Please help out a "Flash Photography Virgin"...

perpetualjon

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
226
Location
Southern California
So... I got into the u43 world initially to shoot video. But I've just been taken by stills photography for the last year and think it's time to get my first strobes. I like shooting in low light with dramatic shadows but I've been working with continuous lighting equipment that I already had. But they're heavy and I can probably do much better with strobes. Here's what I'm thinking of getting:

400W strobe with lamp
http://www.amazon.com/Cowboystudio-Photography-Studio-Monolight-Strobe/dp/B003XCDA9A
--I like this sort of thing over a speed light because I don't really plan on shooting outside "on the go" where I'd need something mounted on the camera. Maybe in the future but not for right now...

Wireless trigger set
http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-NPT-04-Speelights-extra-receiver/dp/B005IQRMN4

Soft Box (I've been working with soft boxes with my continuous lights and love them)
http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER-Studio-Softbox-50x70cm-Universal/dp/B004KVJ3OE

...Or maybe a beauty dish (soft box style)
http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER-Studio-Softbox-50x70cm-Universal/dp/B004KVJ3OE

So, am I heading in the right direction? Are there any pitfalls to this? Hell, I don't even know if this equipment is compatible with my GH3 (although I'd be stunned if it isn't).

Are there some good beginners tutorials on this sort of work? I'm already thinking of getting a good light meter but I've been using a light meter on my Android phone as of late but don't know how to calibrate it for a strobe.
 

inkista

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
527
Location
San Diego, CA
... Here's what I'm thinking of getting...
First off, there's nothing wrong with what you've selected, but it's all bargain basement kind of gear. You may want to do some model and brand research before going for the lowest end gear. Just going for the lowest prices, as with most photography gear, can have unforeseen consequences.

If you're really bound and determined to go bargain prices, I'd also point out that Yongnuo just announced a TTL-capable studio strobe. While that TTL would probably only be Canon-compatible at first, it's said they'll work with the YN-622C triggers. And I've used a YN-622C-TX and YN-622C triggers on my GX-7 to manually control the power level/zoom settings on my Canon TTL speedlights. This can be incredibly handy. Wireless triggers these days have a large range of capabilities, and the landscape changes very swiftly. Again, doing some more research into what's out there, and why you might want it would probably pay off.

When it comes to modifers--buy as needed. Everybody's style and needs are different. What modifiers will appeal to you are similar to what lenses you want to put in the bag--not everybody needs the same things for the same reasons. And some modifers can be DIYed, others can't. And again, there's a large gamut of price/quality, and you may want to do a bit of research first. You definitely want the softbox because you know you need it.

Most of us would say start simple. Start small. Start with one light. And one of the best sources of information will probably be the Strobist.

You may also want to get this thread moved over into the Lighting section.
 

klee

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
367
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Kevin
if you're looking for cheap studio strobes, DPreview did an article on these units
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/5146508939/flashpoint-budget-studio-monolight-review

If you're not shooting exclusively in the studio, I recommend trying researching the GH3's TTL and remote commander function. I love the Olympus version between my EM5 and the FL-600R. (although, line of sight can be tricky for difficult studio type shots where the off camera flash is hiding behind an obstacle or prop).
 
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