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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 17 Oct 2010 (Sunday) 15:41
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Help me pick a studio strobe

 
blocks
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Oct 17, 2010 15:41 |  #1

I've tried my hand at hotshoe camera flashes but they aren't powerful enough, specifically the Sigma 500 Super and the Yongnuo 560. So, now I'm looking for a cheap studio strobe but I only have about $225 to spend. I'm not sure a Calumet Genesis 200 will be strong enough so I was thinking about the 400 even though it's a little out of my price range. I am also considering the AlienBees 800 but a bit pricey too. Then there's the Flashpoint II 620M, 300 Watt Second AC / DC Monolight Strobe and the Interfit Stellar X 300 strobes that are both within my price range. Out of these which would you suggest or is there something better for under $300? I have a couple umbrellas and light stands so I'm just going to use those for the time being and will not be considering other light modifiers. This is only for hobby so I want to keep my budget at a minimum. I'm keeping the Sigma for a fill or probably a gelled background light so I need one good studio strobe and I think a 300ws one should cut it. So, what strobe would give me the most bang for the buck at $300?




  
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Bave
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Oct 17, 2010 16:15 |  #2
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I'd say a D-Lite 4 IT for just over $300. The MK I D-Lite 4 can be found on Ebay for a little over $200 (theres one on Ebay toda (external link)y).


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Tobi.
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Oct 17, 2010 16:50 |  #3

I wouldn't get a Mk I anymore. The -it version handles so much nicer, that worth a lot more than a mere $100.

Tobi




  
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Damian75
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Oct 17, 2010 16:58 |  #4

The D-Lites are great strobes that you can't go wrong with but I was just looking through the latest Popular Photography and the Calumet add in the back has a Genesis 300B and Battery pack for $289.99 I can't find it on there website at that price but it is in there print add, you might check that out.


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Curtiss ­ Bryant
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Oct 17, 2010 17:02 |  #5

I have the flashpoints and they work perfectly for what I need. I put them through their paces (school shoots with 1400+ students, portraits, weddings, etc) and never had a problem. I owned the ABs but sold them as I never noticed a difference between them and the flashpoints.




  
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Bave
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Oct 17, 2010 17:07 |  #6
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Tobi. wrote in post #11114637 (external link)
I wouldn't get a Mk I anymore. The -it version handles so much nicer, that worth a lot more than a mere $100.

Tobi

I definitely agree but if theres no option to purchase over $300 it is still a good buy.


Bob
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skruft
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Oct 18, 2010 09:38 |  #7

I have always bought used equipment, by searching at flea markets, Craigslist and the like.

Look at this forum and the Strobist group on Flickr for methods of using larger speedlights (portable flash) in studio mode, off camera. Many people start out that way. You'll find thousands of posts.




  
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blocks
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Oct 18, 2010 13:18 |  #8

Damian75 wrote in post #11114669 (external link)
The D-Lites are great strobes that you can't go wrong with but I was just looking through the latest Popular Photography and the Calumet add in the back has a Genesis 300B and Battery pack for $289.99 I can't find it on there website at that price but it is in there print add, you might check that out.

That Genesis kit looks good as it also offers portability. I know D-lites are highly regarded but I think it's more than I will ever need. Plus, I would like to use it outdoors and something about the multi-voltage of the strobes can cause issues with cheaper portable battery packs is concerning.

At best I might use this strobe 3-4 times per month for maybe a total of 200 shots but it will likely not even be half that. It is strictly for amateur use and as such slight color shifts really won't matter either nor is precise flash exposure. It could be off by half stop or more and really wouldn't matter. But if Elinchrom offers a significant advantage then I might just have to save up and extend my budget.




  
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blocks
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Oct 21, 2010 01:24 |  #9

Bave wrote in post #11114450 (external link)
I'd say a D-Lite 4 IT for just over $300. The MK I D-Lite 4 can be found on Ebay for a little over $200 (theres one on Ebay toda (external link)y).

Ok, I was considering the AB800 but it's $300 with shipping. The Calumet Genesis 300 is $200 but I hear problems with it's power settings not being linear. It probably has color shift problems like AlienBees.

So, I look at the Elinch D-4 and 400ws is very good and I assume these don't have color shift problems of the alien bees? Calumet Genesis 400 is $299.99 so for $25 I can get the much better elinch. 25 to 400Ws means it gives 5-stops right? Also, multi-voltage monolight means I cannot use it with cheaper battery packs like Vagabond or Explorer. What is a suitable battery pack? Also what is the difference between the MK I D-Lite 4 and the D-Lite 4 IT?




