Affordable Speedlite Studio Options

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As you read in Strobist Lighting 101, a portable speediite studio is an affordable and portable option for creative lighting control. The Strobist blog recommends a couple of starter kits from Midwest Photo Exchange (which happens to be in nearby Columbus Ohio). One kit comes with a flash for $245, and one kit does not come with a flash for $110. Each one includes a light stand, cold shoe adapter, white umbrella, and transmitter.

But then, I saw the savvy online shopping of CSU photo student Carissa Woytach. I asked her to put together the best, most affordable kit out there. And she didn’t disappoint. Here’s what she came up with. Note, this kit is dedicated for Canon, although similar flashes are also available for Nikon. All of the equipment below is available from

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Yongnuo Speedlite YN600EX-RT
$120 with free shipping

A step up from Strobist’s recommendation, this flash allows for wireless TTL and is available for Canon and Nikon. It can be set to be fired with your pop up flash without the pop up flash exposing.

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Neewer Speedlite & Umbrella Bracket
$11 with free shipping

This will adapt your light stand to hold your speedlite with an umbrella.

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CowboyStudio Set of Two 7 feet Photography Light Stands with Cases
$26 and free shipping

Two light stands that raise to 7 feet, and are compact when collapsed for travel, and they come with a bag.

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LimoStudio 2x 33″ Studio Lighting Umbrellas Translucent White soft Umbrella
$13 and free shipping (for 2 umbrellas)

Please notice that unlike the kits recommended by Strobist, this set up doesn’t have a transmitter. Instead, it assumes your camera has a pop up flash that can act as the master to the two slaves on the speedlites. If your camera doesn’t have a pop up flash, you will need a dedicated transmitter as well.

Also, please note, that this set up has not been tested, but is based on the specifications provided on Amazon’s website. It really should work. Carissa has based the set up on functionality, value, and ratings and reviews.

And here’s the BEST PART.  Notice how this set up comes with 2 light stands and 2 umbrellas? Well that means you can get 2 flashes, and 2 brackets and have a 2 light set up for only $301. So for just $55 more, you can double your lighting and have wireless TTL (the Strobist version only has Manual).

Thanks Carissa!


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One important difference between shooting in the studio, and shooting on location is weather. In particular WIND (and rain, but  now I’m talking about wind). You will have light weight flashes on light stands, up high, with huge-honking, wind catching UMBRELLAS on them. The wind can send those things flying. And the sandbags that we use in the studio make a portable studio less portable. Note that the light stands that come with the Strobist recommended kits have spikes on their legs. This is one option to reduce this risk if you can stick them into the earth, but not when you’re on concrete or other solid surface.Another lightweight option would be to use bungie cords to secure your gear. Be aware of this risk wind poses to outdoor location shooting, and use precautions. Check out this Strobist article, Against the Wind for other alternatives for securing your equipment doesn’t blow away.



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2 Responses to “Affordable Speedlite Studio Options”

  1. Strobist Lighting 101 | CSU Photo Says:

    […] […]

  2. CSU photo Approved Strobist Kits | CSU Photo Says:

    […] that they will work for you. You can go even cheaper with non-TTL kits, or with optical slaves. Here is our attempt to put together the most inexpensive TTL kit from a couple years […]

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