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Thread: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

  1. #1

    Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Hi All - I'm just making the shift from 35mm to 8x10 and I'm using an old Deardorff wooden 8x10. I used a Vivitar 283 with my 35mm camera for years and I'm hoping I can get some advice on what kind of flash equipment I should be looking to use with the large format camera to give me the same kind of flexibility/results and any general advice on flash with large format. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Downstairs
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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    If you count on shooting wide open, swirly style, any old flash and an umbrella will do.
    Shooting f45 - f64 with a single bounced or diffused source will set you back.
    I had 15,000 Ws (Joules) on three heads and never managed f64 with Ektachrome. But then you may not be troubled by bellows factor and multiple planes of focus, moving people, steam and other unpleasant stuff.
    At f45, a 10 second exposure with tungsten will save you many thousand dollars.
    Last edited by cjbroadbent; 4-Jun-2010 at 04:52. Reason: typo

  3. #3

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Why not use the 283 if you like the look of the light (!)? f/5.6 or f/8 works just as well for 8x10 as it does for 35mm.

    But ~traditionally~ studio-orientated photographers will look towards heavy-duty professional AC strobe units many times more powerful and costly than a 283. Check out manufacturers like ProFoto, Dynalite, Speedotron, Broncolor, Elinchrom, Bowens, Calumet, Hensel, etc.

    And then you'll discover this site: http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/ and probably buy a bunch of cheap White Lightning or AlienBee stuff.

  4. #4

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Frank

    You need to take a picture of me with my 8x10 and a Vivitar 283!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Ahern View Post
    Hi All - I'm just making the shift from 35mm to 8x10 and I'm using an old Deardorff wooden 8x10. I used a Vivitar 283 with my 35mm camera for years and I'm hoping I can get some advice on what kind of flash equipment I should be looking to use with the large format camera to give me the same kind of flexibility/results and any general advice on flash with large format. Thanks!
    http://www.white-lightning.com/x3200.html

  6. #6

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Ahern View Post
    Hi All - I'm just making the shift from 35mm to 8x10 and I'm using an old Deardorff wooden 8x10. I used a Vivitar 283 with my 35mm camera for years and I'm hoping I can get some advice on what kind of flash equipment I should be looking to use with the large format camera to give me the same kind of flexibility/results and any general advice on flash with large format. Thanks!
    http://www.white-lightning.com/x3200.html

  7. #7

    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Thanks guys - I would love to continue with the Vivitar but I'll be using smaller apertures (f32/f45) so I guess this won't be an option. May have to look into the more expensive White Lightning option.

    Just one more thing - I'm using a Kodak Commercial Ektar lens so is there anything I should be aware of in terms of the flash connection, what cable I would need etc. or will all modern flash lights connect to pretty much all lenses? Slipping the 283 onto my 35mm is about as technically advanced as I've gotten with flash.......

  8. #8

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Also, if you are planning to shoot still lifes then you have the option of multiple pops with a less powerful strobe.

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    Stephen,

    The Vivitar 283 gives off a small rectangular pattern of light and uses a unique Vivitar connector to the flash.

    It is kind of small to use with for 8x10.

    The Kodak Commercial Ektar lens is mounted in a shutter that uses a two prong flash sync. connector.

    You may experience difficulty finding a sync cord that will enable you to sync. the 283 flash to that shutter.

    Call, or Email Jim, at Midwest Photo Exchange, and ask for his advice. He's very knowledgeable.

    Midwest has a large stock of new and used lighting equipment.

  10. #10

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    Re: Advice on flash equipment for 8x10 beginner

    You have a lot of homework to do and compared to the "grossness" of a bare 283 on Auto there is a lot to absorb.

    Christopher's advice of using inexpensive hot lights and longer exposures is good in terms of figuring out what light looks like. Even with modeling lamps, strobe lighting is harder to "see" what you're doing, especially since you won't have Polaroid for testing.

    A digital camera is very useful though....

    The old Acme shutters use bi-post sync contacts - Paramount makes suitable cables but they are not something you can readily buy at your local camera shop.

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