How much brighter are studio strobes than speedlights?

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
VoxCap
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Re: How much brighter are studio strobes than speedlights?
In reply to Brent Allen Thale, May 12, 2013

Brent Allen Thale wrote:

I've had a Paul C. Buff White Lightning X2400 studio strobe that I've used lightly for a few years and would like to start using it more outdoors where a lot of flash power is needed. In my initial tests, which I expected to show the X2400 was vastly more powerful than my Nikon SB-900 flash, I didn't see the huge increase in brightness I was expecting.

So, I did a side-by-side comparison of my SB-900 and the White Lightning X2400, the results are available here: http://www.wingedmammal.com/daily_emergence/SB900_vs_X2400/sb900_vs_x2400.shtml

Comparing histograms, the 1/8 power X2400 shot plus 1/3 stop looks about the same as the full power Nikon SB-900 shot. So the X2400 is not quite 3 stops more powerful than the SB-900. Does that sound about right? I suppose 3 stops is a lot, but I was expecting a bigger win for the X2400.

Let's see. If I'm not mistaken, according to the results of your test, it would take at least 8 speedlites to match the output of the X2400 - 2 speedlites = X2400 @ 1/4 power , 4 = X2400 @ 1/2 power, 8 = X2400 @ 1/1. And that's just based on the data you presented. It could potentially be 16 speedlites if you really are losing a stop somewhere.

That seems pretty significant to me. What exactly were you expecting?

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