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SAShruby
29-Oct-2007, 11:31
Yesterday, I was watching World Series in a Common room (I just can't believe Rockies got swept) and couple guys popped in to test AlienBees B800. He had 4 of them with softboxes. Personally, I was impressed by the setup. They tested medium format and I had a chance to test it as well and I was satisfied what I saw.

But the question is: Will be something like this sufficient for 4x5, or 8x10? I'm more interested in continuous lightning, with a strobe options.

Is there any other systems I should consider? I plan to invest around 2500-3000 bucks.

Thanks.

Mark Sampson
29-Oct-2007, 11:59
This is a big and complex question. But first, realize that the larger the format, the more power (usually measured in watt-seconds) you're going to need. And the need increases exponentially as your format size increases. By which I mean that 8x10 wants a lot of strobe power...
so, find a good book or two on photographic lighting, and figure out what you want to light. (portraits? table-top closeups? interiors? hockey arenas?), Then the answers will begin to come.

Ron Marshall
29-Oct-2007, 12:00
White lightning, also made by Paul Buff, have stronger modelling lights, and are somewhat more rugged than Alien Bees. On the White Lightning website there is a list of the output of the models with various light modifiers.

Speedotron may be a better value than monolights, especially for 8x10, where you will need lots of joules.

SAShruby
29-Oct-2007, 12:21
Mark I have few books about lightning. I red them, now I'm more looking into what you guys have and why. There are B1600 as well, I was considering them more that 800's.

Let's say, most of my lightning from the subject and subject distance won't be further than let's say 15 meter/ 45 feet?

Ron,
I'll look into website. Thanks.

Michael T. Murphy
29-Oct-2007, 12:26
There is a big difference, too, between continous lighting and strobe.

Most people are much better off with strobe lighting rather than continous. However continous (hot) lighting is agood choice for some. If you are doing video, for example, you don't have much option except continous lighting.

I prefer to buy good quality used equipment rather than new - as long as it is priced reasonably. Usually about 60% to 70% of new price. But for your first kit, assuming you don't have a lot of experience, new may be a good option.

Probably best to borrow some lights and test/learn a bit before you buy. Or rent for a weekend.

Best,
Michael

Ralph Barker
29-Oct-2007, 12:41
I use White Lightning X3200s as my main lights for all formats up to 8x10, and for people and tabletop-like stuff. At full power, they put out enough light to get into the f/32-f/45 range with the standard reflectors, a stop or two less with softboxes. But, I often need supplemental lighting for fine focusing the 4x5 or 8x10 - even with the 250W modeling light in the X3200s.

The Alien Bees are really intended for situations where wider f-stops can be used, and for lighter-duty applications, I think. But, with a battery pack, they're also nice for on-location shoots as fill.

Mike Boden
29-Oct-2007, 12:44
...the larger the format, the more power (usually measured in watt-seconds) you're going to need. And the need increases exponentially as your format size increases. By which I mean that 8x10 wants a lot of strobe power...


Okay...someone please explain this to me, because it doesn't make any sense to me. I think that the amount of light needed is more dependent on the subject matter, the chosen f/stop, and perhaps the lens' angle of coverage...not the size of the film.

For example, if I set up a subject lit with natural light and it's metered at ISO 100, f/8 @ 1/100sec (or any given exposure for that matter), the same exposure works for 35mm, medium format, 4x5, etc. I don't think it matters what format I use, I'm going to meter and expose it the same. So why is it any different with strobes? It's the same amount of light irregardless of the camera size.

Ralph Barker
29-Oct-2007, 12:52
The comment might not have been phrased as accurately as it might have been. It's really a matter of the desired DOF, which changes with format based on using longer lenses to get the same "perspective".

Ben R
29-Oct-2007, 13:01
I use 3 AB800's and the power is JUST enough for 35mm work whether shooting weddings or product stuff. For LF don't think of anything but 1600's.

Mike Boden
29-Oct-2007, 13:01
The comment might not have been phrased as accurately as it might have been. It's really a matter of the desired DOF, which changes with format based on using longer lenses to get the same "perspective".

