AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

Started 3 months ago | Questions
s-trap New Member • Posts: 17
AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right? But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

I already have V860II which works quite well in single light studio setup but is slow to recharge in some situations. I hope I can use it as a rim light.

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
HappyMartin Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

Thats what I would do. I have two AD200 and so occasionally put them together in the purpose made bracket. I also have a AD600 and the system gives great versatility. The AD200s are super versatile and have been very reliable. Can’t recommend them enough. I think your idea is a good one.

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Ellis Vener
MOD Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 15,758
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?
3

s-trap wrote:

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right?

That will depend on what time of day you are shooting, lighting and weather conditions, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, you want work at, light modifier choice, distance to the subject, etc.

But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

Advantage to using two AD200s (pro or otherwise): you have two lights.
This means have a backup if one falls or fails, and you can split them into separate sources when you need to

Primary Disadvantages of using two AD200s

  • 1set up and take-down time is longer
  • No AC power alternative

Advantage to using a single AD400

  • set up and tear down will be quicker
  • AC power option

Major disadvantage to using a single AD400

You break it or it fails and you'll have no backup.

Either way you might also want be considering a beefier stand and sandbags as ballast.

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Ellis Vener
A working photographer since 1984.
To see my work, please visit http://www.ellisvener.com
Or on Instagram @EllisVenerStudio

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tugwilson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,445
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

Ellis Vener wrote:

s-trap wrote:

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right?

That will depend on what time of day you are shooting, lighting and weather conditions, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, you want work at, light modifier choice, distance to the subject, etc.

But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

Advantage to using two AD200s (pro or otherwise): you have two lights.
This means have a backup if one falls or fails, and you can split them into separate sources when you need to

Primary Disadvantages of using two AD200s

  • 1set up and take-down time is longer
  • No AC power alternative

Advantage to using a single AD400

  • set up and tear down will be quicker
  • AC power option

Major disadvantage to using a single AD400

You break it or it fails and you'll have no backup.

Either way you might also want be considering a beefier stand and sandbags as ballast.

No argument with any of this.

In both cases you can use remote heads to get the weight of the light lower down the stand. I've done that with both and the ADB2 is a bit of a PITA.

One quite large advantage of the AD400Pro is that it will take a Godox mount softbox as well as Bowens. the Godox mount modifiers are a lot easier to pak and transport.

Secondary advantages are the AD400Pro had better colour consistency in the Colour Consistency mode and a faster recycle time.

An AD400Pro and two AD200s with round heads are my current optimal mobile setup.

Ellis Vener
MOD Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 15,758
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?
1

tugwilson wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

s-trap wrote:

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right?

That will depend on what time of day you are shooting, lighting and weather conditions, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, you want work at, light modifier choice, distance to the subject, etc.

But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

Advantage to using two AD200s (pro or otherwise): you have two lights.
This means have a backup if one falls or fails, and you can split them into separate sources when you need to

Primary Disadvantages of using two AD200s

  • 1set up and take-down time is longer
  • No AC power alternative

Advantage to using a single AD400

  • set up and tear down will be quicker
  • AC power option

Major disadvantage to using a single AD400

You break it or it fails and you'll have no backup.

Either way you might also want be considering a beefier stand and sandbags as ballast.

No argument with any of this.

In both cases you can use remote heads to get the weight of the light lower down the stand. I've done that with both and the ADB2 is a bit of a PITA.

I tried that as well. It is a real PITA to set up and tear down. The older I get, the  more complicated a set up is,  the less likely I am to use it.

One quite large advantage of the AD400Pro is that it will take a Godox mount softbox as well as Bowens. the Godox mount modifiers are a lot easier to pak and transport.

Secondary advantages are the AD400Pro had better colour consistency in the Colour Consistency mode and a faster recycle time.

An AD400Pro and two AD200s with round heads are my current optimal mobile setup.

-- hide signature --

Ellis Vener
A working photographer since 1984.
To see my work, please visit http://www.ellisvener.com
Or on Instagram @EllisVenerStudio

 Ellis Vener's gear list:Ellis Vener's gear list
Sony RX100 VII Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 II +1 more
Gato Amarillo Veteran Member • Posts: 7,955
Ellis said it
1

No need for me to type -- Ellis covered everything I would have said.

