A&P Recommend a portrait studio setup

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by tenplanescrashing, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    Just as the title says, im looking for a simple yet effective studio setup to include camera body, lens, lightboxes/strobes, etc.

    My mom is going to take out a small business loan to do yearbook & senior photos for their local high school and nearby schools. She is a Nikon shooter so don't start posting Canon stuff.

    The only reason she's doing this is because the local schools are talking about taking photos themselves because they nor the kids can afford the photographer they used to hire and there isn't anyone else in the area to consider.

    I was going to recommend the following to her:

    Nikon D300
    Nikkor 85mm f/1.4
    Nikon Camera Control Pro 2
    Macbook Pro

    Backdrop + stands
    Stool
    Backdrop fill strobe
    Hair/head strobe
    Two main strobes w/ softboxes
    Pocketwizards
    Misc. cords, stands and equipment as needed

    Am I close?
     
  2. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    Alienbees :run:
     
  3. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    And the 85 f/1.4 as in only lens is a horrible idea.
     
  4. hurleyint1386

    hurleyint1386 Someone has sand in their vagina

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    If it's just for yearbook pictures (like sitting in a chair and smiling), then it's not like much will change. Wouldn't one lens be fine temporarily? I would understand if you want some variation, then you would use different lenses.
     
  5. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    85 is just a bit long unless she has a large space to work with IMO.
     
  6. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    I thought about the 50mm as well but thought the 85 would be more ideal.

    this is what im looking for...post up recommendations.
     
  7. hurleyint1386

    hurleyint1386 Someone has sand in their vagina

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    50mm 1.8 or 1.4 would be pretty nice. I hear the 1.4 is nice, though
     
  8. 1992 240SX

    1992 240SX New Member

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    That depends on how much room she has. 85 on a cropped sensor is REALLY tight unless she has a lot of space to work with. The 50 might be just fine with the D300 cause at least she has the option to move back if she needs a wider shot whereas with the 85 if she hits a wall, that's as far as shes going.
     
  9. alexromo

    alexromo New Member

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  10. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    well, if they do the shoots in the same location they did when I went to school there, an 85 will be just fine. Im thinking the 50mm f/1.4 might be a better option though. I have the 50mm f/1.8...do you think she'd need the extra stop or no?
     
  11. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    Unless a reason is supplied, i'll assume a prime is the best choice for this situation as she won't have a need to zoom
     
  12. 1992 240SX

    1992 240SX New Member

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    If she's shooting studio only I think she may be fine with the 1.8. I mean, most of the time I shoot with flashes I'm nowhere near my lens' widest aperture anyway. If she decides she wants to shoot with just the modeling lights, she can drop it to 1.8, and bump the ISO a couple of stops...the D300 is pretty decent with noise control I hear.
     
  13. MSIGuy

    MSIGuy om nom nom nom!

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    Where in SD? I'm just north of you...
     
  14. Tedrzz

    Tedrzz New Member

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    An 85 f/1.4 isn't a good idea because there is no way she will ever be shooting at anywhere near f/1.4...in the studio at least. In the studio I always shoot f/8,11,16. I'd recommend a 70-200, whenever I'm shooting portraits thats the only lens I use. If she uses a 50mm lens it won't compress their features enough and I don't think the pictures will come out as desired.
     
  15. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    .
    I was thinking 80-200 or 70-200 (given large enough room of course).
     
  16. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    you want reliable color, don't mess with alien bees.... pick up a set of Elinchroms, the Dlite 2's would be perfect for simple headshots... she'll want 3 lights, one key, one fill and one BG/hair light. 85mm should be fine for headshots. PW's aren't necessary. The strobes will be close enough to her that a wired set up would be fine to the key light, then set the fill and bg light on optical and fire away.
     
  17. ftslogger

    ftslogger OT Supporter

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    If you want a zoom...the 35-70 is called the Beast, Jr. That'll allow zooming, and get fast glass at a constant f/2.8 You'll have to look used, because they are no longer produced by Nikon. The 85mm is a good choice for headshots. I'd also look at a 50mm f/1.4 or a f/1.2 AIS (manual focus).
     
  18. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    I wasn't going to recommend alien bees. I've heard good things about Norman lights and was going to recommend those. I figured I was right with the light setup but the one thing I don't like is inconsistencies with firing other strobes with the optical sensors. I use a couple JTL strobes and they have both an optical sensor as well as an IR sensor and they aren't consistent on either.

    So you think the 85mm would be fine? I don't think I should look at getting a zoom lens as it won't need to be adjusted once the shoot starts and any adjusting can be made by moving in and out with the tripod. I know we won't get anywhere near the f/1.4 range but stopped to f/8 im sure the photos will be crisp.
     
  19. Tedrzz

    Tedrzz New Member

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    You don't need a 1000 dollar lens to have sharp images at f/8...If you are on a budget I would get something cheaper like a used d200 and a zoom telephoto lens...trust me dude there is no substitute. But I guess the bottom line is it's all personal preference, if all she is going to be doing is studio portraits then I guess an 85 wouldn't be all that bad. But if she is going to be doing any outside senior pictures a zoom tele would be your ticket.
     
  20. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    She will be getting a loan so her budget is only limited to the amount she requests. She will probably get other equipment with this money, no doubt, but im looking specifically for a studio setup and I don't think a zoom lens will be the best choice.
     
  21. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    Remember, just because a lens is super sharp doesn't make it ideal for portraits. Sharp = showing every perfection. Not necessarily the best thing for portraits. Especially in HS. :rofl:
     

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