View Full Version : I need a powerful, yet easily portable flash

13-Feb-2008, 22:00
I'm looking for a flash unit that I can either hand hold or bracket mount to my 4x5, be able to bounce or diffuse and still get a good working aperture.
I've looked at quantum, but they are way expensive...my main problem is that I am not super knowledgeable about what portable flashes are out there and which ones are brightest and all that.

Dan Schmidt
14-Feb-2008, 05:30
metz 45's , can get used at KEH for 100-200

Gem Singer
14-Feb-2008, 05:42
The Vivitar 285HV is available, new, at B&H for $89.95. Uses four AA batteries (AC power cord is optional). It's been around for years. Has a huge flash output.

Dan Fromm
14-Feb-2008, 06:26
Agfatronic 643CS

Frank Petronio
14-Feb-2008, 06:50
Schneider Xenotar 135/3.5 and TMY

Bob Salomon
14-Feb-2008, 07:04
Metz 60 series

David A. Goldfarb
14-Feb-2008, 07:50
Norman 200B setups can be had fairly inexpensively, compared to Quantum or Lumedyne. For a little more, the 200C is lighter and more compact, and the 400B has more output.

Michael Graves
14-Feb-2008, 07:50
Any one of the upper line Metz or a Norman 200 or 400B.

14-Feb-2008, 09:39
If you can find it the Agfa 643. Good luck -)
If not the Metz 60 or the 45 if you need less power.

Gordon Moat
14-Feb-2008, 13:15
Nikon Speedlights SB-25 or SB-26, or newer style SB-28
Sunpak 120-J

Tony Lakin
15-Feb-2008, 09:19
PF100's and a light sabre:) :) :)

Ole Tjugen
15-Feb-2008, 09:27
PF100's and a light sabre:) :) :)

AKA Speed Graphic side-mounted bulb flash.

Not much that beats that, for sheer power and portability...

15-Feb-2008, 09:38
Not much that beats that, for sheer power and portability...


Tony Lakin
15-Feb-2008, 11:24
AKA Speed Graphic side-mounted bulb flash.

Not much that beats that, for sheer power and portability...

I believe that the flashgun used for the lightsabres in Star Wars was an English MPP Microflash and not the Graphlex version, unfortunately due to the Star Wars connection they have become quite expensive I have three Bowens Bo-flash units for which I paid approximately $50 on the Bay, these are very useable and can be linked with slaves, Bowens also made the Blaster which used up to four PF60 or PF100 bulbs which could be fired simultaneously or sequentially, the bulbs are still readily available both in the UK and the US.

Kevin Crisp
15-Feb-2008, 12:20
Metz 60 with the dry fit battery.

Bob Salomon
15-Feb-2008, 13:28

But the availability and cost of bulbs is a killer. Especially blue ones if you want daylight balance.

And then did you ever have one of those bulbs ever go off in your hand or pocket? I would rather use electronic flash. Simpler and less expensive in the long run and far less adventurous in areas with that can spontaneously set off those bulbs.

lastly, m synch shutters are not very common either and F peak bulbs are also pretty scarce.

15-Feb-2008, 14:43
But the availability and cost of bulbs is a killer. Especially blue ones if you want daylight balance.

This is true. But one can do relatively okay if persistant and patient on ebay. The key is persistence and patience. There seems to be a cycle for flashbulbs where they goe from very expensive to affordable. The going price, however, still seems to be about 45 - 50 cents each for Press 25 and 25Bs.

EDIT: Oh... and, no, I haven't had one goe off in my hand (or bag)... yet.

There are a fair number of Graphics out there with Graphex shutters that often offer M-synch, as do many Rollei TLRs, etc. I even use bulbs with a dial-Compur shutter... and a Graphlex synchronizer. It is do-able if one wants to. But I do understand your comment about strobe.

EDIT2: after reading Ole's post (#18), I changed one word. Guess which one!

Ole Tjugen
15-Feb-2008, 14:50
The best price I've seen so far was one box of M25b's for $50. That's 25 packs, 10 bulbs in each.

I don't have to admit that I bought it, do I?

15-Feb-2008, 15:07
Good deal!! You win the peristence and patience award for the day.

Wayne Crider
15-Feb-2008, 20:06
Metz makes a good flash with the 60's and 45's the bread and butter wedding shooters flash, but even at that I think a SB24, or 26 would be cheaper/just as good, and they are quite strong. I got a SB24 for $40 but usually they're between $80 and a $125. I made a telescoping flash bracket for my Graphic out of a tripod leg that clips on using the flash gun clips that are available and attached a cheap camera flash bracket grip to it on top and attach the SB24 right over the lens at whatever height I want. Other option is a cold shot on the camera body.

Vick Vickery
15-Feb-2008, 21:25
I still use a couple of old Honeywell Strobonar 682's that will stop action on the other side of a football field! I know, because I've shot football games with them! Bought a spare on eBay awhile back for about $20.00! The six AA batteries last a pretty long time, too! :)

16-Feb-2008, 07:27
my lumedyne 244 works very well.
50-400ws, and you can use 2 heads if you want.

i have a bracket, but you can tripod/stand mount it,
as well ...