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Finally, the long awaited lighting kit is here!

Lighting is one of those things that seems to totally stump most amateur photographers and yet as I’ll be explaining very soon on this site, it really doesn’t need to.

There are some basic things you need to understand then it’s about trial and error until you get the results you want. Here I’ll be running through the kit with a brief overview of how to use it and you can watch my tutorial on how to use it here.

The equipment

Ok so this is the setup I use day in, day out so I know what I’m talking about here and while it’s extremely affordable you’ll get fantastic results. I have taken these lights to over 100 schools when I shoot the lifestyle shots they want for their websites and prospectuses, I have photographed showrooms, hotels, boats, caravans, all with these extremely affordable lights. Not only is the cost attractive but because they’re so small and portable they allow me to move from scene to scene quickly and with no fuss, the size also means they’re easier to hide in reflections.

Well I think you get it, I’m not recommending sub standard lights here, I’m just letting you in on a little known secret that will have you taking photos like a pro without breaking the bank.

Now I could have bought a few sets of these in, packaged them up and added some markup but the simplest, quickest, cheapest way to do this is for you to follow the links below buy it direct.

Note: These are affiliate links which means you don’t pay any more but I get a 4% commission on any orders. That’s only about £3 per set and hopefully you won’t begrudge me a little money for putting this together for you. Also, prices are based on the date this post went live so may be subject to changes in the future.

 

So lets break it down…

 

 

What do you need to order?

 Note: For those of you outside the UK I have linked to the same or very similar product on Amazon.com so you get the best deals too.

YONGNUO Flashgun (Speedlight) £56

This is the main part of the kit and at £45 everyone with an SLR should have one! This is honestly on a par with the Canon 580EX II Speedlite priced at £470!!! Now this isn’t primarily designed to sit on top of your camera, it’s built to work manually as in the setup here. Personally as a professional photographer I’d only ever put the flash on top of my camera as a last resort, you get far more professional results using a set up like mentioned here.

You’ll need 4 x AA batteries and it may be worth considering rechargeables if you plan to use this a lot.

Unlike the mkII version this new one has the receiver built in so you don’t need to attach a receiver to the base of the flash light.

Order from Amazon here

 

 

 Sony versions

Honestly, I hadn’t realised until someone pointed out on the Facebook group that Sony have a different fit on their hotshoe. Thankfully Yongnuo have a Sony fit here, it all works the same, it’s the same flash unit, just different feet.

Order Sony version from Amazon.co.uk here

Order Sony version from Amazon.com here

 

Light Stand £12.99

I’ve picked a cheap one here as I’m trying to get you up and running for as little as possible. As you’ll see in the video it does the job well but it’s a little stiff to open and close. The groove can be a bit frustrating that it doesn’t let you rotate it at the extension sections like on others but at this price it certainly does the job well.

Again, as you’ll see in the video there’s a small bag included which was a bonus.

Order from Amazon.co.uk here

Order from Amazon.com here

 

Alternative: If you have a bit more to spend I do recommend this alternative which I use daily. It costs £46 but is a pleasure to work with.

Order from Amazon.co.uk here

Order from Amazon.com here

 

Wireless Triggers £26

The wireless trigger set I have  selected here has a transmitter for your camera and receiver for the light. I’ve changed this link to the Yongnuo as I’ve started using them professionally and thing they’re great! There’s not a huge amount to say that the video hasn’t covered, just remember to get 4 x AAA batteries.

Order from Amazon.co.uk  here

Order from Amazon.com here

 Sony versions

As with the flash units above you’ll need an alternative here due to Sony using their own shaped hotshoe. I have no personal experience from these but 4* reviews speak for themselves so I’m confident to recommend them.

Order Sony version from Amazon.co.uk here

Order Sony version from Amazon.com here

 

Umbrella x 2 £11.69

I hadn’t realised until it came this was a double set but now I look on Amazon I see it mentions that in the title. Nevertheless at this price I’m still recommending this set. From experience, these things can get snagged or damaged fairly easily so a spare in the back of the cupboard isn’t a bad thing. Also, with the speedlights at £41 it won’t be long before you’re wanting another one 😉

Order from Amazon.co.uk  here

Order from Amazon.com here (single umbrella)

 

Hotshoe holder £8.70

Now the one I ordered and feature in the video was pretty much the same as this but from a supplier in Singapore and it took 24 days to arrive! I thought you’d appreciate a link to a UK supplier even though it’s double the price. They are essential parts to the lighting kit and as demonstrated in the video are very simple to connect the receiver to the light stand.

Order from Amazon.co.uk  here

Order from Amazon.com here

Sony versions

I was horrified to see that no-one makes a Sony fit version of this but I’ve hunted around and this one will fit the Sony fit receiver above.  You simply screw the base of the receiver on to the top of this.

Order Sony version from Amazon.co.uk here

Order Sony version from Amazon.com here

 

Well that’s it. Everything you need for just over £100!

I deliberately ordered a full set myself to check the (UK) suppliers were all ok, that’s how I found out about the Singapore supplier, and so I am confident recommending the above. That said, if you experience any problems please do let me know in the comments below so we can update others. Also, I’d love your feedback anyway. Is this for yourself or someone else, what other related things are you interested in, stuff like that.

Training

Now you need to pop over to my in depth Flash Photography training course

FLASH-LIGHTING

Well, happy shopping 🙂

Tags

  • brian hunt

    Adrian
    thank you so much for the work you have put in, I ordered the lighting kit you suggested as you know it was got for my daughter (to use at Christmas ) and as such was an early present, she loves to have photos of Josh (her son) tearing into his packages but in my opinion the camera flash flattens everything out, well last night I gave the kit and between us we set it all up. I will admit to teething problems (connector wrong way} my fault and as soon as it was sorted, She was off and did she love it, only stopping when the Nikon battery gave up the ghost.
    Thank you once again, not only for your efforts in rounding up the ideas, but also for the entertainment you put into each video. I look forward to any other work you do
    very best wishes to you for Christmas and a big thank you for every thing you have done
    Brian (and Julia)

    • Adrian

      What a great idea letting her have it early. I’m really pleased she got it working, do let me know how you get on. I rarely turn mine above 1/8 in a home, that’ll keep the batteries going longer, the flash will recycle quicker and the lighting won’t look too unnatural. Just a tip that will get in my training video when I get it done.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me some feedback Brian, Happy Christmas to you and your family!

  • Gerry

    Adrian
    I’m trying to find the follow up of this ie how to use the flash etc. it maybe you’ve not done it yet but if you have could you direct me.

    I find your videos are excellent. I’m a newbie but have great ideas and want to photograph family and have ordered the ‘kit’. I was tempted to order a more complex one for a bit more but thought having seen this I’d try it.

  • Adrian

    Thanks for your compliments, it’s always great to hear feedback and know someone is actually reading these posts lol.
    Hmmm, yes I was supposed to do one wasn’t I 🙁
    At the moment it isn’t there but I promise to sort one this month! I actually ran one of my workshops last Saturday and the guys were blown away with how good the results were with this setup and how simple it is with a few pointers. You won’t be disappointed and you don’t need bigger mains powered kits. I take this setup x 2 on shoots with me all the time while my studio lights are sitting here gathering dust!
    Actually, thinking about it I’ll have a go at a quicker version on Sunday to at least get you started, it’s far easier to just shoot the video that try to explain in an email.
    We’ll have you shooting like a pro ready for those Christmas family moments.

    Speak soon.

  • Kristee

    Adrian,

    Thanks so much for putting this together. I’m a newbie and had no idea what kind of lighting set up to get. I wanted something that was portable and also power free to take outside. Didn’t want to deal with cables and trying to figure out how to power lights etc… This is such an affordable option and you explained so well all the questions i had. I would love to see more videos. Especially on how to take this set up and shoot indoors and outdoors with it. I still have so much to learn about how to get the best effects out of my camera and lighting.

    Thanks again,

    Kristee 🙂 (U.S./New Zealand)

    • Adrian

      That’s great to hear Kristee, you’ll love them!
      Yes, I’m getting back to the tutorials after neglecting the site somewhat. I’ve just rebuilt it as you’ll see and now over the next month or two I’m getting some fresh content on here, and lighting will be included 😉

  • Fazal

    Hi Adrian,

    Your two posts a day helped me come out of my deep sleep. 🙂

    First of all thanks a lot for solving our lighting problem for under 100 pounds and secondly my biggest concern is back ground, I ordered last month two back grounds for 50€ but those are really of third-class quality. Both badly reflecting and so hard that you cannot have those straight and flat.

    Though I had good luck to get a large background frame which is perfect and I recommend to you all. Hopefully you can find similar ones on Uk Ebay as well. You can change its size to your needs from 0.89m to 4m in width and between 0.89m to 3m in hight. etc.

    http://www.ebay.de/itm/3x4m-Schwer-Stativ-Fotostudio-Hintergrundsystem-Hintergrund-Fotohintergrund-Neu-/381052835620?pt=DE_Foto_Camcorder_Hintergründe&hash=item58b884d724

    But again we need a recommendation for backgrounds in white, grey and black. Please !

    Yours sincerely
    Fazal

    • Adrian

      Hi Fazal, I don’t have too much experience with backgrounds, I use them for product photography and used to do mobile studio work with them but not for a while.
      Your concern over reflection makes me think you’re shooting your flash straight at them and not using an off camera set up, this should stop the reflection it you’re coming at 45º to the background.
      Are you using white, are they paper or vinyl? Matte paper shouldn’t reflect even if you ar eshooting straight on but I’d really recommend either getting the light off the camera using the kit you mentioned or at very least point the light to the ceiling and let it bounce down like a huge soft box.
      Does that help? I’m actually just researching a few training series to recommend as I’m a way off having one done and several of you are asking for it.

  • Gerry Bolger

    Adrian
    Finally unpacked everything to get it going on my Canon 650D. nothing is happening. The synch is matching, the red lights flick, but no flashing. I had played with the menu and see there is lots of options in my camera. I wonder have I done something to the settings affecting sending the signal.

    Any thoughts?

    • Oh, that’s not good. Are you sure the flash is pushed all the way into the receiver, that would stop it.
      The flash unit wants to be on Manual but it should fire regardless.
      Does the flash work ok on your camera? Just trying to eliminate what might be wrong.
      Come back to me.

      • Gerry Bolger

        Canon firing ok. Managed to get the speed gun to flaah without the sensor by adjusting the flash setting in camera.S1 mode Would that have affected. But when in M mode the sensor and sensor both flash red but not the speed gun. Bet it’s something very basic. But infuriating 🙂

        • It will fire on top of the camera in M too.
          Confused as to what’s going on and I don’t have a set here to try as I sold my demo set.
          You haven’t got the channel numbers diferent have you?
          It’s got to be between the receiver plate and the bottom of the flash, be worth wiping them over and wiggling around to check its pushed in fully.
          You’ll have to send it back if it’s not working. Any comments on Amazon with similar problems?

          • Gerry Bolger

            Weirdly tried it again and all working. Think I changed he changed the channels to opposite and all working fine.

          • Pleased to hear it!
            In the absence of a tutorial can I suggest the following settings:
            ISO200, f5.6 or lower, 1/160.
            The flash pointing at the ceiling half way between you and the subject set to 1/4 power. Too bright – go to 1/8th on flash, too dark – go to 1/2.
            Let me know how you get on

  • kathrin

    hi adrian thanks for the great kit. One question – do you use it outdoors as well? how does it mix with daylight? I plan to do video-courses and would love to record also with daylight. any tips or tutorials for that? thank you so much.
    kathrin

    • I haven’t used it outdoors for ages but yes, it does mix well. You can also use gels to warm up the light if you want to. I’ll try to find the link to a good book that got me going, it’s old now but the principles are the same.
      When you say video courses you realise these are flashes not continuous lights don’t you? They’ll be no good for video use I’m afraid. Keep in touch, I’ll help how I can.

  • Autumn Fawcett

    What about Canadian suppliers. Most of the ones for amazon.com won’t deliver to canada. Could you do a link for amazon.ca? Thanks for posting this info.

  • Kristee, I’m not sure if you’ll get this reply but FINALLY my lighting training is online here. I hope you like it 🙂

  • Gerry, not sure if you picked up on this through email but in case not, you can see the lighting training here

  • Brian, if it’s still relevant and your daugher isn’t an expert already I have this training series on line now taking you through the basic set up of the lights. You can find it here

  • Michael Benyon

    Hi Adrian!

    Just having a look at some of the kit here to purchase for Christmas and I was wondering if you know of the difference between the difference between Yongnuo RF-603CII-C1 and Yongnuo YN RF-603 C3 (which you recommend)? As you know I have the 600d. 🙂
    Thanks mate.

    • Sorry it’s taken a week to get back to you on this mate, I’ve just had a look and I honestly can’t see a difference, I just wonder if it’s just different sellers labelling it different!

      • Michael Benyon

        No problem! I think I will order the updated one as someone mentions the on/off switch being in a more convenient position, only a few pence between them! All ordered tonight, just hoping for quick delivery! Thanks for your help!

  • Annie Jones

    Hi, I stumbled on your site today and I love your set-up shown here! I’m looking for an affordable home light set-up as my house is small and dingy so decent photo’s indoors are very limited to daylight hours which isn’t often when you work full time! I was going to purchase through your links but I have a Sony camera and the flash gun and wireless triggers which you linked are no longer available. I’m relatively new to photography so I’m not confident to look for an alternative myself. Can you suggest any alternative products?

    • Hi Annie, thanks for spotting that, I need to update my links.
      You’re right that Yongnuo don’t seem to be supporting Sony cameras but you can get an adapter like this to allow you to fit Canon fit lights to your camera. This would work with the trigger too. http://amzn.to/1RgIeCD

  • Mike Fowler

    Hi, Great demo, I have an old Canon 300TL (Blast from the past!) could I use that as a secondary flash?

    • Sorry for the long wait Mike, I’m not familiar with that flash but if it has a manual setting then yes you can.

  • Margarita Alexandrovna

    Hi, thanks a lot for these great tips. Enjoyed your video. I have a small photography business I started so I would like to get 3/4 lights as opposed to one so i can create a home studio setup or take it on location for fashion shots… Can this setup be expanded to use 3 or 4 flashes? How? I know in theory i can just buy four of everything, but i am not sure if there exists one transmitter/4 receivers option. Also i must ensure that kit is good enough to use outdoors by the sea (doesn’t blow away if there is some wind ) and has a bag for carrying it around. Any tips?

    • Right, I’m not sure where you are Margarita so these are amazon.com links but if you get the new Yongnuo 560iii it has wifi built in! Then you just need one transmitter for them all.
      Yongnuo 560iii – http://amzn.to/1SAAmgh
      Transmitter – http://amzn.to/1QtOjIe

      Finally get some of these sandbags and put them on your legs to weigh them down. Ideal if you’re at the beach, you can fill them up there!
      Sandbags – http://amzn.to/1VsfGL1

      Hope that all helps.

  • Tim Matthews

    Thank you Adrian, extremely helpful.

  • Good article, thanks. Yongnuo certainly seems the way to go for those of us fiscally-challenged.

    NB.
    The link to http://www.strobist.blogspot.co.uk needs adjusting.

  • Nikos Konstantakis

    Hello Adrian,thanx for the Videos of yours, they really help.Could you please tell me if this basic lighting set up is compatible with Canon EOS 650D?

  • Nasos Panagiotidis

    Hello Adrian,

    could you update your links for sony mounted accessories? There is no stock. Any other suggestions?