please help me: 1x400W + 2x200W studio lights enough?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rw1981, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. rw1981

    rw1981 TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    I hope this is the right forum for my question and I hope that you understand my bad English language.
    I really need your help concerning some lightings I want to buy this weekend.

    I do want to shoot full-length portraits – indoor in a room 5x7 meters.

    And I decided to buy 3 flash units.

    What do you think about my following plan?:

    MAIN HEAD:
    1x Bowens Gemini 400 Watts Monolight
    +
    1x "Beauty Dish" Reflector - 22" (55.8cm)

    STRIP LIGHTS:
    2x Bowens Gemini 200 Watts Monolight
    +
    2x Strip Softbox - 39.5x15.75" (100x40cm)


    These are the products:


    Bowens | Gemini 400 Monolight (120VAC/12VDC) | BW-3675US | B&H

    Bowens | Gemini 200 Monolight (120VAC/12VDC) | BW-3665US | B&H

    Bowens | Strip Softbox - 39.5x15.75" (100x40cm)



    Because this is lot of money – I would like to ask you about your opinion.
    Do you think this equipment is fine for my purpose?
    Or do I need lights with more power? 3x400 Watt?

    Thank you for your help and best wishes from Germany :thumbup:
    Rene
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Yes, I think that should be enough power.
     
  3. rw1981

    rw1981 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Mike.

    One more question, I am just wondering:
    Do the Striplights need more power than the mainlight?
    (because it has to look brighter on the photo)


    Cheers,
    Rene
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Too many variables to really answer that.

    If you can place the strip lights close to the model, then they don't need as much power as they would if they have to be further back.
    Also, the distance to the main light will partially determine what power you need from that light.

    If you are shooting a single model, you may not need a deep DOF, so you could shoot with a wider aperture, the requiring less power from the lights.
     
  5. rw1981

    rw1981 TPF Noob!

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    So even 3x 200W would be enough?
    (because I can get closer)

    THANK YOU :thumbup:
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I looked at the GN of 247 for the 400 watt-second Bowens and 177 for the 200 watt-second model. Those figures are for the lights with the standard, Bowens 8-inch reflector, in feet, at ISO 100. At 100 ISO, a Guide Number of 247 in feet will deliver an exposure of f/24.7 at 10 feet, and a Guide Number of 177 will deliver f/17.7 at 10 feet; those are reasonably powerful flash outputs.

    With no reflector, the difference in exposure will probably substantial. Inside of a modern,quality strip box, I think you'll lose 30% of the Guide Number compared with an 8 inch reflector, so the 400 watt-second unit will have a Guide Number of 172 roughly, and the 200 watt-second unit will have a Guide Number of 124. The beauty dish will probably have very little loss of GN, so I think that 400 watt-seconds is ample GN for a main light. I suspect, in fact, that with the beauty dish at normal distances, that you will be shooting at 1/2 power with a 400 watt-second Bowens monolight.

    The price difference on these is only about $50 between the 200 and the 400 W-S models,making the 400's actually the more bang-for-buck. These are AC/DC powerable, which is a bit unusual, and they do NOT come with the 8 inch reflectors at B&H, and they want $81 per 8-inch reflector; to me, that is an ungodly amount of money for a small grid reflector. I did think the $509 12 volt battery Bowens offers looked pretty sweet.
     
  7. rw1981

    rw1981 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your help and your good advices...

    KR
    Rene
     

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