So what you're saying is that to maintain the same perspective on the larger format, you have to use a longer lens. As a result, at the same give f/stop, the DOF decreases. So in order to maintain the DOF, you have to stop down, thus requiring more light. Now I understand. Thanks for the info.

SAShruby
29-Oct-2007, 14:32
I use White Lightning X3200s as my main lights for all formats up to 8x10, and for people and tabletop-like stuff. At full power, they put out enough light to get into the f/32-f/45 range with the standard reflectors, a stop or two less with softboxes. But, I often need supplemental lighting for fine focusing the 4x5 or 8x10 - even with the 250W modeling light in the X3200s.

The Alien Bees are really intended for situations where wider f-stops can be used, and for lighter-duty applications, I think. But, with a battery pack, they're also nice for on-location shoots as fill.


Thanks Ralf. Do you have power packs as well?

Ralph Barker
29-Oct-2007, 17:21
Thanks Ralf. Do you have power packs as well?

If you're referring to the Alien Bee packs, no, I actually don't have any of the Alien Bees (nor the battery pack), but know several people who do use them as described. They've been pleased with both the lights and the battery packs within the design constraints.

If you meant Speedotron-style power packs, no again. But, I have used them. They are great for heavy use in a studio, but not as convenient as monolights for moving around. Note, too, that the total power of the pack is divided among the number of heads attached. While multi-pops can be used with stationary objects to compensate for the divided power, that's not feasible when shooting people.

David R Munson
29-Oct-2007, 19:28
To the OP: how well do you value portability? Monolights can be great for location work, but my personal inclination is that you'll get a more versatile bang for your buck with a power-pack system. You might consider looking for used Speedotron equipment. There's a ton of it out there and it's bombproof, so good deals can certainly be had if you keep your eyes open. It's not the most sophisticated strobe equipment in the world, but it's as solid and dependable as you're going to find.

Peter Lewin
29-Oct-2007, 20:07
Since no one else mentioned them, if you're looking for a power-pack system and need portability, look at the Dyna-Lite packs and heads; they're about the most compact per watt-sec that I've found. The Speedotrons mentioned in several posts are certainly good equipment, but heavier and bulkier - not a problem in the studio, but an issue if you need to move them around a lot. Dyna-Lites are at a pretty good price point, ProFoto and Broncolor make the Rolls-Royces of lighting equipment, and price them accordingly.

David R Munson
29-Oct-2007, 20:27
The Dyna-Lites are great location lights to be sure. Yeah, the best lighting equipment out there is Profoto IMHO, but for the cost of one Profoto power pack you can get a full lighting setup from Dyna-Lite and still have enough left over for a new lens. It's all about finding that compromise of price/performance/purpose that works best for you.

SAShruby
29-Oct-2007, 21:01
Thank you all for the inputs. I'm not a professional photographer, so I'm not gonna make money, yet. I'm not in rush either, so I can be patient and wait for a good deals on fleebay.

Well to summarize, I need three lights two main lights and one fill with output at minimum 2400Ws, like this one (http://www.dynalite.com/fpackage_two.html)?

Frank Petronio
29-Oct-2007, 21:10
Part of what you pay for as you work up the food chain is a strobe's consistency and accuracy. An Alien Bee will put out good light -- and light is light -- but a 10x expensive ProFoto will put out exactly the same amount of light with each pop. With some of the lesser units you'll see more variation, esepcially when shooting quickly, such as a fashion shoot or any kind of stop action photography. I'm talking 1/3 to 1/2 a stop, not anything huge unless the unit is really messed up. Try it with flash meter....

If you are shooting negative film and working slowly with LF, then it probably is a non-issue.

The other factors are compactness, durability, and range of light modifiers... Profoto has wonderful stuff but it is very expensive.

FWIW, I like shooting wide open - f/5.6, f/8 -- and a pair of 800-1000 watt/sec Dynalites with four blower heads was more than enough for everything, including full length portraits at f/11-f/16 when needed. I used that Dynalite set-up when I did a lot of 8x10 work and it was plenty. They are nice compromise between price, durability, and compactness. I also like that they use Lowel light modifiers -- they have the connectors built-in.

