wattage help
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Old 12-14-2007   #1
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Default wattage help

i have a 12x12 spare room i am using for portraits. i have been looking at a 3 light 160 w each, for a total of 480 w/s. is this too much? not enough? these will not be the best light in the world im sure, but i dont want to spend a lot in case this is not something i will like doing. if it is i will invest in some serious lighting after i get better and the need arises. For now i have been using a twin head 500watt work light from home depot but it seems to just really over power the room and the subject. i can get what i think are very good shots by angling the heads or moving them back but usually have to PP some shadows. tried to place a cover screen in front to tonethe lights down but almost caught it on fire. so i know strobes are the way i want to go. i am going to spend roughly $300 for now. any other suggestions for lighting in that money?

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Old 12-14-2007   #2
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Default Re: wattage help

I think that more important than the watt-second rating (which just tells you how much energy can be stored in the flash's capacitors), you should be looking at what accessories are available and how easy they are to use. Can you get a speed ring for the flash to easily attach a soft box? Are the controls easy to get to and easy to use? Are there controls to turn down the power? Do they have a built-in optical slave? Do they have modelling lights? How is the quality of the hardware for attaching them to light stands?

I have strobes rated from 160ws to 1200 ws and I find myself having to turn them all down to get something around F/8 with a small softbox or 42" white umbrella. So I think the power is probably enough to get you by.

Can you provide a link to the set of lights you are thinking about? With that we can probably give you more specific advice.

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2007   #3
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Default Re: wattage help

I have purchased six used A/C powered flash units on ebay over the past several months and I have yet to be burned. The last two I bought was two Photogenic PG 4001 ML units with two sets of barn doors, two power cords, one synch cord, three modeling lamps, one snoot and one honeycomb for $122.00 total. They look brand new and work perfectly.

I started out in a 12 x 10 spare bedroom about 26 years ago and since I had to use a wide angle lens for everything if I stayed in the room I would step into the living room with the camera and my telephoto lens and shoot through the doorway. One nice thing about this since the walls of the room were egg shell white my main light was also my hair light, fill light, and background light because when it fired the light bounced off the walls and the ceiling and landed everywhere!!! I didn't need to worry about lens flare either because all the light stayed in that room.

I think your three lights will work fine for now and you can upgrade to better units later should you decide this is something you would like to persue. These little lights will then be your kicker, hair and background lights.

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Old 12-17-2007   #4
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Default Re: wattage help

the lights are variable output. they come with two softboxes an umbrella, one set of barn doors, three different colored gels, sync cord and or transmitters. all controls are on the back of the light units.

Benji,
i too found myself standing in the hallway to use my long lens the other night when a family wanted me to do some portraits. they actually turned out nice using the work lights. had to remove a little shadow but not much.took care of the shadows after i repositioned the lights.

thank yall for answering so quickly


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