alienbees b400 or b800????????

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by imagine photography, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. imagine photography

    imagine photography TPF Noob!

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    I am now considering Alien bees for my lighting equipment. I was wondering if the 2 b400 flash units would be strong enough light or if I would need a b800 also. I mainly do single portraits or small groups. Also, with my current lights I use shoot thru umbrellas and was wondering if reflective umbrellas, or bounce light, would be better.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Well, you can always turn the lights down...but you can't turn them up past their maximum output...so getting the more powerful 800 would be best. It's up to you to decide if the price difference ($50 I think) is worth it for what you need.

    As for umbrellas...I use a white one and reflect the light. Some people like to shoot though...but I have been told by a few pros who said they never shoot through when using umbrellas. I would much prefer a soft-box because umbrellas tend to spill the light all over the place.
     
  3. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    800 and softbox would be my suggestion
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went with the 800's for the same reason that Mike said. You might not need full power often, but it's there if you do. You could probably get by just fine w/ 2 400's but you loose a bit of power when you start diffusing them with softboxes and such. Go with the 800's and you'll be sure to have all the power you need. (and as fotogenik said, it's nice to add a softbox to your package if you can swing it). You might also want to check Ebay. There are always some gently used packages on there for a discount from the new prices.
     
  5. snownow

    snownow TPF Noob!

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    Go for the 800, its nice to have a little extra power. I went with one to start my little home studio with large softbox, and a large white reflector. Worked very well. Only problem is when you see the results, you end up buying more lights (ordered another 800 today) :)
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I just want to add that, AFAIK, AB800 lights aren't really all that powerful...as studio lights go. They are good for what a lot of us need them for...but a pro studio would probably need more powerful units.

    I'm sure we would all go for the AB1600 or even more expensive & powerful units/brands...if cost wasn't an issue.
     

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