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Archive 2012 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...
  
 
die_kruzen
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Hello All, I'm thinking about expanding my lighting equipment as I only have an old Canon 430 flash. My thought is that I would pick up one of the PCB flash heads with the Vagabond mini. I like the thought of the ABs, but I would really like to have a flash where I could control the power. With that, I believe I am limited to either the White Lightning or the Einsteins. The Einsteins seem like the obvious choice, but I really like the 'non' digital controls of the White Lightning. Any thoughts? Are the Einsteins that much better?

My other option is to simply go with a nice sized reflector and use my flash indoors when needed.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Pete



Jan 07, 2012 at 05:53 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


"I like the thought of the ABs, but I would really like to have a flash where I could control the power."

The flash power of the ABs is fully controllable across a 5-stop range, both locally with the slider on the back of the strobe and remotely with the PCB wired remote or with the Cybercommander wireless control.

All Paul Buff strobes EXCEPT Zeus are monolights, not pack and head systems, so you don't have to use the Vagabond mini, you can just plug the ABs, WLs, or Einsteins into the wall for power.

<Chas>



Jan 07, 2012 at 06:35 PM
die_kruzen
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Chas -- thanks for the response. So, does that mean I can take an 800 and 'knock' it down to the strength of the 400? I was under the impression that wasn't possible...but I certainly can be mistaken.

Regarding the Vagabond...I was just thinking that if I liked the flashes that much..I would probably opt to take them outside away from 'wall power'.

Thanks again for the response,

Pete



Jan 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Yes, you can turn down the power of an AB800 to the same power as an AB400. They both have an adjustment range of 6 stops, so the AB800 will be 1 stop brighter at the bottom end than will the AB400.

An AB800 has an adjustment range from 320WS to 10WS. An AB400 has an adjustment range from 160WS to 5WS. The difference at the bottom end is pretty insignificant in terms of real brightness, and can be compensated for with a gel.

I use a mix of 400s and 800s in my product photography studio and seldom have to set the strobes to minimum power. More often I'm wishing that my 400s were 800s ;-)

The White Lightning strobes are mostly identical to the ABs, but the build quality is much more rugged and durable. If you will be taking them out of the studio on a regular basis, I'd suggest the WLs. But for studio use with occasional outside use the ABs will be fine.

<Chas>



Jan 08, 2012 at 12:24 AM
AHPZuazua
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Grab yourself Digital Strobes... if you want consistent shot to shot images. The slider monolights are just a pain to try and dial in the correct about of light for your scene...


Jan 08, 2012 at 11:31 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


die_kruzen wrote:
...The Einsteins seem like the obvious choice, but I really like the 'non' digital controls of the White Lightning. Any thoughts? Are the Einsteins that much better?


One advantage of the Einstein over the White Lightning or Alien Bees is that it uses an IGBT (similar to the older thyristor) to cut off the flash at the appropriate exposure. Non-IGBT/thyristor strobes use variable voltage and/or capacitor banking to do that. The IGBT/thyristor strobes have more consistant color at their various power levels than the other kinds, and also usually shorter flash durations at low power, which is good for action-stopping/blur prevention.

As for the controls and layout of the Alien Bees and White Lightnings, there are differences, but overall they're similar:









Jan 09, 2012 at 12:39 AM
die_kruzen
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Hello all and thank you for the responses. I guess I should provide a bit more info on my intended purposes. I typically use my 430 outdoors and rarely indoors. However, I have been starting to use the 430 more indoors just to play around/get comfortable with different lighting. 95% of the time -- these are just pics of my 2 daughters…I do nothing 'professional'. Not that I don't want to get to that level...but for now I am more than content taking pics of the family.

So, what I thought is that I would look at some type of PCB light that I could use indoors and occasionally drag outdoors as I think the 430 would be good enough outdoors for now (in most situations). However, maybe a 580 would be a good option. I really like the power and modeling light that the PCB for afford and I think that may help me become more comfortable with lighting.

Thanks again all, Pete



Jan 12, 2012 at 01:03 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


die_kruzen wrote:
...So, what I thought is that I would look at some type of PCB light that I could use indoors and occasionally drag outdoors... I really like the power and modeling light that the PCB for afford and I think that may help me become more comfortable with lighting.


The usefulness of a modeling light cannot be underestimated, that's true; very handy, especially when just learning.

Another huge benefit is the true bare bulb capability; it makes filling softboxes, bouncing light throughout a room, and many other tasks a lot more efficient. With flash guns and their built-in reflectors and lenses, getting broad, even light dispersal can be problematic.

I'm a "strobist" at heart -- using the original definition -- so I have all kinds of modifiers for flash guns, but none are as good as a true bare bulb when such is called for. I'm debating whether to add to my kit a bare-bulb flash gun like a Quantum Q-flash, or to get a monolight strobe. I'm leaning toward the latter; currently the Elinchrom D-lite 400 IT is at the top of my short list.



Jan 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM
die_kruzen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


Hey, Brian -- never looked at the Q Flash - looks quite promising and portable to boot -- but that is one, heafty price!! What are it's benefits over a 580? Barring additional huge benefits from the Q Flash, I am most likely back between potentially adding a 580 and using that outdoors/indoors while occassionally adding the 430, or going the PCB route. Like you mentioned -- the modeling light may prove invaluable and enhance my learning. The PCB would not be as portable as the Q Flash or the 580, but still might be a solid choice. I guess my biggest issue with the PCB is that I rarely go out to just take pictures (most often I take them on the way to restaurants, beach, etc). In fact, just this past fall was the first time I had ever gone out just to take pics (youngest daughter as the subject). But, I believe with something like the PCB - I may opt to go out more often with my girls soley to take pictures.

--So, in short:
1. Use a 580 as my main light while using the 430 as a slave.
2. Use the 430 outside with an occasional visit by the PCB and use the PCB inside.

Thanks again, Pete



Jan 12, 2012 at 09:44 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lighting questions -- looking to expand my gear...


die_kruzen wrote:
Hey, Brian -- never looked at the Q Flash - looks quite promising and portable to boot -- but that is one, heafty price!! What are it's benefits over a 580?


Yeah, they're defiinitely not for the faint of wallet.

The Q-flash 5Ds come in 200-watt-second and 400 watt-second versions, compared to a 580EX's less than 100 Watt-second. (I can't recall exaclty the power of the 580EX, but it may even be as low as 50-60Ws.) So when nothing but lots of light will do, they're worth their weight in candles.

They're very solidly built, and designed to fire in rapid succession over long periods without overheating.

As mentioned, because they have exposed bulbs they're great for use with a range of modifiers.

Since they don't have internal batteries, they're quite light for their power/size, which can be a blessing when they're up on a tall bracket.

The downsides are:

Price.

Need external battery pack.

Price.

No modeling light like a similarly-powerful monolight would have.

Price.

Oh, and did I mention price?

die_kruzen wrote:
...Barring additional huge benefits from the Q Flash, I am most likely back between potentially adding a 580 and using that outdoors/indoors while occassionally adding the 430, or going the PCB route. ...The PCB would not be as portable as the Q Flash or the 580, but still might be a solid choice. ...I believe with something like the PCB - I may opt to go out more often with my girls soley to take pictures.

--So, in short:
1. Use a 580 as my main light while using the 430 as a slave.
2. Use the 430
...Show more

That sounds like a good plan.

Did I already mention The Speedliter's Handbook? Hugely helpful for learning the nuts and bolts of off-camera flash, multi-light flash, modifer use, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Speedliters-Handbook-Learning-Craft-Speedlites/dp/032171105X



Jan 13, 2012 at 01:20 AM





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