BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Fred Bergman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2005


I am looking to purchased some lighting. I want strobes and have been looking at starter kits. My primary purpose would be to take still lifes and close/ups and macros. Now I seen starter kits with A/C flashes at 45 w/s up to 150 w/s. My question is, would 45 w/s be enough? Or is that strictly more of a background lighting power?
Thanks in advance

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6/8/2005 6:32:06 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
45 watt second (aka joule) is incredibly low power! That's about the same as the weak-kneed flip-up flash's on the consumer Nikons and Canons. 150 joules is about the same as the higher power professional grade handle mount flashes and is the rating of a Quantum T2 Q-flash often used on a camera flash bracket.

You should be looking at 300 joule or higher for a small studio that contains the light better, preferably 500 joule if you're considering doing on-location work. If you're going to buy monolights, ensure they've got a reasonably healthy modeling light on them as well. It's one of the features of huge benefit.

With 500 joule lights at full power into 45 inch silver reflective umbrellas I can shoot inside a cavernous church using a lens aperture of f/5.6 with ISO 160 film.

The higher power lights give you much more flexibility and freedom with light placement (distance from subject) and with the light modifiers that can be used to soften it (which absorb some of the light).

-- John Lind

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6/8/2005 6:47:22 PM

Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  So John...I'll know who to talk with whenever I get to set up a studio! heh.
Don't worry's gonna be a long wait.

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6/8/2005 9:27:42 PM

Fred Bergman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2005
  Thanks John, I knew it was too good to be true. :) Guess I will save a bit and get something I will be happy with, thanks again for more good advice.

Susan this place is great, always get great advice from the people here.

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6/9/2005 2:21:26 PM

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