However, to Ben's point, if I did a lot of traditional f/32 studio or table top then I'd want 4-8x that power, like the Dyna or Profoto >2000 w/s packs.

Brian K
30-Oct-2007, 04:53
Consider several factors:

portability, consistency of power output, evenness of illumination in softboxes (some flash tubes put out more even softbox light), overall power, the ability to tune that power in small increments, splitting among several heads and power ratios, flash duration (if one needs high power and still needs to freeze motion, either people or like pours/splashes in still life) , reliability, system accessories, repairs and spare parts, accuracy and consistency of color output, recycling time (for people/fashion photography), ease and speed of use

If you are doing 8x10 still life, especially at closer focus, you will most likely use a separate hot light to aid in focusing, most strobe heads use 250watt modeling lights, in softboxes this can be inadequate.

Michael T. Murphy
30-Oct-2007, 07:32
most strobe heads use 250watt modeling lights, in softboxes this can be inadequate.

If you have access to 220 volt power in the studio, you can use modelling lights up to 650 watts.

Some packs will automatically switch between 110 and 220 volt. You do have to change the modelling light itself - the bulb. But it is really a nice setup if you can do it.

Of course if you are on location, etc. it is much less likely that you will find 220 here in the US. Not so sure about Canada?

Scott Davis
30-Oct-2007, 07:56
You mentioned 15 meters/45 feet distance for your subjects. At those kinds of distances, even a 4800 ws pack isn't going to give you much. Remember that light falls off at the square of the distance. If your strobe gives you f32 @ 8 feet, at 16 feet, you get f 11. At 24 feet, you get f5.6, and at 32 feet, you get f4. At 45 feet, you'd have something around f2.8.

To give you a real world example, a Broncolor 3200 W/S pack (Topas A4) is rated to give f90 @ 6.6 feet, in a standard reflector, using ISO 100 film. Put that in a softbox and you can cut that to f45 (2 stops) at the same distance. Also, bear in mind that 3200 w/s is not 3200 w/s. One manufacturer will rate their power output at 3200 w/s, but at a given distance, it will produce more or less light than a different manufacturers 3200 w/s light. I wish there were a better guideline to compare flash units, but nobody will standardize a test to rate the units, out of self-interest. Even within brands, power is not all the same. For example, the Speedotron black line 4800 w/s unit actually produces the SAME output as their 2400 w/s unit, according to their own specs! Why this is true I have no idea, and once people know it, why they would buy the 4800 over the 2400 unit I don't know also- I suspect there may be other factors like recycle times and/or robustness that would mitigate the matching power output.

CG
30-Oct-2007, 08:30
Yesterday, I was watching World Series in a Common room (I just can't believe Rockies got swept) and couple guys popped in to test AlienBees B800. He had 4 of them with softboxes. Personally, I was impressed by the setup. They tested medium format and I had a chance to test it as well and I was satisfied what I saw.

But the question is: Will be something like this sufficient for 4x5, or 8x10? I'm more interested in continuous lightning, with a strobe options.

Is there any other systems I should consider? I plan to invest around 2500-3000 bucks.

Thanks.

What do you plan to shoot?

If it moves stobe may make sense.

If it is susceptible to heat, stobe or fluorescent may make sense.

If it doesn't move and doesn't care about heat, hot lights may be a possibility.

SAShruby
30-Oct-2007, 09:49
Consider several factors:

portability, consistency of power output, evenness of illumination in softboxes (some flash tubes put out more even softbox light), overall power, the ability to tune that power in small increments, splitting among several heads and power ratios, flash duration (if one needs high power and still needs to freeze motion, either people or like pours/splashes in still life) , reliability, system accessories, repairs and spare parts, accuracy and consistency of color output, recycling time (for people/fashion photography), ease and speed of use

If you are doing 8x10 still life, especially at closer focus, you will most likely use a separate hot light to aid in focusing, most strobe heads use 250watt modeling lights, in softboxes this can be inadequate.

