Light recommendations for indoor portraits?

Started 2 weeks ago | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,763
Re: Light recommendations for indoor portraits?
3

Johnbarnesiii wrote:

Thanks Sailor Blue for all this great info! In reading back through your replies, I’m starting to seriously consider the Flashpoint Studio 400 R2’s you mentioned. I’m thinking 2 of those with 48” octa soft boxes plus the canon transmitter would be a great start for me for indoor portraits.

on that note, wanted to see what you think about the following: I was checking out some vids from Joel grimes who does really great portraiture. He has a vid all about ‘one light’ portraits, and I think he has made mention of the godox AD 600 as a great single source light. Well if I understand correctly, the flashpoint xplor 600 would be a similar equivalent.

The Flashpoint XPLOR 400/600 PRO are rebranded Godox AD400 Pro/AD600 Pro lights. The advantage of buying from Adorama is a warrantee that is worth something.

Adorama also has a Mark II version of the RF controller/trigger with expanded capabilities that Godox makes specifically for Adorama. You can't get this RF controller/trigger anywhere else.

Adorama Flashpoint R2 Pro MarkII 2.4GHz Transmitter for Canon

so my question is, rather than the obvious 600 watt (vs 400 on the R2’s), would there be any advantage to starting with one flashpoint xplor 600 (with intention of saving up for another) and a mefium diffuser, rather than going with the two flashpoint studio 400 r2’s? I guess the 600 has the portability going for it, with the battery pack and no cords. But obviously there’s more versatility in two 400s vs just one 600. And I had intended mostly indoor to start anyway. But just wanted to pick your brain on the 600.

One advantage of the AD400/AD600 lights is that their Li-Ion batteries make them portable so they are good for location shooting. If you don't have wall power then you have to buy and carry a portable battery pack/power supply for AC studio strobes.

Here is one example.

Paul C. Buff, Inc. | Vagabond™ Mini Lithium

The 600Ws version is better outdoors if you are shooting in direct sunlight. If you are shooting in open shade even a 60Ws (~GN 60) hot-shoe flash is all you need to work with the ambient lighting. If you want to overpower the light in the shade then you need more power, something like 300Ws to 600Ws of power.

With small and medium sized diffusers 300Ws to 400Ws is all you need for indoor portraits at ISO 100. As the diffuser gets larger it is generally used further away so you need more power for two reasons, size and distance. A 600Ws light is better with a diffusion surface greater than 2500 in² (1.6 m²).

Another advantage of the AD400/AD600 is that they have an 8-stop power range vs the 4-stop range of the Godox SK300/400 II AC powered strobes. This means the AD400/AD600 lights can be used with the full range of diffusers, small, medium, or large.

There is two disadvantages of the battery powered AD400/AD600 over the AC powered studio strobes, weight and recycle time.

The recycle time isn't as big a problem if you are using a small or medium sized diffuser since you would be working at a reduced power level of 1/4 or less the light should recharge about as fast as you can press the shutter button. If you are using a large diffuser and have the power turned up above 1/2 then recycle time can become important.

There is a money saving trade off you may want to make. You can still use a 300Ws-400Ws strobe in a large diffuser if you go to ISO 200 or ISO 400. Whether or not you can do that without a noticeable loss of image quality or a noticeable increase in noise is camera dependent.

My Canon 7D is know for noisy images but I don't worry about using it at ISO 200 if needed. At 400 the noise begins to be noticeable but I can fix it in post. Beyond that I simply need more power for the strobes.

as of right now I’m leaning towards your suggestion of the two flashpoint studio 400 r2’s With two medium softboxes octas and canon transmitter.

feel free to let me know what you think. And thanks again!

I can't tell you whether AC powered strobes or the battery powered ones is the right choice for you. Which is best depends on what you intend doing with them and your budget.

Take your time and weigh the options.  This isn't a one time use and toss purchase.  Studio strobes should be something you buy to use for years so make sure you know what you want them for and that the lights you buy will do what you want.  No matter what it costs if it won't do what you want then you are wasting your money.

I am a Cheap Charlie myself and hate spending for something I don't need but when it comes to lighting gear paying more than the cheapest is usually the low cost option in the end.

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Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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