Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by JamesD, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Mar 20, 2005
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    Living in Snapshot reality.
    I'm planning to begin doing, not exactly studio work, but stuff where I'm controlling the lighting. I'd like to use strobes, and I'm planning to go with a basic setup with three lights: key, fill, and back.

    My question is, exactly how much output is necessary? Subjects might include, for example, indoor portraiture and still-life. I'm not setting up a dedicated studio--not enough time or space. But I'd like to be able to go somewhere and set up my gear, expose some film, and take it down, without having to break the bank to get there. I've noticed that cost is approximately exponentially related to watt-seconds.

    So, yeah, what's a good ballpark light-output figure for occasional serious lighting in a quasi-studio setting?

  2. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

    Mar 19, 2006
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    Nottingham, UK
    I don't know the asnwer to your question, but I have learnt a lot about what can be achieved with flashes from .

    You should have a look and see if what he achieves is the sort of thing you're thinking of - have a look at the 'On Assignment' section for ideas of what he does.

  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Feb 1, 2005
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    Dearborn, MI

    Shooting with 2 AB800(320ws) and 1 AB400(160ws) I am usually shooting about 1/4 power on 800s and 1/2 power on the 400. There is plenty of power for most needs. When I put the softbox on the 800, I will use around 3/4 power. I have yet to use full on any of them. Not that I'm a light expert, but from what I understand is that the way Paul Buff(owner of Alien Bees and White Lightning lights) rates his lights a little different then many companies. He calls it a true watt second, and the say 320ws are closer to others 500ws. Just info I have read, cannot confirm nor deny this info.:wink:

    When I was looking for lights, my budget was pretty low, but when looking for reviews on some of the low budget lights like JTL, there just was not enough good reviews to sway me toward them. The Alien Bees, though a little more cost, was really hard to find a bad review about these lights.

    Hope this helps some.

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