Brian, too much to consider. I was more expecting what light set you guys have, why, what is the benefit for you.

portability - Important
consistency of power output - not sure what do you mean
evenness of illumination in softboxes - standard softboxes, nothing special
overall power - 3 or 4 heads 2400 w/s
the ability to tune that power in small increments - yes
splitting among several heads and power ratios - maybe (it depends if monos or lights with powerpack would be considered)
flash duration (if one needs high power and still needs to freeze motion, either people or like pours/splashes in still life) - not sure what do you mean
reliability - important
system accessories - available
repairs and spare parts - available
accuracy and consistency of color output - not that important, shooting BW
recycling time - not important shooting LF
ease and speed of use - not important

couple more from me
pricing - average to moderate (as I said 2500 - 3000 USD)
camera distance to subject - up to 15m
light distance to subject - up to 5-7 m

SAShruby
30-Oct-2007, 10:32
You mentioned 15 meters/45 feet distance for your subjects. At those kinds of distances, even a 4800 ws pack isn't going to give you much. Remember that light falls off at the square of the distance. If your strobe gives you f32 @ 8 feet, at 16 feet, you get f 11. At 24 feet, you get f5.6, and at 32 feet, you get f4. At 45 feet, you'd have something around f2.8.

To give you a real world example, a Broncolor 3200 W/S pack (Topas A4) is rated to give f90 @ 6.6 feet, in a standard reflector, using ISO 100 film. Put that in a softbox and you can cut that to f45 (2 stops) at the same distance. Also, bear in mind that 3200 w/s is not 3200 w/s. One manufacturer will rate their power output at 3200 w/s, but at a given distance, it will produce more or less light than a different manufacturers 3200 w/s light. I wish there were a better guideline to compare flash units, but nobody will standardize a test to rate the units, out of self-interest. Even within brands, power is not all the same. For example, the Speedotron black line 4800 w/s unit actually produces the SAME output as their 2400 w/s unit, according to their own specs! Why this is true I have no idea, and once people know it, why they would buy the 4800 over the 2400 unit I don't know also- I suspect there may be other factors like recycle times and/or robustness that would mitigate the matching power output.


Scott you're right. My apologies. 15 meters is way too much. I believe distance will be closer than that.

Ron Marshall
30-Oct-2007, 11:14
Many strobe makers list their output at 10 feet, or give a guide number. At 7 meters, approximately 20 feet, twice the distance, the light will be four times less intense, so you loose two stops. However you can use a film that is two stops faster, ie 400 instead of 100 then you can have the same depth of field at 20 feet as you had at 10.

SAShruby
31-Oct-2007, 22:33
Which are better, monolights or strobes with powerpack? I really start to like this one (http://www.white-lightning.com/x3200.html).

Can anybody tell me what is the difference between true Ws and effective Ws? Which one I should look after?

SAShruby
31-Oct-2007, 22:44
Can anybody tell me what is the difference between true Ws and effective Ws?

The answer is:

Citation from White Lightning Website:

"Quantity of electrical energy is measured in Wattseconds, also known as Joules. This rating defines the amount of electrical power discharged with each flash. While the actual amount of light produced for a given number of wattseconds varies, depending on the unit's design, the term provides a reasonable guide to comparative light output, as long as real/true wattseconds are specified. In the conversion of Watts to Lumens, or Wattseconds to Lumenseconds, the efficacy of the system determines how much light will result from a given number of wattseconds. The poor efficiency in this conversion by manufactures has given rise to the term Effective Wattseconds. If one flash system converts 400 Wattseconds of energy into 16,000 Lumenseconds of light, and another flash system converts 800 Wattseconds of energy into 16,000 Lumenseconds of light, then the first system could claim to have "800 Effective Wattseconds" as it is effectively producing the same amount of light as a system starting with 800 True Wattseconds. The Effective Wattseconds rating, however, is rather arbitrary and cannot be easily proven true or untrue, as it is merely used as a basis for inflated comparison of different flash systems."

