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

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    9,296

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

    They will service 35 year old lights.

    A lot of the parts are still the same, the designs are long-lived, they've been using the same flash tube for the last 20 years.

  2. #12

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

    See what you can find locally.

    I have been pretty happy with my Speedotron system. Over the course of a year or so I picked up three big boxes, six heads (including one which handles 9600ws), and a few sturdy stands, all used, for less than $1200. I bought it mostly on Craigslist from studios who had moved to digital, and no longer needed the power/bulk/weight of Speedotron Blackline systems. I have seen and used other systems (Norman, Dynalite), and am happy with what I have.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    St. Louis, Mo.
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    1,363

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

    If you buy an older pack and head system and want to use your digital camera with it as well as your large format camera just remember to use a slave with the digital camera.

    I have heard that the older systems can fry a digital camera.

  4. #14

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

    The new pack and head systems work fine on digital!

  5. #15

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

    You also want to learn how to disconnect the heads without blowing your arm off. The newer systems have more safety features and I think the Dynalites have a shortened pin to prevent arcing but all of these strobes, even the newest $$$ ProFoto, can kill you if you are stupid around them.

    Just a side note ;-)

    If you buy Normans let me take out a life insurance policy on you.

  6. #16

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    I have heard that the older systems can fry a digital camera.
    As Frank mentioned above, it is absolutely necessary to buy a safe-sync if you are going to use your older strobes directly wired to a digital camera. Of course, if you use IR or radio sync this isn't necessary.

    Another point using older systems with digital: The lowest power I can get out of my system is about 100ws, which is still occasionally too powerful for shooting digital, so I have to use ND filters with the heads. This is a PITA, so eventually I will buy cheap monolights for digital.

  7. #17

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    Feb 2010
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    If you buy Normans let me take out a life insurance policy on you.
    You could have made millions in mortgage fraud!

  8. #18
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    2,608

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

    I like my Dynalite kit. Not that I use it that much.

    Frankly, I'd stay away from old Norman stuff, even though it's out there, one can find modifiers, etc. Those old powerpacks can be lethal. You have to do things, just so, or they can arc.

  9. #19

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

    Actually my advice to get the old big beater stuff is not ideal. I tend to use everything on full or half power, no subtle adjustments whatsoever. The newer gear allows you to dial in settings to a tenth of a stop.

    Even so, lots of people save their old strobes for lighting backgrounds or bouncing off walls while using their better, newer strobes as the main lights on the subject.

    If all I used was DSLRs, smaller monolights would be fine.

  10. #20
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Re: What's a good buy in used studio lights?

    smith victor

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