alienbees 800 or 1600

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SethAlbritton, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. SethAlbritton

    SethAlbritton TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    north carolina
    I love power, but I love saving money too.

    I want to get two 800s. This is what I want to do.

    I want to be able to over power the sun and light groups for wedding shots.

    How many people will two 800's light up. I really don't want to spend more money on the 1600's so can anyone give me a reason why you had to have them or thought about considering them. I'll probably shoot through softboxes alot. I'm not sure if that deminishes your power or not so that is a concern. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    To overpower any sunlight spilling in, speed up the shutter. It won't affect the strobe exposure as long as you're in sync.

    -Pete
     
  3. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There are a lot of factors to be considered when you say that you want to 'overpower the sun'.

    It's one thing to shoot with strobes on a sunny day, and it's another thing to shoot into the sun or underexpose the sunlight into nothingness. So what are you trying to do?

    Yes, the light modifiers you use, will certainly determine the amount of light you get on your subjects. Softboxes do absorb some light. Umbrellas spread the light rather wide, possibly wasting a lot of it, although there is the parabolic umbrella which constrains the light more. Another factor is the distance from the light to the subject. If you can get the lights fairly close, you don't need as much power...but if you are shooting a large group, you may need to back the lights off, just to get the right coverage, and the farther you go, the more power you need...especially if you are shooting at smaller apertures to 'overpower the sun'.

    Something else to consider, if fighting the sun is your priority...with studio lights, you are pretty much limited to the max sync speed of your camera...probably 1/200 or 1/250....so when shooting in bright light, you are required to use small apertures to control the ambient light...and smaller apertures require more flash power. However, you you use Speedlite (Speedlight) flashes with your Canon/Nikon camera, you can use a feature called High Speed Sync, which allows you to shoot at any shutter speed with flash. So you could shoot at 1/4000, which would allow you to control the ambient sunlight at larger apertures, thus not requiring as much flash power. But H.S.S. has it's own limitations in terms of working distance etc.

    So without knowing all the specifics, I can't tell you whether you'll need/want B800 or B1600 lights....but more power is seldom a bad option to have.
     
  4. SethAlbritton

    SethAlbritton TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    north carolina
    Mike dead on with knowledge I need to hear.

    I have sb900's and I over power the sun with them with high speed sync. I wasn't even thinking about that with these. I think I'm going to get the ab1600's 60 dollars more isn't bad.

    Do you know how bad the recharge time is with two 1600's powered by vagabond ll. I know you can not be specific, but is it reasonable.

    Thanks for the info guys, helped me think of things I was not
     
  5. SethAlbritton

    SethAlbritton TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    north carolina
    I've been looking at the alienbees flickr pool. All the pictures I see inside are done with a 800 or 400. Is the 1600 to powerful for indoors. I read that it doesn't do very well with lower power. Is this true?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm fairly sure that it's pretty quick. Especially if you're not using full power.

    I think that most people buying AB lights are in the 'entry level' crowd, and as such, the cheaper lights are going to be the best sellers...which may be why you see more B400 and B800 lights. Also, I think the best value is probably the B800.

    There may be an issue when using a more powerful light indoors. I think they only have a 5 stop range of power, so there might be some situations where you can't turn the power down as much as you would like. It's really only a problem if you are dead set on using larger apertures though.

    One of the 'issues' that is often talked about with AB lights, is that they tend to exhibit a color/WB shift at lower power settings. If you are a stickler for accurate color, it may be something to worry about...and if so, then buying a lower powered light and using it at higher power settings, may be a way to avoid the lower power range.

    I know they are pretty pricey, but have you looked at the new Einstein light from PCB? Looks pretty interesting.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Seth,
    I think this particular article might be of interest to you, both in regard to flash power for overpowering the sun, as well as tips, exposures, and the new Paul C. Buff parabolic light modifiers or PLM umbrellas as many people refer to them. The PLMs are very high efficiency umbrellas that seem to be designed with group shots and lighting of large areas in mind.

    Rob Galbraith DPI: PLM umbrellas offer sweet combo of efficiency and softness
     
  8. SethAlbritton

    SethAlbritton TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    north carolina
    I will be checking out what both of you guys mentioned. thanks again
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

alien bee 800 vs 1600

,
alien bee b800 review
,
alien bees 800 vs 1600
,
alien bees b1600
,

alien bees b1600 review

,
alien bees b800 vs b1600
,
alienbee b1600 review
,
alienbees b1600
,
alienbees b1600 review
,
should i buy b1600 or b800 no ambient light