Still, Which one I should go after?:)

Frank Petronio
1-Nov-2007, 07:07
I don't think you can compare the different brands based on the manufacturer's ratings. It really depends how you shoot and which types of modifiers you use. One design will be better with an umbrella, others with a softbox -- by up to 2-3 stops (2-4-8x output!)

Also, it is like trying on a Men's suit. The $179 special will do just fine, it will get you through most social occassions... but when you try on the more expensive suits and feel the drape of the fabric, well... it is the same way with lighting gear... you get what you pay for.

And like fashion... most of it is ridiculously overpriced ;-)

I'd probably be all over the Alien Bees and White Lightnings if they just came in better designed cases with nicer hardware and subtle graphics ;-0 Really sometimes just how it fits on a light stand is the difference between liking a light versus cursing at it.

As for monolights versus packs/heads... sometimes a combination is wise. The monolights need heavier stands and can be top heavy, while the packs and heads leave extra cordage on the ground for people to trip over... the monos are often more attractively priced and easier to stow. I liked the Dynalite monolights I used to have, well built and sturdy.

Ralph Barker
1-Nov-2007, 08:13
As Frank said, it's really difficult to compare brands based on the manufacturer's specs. I suspect most of them like it that way, and they all tend to tout the advantages of their particular design. To me, the monolight vs. power-pack issue is mostly a matter of personal preference. There are some external perception issues that may be important in some situations. The Speedotron Black Line series has been the "standard" for commercial studio lights for years, and art directors see the big cables on the floor as shouting "pro". Within those circles, monolights are often seen as being the mark of a "lowly" portrait photographer. By comparison, ProFoto and Broncolor seem to be more popular among fashion shooters.

With any brand, you'll want to make sure that mounting adapters are available for the modifiers (softboxes, etc.) that you like. For example, I use Photoflex softboxes with my White Lightnings, whereas I'm not sure adapters are available for the Chimera line.

Buff (White Lightning) has a good reputation for service among their customers. I had an X3200 fry on me, and concerned about repair cost (it was a year beyond the warranty period), I requested an estimate on the repair cost. After not hearing from them for a while, I called to check status. They indicated that it had already been shipped back, repaired at no cost, even though it was beyond the warranty period. Other manufacturers may have similar policies, but I can't attest to that.

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 09:24
Frank and Ralph, thanks for your insights.

Though I'm not make my living being a professional photographer, yet, I value all information I have been given from all of you. I looked into Dynalites and the configuration I seek (3x2000Wi powerpack, 4x2040 light head + accessories) is around 10,000. White lightning the same configuration (Zeus pack) is around 5,000, with X3200's is around 3,700 USD. I'm not ever try quoting Prophoto or Broncolor :eek:


For curiosity, accessories are: 2x72" octagons, 2x30x60 Soft boxes, 2x48" and 2x60" umbrelas, 4 heavy duty light stands.


p.s. Plus Taxes :D

Frank Petronio
1-Nov-2007, 09:44
That is a pretty impressive set-up actually. My take is that you probably would want to buy used on eBay from a reputable seller (photographers go out of business all the time and the strobes are usually the first thing they sell, sad to say.) And starting with one or two lights -- going slow -- is going to allow you to learn what you are doing. Most beginners, when given a lot of gear, try to use it all at the same time... Whereas most of the greatest photos you love - that were "lit" -- used very simple and often singular light sources....

I'd start with just one light modifer at a time. You can do wonderful pictures with a lowly umbrella (at least I try, lol) and then add gadgets as you master each device.

And you will always need 2x light stands as you expect -- you use them for all sorts of other things, like holding fill cards and flags.

Personally, I would avoid the manufacturers' "kits" as they rarely have any significant savings. I really like the stands and grip gear from Lowel but Bogen and Matthews also make good stuff -- you probably will want a combination of heavier and light stands, PLUS things like a boom arm (very useful) and flexible arms that can hold flags and cards.

Taking a very simple light source and adding black card "flags" is pretty important. You also will use these flags to shield your camera lens from the light source. Thus you need more stands and such...

