Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60177
View in linear mode

Subject: "Looking for more powerful flash" Previous topic | Next topic
Geoffrey4 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Wed 12-Dec-12 12:51 AM
291 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"Looking for more powerful flash"
Wed 12-Dec-12 12:58 AM by Geoffrey4

Perth, AU
          

Can members suggest an economical option for a more powerful flashgun (speedlight) than my SB-800 ?
This is for large, outdoor subjects such as buildings or trains. I do not need iTTL or other sophisticated abilities, I would normally be firing manually while shutter is open on "B" setting, or perhaps firing with PC cable connection.
Must be battery powered, handheld.
I have seen units which look larger, but I find it difficult to compare because SB-800 and similar units are normally quoted in terms of guide numbers, whereas what look like larger units are quoted in watt-seconds.
Thanks in advance.

Geoffrey

Western Australia
(a state nearly 4 times the area of Texas)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
NenBikonian
12th Dec 2012
1
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
Geoffrey4 Silver Member
12th Dec 2012
2
     Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
HBB Moderator
12th Dec 2012
3
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
Arkayem Moderator
12th Dec 2012
4
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
Geoffrey4 Silver Member
12th Dec 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
HBB Moderator
12th Dec 2012
6
          Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
Geoffrey4 Silver Member
13th Dec 2012
7
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
MEMcD Moderator
13th Dec 2012
8
Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
Geoffrey4 Silver Member
13th Dec 2012
9
     Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
MEMcD Moderator
13th Dec 2012
10
     Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
PeterBeckett Gold Member
14th Dec 2012
11
          Reply message RE: Looking for more powerful flash
mkbee1 Silver Member
14th Dec 2012
12

NenBikonian Registered since 30th Sep 2011Wed 12-Dec-12 04:37 PM
209 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#1. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 0


Roswell, US
          

Perhaps one of the Metz flashes?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Geoffrey4 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Wed 12-Dec-12 08:48 PM
291 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 1


Perth, AU
          

Thanks, but as far as I can tell, the most powerful Metz unit is CT60, only about one stop better than a Nikon.

Since posting, I have found references to the "Alien Bees" units, these look more powerful and they can be battery-powered, but their power is quoted in watt-seconds.

Can anyone suggest how they compare to the Nikon units in strength?

Geoffrey

Western Australia
(a state nearly 4 times the area of Texas)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberWed 12-Dec-12 09:25 PM
8443 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 2


Phoenix, US
          

Geoffrey:

Watt-Seconds (WS) to Guide Number (GN) comparisons are difficult due to the wide variety of light modifiers that can be added to studio strobes. The Nikon SB800 manual shows the Feet/Meters GNs for all zoom positions, with/without diffuser dome and wide flash adapter, at all manual power levels, at an ISO of 100.

The same tables for studio strobes would require numbers for various size/shape reflectors, soft boxes, beauty dishes, grids, snoots, etc., at given power levels at a specified distance, given ISO, etc., and would run for pages and still not cover all possibilities.

Guide numbers can be used to calculate maximum distance and/or aperture. Watt seconds do not lend themselves to this approach, for the reasons mentioned above.

For outdoor use with large subjects like trains, aircraft carriers, etc., (Kidding! ) you will likely want to get the more powerful units (e.g., 1,000 to 1,500 WS) with appropriate modifiers. Be aware that these units may be too powerful for small to medium studio work as their output at the lowest power settings may still be too much light at available working distances.

If a friendly photo store will let you measure studio strobe output at various power levels and modifiers with an incident exposure meter, you can then do the calculations to see which model may work for you, and how many will be required. Perhaps a larger number of less powerful units (e.g, 500 WS) will work for your exterior shoots and will still work in a medium sized studio.

Sorry I cannot provide a more definitive answer. It is not a simple question.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 12-Dec-12 09:38 PM
5986 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Can members suggest an economical option for a more powerful
>flashgun (speedlight) than my SB-800 ?
>This is for large, outdoor subjects such as buildings or
>trains. I do not need iTTL or other sophisticated abilities, I
>would normally be firing manually while shutter is open on
>"B" setting, or perhaps firing with PC cable
>connection.
>Must be battery powered, handheld.
>I have seen units which look larger, but I find it difficult
>to compare because SB-800 and similar units are normally
>quoted in terms of guide numbers, whereas what look like
>larger units are quoted in watt-seconds.
>Thanks in advance.
>
>Geoffrey

You can't determine the GN of a studio strobe for all the reasons already mentioned.

However, you can determine the WS of the SB800. I think I remember it to be around 75 WS.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Geoffrey4 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Wed 12-Dec-12 09:56 PM
291 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 4


Perth, AU
          

Hal, Russ

Thanks for your notes. I accept that there is no direct comparison w-sec with GN, but I'm still trying to work out, roughly how many stops more light would I get ? Preferably before buying !

