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Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

your link does not work so we are unable to comment accurately but (guessing) you got a kit with 3 250w/s strobes?  Michael is suggesting lowering the power, so (typically) turn it down fully. that is 3 stops down from full.   if it is too dark you can raise the ISO a bit or use more than one strobe.  I have several of the cheap strobes from various brands and have no trouble capturing movement such as jumps so I am curious now about what the problem might be.

I was not suggesting he dial down the power. I was suggesting the opposite.

If you have a selection of typical strobes, select the weakest one and set it to full power.

For instance, if you had three Alien Bee lights, 160WS, 320WS and 640WS, you would get the shortest flash duration by using the 160WS light at full power.  The 640WS light dialed down to 160WS would have a much longer flash duration.

This guideline does not apply to most modern hot shoe flashes, and lights like the Einstein.  If you are using one of these lights, then you should use the lowest power level that gives you the exposure you need.


Boring technical stuff follows - you can stop reading here:

A studio flash works by storing a lot of energy in a capacitor and then releasing that energy through the flash tube in a large burst.  This burst is like a small bolt of lightning, It starts out very bright, and fades as the capacitor is discharged.  When the capacitor is discharged below a certain level the arc of electricity can no longer be maintained and it stops.   One of the challenges facing the makers of strobe lights is that it is difficult to stop the arc mid-flash.

The Watt-Second rating of a strobe is a measure of the energy that can be stored in the capacitor (not a measure of the light output).  Higher power strobes have larger capacity capacitors, and can store more power for the flash.

Generally, the bigger the capacitor, the longer it takes to discharge, hence higher power strobes have longer flash durations.

There are three common ways to vary the power output from a strobe

1) switching in/out capacitors
2) reducing the voltage (power) stored in the capacitor
3) actually interrupting the flash


If your strobe has switches for full, 1/2 and 1/4, but no in-between settings, then it probably varies power by switching in/out capacitor banks.  1/4 power is one capacitor.  1/2 power is two, and full power is four capacitors.  With this design, whatever capacitors are online are charged to full power.  With this type of light, you get the shortest flash duration at the lowest (1/4) power.


If your strobe allows you to vary the power in small steps (perhaps 1/10 stop) then it probably works by varying the voltage/power stored in the capacitor.  These lights typically require you to wait a moment after lowering power so that excess charge can be "dumped".  With this type of light, the shortest flash duration is at full power.   


If the marketing for your flash says "Thyristor" or "IGBT", then it probably reduces output power by cutting the flash short.  The capacitor is always charged to full power, and special circuitry cuts off the arc of electricity in the middle of flash.  This is difficult to do at high power levels, which is why so few studio strobes use this method.  With this type of light you get the shorted flash duration at low power levels.

Disclaimer: the above is a generalization.  It gives a general (and grossly simplified) overview of how flashes work.  There are exceptions.

Dec 28 12 06:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

your link does not work so we are unable to comment accurately but (guessing) you got a kit with 3 250w/s strobes?  Michael is suggesting lowering the power, so (typically) turn it down fully. that is 3 stops down from full.   if it is too dark you can raise the ISO a bit or use more than one strobe.  I have several of the cheap strobes from various brands and have no trouble capturing movement such as jumps so I am curious now about what the problem might be.

I 'm sorry yes the brand is newer hmm and they are three 250w ones..
I ll turn the power down and what should I do in terms of aperture?  I use 2 or three lights at a time for full body shots (two softboxes one above the other and a fill light). So, I should turn down all three and they should have the same power right? The speed is 1/160 max.

Dec 28 12 07:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Howell
Posts: 2,211
New York, New York, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
If your strobe allows you to vary the power in small steps (perhaps 1/10 stop) then it probably works by varying the voltage/power stored in the capacitor.  These lights typically require you to wait a moment after lowering power so that excess charge can be "dumped".  With this type of light, the shortest flash duration is at full power.

Profoto's differ from that technique.

from their own literature:
"Flash Duration
The flash duration can be shortened by reducing the energy output with the dials A and B. The shortest flash duration using a Pro-7 head and a Pro-7a/1200 generator at 1/16 energy is 1/12000 sec."

Their new B4 strobe is capable of 1/25,000 sec. (w/ more power and consistency than anything from Bluff)

Dec 28 12 07:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Michael Fryd wrote:

I was not suggesting he dial down the power. I was suggesting the opposite.

If you have a selection of typical strobes, select the weakest one and set it to full power.

For instance, if you had three Alien Bee lights, 160WS, 320WS and 640WS, you would get the shortest flash duration by using the 160WS light at full power.  The 640WS light dialed down to 160WS would have a much longer flash duration.

This guideline does not apply to most modern hot shoe flashes, and lights like the Einstein.  If you are using one of these lights, then you should use the lowest power level that gives you the exposure you need.


Boring technical stuff follows - you can stop reading here:

A studio flash works by storing a lot of energy in a capacitor and then releasing that energy through the flash tube in a large burst.  This burst is like a small bolt of lightning, It starts out very bright, and fades as the capacitor is discharged.  When the capacitor is discharged below a certain level the arc of electricity can no longer be maintained and it stops.   One of the challenges facing the makers of strobe lights is that it is difficult to stop the arc mid-flash.

