Battery or No battery?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Thomas Cross, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. Thomas Cross

    Thomas Cross TPF Noob!

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    Looking to buy a 2 light kit. However at a later date I'd like to add more lights when I have more money. IS it recommended that I go with the AC option or a battery option?? It's not essential for me to shoot outdoors and have portability. What is the choice to go with when building an Indoor photography studio??? Thanks!


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi,
    what kind of studio do you plan? Do you have enough space available to run the cables so that people won´t fall over (maybe even over the ceiling)? Do you haven enough sockets for electricity, how far are they away?
    If you do, I´d go without batteries at first. They are usually cheaper and for the money you save you might get a third, or even a fourth light.

    When looking at studio lighting, you should also ask yourself what kind of pictures you´d like to shoot. Do you want to freeze fast motion? If yes, you´d want lights that are capable of doing that. Do some reading on flash duration t0.5 and t0.1 - fast flash will freeze the motion in studio (not outdoors!!!), but there is another option called "high speed sync". While it is meant for outdoors, you can make good use of it indoors too - here´s some info from Elinchrom: HS - HSS? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
    Also look at the available light shaping tools. Some companies have really great softboxes that are setup in seconds, while others (even the most expensive ones) have softboxes you need to literally tear apart after every shooting.

    I´d decide more on these features than battery or not, if you won´t use it outdoors.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unless you NEED that capability, I would avoid the battery-powered lights for several reasons. (1) The more consumer-grade lights usually have a short battery life and require frequent [expensive] replacement; (2) they're a lot more expensive to purchase; and (3) they tend to be heavier and bulkier due to the battery. If you need portable power, you're much better off, IMO to go with regular AC lights and Innovatronix Explorer type inverter. These use long-lasting, easily replaceable lead-acid gel cells (ATV batteries). Mine, over ten years old with the original batteries are still going strong.

    Also consider pack & head systems. The Speedotron Brownline system is cheap like borscht on eBay, and VERY rugged. I use a whack of Brownline gear for my on-site shooting and it works all day, every day with no complaints. You can pick up entire lights for less the cost of a flashtube in some makes!
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Buy AC-powered lights for "studio" uses. Add a pure sine wave inverter/battery, like the Innovatronix Explorer models, or similar, for times when you need to work outside the scope of household electric lines. That was the approach I took. Easy, and simple.
     
  5. hirejn

    hirejn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you can plan a safe workspace where the cords aren't in the way, and the lights won't move much, great. The main purpose of the battery is to provide portability. Also, the AC will recycle the lights faster for longer periods than a battery.
     
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  6. Thomas Cross

    Thomas Cross TPF Noob!

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    Thank you to all who replied. I have found the answer and feedback I need because of your vast knowledge and ideas. Thank you.

    Thomas
     

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