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Choosing studio strobes (Godox)

  
 
Earguy62
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Can someone give me some advice on studio lighting?

Iím an amateur/hobbist, but a pretty serious one. Iíve been doing portraits (mostly friends) with Godox off-camera speedlights with an RF trigger. I have umbrellas, softboxes, grids, stands, etc., and itís fine for individual or couple portraits, but Iím starting to do whole families. This week I shot a group of 15, and the speedlights just werenít enough indoors. Bounce or umbrellas made the light too weak for the shot. I ended up pointing two speedlights directly at the group and of course had harsh shadows. That was the last straw, I need to up my game.

What should I get? I want to stay with Godox because I have a trigger and speedlights already. Iíd like to have two units since I seem to do well with a basic clamshell set-up, and hopefully two units will be sufficient. Iíd like the units to have modeling light, but Iím not interested in continuous/video lighting. Needs to be able to be triggered by my Godox Xpro-C. My budget is $1000, maybe $1200 if I squeeze a little.

Checking Adorama, I found the DPx00III line of strobes (link below). The 400w is $199 each, the 600w is $299 each, and the 1000w are $399 each. I see also that there is a DPx00III-V line, which are $20-$40 more.

So, my questions are, which unit will have enough power for my needs? Are there any accessories I need in addition to the two units? Differences between the originals and the V-series that I should care about? Or should I look at something else altogether?

Thanks for your help.

DPx00III



Dec 12, 2023 at 01:10 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I'll be the first to suggest you go battery powered. I'm sure people will be split on this, and you might reject it outright. But you're probably going to be fine with a pair of the Xplor300s, and even better with a 400 or 600ws system. You can even go to the OG Xplor600 for about $500/head and have a ton of power - useful for shooting shorter flash duration, faster recycle, or just filling bigger spaces with bounce. If you're not pressed to get these right away, you can catch them on steeeeep sales periodically - I've seen the Xplor600Pros as low as $499, and the OG Xplor600s for $379.

Whatever you do, you're right to buy from Adorama - they offer the most comprehensive warranty and repair service: https://www.flashpointlighting.com/flashpoint-repair/

Battery pros/cons:

Pros: no cables to setup or trip on; no reliance on finding location power

Cons: potentially heavier; you'll want a backup or two per light, which adds expense (you may even, in the case of the 400s or 600s, want to get an AC adapter "just in case"); you will need to have a discipline of charging them at the end of each gig, and periodically check in on them to top off their charge if you're leaving them unused for 4+ weeks at a time.



Dec 12, 2023 at 04:55 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Open box demo unit for $426: https://www.adorama.com/us1742940.html


Dec 12, 2023 at 04:57 PM
ronchau
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I think the V series has an LED modeling lamp instead of incandescent.


Dec 12, 2023 at 05:12 PM
Earguy62
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Fantastic, this is just the sort of information I was looking for. I didn't realize that Flashpoint was a re-badged Godox, that's good to know. I agree I'd prefer battery, but the ones I was looking at were $800 and cost-prohibitive. However the ones you suggested look great. I'll probably just buy new instead of open-box. I don't think I'll need extra batteries - I don't shoot that much - but the AC adapter sounds like a good idea. I'll probably go with the wattage that falls into my budget and hope for the best.

A new step in my photography journey!

Thank you again.



Dec 13, 2023 at 12:47 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Are you strictly planning indoor use? Or do you need something to overpower sunlight? A pair of 400ws monolights like the AD400Pro will be fine with modifiers indoors. They'll give nice fill outdoors too. But to actually match or overpower outdoor full sun you'd need 1200ws.


Dec 13, 2023 at 02:34 PM
newyork
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Will the 1200s be fine indoors just by dialing power way down? Then you get it both ways with one light set?

jeffbuzz wrote:
Are you strictly planning indoor use? Or do you need something to overpower sunlight? A pair of 400ws monolights like the AD400Pro will be fine with modifiers indoors. They'll give nice fill outdoors too. But to actually match or overpower outdoor full sun you'd need 1200ws.




Dec 13, 2023 at 02:37 PM
Earguy62
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Indoor, or outdoor fill flash. Like I said, I'm a hobbyist, I do a handfull of portraits a year, though I would use them for still life etc if I have them. Do you think 300w will be enough? I'm leaning toward 400w or 600w depending on the price points.


Dec 13, 2023 at 03:41 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Earguy62 wrote:
Indoor, or outdoor fill flash. Like I said, I'm a hobbyist, I do a handfull of portraits a year, though I would use them for still life etc if I have them. Do you think 300w will be enough? I'm leaning toward 400w or 600w depending on the price points.


If you aren't sure on how much power you need, I'd recommend just going the AD200 Pro route and getting the dual head adapter for it. You could pick up 3 AD200s, trigger and dual head easily within your budget along with some of the s-type adapters. The AD600 Pro is a great light, but if your budget is $800 I think, then you're paying a lot for a light that you're likely going to use anywhere close to the full power from rarely.



Dec 13, 2023 at 06:36 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


The AD400 Pro will work just fine for you but if budget permits the AD600 Pro will give you that extra, either in shots per charge or higher output.


Dec 13, 2023 at 07:33 PM
 


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LarryBeemer
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I'm just sharing my personal experience with battery power on the Godox units. I have 2 AD200 Pro units and 3 AD400Pro units. The batteries for the AD200Pro's will last quite a while on a charge. When it comes time to recharge, they will recharge within a decent amount of time. Unfortunately, the batteries for the AD400Pro's are not as good as far as holding a charge. When brand new they were....OK at best. After using them for a while (3-4 months) they began to discharge quite rapidly. I ended up buying the AC adapter ($109) for each unit so there is no worrying about battery life anymore. I do charge the batteries from time to time just to "top them off". However, the last time I did that I charged them fully (which takes a while) and unplugged them from the charger but did not put them away. The next day I plugged them back in just to see how much they might have discharged. I was astonished to discover how much power was lost just sitting there. They were nearly half discharged already without being used. I am no longer a working pro so I am not constantly using them day after day.
The Godox QT series of AC powered flash units will high-speed-sync. I recently added a QT600lllM unit and it was less money than the AD400, partly because of having to add the AC power adapter.

YMMV.....just my experience.


©Ņ©
LB



Dec 13, 2023 at 10:23 PM
MichaelFrederickPhoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


When getting started in flash photography we look at the cheaper lights as ďI am just getting started and why do I want to spend that muchĒ. I 1000% made this mistake.

My 1st strobes were the MS300ís for $129. What I didnít know enough about what the ďWHYĒ are these lights so cheap. One of the specs that doesnít seem to be considered enough is the strobe power range. The MS300 can ONLY go down to 1/32 power. As I progressed into my shooting, I can tell you only being to go down to 1/32 on a 300W light can be an issue.

My strong advice as others have said as well is the AD200 is the best value/performance strobe out there. If you are going to shoot outdoors, say late afternoon/early evening you will be surprised that you can use the mentioned AD200 in a 41/43 bounce umbrella only needing 1/64 or 1/128 power when shooting at 1.2 or 1.4 aperture.

I have shot using the AD200 in a 65in at 1/2 power, that strobe is my fav in my collection. Itís small, powerful, can get the AD-B2 and add a 2nd AD200 so you get 400W of power when you really need it. Also what I like is the cost that on a location shoot I donít like to bring my AD400ís because in the event of an accidental fall, a $300 light is less of a wallet hit than a $700 strobe if it falls/breaks.

I have a V1, (2) AD200s, (2) MS300ís and (2) AD400ís. I watch the Adorama sales and only buy them then, I paid about $225 for the AD200ís and $429ish for the AD400ís. If you can be patient, there are deals to be had.

I would rather have you wait for the great deals and get a great strobe than keep buying the cheap ones. My MS300 rarely get used, maybe as hairlights on headshots or model shoots but thats rare, the AD200 is my 1st go to.

Good luck!!!



Dec 17, 2023 at 04:03 PM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


How often do you need to balance the exposure with the mid-day sun? How big is your still life going to get?

More power is always more flexible, but it will take up more space, cost and weigh more.

From my experiences taking pictures of people for fun, I have a lot more control on the process. So even the AD200 would work. I am learning how to make do with just the AD100 for ultralight travel set-up.

For still life, I do take a fair amount of product shots, but mostly small sizes (less than 1 foot). For such an application, even at f/16, I got adequate power from my AD200.

I only use my AD600 when I need to freeze action.



Dec 19, 2023 at 01:13 AM
pjheller
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I'm not a Godox/Flashpoint expert, but when I was looking around to replace some strobes, I opted for the Flashpoint AD300 Pros (although I was strongly tempted by the AD400 Pros). Two of the AD300s will easily fit in the OP's budget, should give him the option of shooting a large group with two separate lights (as opposed to bundling the 200s together), and are small and light enough to carry around or travel with.

While some have recommended the AD600, it is (I believe) only about a half stop more powerful than than AD400.

Just my $.02.



