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Thread: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

  1. #11

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild pt.2

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post

    Yes, these high power flash packs are instant death in a box. Do one wrong move, you're instantly dead. Great care and respect and focused attention must be applied doing work on these.


    Bernice
    Yeah, last good zap I got was from lifting a chassis with a live 3.5A SMPS P/S that had a hot isolated heat sink and my finger was just near it... Got a nasty burn spot on my finger, and arm was numb for a couple of hours... Unfortunately, I survived...

    I don't like working in strobes... Even tiny on-camera types have a way of getting my attention (live cap cases, etc)...

    Steve K

  2. #12

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    A few thoughts:
    Two 404's with a twin 8000 w/sec head do not seem to be an f-stop brighter than a single 404 with a 4000 w/sec head (closer to 1/2 f-stop). Might be specific to my rig though.
    The power output is amazing, you can feel it just by holding the head's cable in your hands.
    My models don't seem to mind the light, but I wish I had pyrex covers over the tubes.
    In the eighties, Elinchrom and Broncolor were on par and the two options found in swiss photo studios.
    Will today's equipment be servicable in fourty years ?
    Best
    Andreas

  3. #13
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Watts mean nothing to me

    BUT f90 at 10' with diffuser does! That is impressive

    Really glad I use P C Buff for Digi and film, with flash meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    ......If any one of those twin flash tube heads shows up, likely try for it as the X8 or X8000 allows 8000w/s from a single flash head. Kinda remember you'll get f90 at ~10-12ft with a Mola beauty dish with diffuser (these are better without the diffuser).....



    Bernice
    image

  4. #14

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Might be impressive, yet required for view camera images back in the day. Seems kilowatt/second strobe power has become mostly forgotten today due to the domination of Digital imaging which requires far less strobe power.

    Kilowatt strobe power appears to be gaining popularity with the wet plate and similar alternative process image folks.

    Back in those days, Broncolor and Elinchrom were the high power strobe systems that were similar in many ways. The both offered high quality strobe systems with a good selection of light modifiers that became Foto industry standards. Again, much of this stuff has become long forgotten and not used much today by view camera folks due to the majority of folks today making outdoor view camera images with field folder view cameras.

    It's a relic from a very different time and place. Very repairable and built to last and endure.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Watts mean nothing to me

    BUT f90 at 10' with diffuser does! That is impressive

    Really glad I use P C Buff for Digi and film, with flash meter

  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Sometimes for studio still life, I pop 2 PGB 640ws heads 10 times for very old plate

    I tried movie hot lamps 1k and 2k Mole

    The heat freaked me out at 10 ft on my white paper drop, I took them right back to my movie guy
    image

  6. #16

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Or one whopper strobe pop. Highly preferred.

    Apply light modifier like a soft box, loss of ~two f-stops. Demand a taking aperture of f22 or smaller demands more strobe power.
    Illuminate a large area again more strobe power.

    More than two strobe pops risk camera or object movement (not a problem for non-living objects) blurry image due to movement.

    More than two strobe pops rapidly reduces the actual exposure on film, same light loss laws applies.

    Any wonder why these Kilowatt/second strobe units were so very common back in the days when film view camera
    work was as common?

    Hot lights are named hot lights for very good reasons.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Sometimes for studio still life, I pop 2 PGB 640ws heads 10 times for very old plate

    I tried movie hot lamps 1k and 2k Mole

    The heat freaked me out at 10 ft on my white paper drop, I took them right back to my movie guy

  7. #17
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Quite awhile ago now, I worked in a fairly large commercial studio. It was big enough to have whole house sets in some of the bays. When I got there in 2006, they were all digital, but they still used some of the old equipment. Lighting was mostly Speedotron Black Line 4800 packs. The guys said that when you a bunch of them on a huge set that you could hear the electrical wires in the conduits make all sorts of noises. A flash putting out a full 4800ws has a distinct sound when fired. Whooomp!
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  8. #18

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Speedotron remains one of the top US designed/built high power, high quality strobe systems available. Speedotron and Norman Enterprise were most popular for HP strobe systems. Notable about Speeedotron was their 105 quad flash tube head capable of 9600w/s.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Quad_Tube.html

    To get that whopping amount of strobe power requires two Speedotron 4800w/s power packs or four 2400w/s power packs.


    Elinchrom's 404, 202, 101R then "Classic" 1500, 3000, 6000 series strobe power packs have a strobe recycling rate control switch. Snail for slow, diamond for medium, rabbit for fast recycling times.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Elinchrom 404 controls.jpg 
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    Preference is to use the snail or slow recycling time. This greatly reduces the peak pulse current from the power mains which can be really, really high due to the energy demands to charge up these massive capacitor banks.

    Sound from these high power strobe heads producing light does have a distinct Whooooomp due to the heat produced by the quartz envelop flash tube causing a whole lotta air expanding rapidly around that area.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Quite awhile ago now, I worked in a fairly large commercial studio. It was big enough to have whole house sets in some of the bays. When I got there in 2006, they were all digital, but they still used some of the old equipment. Lighting was mostly Speedotron Black Line 4800 packs. The guys said that when you a bunch of them on a huge set that you could hear the electrical wires in the conduits make all sorts of noises. A flash putting out a full 4800ws has a distinct sound when fired. Whooomp!

  9. #19
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    I still have a 4800, a 2400, and 2-1200s. They aren't fancy, but they are very reliable. I use them on the slow recharge setting.

    Kohler Company still uses some Black Line packs that look to be older than I am.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  10. #20

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    Re: Elinchrom 404, Rebuild

    Bernice is spot on. Without the "snail" setting, I would blow out my fuses each time I fire the 5x 404 generators for collodion pictures . Try to shoot a group portrait at 1 ISO at F 16 with lights 10m away...
    Never thought about the reason why at low power the sound is more of a "tic" and at full power at loud "puff". Also explains why vented covers melt with just one flash (and no pilot light).
    These generators used to cost a fortune, will this thread raise the prices again ?
    Best
    Andreas

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