Strobes lighting recommendations

I Currently I want to buy Strobe Lighting,
I have a budget of $ 2500
I want something that I can use for some time.
And have some light modifiers and can be used in field without being connected to a wall,
Any recommendations?

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7 Comments

Chris Adval's picture

depends do you know if you want to be strictly studio or outdoor environmental? or do both?

Chris Adval's picture

depending if you already have an establish style in lighting, multiple great studio strobes lights or just 1 great light and maybe have other decent/good studio strobes to be non-key lights like kicker/hair, etc.. I'd spend it on either alienbees or Einsteins. of I more cash for 1 great key studio strobe I'd get a studio strobe with HSS with high w/s which could be profoto or Phottix Indra500. I don't have experience in these but I've done tons of research on lighting as I did start with adorama studio strob then moved to impact (b&h brand) which I'm still in, but plan to move up to ABs then possibly phottix or profoto.

Anthony Tripoli's picture

With that budget you could get 1 profoto B1 head, an extra battery and probably an Air remote to control it. You won't have any light modifiers or anything though, but those can be obtained later if need be.

You could buy a cheap shoot through/bounce umbrella to hold you over, or in a pinch you could always bounce it off a ceiling or wall. In the field you could bounce it off a silver or white reflector.

If it was me though with a budget of $2500 I would get two Paul C Buff Einsteins, a Vagabond Lithium Extreme, 2 extra batteries for it, a cyber commander and 2 transceivers (to control the lights from your camera). The einsteins aren't as tough as a profoto head, but they actually put out 140ws more than the B1's. Paul C. Buff has great customer service though and will fix just about anything that breaks over time, even when it is technically out of warranty. You'll get more bang for your buck and these heads should last you for a long while as long as you treat them right. Plus this setup leaves you about $500 to buy light modifiers.

Kendra Paige's picture

I have been a big fan of Elinchrom, they've served me very well as I first built up my lighting kit, as well upgraded since then. There are some great deals going on right now for some of their kits, like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086349-REG/elinchrom_el_20758_2_5...
The benefit of that kit is it already comes with a radio trigger that allows you to adjust the lights on-camera, as well as softboxes.

In terms of portable power, Vagabond Minis from Paul C. Buff have served me very well on-location. In terms of modifiers, my Mola beauty dishes are my favorite, which you'd easily be able to pick up and stay below your budget.

Peter House's picture

As Kendra mentioned, I am a big fan of Elinchrom myself. Profoto, while nice, will quickly blow your budget and won't leave to many options for modifiers or accessories. If you want a wise LONG TERM investment, I would go for Elinchrom.

If you want integrated battery power, there are also a bunch of new options on the market from companies like Jinbei or Godox. They may not be brand name, and they generally have some compromises, but you'll get good bang for the buck out of them.

If you want a good all arounder go for Paul C Buff products. I personally like the White Lightning line. Its super powerful, great range (8 stops as I recall), and they are built like tanks. In fact, I use them in my rental studio because if someone drops it, and they have, I know it will still work. If you do outdoor shoots, this might be a good thing to consider. Mind you, they are not the lightest, so it depends what is more important to you. Durability, or portability.

If you go with the integrated battery strobes, you dont have to worry about pluging into a wall. If you get a regular strobe, as mentioned, just grab a Vagabond battery pack. Maybe 2. Nice to have a backup.

As for modifiers, in studio I am currently loving my parabolics. Not the most practical outdoor modifier though. I would probably recommend a beauty dish because its fairly resilient in case you drop it, and it deals well with wind. I've also had good success with strip boxes in the wind.

Hope that helps.

Thank you very much to all, I really appreciate all of yours recommendations I have been considering buying Paul C. Buff, I want to buy some Profoto, but I see that I would not left money for modifiers, someone who can tell me about bowens strobes? I have a friend that have the gemini 400 they are good?