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Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I want to by a set. Other than the cost of the B400's at $224.00 or the B800's at $279.00. Can anyont please tell me the difference between the 160 watt seconds to 320 wattseconds.
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The power, and of course the GN of the flash

Regards

Paolo
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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f5.6 to f8

More light enables more options..

Just get the 1600 model which have 660 true watt seconds..

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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 09:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Doubling the power doubles the light output, which gives you "one stop" more light to work with.

So if you were to use an AB400 and meter it at f/5.6 (for example), then a AB800 would read f/8, and an AB1600 would read f/11.

How much power you need depends on your studio setup. The 800's are quite powerful, and I've not had any problems with them putting out enough light. I've used a 1600, and it was nice in a HUGE softbox when shooting at ISO 100.
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In a small studio one 400 and one 800 works for me. I always have the power turned down on both. -Jim
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have 3 B800's and haven't run into any major issues although there has been a few times working outdoors that I wish I had the B1600. I would recommend getting at least the B800's if the B1600's are out of your budget. Not sure I would get any B400's though. Just my two cents. Depends on what you'll be doing with them I guess.
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400
Old 10-21-2005, 10:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You should be able to save some cash by having one 400. No matter how I set things up, there's always one light that could be less powerful...such as the background light.
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're really in doubt, you can buy the smaller ones and upgrade them later. The B800 is probably a good choice for general use though. The only time I really need the power of my b1600 if when I'm using a lot of modifiers, like a dark gel with a honeycomb. That kind of stuff eats a lot of juice. It's also handy when photographing a group and you need the DOF.

On the other hand, I've used a B400 as a main in a softbox, and it worked just fine. In a normal setup with a medium sized softbox, you're probably going to meter around f5.6 to 58.0 at Iso 100 at full power though.
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-21-2005, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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AB are fine but I think you should get the 1600's. Don't mix up sizes because that messes up the modeling lights. Get one or two now and more as you need or can afford them.

Good Luck

ronmark
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Re: Alien Bees
Old 10-24-2005, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What's the difference?

There have been a number of good answers given already. Technically, the difference is probably only the capacity of the capacitors used to hold the flash charge. Now if you're into electrical engineering, we can get into the nitty gritty of capacitors and the charge equation, but most photographers get a blank look when I mention that.

The practical difference is the amount of light created by the flash tube when it goes off. More watt-seconds equals more light and a longer recharge time.




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