Photography News 15

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Flash guide

The best studio flash kits for under £1000 Even with a fistful of dollars, picking the right flash kit for your club can be a head-scratching affair. Don’t worry, PN is here to help with our top picks for under a grand… STUDIOKIT ROUND-UP

Words by Kingsley Singleton

Buying a studio flash kit for your camera club is right up there with the best ideas that humanity has ever had, like making fire, electricity and communism. Okay, maybe not the last one, which was essentially a perversion of Karl Marx’s original desire to share sweet photographic equipment between camera-toting comrades, but all in all, the benefits are pretty encouraging: you avoid a big outlay yourself, get to use some good gear, and you can share knowledge of the equipment and applicable accessories. The trouble is, with so many kits competing for your attention, which to choose? Well, we’ve come up with a realistic budget of £1000 and eight packages that fit well within it, each boasting a suite of attractive features alongside the central benefit of helping you taking better studio-style shots. Here’s another thought though: when picking, don’t just go for the cheapest, most expensive or highest powered; consider how and where the kit will be used, what will be shot with it, and by who.

We’ve come upwith a realistic budget of £1000 and eight packages that fit well within it, each boasting a suite of attractive features alongside the central benefit of helping you taking better studio-style shots

greater flexibility in your lighting arrangement. Controllability is important, too, and whether (as well as how easily) the flash heads can be controlled and triggered wirelessly, allowing you to refine settings from a single position. All the following kits are portable, but some are lighter than others; some are sturdier. And just as adding lenses to your kitbag widens your creative options, using different light shapers will add sophistication to your shots – so be mindful not of what comes with the kit, but the fit of modifier that it uses, so that you can judge the options available.

Flash kits are generally defined by the power offered from their heads and this is measured in watts per second (Ws). Some kits quote the combined power of the heads, but the strength of individual units is more revealing. The more power produced, the further you’ll be able to throw the light, covering larger subjects, and the more you’ll be able to diffuse the light without its intensity dropping to an unusable level. But more power doesn’t always mean better results – many techniques require low-power, short flash duration to freeze movement. Buy multiple, lower-powered heads and you’ll also allow

Photography News | Issue 15

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