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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> next alienbee light should be.....
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02/21/2010 03:46:51 PM · #1
I have two ab800s, and I want to order another light, shall i get another ab800 or ab400.

I was thinking using the ab800 for background lights pointing towards the background and a ab400 for my main light
02/21/2010 04:24:28 PM · #2
I have 4 AB-800s. I sometimes wish I had split it up a little when I ordered and got 2 800's and 2 400s. As you know the 800s can be a little overkill at times and I feel that the 400s would be better for certain conditions. I can't really suggest one or the other because I have no idea what sort of conditions you shoot in etc, but if it were me making the choice, I would probably opt for the 400 just to mix things up a little bit.

02/21/2010 04:47:47 PM · #3
I have two AB800's and one AB400. I haven't needed anything else since, and rarely push the AB800's to any setting that a 400 couldn't handle anyway.
02/21/2010 06:54:47 PM · #4
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

I have 4 AB-800s. I sometimes wish I had split it up a little when I ordered...

Exactly the same boat here... I have 4 x 800's, and I often wish I had a 400 (for those certain product shots when you need "less" light for a large aperture).
It sucks to have to filter light or move it farther away in order to get the shot you want. I'd also suggest going with a 400.
02/21/2010 07:07:22 PM · #5
I have (2) 800s, (1) 400, and (1) 1600.

I have never used the 1600 close to it's potential in a studio. I bought it thinking I would need the power to overpower Sunlight, but the 800s do just fine. If I were doing it over, I'd skip the 1600 and go for another 400. One thing I've found, and others have also reported, is at very low power, the light takes on a slight magenta cast. Not that it can't be corrected in post, but I would rather pump more into a 400 than less into an 800. I do find that I need the 800s when shooting into honeycomb grids or projecting through gobos from a distance to get softer shapes.
02/22/2010 05:50:16 PM · #6
Well, I ordered a ab400!! I will use it with a medium octabox and use my two ab800s for background lights 2 stops higher than my main light for that high key look!! Thanks
02/23/2010 03:04:29 AM · #7
I think you made a good choice, So the only question that comes to mind now is, What Color?

Originally posted by Dlove:

Well, I ordered a ab400!! I will use it with a medium octabox and use my two ab800s for background lights 2 stops higher than my main light for that high key look!! Thanks
02/23/2010 05:53:17 AM · #8
This is slightly related- is it at all feasible to use AB's to do continuous photos somewhere in the 1/16 range? Preferably 8/sec but I'm curious what I can get. What is the recharge rate for them with a Vagabond?
02/24/2010 07:25:46 AM · #9
It depends on which vegabond you have and how many lights you have plugged into it, also if you are using the modeling lamps. According to the Alien Bee's website. With 3 AB-800's hooked up to the vegabond 300, the recycle time is less than 3 seconds at full power. I have the Vegabond 300 and usually only had 2 lights hooked up and I can't say it was any faster than with 3 or 4 which I have tried a couple of times, in most cases I do not have all the lights set at the same power. So I can't compare my own experience with the factory spec sheet.

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

This is slightly related- is it at all feasible to use AB's to do continuous photos somewhere in the 1/16 range? Preferably 8/sec but I'm curious what I can get. What is the recharge rate for them with a Vagabond?


Message edited by author 2010-02-24 07:28:35.
02/24/2010 08:00:01 AM · #10
Yeah, I had seen the specs for full power, but I'm more concerned/curious about the recharge rate for partial power. As far as a possible setup; maybe two AB800's on a Vagabond II would be ideal, but if that isn't fast enough two AB400's could probably work too.
02/24/2010 10:19:28 AM · #11
I might be able to do a test soon for you, I have two AB400's and an AB800 and my work is buying me a Vegabond II and should have it hopefully next week-ish, it may have to wait a bit if I dont get it that quickly as Ill be in AZ from March 5th to the 13th.

I did a shoot last time with the 800 and have only used the 400's up till now but gota say that I looooove my 400's for their recycle rate which was noticeably faster than the 800.

-dave
02/24/2010 09:12:14 PM · #12
Originally posted by PhotoDave:

I might be able to do a test soon for you, I have two AB400's and an AB800 and my work is buying me a Vegabond II and should have it hopefully next week-ish, it may have to wait a bit if I dont get it that quickly as Ill be in AZ from March 5th to the 13th.

I did a shoot last time with the 800 and have only used the 400's up till now but gota say that I looooove my 400's for their recycle rate which was noticeably faster than the 800.

-dave


That would be awesome. No hurry on it, it's just a pet project of mine that I've been mulling over anyway. I'm specifically curious what power is able to be used at 6-8 fps for approximately one second (so it would be about 6-8 pops in a single second then downtime). I'm really just curious at what point (if any) this approach would work powerwise, be it one unit or two.
02/24/2010 09:41:34 PM · #13
The less power you use on the strobes the quicker the recycle rate. I know a photographer who uses 1600's but at lower power to get that quicker recycle rate. If you use 400's at higher power you may not get the recycle you need. I use 3/800's myself and havn't had an issue yet. But I am not doing speed photographer either.
02/24/2010 11:07:41 PM · #14
My 400's by far our preform the 800 for recycle, at allmost full power on the 400 it will easily keep up with the 40D for 6.5fps for a full second. I was trying bursts of 3 and 4 shots last night and the 400 had no problem but the 800 was getting every other shot if I was lucky at just under half power...
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