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Choosing studio strobes (Godox)

  
 
aCuria
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)




bobby350z wrote:
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
...Show more

You would need to lean on some ND filters (No HSS) to get away with the less powerful strobes



Dec 22, 2023 at 03:24 AM
jlafferty
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)




aCuria wrote:
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


If your goal is making a good photo, you’re going to want the spread. If your goal is having the smallest light possible with the greatest output, irrespective of quality, then sure, you can work the way he does. But the AD100 “raw” is basically no different than a bare speedlight in quality.

OTOH if you want a reasonably portable setup that’s also higher output and will be similar in style to the hard edge of a bare fresnel, a good 7” reflector, the S2 and an AD300 will get you there. Obviously the weight and packing volume will be higher, but so will the quality of the image.



Dec 22, 2023 at 10:17 AM
bobby350z
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


aCuria wrote:
You would need to lean on some ND filters (No HSS) to get away with the less powerful strobes


Even then AD200 is too less. I kniow I can gang two of them but then why not get AD400 or AD600 to begin with.



Dec 22, 2023 at 12:32 PM
aCuria
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


bobby350z wrote:
Even then AD200 is too less. I kniow I can gang two of them but then why not get AD400 or AD600 to begin with.


Without HSS the AD100 produces enough light outdoors for portraits, even when using just a shoot through umbrella.

When using more efficient modifiers (direct fire, medium silver umbrella or medium sized softbox) I can even run the AD100 at 1/2 power so they recycle faster.

For me personally, its more convenient to shoot with ND filters (if necessary) and no HSS, rather than use HSS and bring an enormous AD600 pro out all the time.

I keep the AD600 around for situations where I need the spread (group shots), but when doing group shots I think you will not have enough power even with the AD600 if you use HSS.



Dec 23, 2023 at 03:51 AM
aCuria
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


jlafferty wrote:
If your goal is making a good photo, you’re going to want the spread. If your goal is having the smallest light possible with the greatest output, irrespective of quality, then sure, you can work the way he does. But the AD100 “raw” is basically no different than a bare speedlight in quality.

OTOH if you want a reasonably portable setup that’s also higher output and will be similar in style to the hard edge of a bare fresnel, a good 7” reflector, the S2 and an AD300 will get you there. Obviously the weight and packing volume will be
...Show more

How much spread I want depends on the situation, I need a way to control the amount of spread depending on how far away the lights are. The AD100 makes this easy because there's a built in fresnel, you can just set it to 50mm or whatever you want. The AD200 with the bare bulb and reflector controls the spread well enough too.

For the AD300 you cant control the spread easily. Both the standard reflector it comes with and the optional AD-R14 have excessive spread, so much so that the light output is less than the AD100 (fresnel, widest setting) and AD200 (reflector) at the same distance between strobe and subject. What I would want out of a AD300 is the same amount of spread as the AD100 fresnel or the AD200 bare bulb + reflector, but higher light intensity at full power since its supposed to be a 300ws unit.

If I want more spread or light quality its easy to use a softbox or just stick the lights further away. However getting less spread is troublesome because you cant always stick the light closer to the subject

What godox needs to do is make a larger godox mount reflector with less spread, but they have yet to do this.

If the packing weight and volume does not matter then I would just use my AD600, why compromise with a AD300?

If we packing weight and volume matters then the AD100, 3 umbrella softboxes and 3 small light stands can be carried fairly easily in a small 15-20L backpack.

However with AD300s you probably can only carry a single AD300, a medium light stand and softbox to match the packing weight and volume. If I wanted to carry 3 AD300s, 3 medium light stands and 3 godox mount softboxes of them I would need a roller luggage for sure, and then we are back to why not just pack the AD600s?



Dec 23, 2023 at 04:35 AM
jlafferty
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


aCuria wrote:
How much spread I want depends on the situation, I need a way to control the amount of spread depending on how far away the lights are. The AD100 makes this easy because there's a built in fresnel, you can just set it to 50mm or whatever you want. The AD200 with the bare bulb and reflector controls the spread well enough too.

