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Thread: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

  1. #11

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    I'm still using my Minolta III flashmeter

    it sucks when it needs batteries..but other than that..it's a beacon

  2. #12
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    I'm confused. First you mentioned using paper negatives, then an HP film. Which are you using? Paper has an ISO of about 3. And 100 W/s is wimpy unless the light is very close to the subject.

  3. #13

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    I use both, but I'm an amateur dabbler and just entertaining myself. Currently I use three of the CFT lights mentioned in the original post, but I still find myself using 2-4 second exposures, and while that's fine for inanimate subjects, it's hard for most people to keep still enough for a sharp photograph. On the principle that anything is better than nothing, I'm hoping the strobe I have will be an improvement. I can't really justify buying an expensive set of more powerful strobes, especially as I will be retiring in a couple of months (I have used up a year of the 2-5 I was told I might get when first diagnosed with leukemia, and I want to have a year or two having some fun with film before reality comes back to bite me on the ground glass!) I'll make it work.

  4. #14
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    If your subject is static, you can use multiple pops of a strobe to get more power. Some meters, like a Minolta Flashmeter IV, will automatically calculate how many flashes are needed.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  5. #15
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    If your subject is static, you can use multiple pops of a strobe to get more power. Some meters, like a Minolta Flashmeter IV, will automatically calculate how many flashes are needed.
    Peter, do you know if the flash meters properly calculate multiple pops? Multiples do not necessarily sum. I know that multiple exposures on paper under the enlarger do not.

  6. #16
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Hi Jac, you're certainly right about multiple exposures with an enlarger. I've only used my Minolta to calculate multiple pops with studio flash once, and it worked fine, but obviously I'm not an expert on that use. The attached shot was 4 pops at 2400ws, if I remember rightly.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    May tomorrow be a better day.

  7. #17

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Peter, do you know if the flash meters properly calculate multiple pops? Multiples do not necessarily sum. I know that multiple exposures on paper under the enlarger do not.
    They do not sum. Inverse square law. 2 light sources of equal power move you up 1 step

    OP:

    get Sekonic 308 - about cheapest you can get that works reliably nowadays and couple of at least 800w/s heads. Better - 1200w/s. If you don't care about color consistency much (or power fluctuation) - there is always Paul C Buff stuff (alien bees). If you do care - check auctions for Elinchrom/ProFoto gear (might be also cheaper, but will require you to replace bulbs most likely).

    Check light modifiers you need.

    If you stranded for cash and don't have funky fantasies about shooting super low ISO or lighting huge room with single head - simple portable strobe will do trick for iso 100 just fine. That with wee umbrella will keep you going for portraits for forever.

  8. #18

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    If you are on a budget you might look for some used Speedotron Black Lines. Profoto is the Cadillac.

    I use a Minolta Flashmeter lV. It double as an incident meter too.

  9. #19

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    Ah,yes ; last time I checked,for a 1F/stop increase with strobe,it worked this way. One pop : base exposure.
    2 pops :+1f ,4pops :+2f, 8..16..22..32..45...64..you can stop now,because your strobe is a pile of smoking slag.
    And the numbers are,oddly enough,just like the aperture scale on your lens.

  10. #20

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    Re: Advice for a beginner with a strobe

    On someone here's advice for learning about shooting portraits, I bought and have been reading Herb Ritts' biography, The Golden Hour. [Off track: It's a great book and I highly recommend it. The whole thing is clips from many different interviews with other people, interleaved into a flow as if they were all in the same room discussing their interactions with Ritts] One thing that I noticed was a comment that he moved his soft boxes so close to subjects that they needed to be cropped out of the edges of his photos. That's a good way to maximize the light output of a weak source, and I am going to experiment with it more. I suspect it's going to be good for an extra stop or two over what I now do.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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