most expensive, but to use the words of l'Oreal, it's worth it.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
26 Sep 2011 10:58AM
We use Bowens in the studio and they have been 100% reliable. They also have a great range of modifiers and are also very colour stable. I'd recommend them.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
26 Sep 2011 11:24AM
If the OP isn't completely happy with Elinchrom, which along with Bowens are standard kit in many professional studios, he really needs to go top-end.

Did Lucian ever buy the Leica S2 outfit that several of us recommended?
arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2011 12:06PM
I would have thought w/s is also one of the reasons flash heads increase in price - within the Elinchrom range, there's a significant price difference between a 250w head and a 1200w head.

Also the shorter recycle times /flash-tube technology adds cost too.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
26 Sep 2011 12:07PM
Would be good to know which units he thought were best to manage just over eight hours of continious shooting - thats one long day.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
26 Sep 2011 12:58PM
Just get heads with user removable flash tubes and carry a couple of spares Smile
Lucian 8 562
26 Sep 2011 1:30PM
One of my elinchrom lights blew up a couple of years ago and it got fixed under warranty. this happened at a time where some photographers said their elinchroms had problems with overheating so i went and bought the fan cooled version as well. I like the light i get from them, it is easy to adjust the power. I have not used them enough to know if they are up to heavy use though. I dont need all the things like brollys that come with the lights because i have all that stuff already. Ideally i would like to get 4 high quality lights for as reasonable a price as possible. I need quite a fast recycle and sync speed so any advice on lights and prices would be appreciated.

arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2011 1:42PM
So, working along the lines that you stick with Elinchrom, as you have all the light modifiers you need, why not talk to the people at The Flash Centre - they've always been very helpful to me.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
26 Sep 2011 6:35PM
Lucian, if you want fast recycling, check out the new Scoro packs by Broncolor.
Lucian 8 562
26 Sep 2011 9:13PM
Never heard of Broncolor. How much do they cost for 4 heads on stands? So standard flash modifiers fit them?
Railcam 11 670 2 Scotland
26 Sep 2011 10:36PM
As you are intending to set up a serious studio, I am really surprised that you have never heard of Broncolor. Have you done any personal research of what is available? Do you buy any professional magazines such as Photo Professional (formerly Photo Pro)? They regularly to comparisons of studio and outdoor lighting kits and carry advertising from the lighting manufacturers.

The message you are sending out is akin to someone setting up an executive car rental business and saying he has never heard of Rolls Royce or Mercedes Benz.

Sorry if this comes over a bit negative but you cannot make a rational descision if you have not fully researched all the options. Reasearch needs to be deeper than asking questions on EPZ
thewilliam 9 6.1k
26 Sep 2011 10:58PM
Hasselblad import Broncolor. Does that give you a clue about its quality?

check out www.bron.ch

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