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Photographer
Josh C Photography
Posts: 16
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


So I'm deciding to purchase some strobe lights for my home studio.
I'm thinking about getting this kit http://www.cowboystudio.com/product_p/2 … umbkit.htm

My question is, will two 160 watt strobes be enough to get some decent lighting for my photos?
Mar 25 13 10:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,066
Salem, Oregon, US


if you like to shoot at f16 that might not be enough. but for me shooting at say f5.6 (or even more wide open than that) it's usually plenty. i have some 320WS lights and often have to add diffusion material to get them to a lower power.

i love my alien bees.
Mar 25 13 10:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alessandro2009
Posts: 7,296
Florence, Toscana, Italy


You should take a decision based at the distance from your light source from the subject:
The Inverse-Square Law
+
loss of stop each time you use a diffuser (1 or 2)
+
your need of Dof
Mar 26 13 12:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phantasmal Images
Posts: 515
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I use two 180ws strobes (usually in 43" umbrella soft boxes), and they work fine for me shooting portraits and boudoir.
Mar 26 13 12:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
pellepiano
Posts: 2,250
Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden


My two cheap china 110ws strobes with shoot thru umbrellas placed 2 meters from the model, at 45 degree angles will give me good exposure at F8 at 100 ISO.
Mar 26 13 01:53 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 9,502
Baltimore, Maryland, US


If you are serious about lighting you will quickly outgrow the cowboy kit, and it has essentially zero resale value. Still, for $160 its not a bad way to learn about lighting. If you do outgtow it, just chalk it up to education costs.

It is hard to go wrong with Alienbee for budget lighting. They hold their resale value insanely well.
Mar 26 13 02:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 1,985
Los Angeles, California, US


get hot lights and make your own stuff from home depot until you can afford the real deal.

There are a lot of instructional sites that show how to make neat lighting rigs for both still and videos
Mar 26 13 02:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,478
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
get hot lights and make your own stuff from home depot until you can afford the real deal.

There are a lot of instructional sites that show how to make neat lighting rigs for both still and videos

this advice kinda/sorta used to make sense but when the price of 150 w/s strobes dropped to 35$ a pop, it went out the window. also at 35$ a pop the whole resale value issue becomes kinda sorta meaningless. its less than a roll of full size seamless.

As for the advice about outgrowing them, perhaps perhaps not. The one thing that is clear (especially from the 4/5 strobe thread) is that you never know when you are going to need 'another one'.  Even the one-light people sometimes end up using 7 or 8 for a particular shot.  Light is light. if you want to blow out a background or stuff like that these will do just fine for the next 20 years.  Also you dont really outgrow strobes. you might (YMMV) outgrow universal mount modifiers and not want to spend 20$ on a universal/bowens or universal/profoto adapter for a light.

Mar 26 13 08:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,478
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Just realized the OP is in Toronto.  The Neewer kit on eBay makes more sense because they ship from Brampton and theres no customs to deal with. you get your kit via Canada Post in 3-4 days max.

possibly the same lights, possibly something made two doors down in a different contract factory. no big deal. the difference between 160W/S and 180W/S wont be perceptible.  A beauty dish 2-3 ft away will still be stopped way down from full power.
Mar 26 13 08:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
me voy
Posts: 896
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


OP. Don't waste you money on those. Save it for some serious equipment. Get some speedlights or some used strobes. I just saw some Dynalite 1,000 w/s, two head kit for $800 on Craigslist. If I were you, I would save for something like those.
Mar 26 13 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,538
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Yes you will quickly outgrow those lights for more powerful and better controlled ones.   You can always use them for fill, hair, kicker type setup after you upgrade lights later on.

That is if you do, you may decided flash isn't for you and you go back to natural light.
Mar 26 13 09:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rbtcphoto
Posts: 81
York, Pennsylvania, US


alessandro2009 wrote:
You should take a decision based at the distance from your light source from the subject:
The Inverse-Square Law
+
loss of stop each time you use a diffuser (1 or 2)
+
your need of Dof

Agreed. Depends upon what you shoot most often. I have seen some photographers with high output strobes strugle to reduce power in a confined shooting space. If you place your lights close to your subject, even with a modifier 160-180w/s is a reasonable starting point.

Mar 26 13 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Bots
Posts: 5,175
Kingston, Ontario, Canada


from
http://www.cowboystudio.com/product_p/2 … umbkit.htm

--CONS
-"a recycling time of 5-7 seconds
   count it out - the time - you won't like it

-cross border shipping brockerage
Mar 26 13 07:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 6,058
New York, New York, US


different model sorry....
Mar 26 13 07:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,478
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Michael Bots wrote:
from
http://www.cowboystudio.com/product_p/2 … umbkit.htm

--CONS
-"a recycling time of 5-7 seconds
   count it out the time - you won't like it

-cross border shipping brockerage

which  is why I recommended the Neewer package instead. I never checked the recycle time. its faster than I shoot. I turned off the beep because it was annoying on all of the units. I have too many of them now (since they didnt break) but the longest shipping was 4 days.

Mar 26 13 07:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,478
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


rbtcphoto wrote:

Agreed. Depends upon what you shoot most often. I have seen some photographers with high output strobes strugle to reduce power in a confined shooting space. If you place your lights close to your subject, even with a modifier 160-180w/s is a reasonable starting point.

more important is the range to stop down.  if you have a 600w/s that can go down to 1/64 it will be better at close range than a 160w/s that only goes down to 1/8.  I have no clue what the CS lights will do but typically the cheap strobes have a rotary dial that takes them down to 1/8 power.

Mar 26 13 07:23 pm  Link  Quote 
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