Dec 19, 2023 at 01:56 AM
aCuria
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Marcuspix on YouTube has a perspective on these things I find rather hard to disagree with, he bought the AD 100,200,300, and 600bm with his own money iirc

He claims:

The AD100 is more powerful than the AD200 with round head adapter, so donít bother with the round head adapter

The AD100 through the round fresnel produces acceptable results but the AD200 through the rectangular fresnel does not (too blue / contrasty)

The AD 200 needs to be paired with a reflector and diffuser plate, and with this the light quality is better than the AD100 but the light output drops to equal to the AD100,

The AD200 is much larger which is an issue when traveling. I think just the 3 reflectors in a backpack will take up as much space as 3 AD100s

The AD100 with medium softbox, silver umbrella and shoot through umbrella is bright enough in full sun on a single model. I have personally verified this to be true, but probably avoid the shoot through for faster recycle time

Either way he likes both the AD100 and 200, but the 100 is better in a portable kit

The AD300 with stock reflector is half stop dimmer than the AD100

The AD 300 with ADR-14 reflector is also 2/10 stop dimmer than the AD100, I donít really understand why the spread is so much wider, but it feels like the AD300 should only be used with a softbox

The AD400 is almost as heavy and big as the AD600 so you my as well get the 600, which accepts bowens mount natively

https://youtu.be/o8bdbLW2gAs?si=-niHCenPFjHAq2ZR

I think the AD400 and 600 need to be carried in a rolling luggage, the size is almost the same and maybe the weight difference doesnít matter when rolling it.

I think the AD100 (I have 3 of them) is better used ďrawĒ through the fresnel with umbrella type softboxes or just umbrellas. Donít bother with bowens mount or any kind of mount on these guys, they work great with umbrellas because the fresnel projects a nice even circle to hit the umbrella with

The 600 allows the use of gigantic modifiers, makes sense for group photos too but Iím still learning how to best use this



Dec 20, 2023 at 03:01 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)




aCuria wrote:
Marcuspix on YouTube has a perspective on these things I find rather hard to disagree

He claims:

The AD100 is more powerful than the AD200 with round head adapter, so donít bother with the round head adapter

The AD300 with stock reflector is half stop dimmer than the AD100

The AD 300 with ADR-14 reflector is also 2/10 stop dimmer than the AD100


These make no sense - Iíd take them with a huge grain of salt. Iíve got 200s and 300s but no 100 to test against, but my bet is heís comparing across different setups and not accounting for things like coverage/spread/consistency.



Dec 21, 2023 at 08:49 AM
mkuznicki
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I have no experience with Godox lighting, but I'll be getting into it soon. How real is the green tint issue on the AD100 that I've been reading about?


Dec 21, 2023 at 09:26 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Earguy62 wrote:
Can someone give me some advice on studio lighting?

Iím an amateur/hobbist, but a pretty serious one. Iíve been doing portraits (mostly friends) with Godox off-camera speedlights with an RF trigger. I have umbrellas, softboxes, grids, stands, etc., and itís fine for individual or couple portraits, but Iím starting to do whole families. This week I shot a group of 15, and the speedlights just werenít enough indoors. Bounce or umbrellas made the light too weak for the shot. I ended up pointing two speedlights directly at the group and of course had harsh shadows. That was the last straw, I
...Show more

Before you buy more gear, I'd take a look at how other photographers approach lighting large groups. Definitely recommend the battery powered godox line for this though.

With a group of 15, one approach would be to use two 7 ft umbrellas, one with a diffusion sock as key, and the other bare as fill. You'll need to position the light source far enough way that it spreads evenly across the group, so you'll need a large space for that. I would use one AD600 for the key, and perhaps a second one for fill. Depending on your exposure settings, you could get away with less power, but this is assuming you're around f10-14 1/200 iso 100 so everyone is sharp. You can set that up in 15-20 mins.

When you're learning I think it's important to know how to use umbrellas as well as softboxes, because each have their strengths and weaknesses.



Dec 21, 2023 at 05:56 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


If indoors only the strobes you listed are quite good for the money. We just got them in our studio at work and I did a test shoot last week and everything worked quite nicely. At full power, recycle was slow, like 2 seconds, could be a bit less. Strobes are heavy and seemed well built. And I liked the old style halogen lamp, no LEDs. Negatives wise, they are heavy and no extension head. On my XLPOR600s I always use extension heads, so things on booms and/or up the light stands are light, which is how I like.

I have AD200s too but don't use them. Too less power when using HSS. Maybe not be an issue if shooting much later in the evening but I like having more power at hand so I can use my strobes at lower settings and get faster recycles. Sometimes I will gang 2 AD600s into a 1200ws for single person shots.



Dec 21, 2023 at 11:20 PM
aCuria
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)



jlafferty wrote:
These make no sense - Iíd take them with a huge grain of salt. Iíve got 200s and 300s but no 100 to test against, but my bet is heís comparing across different setups and not accounting for things like coverage/spread/consistency.


He generally is photographing a single model, so the problem he has with the AD300 seems to be too much spread regardless of what reflector is used on it.

I suppose if you only use the 300 with a softbox and not reflectors this may matter less

I have 100/600 but no 300 to test against



Dec 22, 2023 at 03:21 AM
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