Genesis vs. SBs?

kepanok 12:46am, 12 June 2009
Hope I can get some advice from the group.

I don't have a studio - almost all of my shooting has been done on location. I have several Nikon SBs (2x SB-24, 1x SB-800 and 1xSB-900) that I shoot either with PWs or CLS (the 800 and 900, of course).

I've been looking at monolights as I start to outfit a home studio for portraiture and still-life, and the Genesis strobes look promising, esp. for the money. However, the GN for the Genesis 200 look pretty comparable to my SBs if I'm reading the numbers correctly.

Would it make sense for me to go straight to the Genesis 400s since I've got much of the power range of the Genesis 400 covered by my SBs? I do like the price point of the Genesis 200 a lot more, though...

kepanok 9 years ago
To muddy the waters even more, how about the kits from Impact? BH has a number of monolight kits with strobes, stands, umbrellas, softboxes and at competitive prices. Check out this one:
matthew2000tx PRO 9 years ago
I considered a bunch of monolights, impact... interfit, alien bees, etc.. I settled on 3 Genesis 200's my light modifiers are a 4x3 softbox (love this) and 43" umbrella, Calumet's snoot withj golored gells, I find that the 200's are enough power for my studio set up... however I'm planning on getting one 400 soon because sometime I like to add a splash of color to the black background paper using the snoot and gels.. and I get tired of having to dial down the other lights. So a 400 would be great in that situation.

I also considered going to stobist route completely...but it seems to be more expensive in the long run. Right now I have a Vivtar 283, Canon 430ex and 550ex a few stands, some pocket wizards and a few umbrellas (it makes for a nice strobist setup on location,.. but I still like using my genesis lights more)
kepanok 9 years ago
Thanks, MPR. Yes, the SB-24s are definitely influenced by the Strobist and McNally. I got the SB-900 before finding, and the SB-800 came with a used D700 I bought on craigslist. When I first came across "strobism" and learned how little the older SBs cost, I was a little sick about spending as much as I did on the SB-900.

After reading McNally's books and playing with CLS, however, I'll probably add more to the stable over time. Being able to adjust the output of the slaves from the camera is really quite a convenient trick. The battery powered strobes have also come in handy when my wife does baby shots at customers' houses. The houses here in Hawaii are pretty small, so there's barely even enough space for me to get around a typical living room with a strobe and an umbrella - almost lost one to a ceiling fan recently... really thinking about getting a small softbox (e.g. Lastolite ezbox or Westcott Apollo) for those situations.

But now we're moving up in the world ;) and setting up a studio in the house, hence the interest in A/C strobes - as you pointed out, the strobist route can cost more. I'm also really interested in the Lastolite Hilite for child photography. We don't have a lot of room, so backlighting the high-key background is a cool idea - I would hardly need any space behind the subjects to light the background. Expensive, yes, but shooting space and storage are challenges we need to overcome in our house.

So, I'm thinking A/C strobes to light the Lastolite Hilite, though I'm reading that speedlights can light up the HiLite okay - I just don't know if I need a full pop out of a speedlight for each shot, or a 1/4-1/2 power flash out of an A/C strobe.

Shipping to Hawaii is expensive, so it helps to bounce ideas off of others before pulling out the charge card.

i'm looking at getting a studio setup too, and if i'm not mistaken, even if the guide numbers arn't all that far off, it's the recycle times that make the difference.
Michael J Ross 9 years ago
The calumet genesis 200 works very nicely with my SB/Vivitar/Speedlights. The 200 has enough power to shoot through a double diffused softbox while using the hot shoe flashes bare for background lights/highlights. I would consider adding more monolights before I get more hot shoe flashes. Also, the monolights are much better at a distance or with smaller aperatures. I eventually got fed up with changing/charging batteries when I am in my home studio. AC powered strobes are great when you have enough extension cords.
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