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Thread: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

  1. #11

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    Sep 2021
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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    ok thanks very much haha, yep getting a flash meter. For a newbie can someone suggest one that might be affordable but reliable? Easy to measure flash with?

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    image

  3. #13

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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    The PC socket just acts as a switch that closes a circuit.
    X signifies Electronic flash.
    M signifies M-class flash bulbs.
    You want X .
    Your strobe should have a Guide Number somewhere in the instructions....usually measured at 10 feet.
    Say, for example, it says GN 160 at ISO 100. Divide the GN by 10, and you get 16.
    f16 at 10 feet...FLASH to SUBJECT.
    Your shutter syncs at all speeds, so let's say you're inside, and the strobe is your main light...set your shutter at 1/125 @ f16 and you're good to go with the flash to subject at 10 feet with ISO 100 film.
    That'll get you through until you get a flash meter.
    ***This assumes no modifiers, like umbrellas, softboxes, etc.***
    All these suggestions to get a flash meter bother me. Quite often people who ae asking questions such as the one here don't have the extra money to buy a flash meter. Most of my students were struggling to buy film and food.
    I photographed with and w/o flash for at least 50 years before I was given a flash meter. I still rarely use a flash meter although I now have 2 or 3. I use Guide 3's almost exclusively.
    Once determined for a particular unit it is simple and fast, much faster than getting out the flash meter using it and determining the exposure.

  4. #14

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    Sep 2021
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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    Thanks Tin Can, I know the brand I just wanted a seasoned user to suggest from experience any light meters that are ok but not super expensive and goodfor strobe/flash use, your search range of 'Sekonic' shows meters from $219 to $2600 in just the photos. I am totally new to this and its a little daunting and as the items are expensive purchases for me its something I'd like to try my best to get right.

  5. #15

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    Sep 2021
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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    Thank you Jim! Its been really expensive to get this far haha, I'm just trying to make sure I learn this all properly and understand what is going on, tryin gto keep it as analog as possible. I will get a flash meter when I can but would love to work out the exposures. I will try and do the math for the strobe and then test with a borrowed digital camera also until then.

  6. #16
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    Your one strobe is $2500 new

    I like to use 3 and have 4 all same

    Then I may add the 5 NIKON strobes

    Then it does get complicated

    As Jim notes, many shoot by Guide Number alone

    I also like flashbulbs
    image

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    529

    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    You can get a good, used flash meter for less than the price of a box of 50 sheets of 8x10 Tri-X.
    I grew up with guide numbers and the Inverse Square Law.
    That's why I offered the above explanation.
    The fact that the manufacturer of the strobe chose to obfuscate the guide numbers by using metric measurements and shorter distances to puff up the ratings doesn't help.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,561

    Re: Getting the correct lens settings for a synced strobe?

    Modern Copal Compur, Seiko and others are X sync for electronic strobe.
    This means the strobe is fired with the shutter blades fully opened. Leaf shutters will sync the strobe at all shutter speeds on the shutter speed dial.

    Strobe guide numbers are essentially useless as the cannot account to a very long list of real word factors that affect the strobe light to subject.

    Manufactures are notorious for way inflating guide numbers for a marketing advantage. Guide numbers do not account for strobe light angle of coverage and much more.

    Only proper way to achieve accurate film expousure using strobe light is with a flash meter. A good flash meter becomes absolutely essential to measure lighting ratios, strobe light uniformity, coverage and more.

    Get a good used Minolta flash meter like this one:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/12490635351...YAAOSwuQZhRKiW

    Or
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/14421407385...0AAOSwbd5hS6dH


    Kenko now as the production rights to the Minolta flash meters:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ght_meter.html


    IMO, pass on Sekonic meters.

    These incident ambient and flash meters come with a spherical diffuser dome which tends to be mostly less than directional, If more defined directional light measurements are needed, use a flat diffuser in place of the spherical dome.

    As for using a digital camera as a flash meter, they are not designed for this and they cannot not measure lighting ratios properly...
    Making a GOOD flash meter an absolute must.


    Bernice

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