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Thread: Studio flashes

  1. #1
    mahfoudhhi's Avatar
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    Studio flashes

    Good day to you all:
    Before I consult anybody, I went ahead and bought two 600W and one 300W studio flashes for my home new studio. and I paid more than $600 Dollars extra for the difference between 600W and 300W.
    when I started using them I found out that all I need out of the 600W flashes is less than quarter of the power and 300W would've been more than enough for me.
    my question is: is it a waste that I paid $600 extra or I can utilize this power somewhere somehow.
    I guess the answer will be yes, that's why there is even 900w flashes, but where and how to utilize this power of 600W so that I do not regret paying extra $600 Dollars?
    I will appreciate any answer and help.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Your home studio is probably relatively small. If you try doing some outdoor shots (where you are fighting sunlight) or large group shots in a larger hall and you might need the extra power.

    If all you are ever going to do is shoot inside a home studio, you could have gotten away with smaller lights. I have a couple of studio lights that are rated at 640W, and I often shoot them at 1/64 power.

  3. #3
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    The 600W might be a good match for very large silks or diffusers (think 6ft/2m or so), even when they need to be relatively far from the subject.

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    Re: Studio flashes

    Also don't forget that adding any light manipulators like soft boxes will reduce the amount of light reaching your subject. As a beginner you are only starting out in a small location in your home but as you learn and expand your photography you will probably find your 600s more useful in many more situations.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    I don't mean to make this a simplification but, you can always reduce the power of a flash but, if you need some extra power, you always have it with the more powerful unit.

    OTOH, when shooting in relatively small spaces and shooting with modifiers like soft boxes and umbrellas, you often don't need powerful lights because the closer a softbox or umbrella is to the subject, the softer the light will be.

    In some situations, some low powered lights are O.K., even lower in power than your 300WS units, can work just fine. This is especially true if you are shooting just head and shoulder portraits...

    But if you want to shoot a full length shot or a shot of several persons, it is very handy to have the extra power at your command...

  6. #6
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I don't mean to make this a simplification but, you can always reduce the power of a flash but, if you need some extra power, you always have it with the more powerful unit.
    In other words, every photog needs a Death Ray.

  7. #7
    mahfoudhhi's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Thank you every body for your excellent answers, I appreciate it.
    If there are more opinions I will be happy to read them.

  8. #8
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Hi The capacitors in your 600w heads are far more powerful and your recycle times should be quicker. One of the problems of using heads with digital camera's due to fast shooting frames, is that the heads on small less powerful heads take time to come up to full power, yet still let the heads fire, This can have an effect on colour temperature and effect your colour balance.If you are shooting in raw this is easily changed however some photographers still shoot in jpeg.One of the hardest skills in a studio environment is synchronising shutter speeds with your heads so that you get the full flash timing. theres no short answer, it just takes time and experience plus knowing your equipment.

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Most flashes will state the maximum sync speed allowable. Although my Canon DSLR cameras have a sync speed of 1/250 second with Canon hotshoe flashes (without initiatng HSS) my older White Lightning WL5000 units use a maximum 1/60 second sync speed. This is no problem because when I am shooting with studio flash, they are most often the only lights illuminating the subject...

  10. #10
    mahfoudhhi's Avatar
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    Re: Studio flashes

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRichards View Post
    Hi The capacitors in your 600w heads are far more powerful and your recycle times should be quicker. One of the problems of using heads with digital camera's due to fast shooting frames, is that the heads on small less powerful heads take time to come up to full power, yet still let the heads fire, This can have an effect on colour temperature and effect your colour balance.If you are shooting in raw this is easily changed however some photographers still shoot in jpeg.One of the hardest skills in a studio environment is synchronising shutter speeds with your heads so that you get the full flash timing. theres no short answer, it just takes time and experience plus knowing your equipment.
    Thank you very much Paul Richards. Your answer relieved me. as I understood from your message more continuous shots can be taken by the 600W than 300W. so this is one plus in my case which makes it worth paying $600 Dollars extra!! I need your opinion again please.

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