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Monolights for couples shoot?
  
 
ahaug
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Monolights for couples shoot?


I'm toying the the idea of adding a monolight this season. My main reason is for couples shoots in strong sunlight. I've always been lucky enough to find another solution in the past like a dark background, shade, tri flash with umbrella or reflector. However, I think that a monolight might open up some possibilities for me. I'm figuring that it would be more gear, heavy and maybe not worth it in the end. Who is happy using monolights? Who tried it and quit? Any input would be great.


Apr 12, 2017 at 03:29 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Monolights for couples shoot?


Why go with a monolight which requires a heavy battery to use outside? Cheetah or Godex lights can handle the task and they are much more portable.


Apr 12, 2017 at 03:40 PM
ahaug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Monolights for couples shoot?


You are talking about the godox 360? How much more power would that have compared to three speedlights? It doesn't seem that 3 speedlights are enough. The guide number of the Godox is 80m at iso 100 and the nikon 910 is 34m. I wonder what the guide number would be for 3 nikon 910s together?
The Godox 600 is 183m at iso 100.



Apr 12, 2017 at 06:50 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Monolights for couples shoot?


ahaug wrote:
You are talking about the godox 360? How much more power would that have compared to three speedlights? It doesn't seem that 3 speedlights are enough. The guide number of the Godox is 80m at iso 100 and the nikon 910 is 34m. I wonder what the guide number would be for 3 nikon 910s together?
The Godox 600 is 183m at iso 100.



There have been some good tests of some of the Godox system lately to compare how everything stacks up. This particular video also tests in a softbox as well.









Apr 12, 2017 at 07:08 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Monolights for couples shoot?


ahaug wrote:
You are talking about the godox 360? How much more power would that have compared to three speedlights? It doesn't seem that 3 speedlights are enough. The guide number of the Godox is 80m at iso 100 and the nikon 910 is 34m. I wonder what the guide number would be for 3 nikon 910s together?
The Godox 600 is 183m at iso 100.


The thing about Godox or Cheetah lights is that you don't need a ton of power because you can use high speed sync (with the correct trigger). This means that you can shoot in sunlight at wider apertures which will lower the power requirements of your light.



Apr 12, 2017 at 07:55 PM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Monolights for couples shoot?


Just brought along my Godox AD600 on a couple engagement shoots recently and I was really happy with the results. Especially during the earlier hours (4 or 5 pm), I was pushing 1/4 power, so I definitely wouldn't have wanted anything less powerful than the 600. That said, I was using fairly hefty light modifiers.



















This is perhaps my best example of subtle-but-awesome strobe usage. Here they (unintentionally) started on the edge of the light and walked into it. Gave a nice bit of fill to them.








Apr 13, 2017 at 07:06 AM
glort
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Monolights for couples shoot?



I bought a 360 before Christmas.
I have other battery powered Monoblocks but never really been happy with them.
The big one is rated at 600W and I have barely ever been able to turn it down enough even at the 1/8 Setting with fabric Diffusers I got the wife to sew up.
It's big, heavy and doesn't have provision for modifiers and doesn't even hold a brolly well. It does have enough grunt to light up the moon however. I know Chinese rating are inflated but this thing to me seems Waaaay conservative in it's stated output. I must pull out the Big Elinchrom I have and the Minolta IVF and check what the thing really does. Got to be over 600W which is really just too much.

I have had the Godox out on 4-5 shoots now and I love the thing. It's quite changed the way I shoot. Stick it on a light stand or tripod ( bought convenient adapters off flea bay to tripod mount it for like $4) Dial the thing in to where I want it and shoot away. I'm still getting familiar with all the settings on both the flash and the remote which I think are both overly complicated and annoying to use but that's because I would really prefer the things to be a lot less featured as I know what I want to do and can set it up myself. I'm sure the more tech savvy would not have the problems I do.

In any case I find the light output quality is superb, the thing has power to spare, the battery has enough grunt I can't even slow it down let alone flatten it and I like the versatility of the thing to add modifiers. That said I bought all of them with the unit but haven't used any yet. Just had the plastic diffuser that comes with it over the reflector and used it bare bulb mode.

I did a catalogue shoot for a company about 6 weeks ago and I have never had people so keen to have me re shoot for them again. I used the light and they loved the effects I created with it are at me to shoot the rest of their product line.
Wasn't anything brilliant I did, just put the light in the right place and let it do the work.

one shoot I did I was using it in hard light to soften shadows and fill in a bit. I also did shots where I dropped the ambient exposure 2 Stops and worked of the artificial light to create the blue shy and the relative effect. Used to do that with my old Metz hammerheads but it was never as successful as using the godox.

After that we moved down to the water on the beach about 25-30M away and I was shooting there. I could see this nice sidelighting to the shots and thought at the time it was the setting sun. Don't ask me why at the time that was the thought that went through my mind when it was still a good 3 hours till sunset, I'll just put it down to not being too smart.

When I got home and looked at the pics properly, I was really pleased with this catchlight. I then worked out it wasn't the sun ( will give myself credit that the sun does go behind the mountains there very early) but the flash I had left sitting on the beach and forgotten about.
As they say, make a mistake and call it art!

Was pretty surprised with the grunt of the thing and there were not many shots it missed through still recycling.

I like it's versatility as well. On Sat Night I went to my Nephews 21st in a lounge bar. Typical Dim lighting, dark walls and everything else to make pics seem overly contrasty and blow out. I'd picked up my lighting bag but forgot the 860 I wanted to use at home next to the charger. I had the 360 so put that on, took off the reflector and ran bare bulb. the picks look great. Loads of background fill with a nice even lighting without turning people in the foreground into casper the friendly Ghost.

Before I bought the 360 people here said you couldn't use it as an on camera flash but the thing is awesome. It TTL's perfect and throws a great light and is just a pleasure to use.
The only thing I would like is if they had an LED modeling lamp for the thing. I'm trying to find the spec and pinouts of the battery pack so I can make something up myself. You can get USB chargers for them so I assume there is a low volt pin somewhere I could use but i'd like to know what sort of output it's rated for. Even [email protected] as normal USB would be 10W which would be useful and I could run a buck converter to get the output to 12V if needed.

I will use this light for all my shoots now. Love it.
I have done a bit with the 860 as a mono and it's good, very compact to cart around but as I have a light stand or tripod to mount it on anyway, bit of a moot point.
The 360 with it's interchangeable modifiers etc which make it just like anything in the studio is more my prefrance.

I'll do some more with the Speed light as the 2nd light to see how it works out before I buy another 360 but so far the bigger light is more in my favor. I'm also thinking its worth buying another 360 Just for my T&I work.

I always wanted a Quantum Q flash but Balked at the price. these things are cheap as chips and for real world use, every bit as good as the quantum's I have borrowed and used. On the catalogue shoot the stand blew over in the wet sand in a strong gust. Laid in the surface water for a bit and I thought to myself " that didn't last long". Picked it up, it seemed happy so went on shooting with it. Didn't try to wipe it off and put grit everywhere, waited till it dried off and flicked it off with a towel and the thing hasn't flinched. I like things made to take a knock and keep going!

I'm an anti gearhead but I love this thing and wish I had it years ago.
I'll certainly be taking it to all my weddings and glam shoots from now on because I love what I can do with it and how nice the output is and the way the thing works so well.... Once a dummy like me works it all out! :0)



Apr 13, 2017 at 07:16 AM
rcsnellink
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Monolights for couples shoot?


mikethevilla wrote:
Just brought along my Godox AD600 on a couple engagement shoots recently and I was really happy with the results. Especially during the earlier hours (4 or 5 pm), I was pushing 1/4 power, so I definitely wouldn't have wanted anything less powerful than the 600. That said, I was using fairly hefty light modifiers.


Very nice! Happen to have any BTS shots? What kind of modifier did you use?



Apr 13, 2017 at 09:51 AM
ahaug
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Monolights for couples shoot?


mikethevilla wrote:
Just brought along my Godox AD600 on a couple engagement shoots recently and I was really happy with the results. Especially during the earlier hours (4 or 5 pm), I was pushing 1/4 power, so I definitely wouldn't have wanted anything less powerful than the 600. That said, I was using fairly hefty light modifiers.

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_03.jpg

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_05.jpg

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_07.jpg

This is perhaps my best example of subtle-but-awesome strobe usage. Here they (unintentionally) started on the edge of the light and walked into it. Gave a nice bit of fill to them.

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_09.jpg


Were you shooting in manual flash mode or ttl?



Apr 13, 2017 at 04:22 PM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Monolights for couples shoot?


rcsnellink wrote:
Very nice! Happen to have any BTS shots? What kind of modifier did you use?


Thanks! I'll go through them and see if I have any BTS stuff. Most of these were with a foldable 24" beauty dish (with diffuser). The one where they're sitting was with a 60" Softlighter II.



Apr 13, 2017 at 05:27 PM
 

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mikethevilla
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Monolights for couples shoot?


ahaug wrote:
Were you shooting in manual flash mode or ttl?


Manual. I didn't even bother spending the extra for the TTL version. Digitial makes manual anything easy enough and way more consistent than TTL.



Apr 13, 2017 at 05:28 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Monolights for couples shoot?


jcolman wrote:
The thing about Godox or Cheetah lights is that you don't need a ton of power because you can use high speed sync (with the correct trigger). This means that you can shoot in sunlight at wider apertures which will lower the power requirements of your light.


Maybe I'm missing something, but the second sentence seems contrary to the way HSS effects flash power. Suppose, for instance, that a scene is properly illuminated at f/2.8 and 1/250 with flash at 1/8 power. Achieving the same result at f/1.4 (2 stops) would require 1/1000 shutter speed and the flash set to 1/2 power. So I'm not seeing how the combination of wider apertures and higher shutter speeds lowers power requirements.



Apr 17, 2017 at 03:14 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Monolights for couples shoot?


BigIronCruiser wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something, but the second sentence seems contrary to the way HSS effects flash power. Suppose, for instance, that a scene is properly illuminated at f/2.8 and 1/250 with flash at 1/8 power. Achieving the same result at f/1.4 (2 stops) would require 1/1000 shutter speed and the flash set to 1/2 power. So I'm not seeing how the combination of wider apertures and higher shutter speeds lowers power requirements.


Because the aperture is now set to f/1.4 you don't need as much flash power as you would at f/2.8.



Apr 17, 2017 at 01:21 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Monolights for couples shoot?


jcolman wrote:
Because the aperture is now set to f/1.4 you don't need as much flash power as you would at f/2.8.


That would only be true at or below x-sync. When the flash is in HSS mode, it has to work harder to produce the same result.



Apr 17, 2017 at 04:17 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Monolights for couples shoot?


This is true, but not as hard as it must work at f/8. But the whole point of my post was to simply point out that a Cheetah 360 is powerful enough to work in sunlight. Here's an example of my 360, firing thru a 24" softbox from about 8' away. It's powerful enough to nearly balance the sunlight. This was not shooting in HSS mode either.



But as with any photo, I like to use it in open shade if possible.




Apr 17, 2017 at 04:27 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Monolights for couples shoot?


BigIronCruiser wrote:
That would only be true at or below x-sync. When the flash is in HSS mode, it has to work harder to produce the same result.


Yep, most of the light just ends up against the shutter curtain rather than the sensor. An ND filter is actually marginally more efficient.



Apr 17, 2017 at 04:37 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Monolights for couples shoot?


mikethevilla wrote:
Just brought along my Godox AD600 on a couple engagement shoots recently and I was really happy with the results. Especially during the earlier hours (4 or 5 pm), I was pushing 1/4 power, so I definitely wouldn't have wanted anything less powerful than the 600. That said, I was using fairly hefty light modifiers.

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_03.jpg

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_05.jpg

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_07.jpg

This is perhaps my best example of subtle-but-awesome strobe usage. Here they (unintentionally) started on the edge of the light and walked into it. Gave a nice bit of fill to them.

http://www.villavisuals.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/13-12006-post/Lake_Elsinore_Flowers_Engagement_09.jpg


Really nice work. So many people over-use flash and make it look 'green screened' and unnatural. What kind of ratio were you using and which mods?



Apr 17, 2017 at 04:39 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Monolights for couples shoot?


glort wrote:
I'm an anti gearhead but I love this thing and wish I had it years ago.
I'll certainly be taking it to all my weddings and glam shoots from now on because I love what I can do with it and how nice the output is and the way the thing works so well.... Once a dummy like me works it all out! :0)


Don't believe I've ever seen you this pumped about gear.



Apr 18, 2017 at 09:06 PM
glort
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Monolights for couples shoot?


BigIronCruiser wrote:
Don't believe I've ever seen you this pumped about gear.


You're Probably Right.
I seldom get excited about tools of the trade because to me they are just that, Tools.
I don't get excited over tools as if they were a new fuzzy and cute family pet or something that actually makes a SIGNIFICANT difference to the clients and my bottom line.
This is an exception.

Rather than a camera or lens that has some thing to keep pedantic shooters happy but is a difference the clients will never perceive or give a damn about, this flash HAS had an impact on my work the clients picked up on straight away and has already made a tangible return on investment. It's certainly not a new way of doing things but it has made it much more practical and useful for me to get the results I want and the are loving.

Anything that puts more money in my pocket I DO get excited about. :0)

Equipment upgrades these days are far more about the manufacturer creating something to entice repeat sales by giving the shooter an excuse to buy a new toy than they are about features that will do something the last toy won't that clients will pay for to put more money in the shooters pocket and make a return on the investment.




Apr 19, 2017 at 01:00 AM
ahaug
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Monolights for couples shoot?


Seems like the 360s are getting a lot of love. I know that they are lighter and cheaper than a 600 but the 600 seems to be simpler to use with no wires or external batteries and more control with the remote. Am I missing something here?


Apr 19, 2017 at 08:01 PM
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