Page 5 of 7 FirstFirst ... 34567 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 63

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

  1. #41
    Forever Beardless Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,321

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

    I had Dynalites for over ten years, and never had a problem.
    They are not as silky as Profotos, but they get the job done.
    I wish I could afford the new stuff out now.

  2. #42

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    9

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    Because a big monolight on a stand is a heavy thing on a skinny pole.

    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.
    I've been using the Paul C. Buff White Lightning monolights for several years. I have three x1600 lights I picked up used on craigslist and other local sales. They've been stellar, but they don't get heavy use from me. I'd like to add an x800 for background lighting and an x3200 for MORE POWER now that I'm adding 8x10 LF to my MF gear.

    The White Lightning series IS the upgrade path from Alien Bees. Light is light, but the WL series are built more substantially for heavy use. WL monolights are black with basic white lettering. I don't have any AB's to compare them to, but the WL's have very strong attachment points for speed rings. One of my 2x4' soft boxes is quite heavy compared to the Buff accessories and the WL has no problem holding is securely. I wouldn't hesitate to hook a 7' octobox to it if I had one.

    They fetch a better used price than old Normans or Dynalights, for sure. You can still find a few used deals if you're patient. Buff does support them well with in-country repairs (if you're in the US) at a reasonable price.

    The slippery slope is the stands and modifiers. You can never have too many different types of either. I just picked up an awesome RedWing cantilevered boom with 18" and 48" extension rails on Craigslist for $100.

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,296
    Right now, through a lot of horse trading and breaking up kits and reselling the extras, I've managed to assemble two identical kits in medium Lightware cases: two each of a Dynalite 500xl plus two 1015 non-blower heads, plus a Paul C. Bluff mini-Lithium battery and a pair of Pocket Wizards Plus IIs, Minolta Auto-Meter IVFs, various cords, slaves, and analog syncs. Plus a set of grids, a bare tube head, spare flash and several modeling tubes, four umbrellas up to 72-inches, eight newer Lowell stands, a boom, and set of Manfrotto Auto-Poles, plus a collapsible backdrop. For $2450 total, but there was a lot of time put into trading and the batteries only work with certain combinations of Dynalite gear.

    But... With that I can do most anything I can think of on location, at least for single-twin portraits. I set up on battery the other day and got f/45 out of the silver giant Buff umbrella at full-length distances, so I can easily drop the background a couple of stops even with the slower sync speed of a focal plane shutter, even more so with a leaf. (I shoot ISO 400 and prefer wider apertures so if I was shooting 8x10 and needed depth of field I'd need four times more light.)

    I own a bunch of Buff accessories and they perform great but they are also weakest links in my kit. It is bizarre because they sell a nice giant umbrella for under $100 and the Profoto is $1500... But the Buff has plastic ribs. Why they don't add a little quality and charge $200 for something that won't fall apart is maddening - there is a big gap in the market. Still... Their Mini-Lithium batteries are brilliant, even if the attachments are crap.

  4. #44

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    9

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

    I agree with the assessment of the Paul Buff accessories. I have one of their soft boxes and it's not nearly as sturdy as my others. It works fine. I'm pretty gentle on my equipment anyway, but I don't knock it around.

    I believe the Alien Bees are good lights targeted to an affordable price point that forces some compromises in heavy duty applications. The White Lightnings will stand up to pro use on a regular basis. I'm not a working pro, but I like the sturdiness of the WL line for attaching large modifiers.

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    6,682

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

    A friend's old brown Speedotron kit seems to have achieved immortality---it was old when I was young!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  6. #46

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

    Hey, for very basic still life, and maybe some portrait work, what is recommend for under 5 bills? I see a lot of cheap kits on eBay... are they just garbage?

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Lighting-Stu...p3286.c0.m1538

  7. #47
    retrogrouchy
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    797

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
    You might be but the OP was asking about "fairly powerful, classy, versatile studio lights, preferably used." An objection was raised re monolights. Seems perfectly reasonable that a classy, versatile monolight would by this century have remote control.
    They do. Even the cheap Chinese ones (Menik LD and SQ series) have remotes; I'm sure that the current Elinchrom and Bowens offerings do too.

  8. #48
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    2,676

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Carterofmars View Post
    Hey, for very basic still life, and maybe some portrait work, what is recommend for under 5 bills? I see a lot of cheap kits on eBay... are they just garbage?

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Lighting-Stu...p3286.c0.m1538
    To keep it under $500, I'd get a used minolta flash meter (just cuz that's what I'm familar with), A cheap shoot-through umbrella, a cheap reflective umbrella, a bigger cheap softbox to simulate window light, a reflector kit (perhaps even diy this), and then you might have $250 for the actual lights and stands. $200 would buy you a pair of old white lightning 10000/5000 strobes which work well, but lack the fine tuning of modern gear and are resellable. I haven't tried the chinese monolights, but there are some new in that price range as well.

  9. #49

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,013

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

    Frank,

    what is your exact Dynalite kit? Not even sure what I'd be looking for as far as models, it would be good to have something good to start with.

    Tjhanks
    Paul

  10. #50

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,296
    500xl packs and 1015 heads. No longer made but they show up on eBay occasionally.

Similar Threads

  1. What lights should I buy?
    By SAShruby in forum Gear
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2010, 07:22
  2. Studio flash Pt2 preowned? wattage? wisdom?
    By emo supremo in forum Gear
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 22-Dec-2009, 11:57
  3. is this a good buy?
    By 8equalsdennis in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2009, 11:41
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2008, 09:27
  5. Is a 240mm a good choice for a general purpose 4x5" studio lens?
    By Stefan Geysen in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 7-Apr-2001, 11:29

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •