Studio Equipment - Cheap and Very Good Service!


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StreetShooter

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Jan 17, 2002
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Ruby Photo at Peninsula Hotel Complex, just across from CP, must be the best kept secret in Singapore.

Went there today to have a look-see at getting some studio equipment, specifically umbrella stand. Got fed up of the "You-must-be-joking" prices at CP. The cheapest stand there was more than a hundred bucks, and little bits of metal and plastic were going for about that much as well.

The gentleman at Ruby asked politely what I wanted, then proceeded to take out the various bits and patiently assemble them for me to see. He wrote out, in longhand, the name and price of each item on a piece of paper, and tore it out of his exercise book for me to keep as a reference. They were really "You-must-be-joking" prices, as in ridiculously cheap. The collapsible light stand was $35, the umbrella was $35, and the adaptor was $79 (this was for the one with the Metz adaptor; the standard one is cheaper, about $40+, but they did not have it in stock).

I was honestly quite dumbfounded at such good service and prices. I mean, I've never bought a Canon EOS 1D from them, if you know what I mean. I did not even ask for the cheapest options (usually the salesman will try to sell you the most expensive items, and give you a smelly face when you ask for the cheap stuff), and here he assembled exactly what I wanted at a price I really did not expect. I've really been brainwashed, haven't I, to pay ridiculously high prices?

In the end I bought two stands, a couple of cheap flashes (Achiever 260T - $38) and another slave flash for $18. I also got a lens cleaning kit for $7. All for less than what I would have paid for an ST-E2. So you see, good service pays off, and everyone's happy.

I remember last week, I was just walking around in a camera shop in Orchard Road. Friendly salesman asked if he could help me. I asked if I could see the Nikon CP2500 (seriously considering getting one as a pocket go-anywhere street cam). After trying it out for about 5 minutes, I handed it back to him. He sarcastically asked if I had handled it enough? Did I want to handle it some more? I just smiled at him and said it was enough. No point letting someone spoil your day for you. The only thing he achieved with his sarcasm was to make sure that I would NEVER buy a camera from him.

Now I have a studio system consisting of 3 slave-activated flashes (triggered by a flash covered with exposed film negatives [yes, I know I should use slide film, but I've never shot slides before]), two diffusion panels built earlier and a couple of light stands. Can't wait to start taking some studio pictures.

We spent some time discussing the merits of umbrellas vs softboxes. He said the lighting from umbrellas was "flat" compared to that from a softbox. I mentioned the diffusion panels I had built, and he gave me a new idea - use them as reflectors (I had previously fired the flash THROUGH the white cloth only)!

Anyway, if you need studio lighting equipment, you REALLY owe it to yourself to check this place out before putting any money down elsewhere. Don't bother going there to look for digital cameras though - they don't carry them.
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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I agree that the people there are quite friendly but wait till you get back your prints from slides or b&w hand prints from there........................
 

erwinx

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Jan 18, 2002
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Ruby has quite a lot of 'cheaper' stuff, question is whether you can tell the difference from CP's more expensive stuff, eg: Ruby's cheap lightboxes. If can't tell difference, then Ruby is better :)

But to be fair to CP, a lot of the lighting stuff that I'm interested in is cheaper in CP then say, B&H in New York, eg: photoflex.

As for cheapest lightstand at CP being $100 (must be 'branded' then; eg: Manfrotto), again, whether you can tell the difference, how much load you're going to put on it... Might as well get a Manfrotto 055 tripod... great lightstand :)
 

Simon

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Jan 17, 2002
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Yooo Beng, when can we come to your place and test test the setup? ;)
 

Simon

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Originally posted by StreetShooter
Well, I thought I would start with male nudes. You volunteering?
Alamak, like that har, need to give me around 1 year to get my tummy flatten leh. ;p
 

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