  
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harcosparky
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Oct 21, 2010 04:41 |  #10

blocks wrote in post #11136623 (external link)
Ok, I was considering the AB800 but it's $300 with shipping. The Calumet Genesis 300 is $200 but I hear problems with it's power settings not being linear. It probably has color shift problems like AlienBees.

So, I look at the Elinch D-4 and 400ws is very good and I assume these don't have color shift problems of the alien bees? Calumet Genesis 400 is $299.99 so for $25 I can get the much better elinch. 25 to 400Ws means it gives 5-stops right? Also, multi-voltage monolight means I cannot use it with cheaper battery packs like Vagabond or Explorer. What is a suitable battery pack? Also what is the difference between the MK I D-Lite 4 and the D-Lite 4 IT?

Here are the differences ... ( from one online review )


Skyport Wireless Trigger
Proportional Modeling Light
Temperature Controlled Fan




  
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Tobi.
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Oct 21, 2010 05:57 |  #11

harcosparky wrote in post #11137044 (external link)
Here are the differences ... ( from one online review )

Cooling Fan
Skyport Wireless Trigger
Proportional Modeling Light
Temperature Controlled Fan

Two out of four points are wrong. What does this say about that review?

The old D-Lite had a cooling fan as well. Once upon a time there was a a first series without fan but these cannot be bought new anymore and are rarely found used. The fan of the new -it is temperature controlled though, which is nice. D-Lites always had proportional modelling lights, nothing was changed in this regard.

However, for me the one major reason to get -its over the old version is the swivel. It's so much nicer! The old one was ratcheted while the new one works like a brake. It's also stronger.

Tobi




  
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harcosparky
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Oct 21, 2010 06:16 |  #12

Tobi. wrote in post #11137205 (external link)
Two out of four points are wrong. What does this say about that review?

Tobi

What does it say about any review, even the ones on here. Take them with a grain of salt.

Actually the review was wrong on one out of three points. I erred in listing the cooling fan twice! :D

But then there is commentary about better build quality, but unless you have all variations in front of you how would you know?




  
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CosmoKid
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Oct 21, 2010 09:01 |  #13

blocks wrote in post #11136623 (external link)
Ok, I was considering the AB800 but it's $300 with shipping. The Calumet Genesis 300 is $200 but I hear problems with it's power settings not being linear. It probably has color shift problems like AlienBees.
?


Why would you assume the Genesis has colorshift? Have you heard this? Read it here? Don't give a light a bad rap on an assumption.


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JMHPhotography
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Oct 21, 2010 09:54 |  #14

honestly I love seeing how everyone loves spending other people's money, but sometimes you all can go just a little overboard...haha.

The OP said he has $225.00 to spend and that this is just a hobby! The OP also stated that they had stands and umbrella's so all they really need are the heads, themselves. Well, here is what I use and have been for about 4 years now. They are lightweight, work fine and have been reliable! And for my mobile portrait studio, they have had plenty of power. And they are cheap enough where you can buy a few of them. And as far as color shifting goes... it's a very over-rated issue in my opinion. The color doesn't shift enough from full power to 1/8 to make that much of a difference in the end result. I generally use a white balance target in my pre-shoot setup, and the lights are all relatively at the same power setting except for the fill light, and in most cases, that's not going to influence the overall color balance at all. What are we talking? A couple hundred degreees here? It's not like we have 2800 at 1/8 and 6400 at 1/1 for crying out loud. My cheapo J-160's are about 5200 at 1/8 and 5600 at 1/1 My main light is almost always at 1/2 and my fill is almost always at 1/4 and back and I balance out consistently at around 5400 and things look just fine.

http://www.adorama.com​/JTVJ160.html (external link)


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Wilt
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Oct 21, 2010 10:54 |  #15

Real world differences in power...

The flash metered results with Metz 54MZ (a tiny bit less power than 580EX, tiny bit more than Sigma 500) at normal lens coverage angle and Full power = f/8 + 0.2EV at 10' or GN85

The Buff claims of measured power with AB400 (real rating 160 w-s) f/11 + 0.2EV at 10' or GN120


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Help me pick a studio strobe
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