Also, all of the items you selected - the 72" octagons (nice) and the large softboxes and umbrellas - are LARGE. You will find that you need a mix of some small light modifers too.

And don't forget - boucing off a wall is a really cheap huge light modifier. As is bouncing off foamcore boards.

Really, getting three 2000w Dynas is quite luxurious... try starting with one pack and two heads... it may be all that you ever need.

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 10:36
... try starting with one pack and two heads...

Frank, I think Ron mentioned that it won't be sufficient for tabletop and portrait work for 8x10 and 8x20 with adequate DOF. That's why I chose the "impressive setup". With accesories, you're right, I should probably go for some smaller softboxes and umbrelas. But Octagons stays ;) .

Frank Petronio
1-Nov-2007, 11:12
One of the key basics of lighting is that the light source should be about the same size as the subject and about equal distance away... of course laws are meant ot be broken but starting with that in mind is a really good way to begin. So... if you really need to horse the power of two 2000 watt plus packs into one light source you'll want to look at the special bitube heads and whatnot. The regular 2040s only can handle one 2000 watt pack.

Frankly, you probably can get into f/45-64 territory for most moderate-sized still-life photos with a single 2000 watt pack and head. And if you need more light, most studio photographers will do multiple "pops" where you open the shutter on Bulb and fire the strobe however many times you need to build up the exposure.

Not that sheer horsepower is a bad thing... it's just expensive.

And yeah the Octas are great for people, maybe not so ideal for most still life though. You tend to use more strip style banks and controlled sources.

You may enjoy going through the Chimera and Lowel websites to see some options...

Ron Marshall
1-Nov-2007, 11:34
The WL X3200s go for about $500 on ebay.

Bookends are useful and cheap reflectors: two 4x8' sheets of foamcore taped together along the long edge so they will stand.

If you are interested in shooting people, the best book I have found is: Photographing People, Portraits, Fashion, Glamour by Roger Hicks, Frances Shultz et al, published by Rotovision. It is out of print but available from Amazon used.

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 11:42
I think I need to read some good books about lightning. Maybe books I have are not the best before I make any decission. I have a good composition books but they're not very technical related. I'll definitely look into those websites.

Any recommendations?


Well, Ron just red my mind before I posted this thread ;)

Ed Shapiro
1-Nov-2007, 11:44
As mentioned by others in this thread- you ultimate choice will depend on your and requirements and applications. As a commercial photographer working with 8x10 equipment I approach it this way; I want a lot of power. Here's the reason- When doing food and table-top illustrations I am working rather close to the subject which is some cases require some bellows extension factors. When doing food and other subjects which require accurate color matching on transparency film, I might need some filtration or even the use of a polarizer which will absorb 2 f/stops right there. Even black and white work may require the use of a filter for proper panchromatic rendition of a subject in terms of contrast. All of theses factors are light eaters.

As for the QUALITY of lighting. Most commercial photographers, nowadays use light modifiers such as soft boxes. Here again you will lose light in that the light is bounced within the soft box and then further diffused by the scrim(s) on the face of the box.

So let's review for a moment- Say we lose 1 stop for bellows extension, 1-3 stops for filter packs or a polarizer, the watt/second rating or a guide number for a flash unit that is really intended for portrait work may not cut it in terms of depth of field and other requirements. It is true that in some cases it is not advisable to stop down too much, say past f/11, to avoid loss of quality due to refraction, however when shooting relatively close with multi layered illustrations, you may need between f/22 and f/45 to pull everything into acceptable focus even if you have used your camera movements to their utmost. Oh-with weaker lights you can do multiple pops by working in a darkened room and repeatedly firing the flash until the correct exposure is obtained. Polaroid test are needed for this procedure when working with view cameras.

I recommend a unit that can generate about 2400 watt/seconds for full use of an 8x10 system. My experience is that Speedotron units stand up under heavy industrial conditions for years and there is plenty of theses units on the used market as well. Other makers are Norman, Pro-Photo and Dynalight.