There are stockists for this gear here in Western Australia, and in mid-winter I could ask to take it outside and light the building across the road and compare with my Nikon. But it's mid-summer here, the sun is up before shops open, and after they close !

I really just need a simple comparison of the light from a strobe (generally these seem to have a wide angle) with a Nikon unit also set to wide-angle.
Thanks again
Geoffrey

Western Australia
(a state nearly 4 times the area of Texas)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberWed 12-Dec-12 10:21 PM
8443 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 5


Phoenix, US
          

Geoffrey:

Perhaps there is a photographic supply rental shop in your area, where you could rent one or more studio strobe units for a weekend and perform your tests. For large buildings/subjects etc., you probably won't need softboxes, etc., the "standard" reflectors will do.

If you don't already have one, an incident illumination exposure meter will be useful.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
Geoffrey4 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Thu 13-Dec-12 06:42 AM
291 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 6


Perth, AU
          

Hal

Thanks for this suggestion, yes I can hire strobes in Perth, although I'll have to ask if they have battery-powered ones.

It looks like I'll have to obtain some gear and experiment.

I just thought there might be a member with both a portable strobe and a Nikon flash, who could give me an idea of how the light intensity compared.

Thanks for your interest.
Geoffrey

Western Australia
(a state nearly 4 times the area of Texas)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 13-Dec-12 06:44 AM
25743 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Geoffrey,

Here is a table for Paul C. Buff Strobes and Light Modifiers that converts Ws (Watt seconds) to GN (Guide Number) and the expected output at 10 ft. and 5 ft.
Note: The table is only valid for PCB Strobes and Modifiers.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Geoffrey4 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Thu 13-Dec-12 07:30 AM
291 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 8


Perth, AU
          

Marty

This is just what I needed, thanks very much indeed.

So as I read this table:

Alien Bees B800 full power with 7" reflector (fitted as standard when bought in Australia), gives 80 degree coverage, ISO 100, feet, GN=109

SB-800, 24mm lens for 80 degree coverage, ISO 100, feet, GN= 98.

Not much better, I am surprised, or maybe I read it wrong. (I don't understand the "+9/10").

In the Alien Bees range, I would apparently need the B1600 unit, and the optional 8.5 inch reflector, then GN=234, approx two and half stops more light than SB-800 ?

Geoffrey

Western Australia
(a state nearly 4 times the area of Texas)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 13-Dec-12 08:39 AM
25743 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

Hi Geoffrey,

The B400 (160Ws) has more power than an SB-800.

>Alien Bees B800 full power with 7" reflector (fitted as
>standard when bought in Australia), gives 80 degree coverage,
>ISO 100, feet, GN=109
>SB-800, 24mm lens for 80 degree coverage, ISO 100, feet, GN=
>98.
>
>Not much better, I am surprised, or maybe I read it wrong.

The 7" reflector covers a wider area than the SB-800 at 24mm.
In other words it is difficult to compare the output directly from tables.

>(I don't understand the "+9/10").

The output is 9/10 of a stop over that indicated.
For example: f/11 +9/10 = f/15.5
Almost a full stop higher.

>In the Alien Bees range, I would apparently need the B1600
>unit, and the optional 8.5 inch reflector, then GN=234, approx
>two and half stops more light than SB-800 ?

There is a 2.2 stop difference between an AB-800 w/7" reflector and an AB1600 w/8.5" reflector. The AB800 has a little more than 1-stop over the SB-800 for a total of about +/- 3.4 stops difference.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!


Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Fri 14-Dec-12 01:25 PM
775 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 9
Fri 14-Dec-12 01:25 PM by PeterBeckett

San Jose, US
          

Hi Geoffrey,
I have four PCB "Einstein" units and one of their ABR800 ringflashes. I also have two "Vagabond Mini" power packs that are unbelievably portable and could be used to power all five flashes concurrently. I also have an SB900 and a Sekonic L-758DR meter.

If there are any specific measurements you would like me to make on your behalf, please ask...

FWIW, I have enjoyed nothing but great success with everything I've bought from Paul C Buff over the years!

Pete

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
mkbee1 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Fri 14-Dec-12 04:01 PM
619 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#12. "RE: Looking for more powerful flash"
In response to Reply # 11


West Valley, US
          

Don't think I saw this suggestion, but; multiple units, either studio-strobes, or another one or three of what you have, coupled with some of the "poverty-wizard" radio triggers, or optical slave triggers.

Good luck!

It is a Fine and Pleasant Madness

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60177 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.