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Best monolights for small studio??

Adam L , Jan 12, 1998; 03:13 p.m.

I'm looking into setting up a small studio in my house. My preference is for monolights. Pop Photo seemed to like Adorama's Flashpoint units but I'm leery of going with a "no-name". Any helpfull hints?


Dan Brown , Jan 13, 1998; 03:25 p.m.

Adam, I was looking into this myself. I have not purchased any monolights yet, so all I can talk about is my perception from the vast amount of info I have studied. I have, for example, ordered specs & brochures from all the manufactures, etc. Also, I have read many user comments. On balance, it looks like the Paul C. Buff White Lightning WL5000/WL10,000 lights make a great deal of sense, if low cost and high quality are your criteria. Also, a close second would be the Novatron monolights, the ones that look like the power pack head lights, not the new one.

But, if you see yourself going further, and making a long term commitment to studio lighting for both studio or location work, you might want to look carefully at the Paul C. Buff Ultra series and/or ZAP1000 lights. They really look like good values and all the users I have heard speak of them, just love them. Especially the ZAP1000, if you don't think you would ever want remote control capability.

Hope this helps...

auralee -- , Jan 13, 1998; 06:00 p.m.

I looked around and did a lot of reading before I purchased lights. The area I use (for photographing new employees) is miniscule. I bought 1 Photogenic 750 and it worked so well, I bought 2 more (a 750 and 1500) for my home studio. They are easy to use, are reasonably priced, and came with free airstands as a promotion. Now they are also available with remotes and I think there is a promotion for those as well.

Jack Kennealy , Jan 13, 1998; 08:53 p.m.

When I was buying monolights, two pros recommended Photogenic to me and I've been very happy with them. The previous poster mentioned the free air-cushioned lightstands which were (still are?) part of a promotion. They are VERY good quality 13' black stands. During 1997, when you bought a PL1500 or a PL750 you could also buy a softbox for a reduced price of $75 - another nice, high quality bonus (I'm not sure whether that promotion's still in effect or not). Clearly, Photogenic is determined to make their products a better value than Paul Buff's (also excellent quality) and I think they're succeeding.

Jerry Rosenfeld , Jan 14, 1998; 09:37 p.m.

You use the term BEST. As for quality of lites consider the Elinchrom or Broncolor or Hensel. You will pay dearly foro them BUT you will know that you are buying the best. Best can have many meanings. If you are looking for best as "good deals" then consider the Photogenic or White Loighting. THey do one hell of a job and there are many people who are using those systems.

As for myself I have purchased some used Bogen/Bowens Monolites. These ae some of the original monolites. They work great and do the job that I need.


Ron Shaw , Jan 16, 1998; 07:41 p.m.

Hi Adam,

I purchased a Flashpoint 600 from Adorama after reading favorable reviews. I was very impressed with it and bought another. They are a bargain compared to anything else anywhere near the equivalent output. They have held up great. No problems. Very well made. Buckets of light. I think you would find them very servicable. I too was leery of them at first, but Im glad I went with them.


Glen Johnson , Jan 20, 1998; 09:08 p.m.

In the Photogenic vs. Paul Buff debate, one thing to consider is the cost of the add on items. If you look at the prices for barn doors, snoots, diffusers, reflectors, replacement flash tubes, etc., it turns out that Paul Buff stuff is considerably less expensive compared to Photogenic stuff. Both Photogenic and Paul Buff have remote control capabilities with some models. The Paul Buff gear is typically lighter for the same power levels. Photogenic has lots of dealers, and seem to be fairly responsive to customers. Paul Buff has a very complete and detailed web site that is worth checking out at www.white-lightning.com.

Susan Kubick , Feb 08, 1999; 09:35 a.m.

Hi Adam

I'm not sure I know the best lites to use, I can tell you I've been using Bowens/Bogen mono lights for years with great results. I have a 3 lite set for sale you might be interested in buying. Let me know if you are. Thanks and good luck.

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