You can also opt for continuous lights. With those you can select an f/stop and compensate with the shutter speed. That is easy enough in black and white but in color transparency work you will need lights and film that is balanced for 3200 K degrees. Some longer exposures will carry reciprocity law failure factors and require extended exposure times and may even require some filtration. There are lots of great quartz light units on the market that are relatively less expensive than strobes. I have some old Color Tran and Mole-Richardson lights that are basically for cinematography- they come in all configurations- fresnel spots, floods, mini broads and broads. Lots of theses are on the used market because the motion pictures business has been going with HMI lights and other complex systems. Photogenic still makes their mini-spots. Theses work well for commercial and still life work in multiples.

In my portrait studio, I look for lower power lights because I want less depth of field and I love using direct lighting from 16" parabolic reflectors mounted on my lamp heads. When feathering the lights and using barn doors and snoots I still have sufficient light even of I choose to power the down to 25 w/s for use with my Imagon lenses.

If you would get into you application I may be better able to assist you.

Ed:)

John Kasaian
1-Nov-2007, 13:07
Mole Richardsons! The really big ones! You can get used ones cheap from Hollywood supply houses. How do you know if you've got enough light unless the insulation starts smelling and the electrical supply panel starts smoking? Don't trust them cheesy light meters ;)
Sometimes those fresnels will blow out on you (well, your sitter unless you're taking a self portrait) Hell, everyones into piercings and such these days, so charge 'em extry for the glass shards.
You've got to love the sound of circuit breakers popping if you want...LIGHT! :D

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 13:18
Mole Richardsons! The really big ones! You can get used ones cheap from Hollywood supply houses. How do you know if you've got enough light unless the insulation starts smelling and the electrical supply panel starts smoking? Don't trust them cheesy light meters ;)
Sometimes those fresnels will blow out on you (well, your sitter unless you're taking a self portrait) Hell, everyones into piercings and such these days, so charge 'em extry for the glass shards.
You've got to love the sound of circuit breakers popping if you want...LIGHT! :D


LOL. Funny :D

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 13:49
I think I just got crazy :eek:

This is what I just bought. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180175672182) It is my Christmass present. ;)

Ralph Barker
1-Nov-2007, 14:00
Big Mole Richardsons. Yeah. Didn't Dali use those to get things to melt for him? ;)

Actually, I use a 600W Arri fresnel as a focusing light. But, I tell models to close their eyes before I pop the switch.

John Kasaian
1-Nov-2007, 14:54
They're (Mole Richardsons) also useful in making quesadillas for lunch! If there was a cheese melting Olympics Mole Richardson would get the gold, LOL! :D

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 15:10
But, I tell models to close their eyes before I pop the switch.

I think they still can't see for another 30 minutes.:D

SAShruby
1-Nov-2007, 19:28
Ed,

I gotta thank you for mentioning Norman's lights. I just saw that new post on Ebay and I coudn't refuse. I'm not sure if it was a good deal, but I talked to that guy and he told me the lights I bought have been used only once.

Kirk Gittings
1-Nov-2007, 20:08
I think I just got crazy :eek:

This is what I just bought. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180175672182) It is my Christmass present. ;)

I have been using Norman for 25 years now. They are workhorses. I have 5 2000w and 4 800w power pack and like 12 heads. Much more than I need, but they have been cheap on Ebay. Good huning.

Ed Shapiro
1-Nov-2007, 21:04
Yup! Some suggestions for a 5K Mole.

* Do not use this for photographing ice cream.

* On an early morning shoot, place a small chicken in the housing just behind the lamp- by lunch time it will be ready to eat- saves you money at KFC and no trans fats.

* You can rent a cheap studio space without heating and survive quite nicely- even up here in Canada.

* On slow weeks you can rent it out to folks who are opening a new business or like to search for enemy aircraft by night.

* Does anyone know the melting point of human flesh?- good to know for portrait photographers.

* Use the insulated handles only unless you are a masochist or enjoy the oder of burning flesh.

* Not the best thing to use on a boom as a hair light unless you have a Volkswagen to use as a counterweight.

