Recommendations on monolight power output, small studio

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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VirtualMirage
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Recommendations on monolight power output, small studio
Apr 26, 2012

I'm considering expanding my horizons with photography and want to dabble with studio/portrait work.

For right now this will be in the home or garage kind of venture, so my space will be relatively small. My ceiling heights will be ranging from 8ft in the house to a little over 10ft in the garage.

I'm looking at possibly investing in a Lastolite HiLite background as my backdrop, either in a 5ft x 7ft configuration or 6ft x 7ft. This should allow me to have a relatively short work distance from the subject to the backdrop when doing high key shots, it's compact for storage, and there are some other backdrop covers to change it up in a relatively quick fashion.

My current equipment is a Sony SLT-A77, Sony HVL-F56AM flash, and several lenses. I'm looking at investing in some monolights (2 or 3) and accessories to begin my journey. Alien Bees are one brand I am strongly leaning towards (I am open to suggestions). My goal is to try and keep it under $1000 ,if possible, since I have other items I need to invest in as well (the HiLite or similar is one). If I need to splurge a little, then I will consider my options.

My main question is, for what I consider a small studio, what power output monolights should I be looking at. Paul C. Buff's site has a package that shows two 320 Ws units and one 160 Ws unit. Would that be enough? Or should I look at more/less power output? Should I stick with all the same output, say three 320Ws or should I mix it up?

I don't want to paint myself into a corner too early and would still like some versatility for growth.

I appreciate any help or advice you can give me.

Thanks!
--
Paul

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