Strobes and Power
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Lighting Technique

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-13-2008   #1
Alpaca
 
Posts: 20
CamelKarma: 19
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Strobes and Power

I'm just starting to get into studio and portrait photography. I've been reading as much as I can about the different lights and have a couple of questions:
1. Say in a large church, a cathedral type maybe, we have this wedding party of 15-20 people. Would 2 monolights, let's say AB 400's be enough power for a group photo on the altar? If not, would 2 800's be enough?
2. Not sure which way I'm going to go yet, I'm out in the boonies, so it's not too easy for rental. I like the concept and idea of the pack and head systems. Leaning toward the Speedotrons. Question number 2 is, say I have 2 heads (each 800 Ws) and a 800 power supply. When both heads are plugged in, do you get 400 Ws of power from the 800 power supply when fired? I'm guessing you do, but just want to make sure.

Thanks,
t

__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
t_sly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008   #2
Former Camel
 
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,447
CamelKarma: 460
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

Hi.....

1. 2x400W/S Monolights are enough......barely for this job.. They certainly are enough for location family shots etc.

2. Yes...an 800 W/S will give that total. 2 lights means 400 each.

Regards, Bob
heartseye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008   #3
Vicuna
 
luisv001's Avatar
 
Location: Miami
Posts: 59
CamelKarma: 134
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

Depending on how serious you are about this, I would look into a slightly more high end investment that Alien Bees. While they are excellent and you can't beat them for the money, they are not in the same category as some of the other monolights. One complaint I have is about the power rating. A 600ws AB is not putting out the same light as a high end light of the same rating. For example, the Guide Numbers for the AB 800 is 320 with an 11" reflector. An Elinchrom 600RX (600ws at maximum output) has a GN of 300 with a similar reflector.

If you are looking into monolights for on-site work, you can also use those very same monolights in the studio. That's the route I went.

There are many to work with and choose from but I decided on Elinchrom. For one, I think the color temperature of the lights is very pleasing for portraiture. I went with the RX series and all 600WS lights. Look into accesories, Remote controls, softboxes from third parties, etc. All of these will give you options. A good monolight is worth the extra you spend on it.
__________________
Luis V.
http://www.photographybyluis.com
luisv001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008   #4
Alpaca
 
Posts: 20
CamelKarma: 19
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

deleted
t_sly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008   #5
Llama
 
TimAndrea's Avatar
 
Posts: 540
CamelKarma: 1557
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

depending on what you are going for, you can also put the lights high, angle them toward the ceiling and let the light bounce. i did that for a wedding in a barn and the pics turned out pretty good. not studio quality but hey, it was in a barn, at night.
__________________
Getting back into the saddle
TimAndrea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008   #6
Alpaca
 
Location: Rochester
Posts: 9
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

Usually for weddings I personally found that ac powered strobes to require to much time to setup even with an assistant. I went with the Q-flash and the radio control units because if not remotly fired then each and every person with a flash will be firing your flash units. I use 4 400 ws Qflash in a church with dark wood altar with 60" reflective umbrellas. Remember that some churches the power is not close to the altar area and that requires extension cords. Also some of the older churches the circuits are lacking in capacity.
__________________
Thomas-Albert
Thomas-Albert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2008   #7
Llama
 
Location: Texas
Posts: 927
CamelKarma: 19072
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by t_sly View Post
Say in a large church, a cathedral type maybe, we have this wedding party of 15-20 people. Would 2 monolights, let's say AB 400's be enough power for a group photo on the altar? If not, would 2 800's be enough?
One AB B400 in white umbrella at ten feet will meter f/8 at ISO 200.
ISO 100 is a stop less of course, and a B800 would be a stop more.
WayneF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2008   #8
Dromedary
 
grsphoto's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,035
CamelKarma: 4385
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

I own and like speedotron, but I would be a little afraid of plugging them in, in an old church where you are not sure about the power...they suck a lot of juice out of the wall when they fire especially in fast recycle mode.
grsphoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2008   #9
Llama
 
Location: Texas
Posts: 927
CamelKarma: 19072
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Strobes and Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by luisv001 View Post
A 600ws AB is not putting out the same light as a high end light of the same rating. For example, the Guide Numbers for the AB 800 is 320 with an 11" reflector. An Elinchrom 600RX (600ws at maximum output) has a GN of 300 with a similar reflector.
ROFL. I think it can be explained a different way, with opposite result.

The Elinchrom 600RX says: 600 watt seconds, f90.1 at 1 meter, ISO 100, 48 degree reflector. f90.1 at 1 meter is GN 90.1 (meters), which is GN 295.6 (feet). That part is the only correct statement. ELINCHROM Studio Flash Systems

The Alienbees B800 is a 320 watt second unit, which is at disadvantage compared to 600 watt seconds. The AlienBees B1600 is the 640 watt second unit, with GN 450 (feet) in the 11 inch reflector to concentrate it into a similar 50 degrees (which is still slightly wider field than 48 degrees). AlienBees Specs Chart

The AB GN 450 is way more than the Elinchrom GN 296. More than a full stop more more powerful, according to GN specs. Even the AB B800 320 watt second unit is GN 320, which is still more than the the Elinchrom 600 watt seconds at GN 296. This comparison must be the origin of the notorious "effective" watt seconds.

FWIW, Cost:
Alienbees B1600 $360
Elinchrom 600RX $978 (B&H) (near 3x more).


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
WayneF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Lighting Technique »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Strobes question Montec Lighting Technique 2 12-28-2007 08:13 PM
Strobes in a small room aam1234 Lighting Technique 40 08-26-2007 02:59 PM
warm lighting with strobes abortretryfail Lighting Technique 10 07-21-2007 09:29 AM
Photoflex strobes aam1234 Lighting Technique 5 07-05-2007 12:38 AM