20191127-DSC_5960a by adamhiram, on Flickr I recently upgraded from TT600 speedlights to bigger AD400 monolights following a prior discussion and some great Black Friday sales. I started this thread to share some of my thoughts on transitioning to bigger lights as well as create a convenient place to ask questions, which I seem to have a lot of. Some initial observations: These lights are huge compared to speedlights. By volume, the AD400 is about 6x the size, but it doesn’t exactly fit in my camera bag. The case it comes with is about 20x as big. Practically speaking, this basically just means carrying an extra case for each light, unless I pickup a dedicated case for lighting gear. The increase in weight is significant as well. The light itself is about 4.5x as heavy, but is closer to 8x with the case. For 3 lights, this means going from transporting around 3lbs to more than 26lbs. The power output is impressive, as expected. I metered it at almost exactly 4x as bright as a TT600 at full power. The modeling light is pretty bright as well, at least for studio use. Recycle time is incredible. As I mentioned in another thread, reviews typically focus on recycle time at full power, and 1s between shots at 400Ws is already pretty impressive. But at 1/32 power, I can shoot continuously at 10fps. At 1/16 power I am still at 9fps. Even at 1/8 power which is equivalent to where I typically max out with speedlights, a can still shoot reliably at 4fps with no misfires. So far, this seems to me like the biggest benefit to upgrading to bigger lights. I will also add that I haven't gotten much use from the modeling lights so far, although I can certainly see their value. Practicing on myself, I obviously can't see anything without taking test shots, and when photographing a preschooler, I am more likely to opt for a lighting pattern with wider coverage and even shoot a bit wide to keep a fidgety subject in the frame, so precise light placement isn't critical there. However it was still helpful in placing a grid spot on the background without a half dozen test shots and adjustments, and feathering the key light to minimize spill on the background was much quicker to do in real time. Hair light placement was a breeze as well, albeit an exercise in futility with the aforementioned preschooler. I'm sure I will get more use out of the modeling lights when I have a chance to work with an adult subject, other than myself.