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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Alien Bees B800 vs. B1600

    I was dead set on buying 2 B1600's. Now I am not sure if I should purchase 2 B800's and 2 B1600's, which I can not afford to do.

    I primarily do In-Home Portraits of 1 - 5 people. I also do some, soon to be more, Sports/Team Portraits. The sports stuff is typically Basketball, Martial Arts and Cheerleading Squads, taken inside gyms or halls (stills).

    I was hoping I could use the B1600's for both. Reducing the power for Portraits (with softboxes) and using full power (with umbrellas) for Teams. It has been suggested that the B1600's will be too powerful for the Portrait work. The Bees have a 5 stop adjustment, which should take them down to 20ws (640 - 320 - 160 - 80 - 40 - 20), if I am understanding how this all works.

    Can I get by with just the B1600's ? Or will I be limited to small aperatures for Portrait work ?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Grafton, MA
    I think the 1600's should work just fine for both applications. I presently use two (Made in China) 110ws strobes, and they are just right for my small home studio and on location portrait work. They only adjust down to 55ws, which requires me to shoot at f8 or smaller, but the reduction to 20ws should enable wider stops for home use.

    I am finding that I like while translucent umbrellas rather than softboxes, because of their versatility - shoot throught the umbrella for a stronger light, or bounce off the umbrella for a week fill... My $.02.

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