2

So I've been looking around for monolights with internal batteries and I'm interested in the Godox AD 600II (or any rebranded variants). I'm debating on buying it for outdoor portraiture.

Is 600WS enough to shoot outdoors (particularly with modifiers) or does the power requirement for a monolight vary based on where and when I use it? Also, given that the monolight is so powerful, is there any downside is using it indoors or in any other place where the full 600WS isn't needed?

  • That's 600WS (Watt-Seconds). If the flash duration at full power is 1/100 sec, the power is equivalent to a 60,000 watt light. – Jim Garrison Sep 29 '16 at 3:53
  • As a quick note for those that might not see the math, I didn't on my first look it's 600WS/(1/100S) which is 600WS * 100/S = 60000W = 60KW. Just remember to invert it correctly. – unsignedzero Sep 30 '16 at 7:19
1

Lighting depends on a wide range of factors including:

How close can you place your light to your subject? Light becomes exponentially less bright (1/distance^2) the further the source is from the subject.

What types of modifiers are you going to be using? Different modifiers will diffuse or scatter different amounts of light. Some modifiers may result in a 50% or more reduction of light on your subject.

How focused will the light be? If you are using a modifier to "spread" your light across a wider area, you will have less brightness than a focused light.

How bright will the background light be? If you are planning on shooting outdoors, the brightness of light can vary quite a bit. For example a sunny day with snow on the ground can produce extremely bright light, while shooting at dusk on an overcast day would be much less bright. If you are thinking about using only one light, then you will need to consider if you will be able to light your subject evenly, or if you can use ambient light to even out your monolight.

With regard to using the light indoors - you can always adjust the power level, bounce the light, or place a modifier between the light and subject to make it less bright. I personally don't see a downside to using a brighter light inside, as a bright light can always be made 'less bright' (although it may produce unnecessary heat). You can never make a less powerful light more powerful...

Personally, I would imagine that a 600WS monolight will provide you with sufficient power to fill in ambient outdoor light in most situations, even with a modifier that reduces the light by 1/2 or 1 stop while still being useful indoors.

1

If sunlight makes you use f/11 at maximum sync speed, then you do need enough flash power to use f/11. The Metz 64 (and other similarly powered speedlights, meaning regular but high end speedlights) will be about 75 watt seconds at maximum power, and can compare to studio lights as about 75 WS (at maximum power). Doubling power (like to 150 WS) is +1 EV exposure, same as opening one stop is +1 EV. So f/11 requires double power that f/8 needs. But a 600 WS flash is 8 times stronger than a 75 WS flash, and 8x is 3 stops. 3 stops is relatively huge.

Doubling distance instead requires +2 EV power. A speedlight can be used as lower fill level in sunlight, and can even overpower bright sunlight, if close enough (quite close). If you need to be back farther, then you need more power. There are no hard answers, but heroics in bright sun will need substantial power.

-1

Almost "any" flash will work on an outside sunny condition. You can fire your tiny built-in flash and use as a fill light. That would count as portraiture.

Portraiture normally means you can put your lights near your subject, so, again a small flash with a "normal" softbox (40-80 cm) could provide you with an f/8 - f/11 easily, which is about the same range of a cloudy day.

Also remember than the diference between outdoor and indoors is given mainly because the ambient light which is controlled with the speed. So, in my opinion the high speed sync is very handly.


the power requirement for a monolight vary based on where and when I use it?

This is a little obvious question. But it is not about outdoor-indoor, it is about distances. Are you taking a wedding photography but you need to light a distant building as a background?

Is 600WS enough to shoot outdoors?... Also, given that the monolight is so powerful

You answered yourself.

Is there any downside is using it indoors or in any other place where the full 600WS isn't needed?

Is overexposed or a very small aperture enough downsides? This specific flash has 1/256 minimum power, so that is good.

I have the feeling that you have not experimented a lot with a combination of flashes + ambient light.

Buy a "cheap" speedlight + radio trigger combo, and play with it. Bounce it on a wall, on a celling, at day, at night.

But the short answer to the question regarding the flash is yes, that flash will work on outdoor and indoor.

"Is there a preferred or recommended wattage for outdoor and indoor strobes?"

No. It does not depend ond indoor-outdoor, depends on distances+area of coverage. You could need a verey powerfull sets of flashes to shoot a car or truck in an indoor studio because the area of coverage or a powerfull flash outdoors to use it far from the model. Or a small flash if you shoot near the subject in both cases.

  • With regards to "I have the feeling that you have not experimented a lot with a combination of flashes + ambient light." I've actually used my Metz 64 and reflectors a lot so I've played with it and know when I can use it and when it won't over power the sun. I know I need more power but I don't know how much more WS I need for my usage hence the question. – unsignedzero Sep 30 '16 at 19:16
  • That being said from what you're stating is that ambient light does not matter "No. It does not depend ond indoor-outdoor, depends on distances+area of coverage. " or so I'm reading. Are you saying that so long as I know my shooting distance, my subject size and the amount of power that I need that I can use the light setup at any point of the day and any location? – unsignedzero Sep 30 '16 at 19:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.