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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 28 May 2009 (Thursday) 09:22
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Strobe wattage

 
BBOwen
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May 28, 2009 09:22 |  #1

I see discussion about what lighting kit a beginner should get for their studio set up.
Instead of concentrating on a kit per say, what wattage of strobe should you shoot for.
I see a lot of "beginner kits" that are a bargain but they seem to have low power strobes, 200Ws or less.
Would a guy be better suited to start with something in the 400-800 Ws range?


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[godfather]
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May 28, 2009 13:28 |  #2
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May 28, 2009 13:39 as a reply to  @ [godfather]'s post |  #3

For most small studios, living room studios, basement studios, etc. you'll find that 200Ws is plenty of power and will give you the control you need as well as the ability to use a variety of modifiers and work at any aperture you want.

The most common entry level strobes that are very reasonably priced are the Calumet Genesis 200's. The Elinchroms are very nice and you can look at either the D-Lite's of the BX250Ri (In the states).

Of course, budget and choice of modifiers will play a role in what you can afford and what makes the most sense for you.


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Player9
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May 28, 2009 17:39 |  #4

aubiecat wrote in post #8004007 (external link)
I see discussion about what lighting kit a beginner should get for their studio set up.
Instead of concentrating on a kit per say, what wattage of strobe should you shoot for.
I see a lot of "beginner kits" that are a bargain but they seem to have low power strobes, 200Ws or less.
Would a guy be better suited to start with something in the 400-800 Ws range?

I'm currently using two Alien Bees AB400 units that are rated at 160ws each and a large westcott silver/white reflector. You could get this entire setup new with basic stands, small umbrellas, and even a reflector for around $600. A steal. I usually use my AB400s with the large size Alien Bees softboxes, which increased the initial outlay over going with just the umbrellas, but the softboxes are good for the price and easier to work with once you get them set up. I also spent a little bit more cash to get a reflector holder and stand.

With a large Alien Bees softbox attached with internal diffuser installed, I can easily shoot at f/11 or higher with the softbox set up to be within 2-3 feet of a single person. For head shots and head and shoulders shots, this is more than good enough for me.

The only times that I wish I had more powerful units is when I have to move the lights back for shooting full length models, and, especially, when I have to move the lights even farther back for shooting groups. With groups, I sometimes have to shoot at a higher ISO to keep the small apertures needed for DOF. [To me, this is nothing, as I started shooting portraits with continuous lighting where I always shot f/5.6 at ISO 400.] I don't use my strobes outside, but I suppose that if I did, I would upgrade to the AB800 or 1600 models. YMMV.


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Strobe wattage
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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