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Monolight Watt Size
Old 10-24-2010, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you recommend a 500/600 Watt/sec monolight or 1000/1200 watt/sec monolight when working in a 15'x20' studio?
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Re: Monolight Watt Size
Old 10-24-2010, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I suggest that you go with the lights in the 1000/1200 range. That way you will have more than enough power to use umbrellas, softboxes, grids, and other light modifiers. Also if you find yourself in situations where you want to stop down to get an increased depth of field you will be more easily able to do this with the more powerful lights.

In the vast majority of cases you want to chose equipment that is more than what you might need for now but as you grow the equipment can grow with you. Good luck.
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Re: Monolight Watt Size
Old 10-24-2010, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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But it is always a struggle between buying for future expansion and current budget. If he were to go the low end route to save money now what line should he (and others) consider. If you can't suggest a particular line then what should be the determining factors...refresh time?
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Re: Monolight Watt Size
Old 10-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In my experience, you don't need a lot of power to get good pictures ... bt if you can afford more power, it will usually come in handy at some point. I find that my two 160ws and one 320ws monolights are plenty of power for most portrait, glamour and fashion shooting. Only when I'm shooting outside, or on location in a large room, do I wish I had more power.

Here's a shot taken in a 10x20 foot bathroom (with lots of mirrors). I used one 160ws strobe behind and to the left to light the model's hair, and one 160ws strobe in a 5 foot octobox as a fill light.



This image was shot with two 160ws monolights behind and above the model, and one 320ws light inside a 5 foot octobox in front of the model:


Good luck.
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Re: Monolight Watt Size
Old 11-01-2010, 11:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Marty is corrected. Move the strobes closer to the model to give a softer look therefore you don't need more power if you are staying inside the studio.

500 to 600 watts is plenty most of the time. I rarely use a full power, mostly in half.
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Re: Monolight Watt Size
Old 11-02-2010, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It never hurts to have more power as long as you can dial it down. For glamour work, 1000 watts is generally way too much power. I'm using 600 watt monolights and I've usually got them set around 1/4 power. But if you've got the money for more powerful lights, it's better to have the power when you need it and dial down the rest of the time.
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