Looking for the best value in photography lighting kits?
The variety of kits for photo lighting and related accessories that is available to you is staggering.
You may ask yourself what is the best direction to go in. Like other tips for taking digital photography, it is all about what you are trying to accomplish with your photography.
With the advent of digital cameras and better results with high ISO setting, there has been a trend toward continuous lighting sources rather than flash.
I've been shooting portraits for over 27 years using flash photography for almost all of my indoor portraits and primarily natural light only for outdoor portraits.
I have used photography light kits made by Novatron.
The reason is not because Novatron is the best around.
In fact, they are a company that went out of business.
It's because that is what my employer provided to all of its photographers. I became comfortable with using them so much that I never switched.
Novatron offers lightweight, portable studio flash lighting equipment that is easy to assemble and quite durable. The re-designed much of their lighting equipment when digital photography arrived.
In the over 20 years that I've been self-employed as a photographer, I may have replaced one Novatron flash bulb and perhaps two or three of the cords for the light heads.
The two light umbrella system is "safe" to use to create pleasant portrait lighting as well as shadowless product photography. Understand a few simple two umbrella lighting techniques and you can create beautiful portraits. With any of these type of lighting systems, it is easy to good control and adjust the light ratio between heads.
Of course with digital photography , there are three main areas to master: (1)-Understanding your digital camera and it's settings, (2)-using good composition tips and then (3)-learning good photography lighting.
The Novatron lighting kit pictured here uses a power pack and separate light heads that plug into the pack which must be plugged into an outlet for power..
This big photography lighting kit pictured on the left uses light heads that each contain their own small power pack.
If you have enough room in your photography area or your own photo studio, large systems make sense.
With location photography, you'll want something more light weight and easy to set up. I've used the same 600 watt-second Novatron power pack for large groups of 150 people as well as individual head shots of business executives and high school seniors.
The advantage of having such a powerful piece of equipment is that I can use a low power setting on it and the flash will recycle extremely quickly.
This means I won't miss a shot while waiting for the flash to recharge.
Now that digital camera sensors have advanced so much, low power and even continuous light source photography lighting kits are a great option.
You can buy lighting equipment that use daylight balanced bulbs and are continuous-that is to say, they are not flashes. They are light weight and ridiculously affordable.
The photo lighting kits listed below are very highly rated by Amazon customers. I personally have trust in Amazon and am a frequent purchaser from them.
One other point is that they are not as bright as using electronic flash. This is not a big deal unless you are doing photography of a large group or a moving target. You can always use a higher ISO setting or brighter bulbs to get a higher shutter speed to prevent motion blur.
You can compensate with a lower aperture number (larger opening) but you will have more of a shallow depth of field situation and need to be careful that your subject is still in a clear zone of focus.
If this is a little confusing, here is an article on Photo Exposure Tips
Photography Lighting Systems. What kind of photography lighting systems might be right for you. Here are some pros and cons on different equipment systems.
Photography Lighting Equipment. The different characteristics of lighting equipment and the type of photography you do should be considered before buying.
I replaced my old one with a New Novatron Power Pack
This 600 watt lighting kit by Limostudio has received 85% 4-star and 5-star reviews by 859 reviewers (at the time this article was written):
LimoStudio-Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit