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I have a pretty ancient Nikon D60 camera (which is adequate for the time being) and a couple of lenses. I'd like to achieve more control in demanding lighting environments, so I am thinking of buying either a combo of a commander and flash unit (for example a Godox TT350 and X1T transmitter [Quadralite branded]) or a basic studio set comprised of two lights and softboxes.

Now, I am very much aware that a basic Studio set and a flash are two quite different things meant for different situations. I am leaning more towards the flash/commander combo, since it would give me more flexibility: I can hold the flash in my hand, trigger the camera remotely and do a portrait, but I can also use it for various other kinds of photography, such as shooting events in low light or when traveling. The studio set seems much more specialized and cumbersome, although it does give you the advantage of seeing your lighting ahead of time and the basic entry sets will be slightly cheaper than the flash/commander combo.

I would love to buy both, but my budget is kind of tight right now, so I would just like to know if the flash/commander combo can be useful to try and experiment with a bit more controlled lighting environment.

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Yes, a so-called Strobist setup (a radio controlled off-camera hotshoe flash/speedlight) can be great for learning and experimenting with basic off-camera lighting, even while it won't deliver the same way a proper studio strobe setup would.

However, if you can find a studio setup with two lights and two softboxes for less than a TT350+X1T, the chances are good those aren't actual proper studio strobes, those are usually cheap CFL continuous lights that don't have the power output of even speedlights. They may be good for video and previsualizing, but for portrait shooting, could be very underpowered. And they're not at all the same as more powerful studio strobes with proper modeling lights.

But. The Godox TT350 is also kind of woefully anemic when it comes to light output, and if you're shooting with a Nikon dSLR, you don't need the tiny size that makes it so prized among mirrorless shooters. You'd probably be better off with the slightly-more-expensive TT685-N (Quadralite Stroboss 60) for event work, and for off-camera work because of the higher light output.

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Thank you for the input and especially the link to the Strobist setup page, I appreciate it! To me it also seemed that there might be something slightly questionable quality-wise with studio sets that go around 60 EUR. But their size and bulkiness is what tipped the scales.

Since posting my question, I decided to buy the Stroboss 36 / Godox TT350 model, along with the Navigator X commander unit. I think overall, it was a good choice, as it enabled me to start experimenting with lighting more than I could do before when I improvised with home lights.

I was also surprised, when I was comparing the GN of the Stroboss flash to the numbers from Nikon flashes - at first sight it seems that even the Stroboss 36 is more powerful than any of the Nikon flashes them: 36 m guide number (Stroboss or Godox, compared to, 28 m for Nikon SB-700. However, the zoom levels specified are different: 35 mm for Nikons and 105 mm for Godox/Quadralite flashes which probably changes things a little, considering that the zoom level - if I understand correctly - narrows the beam?

Anyway, some gels and softboxes are probably the next step. After that, maybe a second flash unit might be in order.

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    Ansich, thanks for the thanks, but a better way to do this on stackexchange is to accept an answer. That will also help increase your rep. When you have 50, you can start posting comments. We're not so much a messageboard with discussion threads, more a Q&A database. The tour can give you a clearer picture of how this all works. – inkista Oct 14 at 17:30
  • Probably this should be moved as a new question? " the zoom levels specified are different: 35 mm for Nikons and 105 mm for Godox/Quadralite flashes which probably changes things a little, considering that the zoom level - if I understand correctly - narrows the beam?" – Rafael Oct 15 at 4:34
  • Got it, thank you! – ansich Oct 15 at 16:36
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    Please don't add "thank you" as an answer. Instead, accept the answer that you found most helpful. - From Review – Olivier Oct 24 at 20:55

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