A harmonized lighting system

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Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,127
A harmonized lighting system

I've been building a home studio in two rooms.  A large two-car garage converted for studio use, epoxy coated floor, heated, high lift doors, flat white walls, tracks on the ceilings, and various cubbies and mounting points for rigging, decent size, about 22 x 22ft, ceilings from 10 to 12 ft.  Inside one medium sized room dedicated to gallery space/clients/office.

This is the backdrop over which I've been thinking about my lighting options.  I use speed lights mainly on location currently, and have wanted some extra power for use outdoors, but I think it would be nice to have that all integrated into a kit that incorporates location and studio tools that break down and pack easily for use in both environments and without too much duplication.

Ideal system would have:

  • -integrated radio control across both speedlights and strobes,
  • -TTL at least on the speedlights,
  • -speedlights capable of radio control of strobes. 
  • -scale from about 60w/s (speedlight) to somehwere between about 250-500w/s (strobe) 

So far I can see three systems that seem to fit, in order of ascending cost:

  1. Godox - has speedlights and AD200/AD400Pro/AD600
  2. Phottix Mitros+ and Elinchrom ELB500TTL - I was unaware that The new ELB had Phottix's ODIN compatible receiver built in.
  3. Profoto - They have the A1 and B10 B2, etc... an expensive way to go about it, but it has some benefits.

The beauty of the Godox and Profoto systems is that they're a one stop shop.   Phottix does have an Indra flash, but I'm not really impressed by it.  Have used Elinchrom and like it, so a Speedlight system that can control it is appealing to me, and the ELB packs seem more or less indestructible.  Put a second head on it and it's a very convenient little studio set-up if cords don't bother you too much, put the full 500ws through one head and you can fight bright sun pretty effectively outdoors too.  Maybe the most flexible option?

Godox gets tagged for being "cheap Chinese crap" but they have options to fit all use cases, and the AD600Pro/400Pro reviews suggest good performance, colour stability, recycle times, and A couple of AD200 undoubtedly travel well, though without a mains power option, they're maybe not as convenient in studio.

The problem with all of this is that so much of it is not well documented at all.  Anyone have thoughts about it based on their actual experiences ?

 Matsu's gear list:Matsu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Nikon D800 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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