For the AD300 you cant control the spread easily. Both the standard reflector it comes with and the optional AD-R14 have excessive spread, so much so that the light output is less than the AD100 (fresnel, widest setting)
...Show more

Far be it from me to tell you there's only one way to work, much less dictate what I think you have to do... I'm just raising a point here that essentially says: if your motivations are creating good looking photos, you're going to move away from using bare fresnel, small sources.

I've seen people make personal cases for why they choose to work the way they do, I've heard and understand why people say, in essence, "well, if I'm going to work with anything *but* the smallest and lightest weight strobes, I might as well drag around a set of AD600s". You can make that case for yourself, as you have, but it doesn't track for my needs. And I'm just raising a point of consideration which says: there's a place that intersects photo/light quality and portability, is not the best of either but suffers less than shooting all AD100s, and offers significant weight savings over 3x AD600s and their modifiers.

If I were looking for a portable setup, it would be 3x AD300s, 3x s2 brackets, an umbrella or two, and a 7" bare reflector, maybe a grid set. I could pack it all, plus camera & lenses, into a single rolling case and over-the-shoulder bag, and still live with the light quality. I can't live with the light quality of the AD100, no matter how efficient it is at putting photons across - for me it's quality over quantity.

To your remark "the AD300 is "supposedly" a 300ws strobe, it definitely is. If you want it to be more efficient than the AD100 you have to recognize: a bare reflector better than the stock reflector will be the most efficient modifier possible (more efficient than a fresnel, even); and you'd have to care about the qualitative differences for this to matter. If you don't care, then feel free to ignore my posts

Just FYI, the stock reflectors on the AD600Pro and AD300 do a poor job of representing the light's capabilities, essentially downgrade either. I've swapped out efficient reflectors on my AD600Pros and seen the efficiency jump... IIRC a full stop? (what's f/18 to f/25?) In this way, any of these lights only behave appropriate to their potential if handled properly.

Here's a really efficient reflector: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1572344-REG/godox_rft_19_reflector_for_vl150_vl200.html



Dec 23, 2023 at 12:37 PM
Oscarsmadness
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


I use Godox/Flashpoint AD400Pro and a duffel bag of speed lights.

For my use, the power from the AD400Pro is plenty. 90% of what I do calls for 1/8 power or less. All that said, I've never tried to HSS the thing under full sun, with modifiers. If that is something that you need to do, you probably need more power.

+1 for everyone advising you to go the Adorama route. I have very positive experience with their Flashpoint and Glow products, in line with what's already mentioned in this thread and in others.



Dec 23, 2023 at 01:04 PM
aCuria
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


jlafferty wrote:
Far be it from me to tell you there's only one way to work, much less dictate what I think you have to do... I'm just raising a point here that essentially says: if your motivations are creating good looking photos, you're going to move away from using bare fresnel, small sources.

I've seen people make personal cases for why they choose to work the way they do, I've heard and understand why people say, in essence, "well, if I'm going to work with anything *but* the smallest and lightest weight strobes, I might as well drag around a set of
...Show more

My portable setup is 3 AD100s and 3 umbrella soft boxes, I don’t really see a problem with the light quality shooting this way.

I also have silver umbrellas and shoot through umbrellas which I can use instead of the softboxes. The advantage of the umbrellas is that they can fold down really small and fit inside the camera bag.

Note that since you use the AD300 with HSS that represents a loss of power relative to ambient. If we assume a 2 stops loss due to HSS this means that the AD300 + HSS is only functioning as a 75ws light, which is less than the AD200 and even the AD100 without HSS

There is often a misconception that an ND filter causes a loss of flash power relative to ambient, but this is not the case. For the benefit of other readers I would add a comment on this

Suppose we assume a max flash sync of 1/200s and we use HSS to shoot at 1/800s. This has the effect of reducing ambient AND flash power by 2 stops. However at the same time there is an additional loss of 2-3 stops of maximum flash power simply because HSS is turned on.

In the alternative scenario we use a 3 stop ND and a reduced shutter of 1/100s to reduce ambient and flash power by 2 stops. In this scenario there is no additional loss of maximum flash power as HSS is not used

I think that your suggested setup of the AD300 and the use of S2 bowens mount adapters to attach a proper 7” reflector or bowens softboxes is exactly what’s necessary to make the AD300 work

However, the AD300 is also marketed as a strobe which is supposed to use all these new small Godox mount modifiers in order to keep the bulk of the kit down. Initially this was attractive to me, but I realized the Godox mount modifiers as of 2023 are not are that good, I previously gave the example of the AD-R14 having too much spread compared to both the smaller AD200 reflector, and the 7” AD600 reflector. To be clear the AD-R14 is NOT the stock reflector, it’s the Godox mount reflector that you have to purchase separately.

I suspect you have probably come to the same conclusion given that you use the S2 bracket!


There’s also a cost efficiency issue at play here, I don’t think the AD300 is enough power for all scenarios (group shots) but the AD300 only costs about 30% less than the AD600.

Maybe you could talk about how you carry the AD300s around, I can fit 3xAD100s, a 70-200/2.8 and a camera in a 10L sling bag. The light stands and umbrellas can theoretically be strapped under the 10L sling. I don’t really like strapping because it takes more time than I would like to get the straps set up, but this may just be a problem of the bag I’m using

The AD600 needs to go into a roller luggage even when only using one of them

What kind of bag is needed to carry 3x AD300s, 3x S2 brackets and 3x softboxes? I suppose you would want 3x 7” reflectors too in case of strong wind

I agree that my AD600 with 7” reflector is absolutely going to produce better light than the AD100 through the fresnel. Unfortunately there’s no good way to attach a 7” reflector onto the AD100, because any adapter like the S2 bracket just adds too much bulk to the setup.

Marcuspix jury rigged a AD200 reflector onto the AD100 with magnets and claims that the light quality did not improve enough for him to bother. I have not bothered modifying a reflector myself






Dec 23, 2023 at 02:48 PM
bobby350z
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


aCuria wrote:
There is often a misconception that an ND filter causes a loss of flash power relative to ambient, but this is not the case. For the benefit of other readers I would add a comment on this

Suppose we assume a max flash sync of 1/200s and we use HSS to shoot at 1/800s. This has the effect of reducing ambient AND flash power by 2 stops. However at the same time there is an additional loss of 2-3 stops of maximum flash power simply because HSS is turned on.



Been a while since I tested my AD600s. If I remember correctly the drop from going into HSS mode is less like 1.5 stops. Not 2-3 stops. I do agree that for pure efficiency point of view, using ND filter is better but I find using HSS mode to be much easier as no need to change ND filters. My sync speed is also low at 1/125. If I had A1, I could shoot 1/400, getting more juice from the smaller strobes. Someday we will get the global shutter and then all this will become mute point.



Dec 23, 2023 at 06:26 PM
aCuria
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


bobby350z wrote:
Been a while since I tested my AD600s. If I remember correctly the drop from going into HSS mode is less like 1.5 stops. Not 2-3 stops. I do agree that for pure efficiency point of view, using ND filter is better but I find using HSS mode to be much easier as no need to change ND filters. My sync speed is also low at 1/125. If I had A1, I could shoot 1/400, getting more juice from the smaller strobes. Someday we will get the global shutter and then all this will become mute point.


Agree on the convenience factor, I have used 1/400s flash sync with the A1 and it’s very nice.

I am also looking forward to next gen global shutter cameras. I’m in the “not using HSS to keep the kit small” camp, if I don’t have to use NDs it’s even better.

However I think my NDs will be sticking around for awhile, because the A9iii base iso is 250, and the Godox strobes we use cannot sync at 1/80,000s the same way that the profoto unit Sony demoed.

It’s not clear to me what speed a AD100 can sync at with a A9iii, but it will need to be at least 1/1200s at iso 250 to match the A1 at iso 100, and 1/9600 to match a 3 stop ND.

Hopefully Godox can make this work with a firmware update.

Regarding light loss with HSS I know with canon speed lights it was about 2.5 stops.

However, even if HSS is a 1.5 stop loss with Godox, it still means an AD300 becomes a 100ws strobe when using HSS.

Using some ND filter takes a 3 light kit weight from 5.4kg (AD300 + S2) * 3 down to just 1500g (AD100 *3)…

This weight difference is four 70-200 lenses 😂




Dec 23, 2023 at 09:18 PM
 


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jlafferty
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)



aCuria wrote:
However, even if HSS is a 1.5 stop loss with Godox, it still means an AD300 becomes a 100ws strobe when using HSS.

Using some ND filter takes a 3 light kit weight from 5.4kg (AD300 + S2) * 3 down to just 1500g (AD100 *3)…

This weight difference is four 70-200 lenses 😂


How is it in your HSS scenario, only the AD300 would suffer exposure loss, and not the AD100?



Dec 24, 2023 at 03:52 AM
hiepphotog
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


jlafferty wrote:
Far be it from me to tell you there's only one way to work, much less dictate what I think you have to do... I'm just raising a point here that essentially says: if your motivations are creating good looking photos, you're going to move away from using bare fresnel, small sources.

I've seen people make personal cases for why they choose to work the way they do, I've heard and understand why people say, in essence, "well, if I'm going to work with anything *but* the smallest and lightest weight strobes, I might as well drag around a set of
...Show more

Jim,

Just wanted to give you a bit more info. Markus Rothkrantz isn't a pro photographer, but he's been involved in Hollywood productions and even directed his own film. So, he's not in the dark about lighting. However, his photos tend to have a similar look. This is probably a result of working within the limitations of keeping his lighting kit compact and lightweight. At the current state, he can fit everything into a messenger bag, including his camera and lens, 3 lights, and 3 lightstands. the results appear to be on par or slightly superior to the typical outcomes from MagMod users. I don't believe Markus was suggesting that the AD300 is the same as the AD100 in all scenarios; rather, for his ultra-light setup, the benefits don't seem worth the extra bulk.

For myself, I'm exploring a comparable ultralight setup for my travels. As I check out different wedding pros demonstrating their flash setups in BHphoto/Adorama videos, it's all about navigating the limitations you face. The key is truly in how you wield the light. I'm on the journey to achieve that with the AD100 setup.



Dec 25, 2023 at 10:59 PM
ronchau
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


hiepphotog wrote:
Markus Rothkrantz isn't a pro photographer, but he's been involved in Hollywood productions and even directed his own film. So, he's not in the dark about lighting. However, his photos tend to have a similar look. This is probably a result of working within the limitations of keeping his lighting kit compact and lightweight. At the current state, he can fit everything into a messenger bag, including his camera and lens, 3 lights, and 3 lightstands. the results appear to be on par or slightly superior to the typical outcomes from MagMod users. I don't believe Markus was suggesting that
...Show more

I believe a lot of Markus preferences are affected by his requirement that gear fit into his suitcase. His photos have a hard light look which makes sense since his travel requirements limit him to smaller modifiers.

If you use a light stand bag, umbrellas usually fit in the stand bag. I hear the AD100 works well for event direct flash. Not sure it will have enough power to evenly fill an umbrella or softbox, while still providing enough power.



Dec 25, 2023 at 11:21 PM
hiepphotog
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


ronchau wrote:
I believe a lot of Markus preferences are affected by his requirement that gear fit into his suitcase. His photos have a hard light look which makes sense since his travel requirements limit him to smaller modifiers.

If you use a light stand bag, umbrellas usually fit in the stand bag. I hear the AD100 works well for event direct flash. Not sure it will have enough power to evenly fill an umbrella or softbox, while still providing enough power.


AD100 would not have any problem filling an umbrella or softbox. However, its power does limit its use in various ambiance conditions.



Dec 26, 2023 at 02:29 AM
jlafferty
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Hi, I appreciate your efforts at providing context - I understood all of this before posting. Here’s what I think:

1) the OP said nothing about needing to make their kit as small as possible, much less so small you’d sacrifice light quality in the process

2) if anything the OP said their current speedlights feel a bit underpowered, which is why a few of us were suggesting AD300s, AD400s, even AD600s - in this context, suggesting the AD100, little more than a speedlight in a different form factor, makes no sense

3) small, forward-only facing fresnel sources can never fill a softbox properly (unless it’s sufficiently small, which sort of defeats the purpose). I know because I did all of these tests and went through the same “journey” years ago - you can get a compact kit, sure, but outside of sticking to a more narrow style of shooting, it’s pretty inflexible - this isn’t to say “you can’t make a good photo with a small light”, but it is to say “you’re stuck making a kind of a photo, and it’s often not the best kind you could make if given other lighting options”

4) just speaking for me personally I found the “build a complete lighting kit you can fit in one bag” an interesting exercise in finding what’s acceptable vs. not, but where making a good looking photo is concerned, the trade-offs aren’t worth it - it’s a fool's errand to put size ahead of quality for me


hiepphotog wrote:
Jim,

Just wanted to give you a bit more info. Markus Rothkrantz isn't a pro photographer, but he's been involved in Hollywood productions and even directed his own film. So, he's not in the dark about lighting. However, his photos tend to have a similar look. This is probably a result of working within the limitations of keeping his lighting kit compact and lightweight. At the current state, he can fit everything into a messenger bag, including his camera and lens, 3 lights, and 3 lightstands. the results appear to be on par or slightly superior to the typical outcomes from
...Show more




Dec 26, 2023 at 10:57 AM
kleriq
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


Anecdotally, I was able to light a group family photo with a single AD200 and a convertible umbrella in the afternoon Florida sun. I haven’t done much in close quarters; I usually use my V60F on an umbrella adapter for that.


Dec 26, 2023 at 11:58 AM
bobby350z
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


kleriq wrote:
Anecdotally, I was able to light a group family photo with a single AD200 and a convertible umbrella in the afternoon Florida sun. I haven’t done much in close quarters; I usually use my V60F on an umbrella adapter for that.


A picture would be nice. I am not saying not possible but sunny 16 gives f16, 1/100 ISO100. So 1/200, f11. My AD600 I think give like f11 at full power at 5 feet distance using a medium softbox. So I am surprised how AD200 can match sun. Maybe it was later in the evening and just for some fill?



Dec 26, 2023 at 12:15 PM
hiepphotog
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


jlafferty wrote:
Hi, I appreciate your efforts at providing context - I understood all of this before posting. Here’s what I think:

1) the OP said nothing about needing to make their kit as small as possible, much less so small you’d sacrifice light quality in the process

2) if anything the OP said their current speedlights feel a bit underpowered, which is why a few of us were suggesting AD300s, AD400s, even AD600s - in this context, suggesting the AD100, little more than a speedlight in a different form factor, makes no sense

3) small, forward-only facing fresnel sources can never fill a softbox
...Show more

You are right in that the OP is not looking for a portable, lightweight option. If the purpose is to fill that giant 7-ft umbrella for a large group, I also agree that the AD100 is not able to do it; though for anything smaller, it might not be an issue. I was trying to provide more context on Markus' approach and not trying to suggest the OP should use the AD100.



Dec 26, 2023 at 09:28 PM
RobArtLyn
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


aCuria wrote:
What godox needs to do is make a larger godox mount reflector with less spread, but they have yet to do this.


How about this and perhaps with a grid?
https://www.adorama.com/fplfxadr12.html



Dec 26, 2023 at 11:15 PM
RobArtLyn
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Choosing studio strobes (Godox)


aCuria wrote:
I agree that my AD600 with 7” reflector is absolutely going to produce better light than the AD100 through the fresnel. Unfortunately there’s no good way to attach a 7” reflector onto the AD100, because any adapter like the S2 bracket just adds too much bulk to the setup.


The smallest all Godox package with a 7" reflector would be mounting an AD-R11 directly to an AD300Pro. No S2 required.



Dec 26, 2023 at 11:36 PM
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