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Our college is setting up a photo studio in campus. Mostly the we do product shoots. We have some old strobes, softboxes to start with. We need suggestions on the equipments listed below.

  1. Which are the commonly used backdrop screen colors used or say must have colors?
  2. Suggested tripod and head?
  3. Colors for reflectors?
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  1. I'd use a black, a white and a mid-gray (18% reflection). Theoretically, with the right lighting, you'll be able to make the white background look black, and vice versa, but it limits the lighting options for your subject.

  2. I'm using a Manfrotto tripod and a head with separate controls for the three directions, though many people prefer a ballhead, as it moves more intuitively. Make sure to have a sturdy tripod. They're usually a bit heavier, but I guess for a studio setup this is not much of a problem. A head with built-in spirit levels might be handy.
    edit You may also want quick-release camera plates, which allow you to quickly change cameras on the tripod, without having to screw it on and off again.

  3. Personally I'm not too wild about color reflectors. You can make neutral (white) reflector panels of styrofoam, which, thanks to their light weight, are easy to handle. I'd use Lightroom to adjust colours (if you shoot digital).

  • A black reflector might come in handy, to remove stray light as well – Rowland Shaw Sep 3 '10 at 12:03
  • A black reflector? Don't I have to see it as an "absorber" then?? – stevenvh Sep 3 '10 at 12:46
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Not asked, but in case you ever want new (or used) strobes I would recommend Elinchrom Prolinca: they're powerful, have clear controls and recharge in a fraction of a second.

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