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Author Topic: Owning vs Renting lighting  (Read 3648 times)

Alex MacPherson

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Owning vs Renting lighting
« on: October 01, 2008, 07:22:37 PM »

This question goes out to the pros.

In general, do you own your own lighting equipment? Or do you rent what is required for the job? (this includes all modifiers,flags ect)

I find that there are many items that I would like to use for shoots that are prohibitively expensive ... but at the same time I would rather not have to learn how to use a given item during a shoot.

What are your thoughts? What did you do for equipment when you were building your book?
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petermarrek

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Owning vs Renting lighting
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 09:47:52 PM »

Never ever go on a paid shoot with equipment that you are not totally familiar with.  When I started every extra penny went into equipment, then I learned what to do with it before I used it for a job. Rental stuff is great for oddball stuff, rent it for a few extra days and play.
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bode2006

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Owning vs Renting lighting
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 06:36:53 PM »

You don't need anything too exotic, so just go out and buy 2-3 decent lights, softboxes, barndoors and you can rent the extra stuff when you want to experiment.

Kirk Gittings

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Owning vs Renting lighting
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 07:29:42 PM »

I'd have to agree with Peter. For the first few years every penny I made went into equipment. I was a specialist in architecture/interiors so I knew what I needed. It was just a matter of generating the income piecemeal to buy it all. There were some compromises in the beginning, but as my expertise grew so did my knowledge of exactly what I needed. After a couple of years it was shear quantity....more watt seconds. That was 30 years ago and much of that equipment is still serviceable and in use today. So when you buy, buy quality. In my area there was also no place really to rent what I needed, except from my competitor, which would have meant telegraphing to them what I was up to. Retals are best for trying out different brands etc. Figure out what you need and buy it.
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terence_patrick

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Owning vs Renting lighting
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 05:31:16 PM »

If you've got the income, you should probably buy a minimal setup that you could use 95% of the time. For most people, that's a pack and two heads. Depending on your local rental houses, I'd go with brands that you can easily rent additional equipment for. Profoto, Elinchrom, Speedotron, and Dynalite are usually available in most rental shops, but you should check. Quantum flashes are also handy and not too expensive. If you have business insurance, most rental houses will let you rent for the cost of your deductible, if you provide them with your insurance information. That might be the smartest way to go.
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