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Thread: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

  1. #21
    8x10, 4x5, ..., Tessina Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Consider Novatron.

    They're good reliable units, and can be had at reasonable prices because they don't have the fancy name recognition.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  2. #22

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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Consider Novatron.

    They're good reliable units, and can be had at reasonable prices because they don't have the fancy name recognition.

    - Leigh
    I own a set of Novatrons that I bought off ebay for dirt cheap. I really like them but I have never used a different brand so I can't compare them.

  3. #23

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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    I think I used Novatrons in the past and found that mounting modifiers (and finding them) was frustrating. They are definitely cheap though.

  4. #24
    multi format
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Consider Novatron.

    They're good reliable units, and can be had at reasonable prices because they don't have the fancy name recognition.

    - Leigh
    i've had a pair of m300 monoblock lights since the mid 1990s
    and they work flawlessly. for a long time i wanted to supplement
    them with m500 monoblocks ... the company is in TX and if you
    call they will put you on the list for refurbished units that were trade-in

  5. #25
    Camera Antipodea Richard Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    PS the last time I did a commercial shoot with strobes it was (2009) pretty ghetto with the milk crates and I definitely needed an assistant to lug it all. If you are doing nicer higher level stuff appearances do matter and probably want to have "nice" looking gear for certain types of clients to take you seriously. However I have found those are usually the types of clients to avoid ;-p
    Had to smile at this Frank. The other day we were lugging my heavy crude gear around the inside of an earthquake damaged building. The fellow showing us around and giving us a hand saw my home made No. 8 wire frame finder, held up his hands in front of his eyes and said `What's wrong with that'. Yes, It's true, I've just been indulging myself and I don't need it at all. Best to leave it at home next time -- less to carry


    Best,

    Richard
    Richard Mahoney
    M: +64-21-064-0216 T: +64-3-312-1699 E: contact@indica-et-buddhica.com

  6. #26
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    lumedyne lights are full battery pack lights,
    and have been around for a long time ...
    their batteries are rated for 10 years
    ( mine lasted for longer )

  7. #27
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Sully,

    I have used mono lights since the late 1970's, first Bowens and now (for well over 25 years) White Lightnings. I have 2 of the Ultra 1800's and 2-600's. In all that time, there have been maybe four repairs and those were always at about $75.00.

    These lights take a variety of snoots, grids, reflectors, umbrellas and soft boxes. My biggest soft box is a 4x6 from calumet which hangs on tightly.

    They appear on the bay constantly and are often at well under $300 per unit.

    While they are not as powerful as something like the Speedotron black line series, they do put out plenty of power for anything I've needed for table top, portrait and architectural work, including with 8x10 work with slow lenses.

    There have been a couple of new series that they have introduced since the Ultras phased out and I have used those with similar satisfaction.

    You might want to visit their website at Paulcbuff.com to take a look at the extreme line of accessories.

    By the way, another extreme advantage in my way of thinking is that these units are made in Nashville and any repairs that may come up are also handled there. The few times I've needed repairs, they have taken place and been returned to me within a week, so very little down time for that one unit.

    One of the big reasons I bought the monolights to begin with is that if a central power pack for a pack and head system goes down, you have to have a back up in house or who knows how long until you are active again. With the mono lights, you can easily modify your set up to continue shooting with your remaining kit while the one is being repaired.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  8. #28

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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Lenser, thanks. I have kind of always avoided the Paul Buff stuff because a) the alien bees color schemes make the whole thing seem ridiculous and b) his rants about immigration rubbed me the wrong way.

    BUT I have been considering monolights vs pack and heads. Thanks for reminding me.

    I'm interested in why Frank seems to go for pack and heads vs monolights.

  9. #29

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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Because a big monolight on a stand is a heavy thing on a skinny pole.

    But you can rationalize it both ways. I figure with the monolights you need a heavier light stand so a lot of the size advantage is a wash. I don't fault anyone for using monolights though, I'd get them myself.

    I also have really cheap, multiples of lights so I just use em.

    A couple of monolights to provide back-ups to a pack and heads might make sense, usually the same brand uses the same parts and accessories. But watch out for the real cheapies like the Elinchrom D-Lites, which don't really interchange with their "pro" gear.

    The Paul C. Buff stuff makes a lot of sense but I never cared for the ugly Hillbilly design sense. What he should have done is to make a higher-end line for metrosexual snobs like me, make everything grey and black and sans-serif, spent more than $40 with a graphic designer, and he could have sold me lights years ago. Some metal fittings and slightly higher quality connectors and such would have allowed him to charge a lot more for a premium line and give Alien Bee users an upgrade path.

    But people like redneck and cheap, look at Walmart and Nascar. Paul C. Buff probably could buy Graceland and rock the Tiger Room.

  10. #30

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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    I think buying a set of strobes is like buying your first large format camera. You want something that is usable at a cheap price.

    Why buy a new Ebony, shoot it twice and find out sheet film just isn't your thing. There are a lot of lighting kits out there that that are for sale that really were not used!

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