Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Started Feb 3, 2014 | Discussions
andyus08 Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Hi,

I'm looking to the Elinchrom rx 1200. However, it's way above my budget. So i'm looking for the other alternative. However, i'm pretty  new to the studio equipment and look for your expertise and suggestion.

So, my question is whether other good brands of studio strobe with 1000w or above? Any link would be greatly appreciated.

THanks.

adamba Contributing Member • Posts: 732
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?
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Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,674
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

Hi,

I'm looking to the Elinchrom rx 1200. However, it's way above my budget. So i'm looking for the other alternative. However, i'm pretty new to the studio equipment and look for your expertise and suggestion.

So, my question is whether other good brands of studio strobe with 1000w or above? Any link would be greatly appreciated.

THanks.

Here in the US people swear by Paul Buff's lights for good quality at an affordable price, combined with outstanding customer service.

I've never used them, but have been reading about them with interest for several years on this and other sites.

If you really need 1000+ watt-seconds (Flash is measured in watt-seconds, not watts) then you'll want the White Lightning 3200. It goes up to 1320 WS. Beware that that is GOBS of light.

Link:

http://www.paulcbuff.com/x3200.php

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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,528
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Unless you are trying to overpower the midday sun or use an 8' octobox while using ISO 100 you don't need 1200Ws of strobe power.

Don't try to penny pinch on a studio strobe of this power.  Spend the money for quality and you won't regret it.

If you do need a budget light then I agree with Duncon C, get the White Lightning X3200 from Paul C. Buff. It is high quality and has a very reasonable price and PCB has the best reputation for customer support in the business.

PCB - White Lightning™ X3200 Flash Unit

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OP andyus08 Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Thanks all. I'll look at PCB stuffs.

photolando Veteran Member • Posts: 3,295
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

I am curious as to why you need 1000+watts of light?  I have a commercial background and one of my  Speedotron packs can power a 4800 watt lamp head if needed.  But my normal heads can take up to 2400.  Still.  I have not used them in a long time.  I needed it with my large format work but certainly not with my dslr work.  What are you shooting?

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Mike Collins

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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 7,660
Why 1000w to 1200w?
1

Studio strobes with a very high output needs power variability to very low levels to be universally useful.

I use 300 Ws studio strobes which are variable down to 1/128 of max power (eight stops) for portraits and groups, and I use the lowest setting more often than the highest.

My studio is my living room which has white walls and is 2.7 m high, 5 m wide and 7 m long. I can easily get f/11 at ISO 100, even from my 6' octa.

You should not confuse the amount of light you get from a 1000 W incandescent bulb with that from a 1000 Ws strobe.

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antares103 Senior Member • Posts: 1,278
Re: Why 1000w to 1200w?

A 1000W incandescent bulb used with a camera set to 1/125 to 1/250 will yield as much power as a flash with <10Ws. All else being equal.

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William Faulkner Senior Member • Posts: 1,677
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

Hi,

I'm looking to the Elinchrom rx 1200. However, it's way above my budget. So i'm looking for the other alternative. However, i'm pretty new to the studio equipment and look for your expertise and suggestion.

So, my question is whether other good brands of studio strobe with 1000w or above? Any link would be greatly appreciated.

THanks.

One thing you'll want to do is make sure that you're comparing Apples to Apples in term of flash output.

I have the PC Buff Einstein E640s now. I came from using Dynalite.

One of the first things I did was to test the output of the E640 against the output from the Dynalites.

Set them up side-by-side the MX1000 Dynalite w/4040 head and 7" reflector. the E640 with an 8" reflector.

To my surprise the E640 actually put out a 1/2 stop more light than the Dynalite when I cranked them both to full output.

Now the Dynalite pack was close to ten years old and the head had to be within a year or two of the same age. This might have been reason. Then again it might not.

From what I've read and experienced some manufacturers can sometimes be ....ahh, over enthusiastic in making claims of what their products are capable of doing in the real world.

If there's a rental house near you see if they'll let you run a test of what they have there.

BTW, with modern cameras being what they are today having to go from ISO 100 to ISO 150 to cover the difference between 640ws and 1000ws should effect your images enough to rule out the Einsteins.

Good Luck.

Bill F

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Nikonparrothead Veteran Member • Posts: 5,853
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Check eBay. You should be able to get used ones at a discount.

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OP andyus08 Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

I mainly shoot portrait on location and some studio I just want more power to be safe with low iso. I may not use that much power.

Thanks.

Nionyn Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

Hi,

I'm looking to the Elinchrom rx 1200. However, it's way above my budget. So i'm looking for the other alternative. However, i'm pretty new to the studio equipment and look for your expertise and suggestion.

So, my question is whether other good brands of studio strobe with 1000w or above? Any link would be greatly appreciated.

THanks.

Don't shy away from looking at good quality second hand gear.

I use Bowens monolights (and have been completely happy with them).
I bought a kit of two GM500 flashes some years ago, second hand, and they've been absolutely faultless.

A couple of years ago I needed a more powerful unit for a job, and bought an ex-demo Bowens 1500WS unit from Calumet. I've had no problems with it and have been very pleased that I bought it ever since.

From my point of view, one advantage of the lights I have is that they use the Bowens S-mount fitting, and there are a huge number of relatively cheap modifiers available using this mount.
Two other advantages are their reliability and the fact that here in the UK I could easily get them serviced (not that I've needed to).

I don't know where in the world you are. This makes a very real difference to the specific brands that are worth considering. Exchange rates, easy availability of modifiers and service should all factor in to whatever system you buy.

antares103 Senior Member • Posts: 1,278
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

William Faulkner wrote:

One thing you'll want to do is make sure that you're comparing Apples to Apples in term of flash output.

I have the PC Buff Einstein E640s now. I came from using Dynalite.

One of the first things I did was to test the output of the E640 against the output from the Dynalites.

Set them up side-by-side the MX1000 Dynalite w/4040 head and 7" reflector. the E640 with an 8" reflector.

To my surprise the E640 actually put out a 1/2 stop more light than the Dynalite when I cranked them both to full output.

Bill F

Still not apples to apples. The Dynalte reflector was probably a 60-70 degree reflector compared to the 40-odd degree reflector for the Buff light. Narrower reflector will yield a higher meter reading.

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Bobby Deal New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?
1

You do not need 1000 Watt second monolights for studio portrait work. Heads in the 300-750 watt second range will give you all the power you need to shoot portraits at ISO 100

View my work on www.bobbydeal.com nothing there was created with lights more powerful than 750 watt seconds and rarely was any of the lights used above 1/2-3/4 power.

I have shot for years with a Elinchrom 600 ws head inside a 7' octabank, and shoot full body at ISO 100 f/10 1/200 sec so even with large modifiers the super powerful heads are not needed.

You will find that 1000 watt second heads will often be a handicapped in that you will not be able to reduce power enough to meet your lighting needs and establish proper key to fill light ratios.

I have actually owned a pair of 1000 watt second Elinchrom heads for several years and I can count the times I have taken them off the shelf on one hand and have 3 fingers left over.

RE Alpha
RE Alpha Contributing Member • Posts: 811
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

I am using a couple of Bowens 500R lights and 1000PRO. The PRO has 7 stops (will go down to 15Ws), very consistent output of light, very reliable and  it works on both battery packs and normal power. The PRO also works on 115-230 voltage, which may come in handy when you are traveling in various countries. The PRO line of Bowens in itself is very versatile. Last but not least, on the S-mount you can use many different brands for a huge variation of light modifiers, as they all support this S-mount.

Also consider buying one second hand or a former demo model.

Good luck with your decision.

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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,528
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

I mainly shoot portrait on location and some studio I just want more power to be safe with low iso. I may not use that much power.

Thanks.

Not being able to reduce the studio strobe power sufficiently is generally more of a problem than not having enough power. I can shoot at ISO 100, 1/160sec, and f/11 with using a 300Ws studio strobe in a 40" double diffuser softbox positioned 6' from the subject. My lights only have 5 stops of power adjustment so with my 40" softboxes I can only go to an aperture of about f/2.8 with the 40" softboxes at minimum strobe power. If I go to 24" softboxes at a distance of about 3' from the subject I can only go to about an f/7.1 at minimum strobe power.

I like to keep the ISO to between 100 and 400 for the best quality and lowest noise results with my 7D but I have seen wonderful portraits shot at ISO 3200.

If I lived in the US Einsteins from PCB would be my first choice. At 640Ws they have the power needed for an 8" octobox and with 9 stops of power variability (640Ws to 2.5Ws) they can be used in small diffusers like 24" softboxes and wide apertures without any problems.

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OP andyus08 Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Hi,

Thanks for the feedback.

After the long search and recommendation from the forum as well as people i know, i think i'll stick with Bowens Gemini 500r or 500pro.  One thing i still can't tell the difference between R and Pro line.

I don't travel out of the USA with studio light.  My most usage now is to shoot on studio (we rent a small part of the warehouse), on location (outdoor or at client's house), or events. So, i think Gemini 500r or 500pro should be working out for us.

I like the idea of the remote to control power from the camera (similar idea of Pocketwizard AC3 which i'm using).  I wish that PW can make adapter to use with Bowens like it works with Elinchrom.

Simon Barker Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

After the long search and recommendation from the forum as well as people i know, i think i'll stick with Bowens Gemini 500r or 500pro. One thing i still can't tell the difference between R and Pro line.

The R gives you a digital readout so you can adjust in 1/10 stops and use a remote control to control it (IR only), the Pro has the same features as the R but uses a different flash bulb and has a faster flash duration making it more useful for freezing action.

The classic model is still worth considering.

RE Alpha
RE Alpha Contributing Member • Posts: 811
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

Indeed, the differences between the R and the PRO as described by Simon are accurate. One other difference is that the PRO has an active cooling mechanism. The R is silent in this respect. In addition, I have been told that the PRO also has a more consistent color temperature. To date I have never noticed this in an actual shoot.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,084
Re: Suggestion for studio strobe 1000w to 1200w?

andyus08 wrote:

I mainly shoot portrait on location and some studio I just want more power to be safe with low iso. I may not use that much power.

Thanks.

Nice feature about the White Lightning 3200 is that you can switch it to 1/4 power for those dont-need-all-that-power applications.  It's like two strobes in one.  You can also get that feature in the less powerful but cheaper WL 1600.  Plus WL's are built like tanks; I know some photogs that bought them back in the 1990s, and they are still going strong.

Also I have Buff studio lights and modifiers, and I can tell you that Paul Buff customer support is TOPS in the industry, by a large margin, always there to help and assist their customers.

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