* May disturb the clergy of you brought this into a house of worship for some dramatic shots at a wedding assignment.

* Do not plug this in the same outlet as your toaster or your defibrillator.

* Do not advise former Vice President Gore that you have this in use or the green folks are gonna picket your studio!

Hay- I have a sense of humor too- but it is sick:D

Ed Shapiro
1-Nov-2007, 21:15
Oh- I forgot!

When purchasing used electronic flash gear, watch out for carbonized flash tubes. The symptoms are blackened glass near the electrodes. Tubes like that are not long for this world and can yield poor color rendition. Also watch out for blackened connector pins and sockets- theses are signs of misuse.

On that unit that has only been used once- make sure tis owner did not try to use it on a glamor shoot and took the power supply on a swimming pool or bathtub. The poor guy may have electrocuted himself and never got to use his brand new strobe again. Maybe he is languishing away in a penatentery for killing his model.

Good luck! Ed

laffan
13-Jul-2010, 10:22
I own 2 AB800 and one AB1600 and wondering how to trigger LF cameras , I use wireless trigger for my 5D Mark II .

Rakesh Malik
15-Jul-2010, 09:36
I own 2 AB800 and one AB1600 and wondering how to trigger LF cameras , I use wireless trigger for my 5D Mark II .

I use an Elinchrom SkyPort for both my digitoy and my LF camera, when I use it. My strobe is an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra, which is nice and light (the power pack + flash head weigh a total of 5 pounds), so I can adjust the power output with the SkyPort. To trigger the SkyPort from the LF camera, I just connect a sync cord to the socket on the shutter, the SkyPort transmitter has a port for that and comes with a cable that fits the sync port on the shutter.

AlienBee had a transmitter that was very similar when I got my SkyPort, but since then they've introduced one that's actually quite a bit more sophisticated, but I don't know much more than that about it. I have heard from folks who used the earlier version that they worked quite well, and both the AlienBee and Elinchrom wireless triggers cost a lot less than PocketWizards -- you get a receiver AND transmitter + a set of adapter cables for the price of a single PocketWizard receiver OR transmitter.

Dakotah Jackson
28-Jul-2010, 04:37
If you are looking at Paul Buff products check out the newer Einstein flash units he is making. Variable power without changing color temperature is a nice feature.

Steve M Hostetter
28-Jul-2010, 06:35
Broncolor puts out the most light over any other pack f128@10ft. I've found that there are more used Brons on the market then any other brand.
Try Jack's camera

W K Longcor
28-Jul-2010, 07:22
Yup! Some suggestions for a 5K Mole.

* Do not use this for photographing ice cream.

* On an early morning shoot, place a small chicken in the housing just behind the lamp- by lunch time it will be ready to eat- saves you money at KFC and no trans fats.

* You can rent a cheap studio space without heating and survive quite nicely- even up here in Canada.

* On slow weeks you can rent it out to folks who are opening a new business or like to search for enemy aircraft by night.

* Does anyone know the melting point of human flesh?- good to know for portrait photographers.

* Use the insulated handles only unless you are a masochist or enjoy the oder of burning flesh.

* Not the best thing to use on a boom as a hair light unless you have a Volkswagen to use as a counterweight.

* May disturb the clergy of you brought this into a house of worship for some dramatic shots at a wedding assignment.

* Do not plug this in the same outlet as your toaster or your defibrillator.

* Do not advise former Vice President Gore that you have this in use or the green folks are gonna picket your studio!

Hay- I have a sense of humor too- but it is sick:D

You may have been trying to be funny, but I'll bet anyone who has used these units will agree with most of what you have said ( well, maybe NOT the chicken). Back in the 60's, I worked at a commercial studio that had several of these units. The boss's motto was -- if you can open a door, do not turn on the air conditioning. I remember working with these lights in the summer and having dozens of wasps fly into the studio. Some little wasp spirit must have been whispering to them -- go into the light! They all experienced "wasp heaven" as their bodies hit he reflector -- and burning wasps really STINK!:D