AlienBees 400 or 800

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mooney101, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. mooney101

    mooney101 TPF Noob!

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    OK need some feedback I'll be making a substantial purchase of Alien bees when I move and start my own studio. I'm not sure if I should get the 400 or 800. Guide numbers and watts just confuse the heck out of me always have. lol

    The studio I'm in now we use white lighting and Photogenic and let me tell you I hardly EVER go about image 1/3 the power output on these big boys. I'm a 5.6 and f8 shooter. I'm thinking the 400 will do just fine. But I don't want to under power myself either. lol Now the big difference is starting out I'll be doing allot of location shooting too and MIGHT, need the extra juice. I want to be able to purchase these all the same watts so I can balance the light outputs to match the model lights and I'll be buying 4-6 lights. Feedback would be appreciated...
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The B800 is only $55 more and has twice the power. You can always turn a light down or use a filter to dim it...but you can't get more than the max.

    That being said, I rarely use my 800s at more than half power either.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... I'm using an old Speedotron brown line... 1200ws. With 3 heads, that's 400ws/lamp. In the studio with individuals, I usually shoot at low power (200ws), so that's something like 65ws/lamp. I have a sofbox on my main. That gives me f8.

    Now, on location... shooting a family in the home, the lamps are farther away from the subject. So I shoot at full power with two lamps with white umbrellas. That's 600ws/lamp. That gives me something like f11.

    I THINK the Alien Bees can be powered WAY down.

    So I have to agree with Mike. If you can fit the 800's into your budget, you'll be happier in the long run.

    -Pete
     
  4. S2K1

    S2K1 TPF Noob!

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    My friend shoots with just one B400 with other constant lights and it works just fine for him in studio, but on location, I'd suggest the B800.
     
  5. Rabieshund

    Rabieshund TPF Noob!

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    B800. I shoot on location and my strongest is 500 which is pretty much all I need atm. But stronger is always better in the long run.. I'll probably buy AlienBees as my next flashes. Maybe even their ring flash ABR800.
     
  6. mooney101

    mooney101 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys the 800 is looking like the way to go at the moment then best all around lights to have...
     
  7. butterflygirl

    butterflygirl TPF Noob!

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    This has already been said but I agree with Big Mike. I have Alien Bee 800 and I don't think I ever have used them higher than half power for portraits. And they are WONDERFUL! I love my Alien Bees :lovey:
     
  8. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    If you are buying several lights, I would recomend putting one 1600 in the collection, It has been great for lighting large areas and has saved me on one shoot.
     

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