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| p.1 #13 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack |
I wonder what the difference would be between using my ab800 and a 580exII?
With the AB you'd have much more power and a wider option of modifiers but be limited to shooting at the sync limit of your camera.
With the 580exII you'd have less power, fewer (effective) modification options, but when range permits be able to use high-speed sync to shoot at wider apertures than the sync limit would allow. It's also a lighter more mobile solution if you keep your Master / Fill on a flash bracket. I keep my 580ex on my bracket all the time outdoors. I don't always use it, but it's there when I need it.
Most lighting gear choices are compromises between effectiveness, logistics and cost.
If you decide its worth the effort to haul a couple stands and modifiers out on location there's very little difference logistically in using ABs vs. speedlights — a couple more pounds of weight.
But if you decide its more important to travel light then a speedlight + bracket + single off camera light approach would better meet that goal, but you'd sacrifice the power and modifier advantages of the Bees.
The ideal solution is to have both sets of tools which allows always having the best match of tools to goals or the logistical limitations of the shooting situation.
If your goal is to make some money to support your family with your photography you can do that with either set to tools by tailoring the type of photography you do to the tools you currently have available. The guy I learned from make a very comfortable living with nothing more than a window, reflector, and a pair of speedlights: one on a bracket, one on a stand.
If you continue to think along the lines of that next piece of gear being what you need to break through and make money you likely never will. Those who are successful and have lot of gear have purchased it with the net profits from all the work sold with the simpler, less expensive gear. If you don't have a business plan like that you'll wind up sooner rather than later as hobbyist with a lot of expensive gear you don't have much use for...
I agree 100 percent with all you said.. my only comment is this.
I am in Alaska.. and we are getting ready to come out of a long winter.. which means I am eager to start taking photos outdoors...of people...in beautiful settings...so, I want to be ready with what ever equipment I might need.
I have totally been caught up in buying gear... in an effort to be good..
I am done buying things now.
I have the lenses I need.. the camera, the light meter, lights...I would like a Large collapsible modifier to diffuse the sunlight in outdoor shoots, and a particular nd filter.. to be able to blur water flowing down rivers up here...
I did want 2 580exIIs but at 1000.00.. that is not happening.
I am a bit upset that I cannot sync with my alien bees over 180 ss.
I did not know I had that limitation when I bought them.
At any rate, going to use what I have now.. and learn to do better with what I have now.
Your advice hits dead on target!
Thank you for your help, time and effort.
I am reading a lot, studying LIGHT and the effects.. and modifiers...
The only experience I had in the past was I owned 2 430ex flash units.. on stands.. and a canon 20d.. I learned how to use them for a LOT of things..