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Richard Hopkins
Richard Hopkins Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

s-trap wrote:

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right? But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

I already have V860II which works quite well in single light studio setup but is slow to recharge in some situations. I hope I can use it as a rim light.

I guess if you put it like that then 2x AD200 plus V860 is the obvious answer, but...

If you find yourself using 2x AD200 in the B2 adapter bracket most of the time, then one AD400 is a much better solution. It's way less bulky and clumsy - a proper pro-grade strobe with a good modelling LED and cooling fan, that can take on pretty much anything I do outdoors or in the studio.

So, I would rather have one AD400 plus V1 speedlight than 2x AD200 and B2/S2 brackets, but maybe that's just me. So many great options with Godox. I have 2x AD400, AD200 plus a V1 and both brackets. TBH, the AD200 and V1 hardly get used, at least not on a regular basis.

Simon Barker Contributing Member • Posts: 933
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

If you intend to use the AD200 as a pair most of the time then just get the AD400, a single unit rather than a pair with accessories is more convenient.

Being faced with the same decision I opted to get both a AD400 and AD200 as they're both useful. A minor point but I do like that you can leave the AD200 batteries alone for longer, I have so many batteries to maintain, it's nice to have some extra leeway.

MichaelFrederickPhoto
MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 451
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

Ellis nailed all the points dead on!

My own 2 cents is “what look are you going for as well”.  I use my AD200 in a 36in SB for family shoots all the times.  I more want a fill light effect vs. that flash pop look.

I did a maternity shoot recently that I used a 65in umbrella and the 200,  filled great!

Going from a $300 AD200/B2 rig to $800 for the AD400 with ac adapter is a gut punch.

Now the Westcott FJ400 comes with the ac adapter for $570!

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tugwilson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,445
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

MichaelFrederickPhoto wrote:

Ellis nailed all the points dead on!

My own 2 cents is “what look are you going for as well”. I use my AD200 in a 36in SB for family shoots all the times. I more want a fill light effect vs. that flash pop look.

I did a maternity shoot recently that I used a 65in umbrella and the 200, filled great!

Going from a $300 AD200/B2 rig to $800 for the AD400 with ac adapter is a gut punch.

2XAD200Pro + ADB2 is ~$750 with no AC option, the AD400Pro is $650 and the AD adapter (not a trickle charger like the Fj400) is $150

Now the Westcott FJ400 comes with the ac adapter for $570!

Yes, it's very keenly priced but currently there's a very limited range of compatible lights.

Dan W Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

s-trap wrote:

Hi

I'd like to have lights for two cases:

1. Mobile studio: key light (with softbox), rim light and background light. Single person to small family portraits.

2. Outdoor: single light strong enough to use as a fill light with softbox during day. Similar portraits.

I think AD400Pro should be strong enough as a key light and outdoors, right? But I found there is a bracket to use two AD200Pros as a single light and I'm wondering if it would be good idea to use one AD200Pro as key, second as background and both of them outdoors?

I already have V860II which works quite well in single light studio setup but is slow to recharge in some situations. I hope I can use it as a rim light.

400Ws can work fine in mid day sun if you can get the light close to your model. 600ws would be better outside but way overkill for an indoor studio shoot. I own 4 of the AD200's, 2 original and 2 pro models and they are nice. But combined can give you the same light output when using the bare bulb of the AD200's. Me personally, I would go for the pair of AD200 pros and the bracket to use both at the same time when needed. Your V860II will make a nice hair or rim light even outside if the sun is not crazy bright. On the plus side too, the AD200 is a lot easier to carry around. They take about the same real estate as your V860II does in a camera bag. The AD400 is pretty large and heavy by comparison. The spare batteries are also really expensive compared to the AD200 batteries.

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MichaelFrederickPhoto
MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 451
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

I should have clarified that was for one AD200,  I paid $250 for mine and they are frequently on sale with Adorama.

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bowrilla Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?
1

While you can get great shots with a single light, you're more limited in your lighting setups. To start out 2xAD200 (Pro) would probably be a lot more versatile than 1xAD400 Pro. I'd definitely go for 2xAD200 and add an AD400 (or AD600) down the line.

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BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 25,636
Re: AD400Pro or 2xAD200Pro?

I would sort out prices, but if this combo would be in the budget-ballpark, I'd pick the V860, a 200 and a 300.

BAK

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