Allure Multimedia Professional Commercial Photographer * Q: ISO vs Strobes vs Monolights 2

Will higher usable ISO create a resurgence of small Strobes vs Monolights?

As an event and  commercial photographer base in West Palm Beach, FL, I’m continuously replacing old gear with new to increase productivity. Well, yesterday I began searching for a new set of studio strobes as ours are… let’s just say… getting at bit long in the tooth!

Jumped head first into researching which of today’s monolights was not only high quality but also were the best bang for the buck. While reading reviews and of course asking friends and fellow professional photographers, @trevorcurrent, @photojack, @lensflare35, @newmediaphoto, just to name a few, on Twitter — my second home. Quickly it became apparent that this cross section of well-recognized Pros would have answers as diverse as the style of photography they worked in. From Alien Bee to ProFoto and everything in between!

Was I asking the right questions or was there something else that I should be focusing on?

After speaking with Trevor Current of , fellow photographer and Podcaster; his answer struck a chord: “…since I shoot mainly small product photography I only need small lights and simply use a couple of 25 watt Lowel Ego compact color balanced fluorescents.”

Now, having allot of experience as professional commercial photographer I immediately questioned him as to how the heck was he shooting with such a small lighting setup?

He simply explained “… I’m shooting around f20 at ISO 2,000 with my 5DmkII and the images look great with very little noise!”

His respond caused an epiphany of sorts and a few new question pop into mind:

Q: As the “useable” camera ISO migrates north will more professionals migrate away from the heavier, less portable and much more expensive monolights in preference of smaller less powerful portable strobes?

and even more importantly…

Q: Will expensive high-powered studio strobe pricing decrease as usable ISO increases?

If you’re a commercial photographer or simply into photography for that matter, we want to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to contribute!

About Joseph Cristina

I'm a full-time Palm Beach based Professional Photographer with over 18 years experience in both Photography and Graphic / Media Production. Formal training was received from FAU and the Art Institute in the late 80's. I've worked within multiple advertising agencies along with having work published internationally. Allure Multimedia, LLC is my photographic and multimedia studio base in the sunny Palm Beach, FL. The studio's capacities are many from professional photography to advertising design and multimedia presentation ie. (Wedding Photography, Corporate Events, Modeling, Mitzvahs, TV and Internet Advertising Spots) to name a few. In this digital age, the number of part-time photographers has increase 100 fold diluting the industry with what are known as "weekend warriors". This has lend itself to a rise of a cottage industry of amateurs posing as professionals, underbidding and misleading only to then produce mediocre, at best, final production work. Clients coming to us for professional photography or media creation are reassured by our professionalism, impeccable service, and final product provided, they have made the right decision in commissioning our studio.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Allure Multimedia Professional Commercial Photographer * Q: ISO vs Strobes vs Monolights

  • new media photographer

    You bring up some excellent points.

    I prefer using a mono light even though I use it at the lowest setting about 80% of the time. A power that a basic flash could cover.

    I believe higher ISO’s and better quality pixels will continue to have an amazing impact on photography.

    I’m also impressed with all the new lighting available to photographers as Trevor pointed out. Trevor is a good person to listen to, he is keep good tabs on the pulse of photography equipment.


  • Joseph Cristina Post author

    As high-ISO remains one of the greatest innovations of todays photography I believe LED continuous lighting will be on an equal footing in years to come. As LEDs become cheaper and brighter we will be able to light large areas cheaply, without heat and save energy doing so. Video will certainly benefit from both of these as well.. Exciting times we professional photographers are photographing in! Exciting times!