The Watt-Second rating of a strobe is a measure of the energy that can be stored in the capacitor (not a measure of the light output).  Higher power strobes have larger capacity capacitors, and can store more power for the flash.

Generally, the bigger the capacitor, the longer it takes to discharge, hence higher power strobes have longer flash durations.

There are three common ways to vary the power output from a strobe

1) switching in/out capacitors
2) reducing the voltage (power) stored in the capacitor
3) actually interrupting the flash


If your strobe has switches for full, 1/2 and 1/4, but no in-between settings, then it probably varies power by switching in/out capacitor banks.  1/4 power is one capacitor.  1/2 power is two, and full power is four capacitors.  With this design, whatever capacitors are online are charged to full power.  With this type of light, you get the shortest flash duration at the lowest (1/4) power.


If your strobe allows you to vary the power in small steps (perhaps 1/10 stop) then it probably works by varying the voltage/power stored in the capacitor.  These lights typically require you to wait a moment after lowering power so that excess charge can be "dumped".  With this type of light, the shortest flash duration is at full power.   


If the marketing for your flash says "Thyristor" or "IGBT", then it probably reduces output power by cutting the flash short.  The capacitor is always charged to full power, and special circuitry cuts off the arc of electricity in the middle of flash.  This is difficult to do at high power levels, which is why so few studio strobes use this method.  With this type of light you get the shorted flash duration at low power levels.

Disclaimer: the above is a generalization.  It gives a general (and grossly simplified) overview of how flashes work.  There are exceptions.

Very many information- I have to study now smile Thank you!!!

Dec 28 12 07:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


MaL kap wrote:
I 'm sorry yes the brand is newer hmm and they are three 250w ones..
I ll turn the power down and what should I do in terms of aperture?  I use 2 or three lights at a time for full body shots (two softboxes one above the other and a fill light). So, I should turn down all three and they should have the same power right? The speed is 1/160 max.

You should set your lights to full power and try again.  This may be enough to solve your problem.

Dec 28 12 08:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Dan Howell wrote:

Profoto's differ from that technique.

from their own literature:
"Flash Duration
The flash duration can be shortened by reducing the energy output with the dials A and B. The shortest flash duration using a Pro-7 head and a Pro-7a/1200 generator at 1/16 energy is 1/12000 sec."

Their new B4 strobe is capable of 1/25,000 sec. (w/ more power and consistency than anything from Bluff)

I was giving general guidelines.  There certainly are exceptions.


The Profotos sound like excellent lights.  At the prices they command they certainly should be.

Buff's lights may not be as good as Profoto, but they are a good value for the money.  For many people the Buff lights are more than good enough.

Obviously, they are not the right solution for everyone.


I will stick by my original rule of thumb: For the typical continuously variable studio light, the shortest flash duration will be when the light is set to full power.   Profotos and Einsteins are not typical lights.

Dec 28 12 08:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,933
Santa Ana, California, US


Michael Fryd wrote:
If your strobe allows you to vary the power in small steps (perhaps 1/10 stop) then it probably works by varying the voltage/power stored in the capacitor.  These lights typically require you to wait a moment after lowering power so that excess charge can be "dumped".  With this type of light, the shortest flash duration is at full power.
Dan Howell wrote:
Profoto's differ from that technique.

from their own literature:
"Flash Duration
The flash duration can be shortened by reducing the energy output with the dials A and B. The shortest flash duration using a Pro-7 head and a Pro-7a/1200 generator at 1/16 energy is 1/12000 sec."

Their new B4 strobe is capable of 1/25,000 sec. (w/ more power and consistency than anything from Bluff)

So does Balcar's Concept, which permits 1/10 stop adjustment, but as is normally the case, shortest flash durations are at lowest power settings.

Also, I have Profoto's D4 pack which also permits independently variable heads in 1/10 stop increments and the lowest settings offer the shortest flash duration.

Dec 28 12 08:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,329
Salem, Oregon, US


my studio strobes (abees, jtl) can't stop action. i saw an ad from buff showing pictures of how the einstein can, though.

you can cheat and do things like shoot the model at the top of her jump. also check your strobe to see if it's faster on full power or low power.
Dec 28 12 09:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


twoharts wrote:
my studio strobes (abees, jtl) can't stop action. i saw an ad from buff showing pictures of how the einstein can, though.

you can cheat and do things like shoot the llama at the top of her jump. also check your strobe to see if it's faster on full power or low power.

With Alien Bees, you will get a shorter flash duration at full power.  The B400 is faster than the B800.  Both are faster than the B1600.

Dec 28 12 11:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jon Winkleman Photo
Posts: 89
New York, New York, US


If budget, powering logistics, versatility and portability are concerns you may also want to consider using hotshoe speedlights. I was shooting some headshots in a shower and wanted every water droplet tack sharp frozen in space. I set a Metz 58 AF-1 to 1/15,000 of a second and got incredible results.

I first underexposed the ambient light in the room so the exposure without the strobe was black. Setting my camera for 2nd curtain flash, I powered down the speed light till I got the desired flash duration.

The new generation of on camera flashes have a tremendous output compared to the past and also have very sophisticated settings including flash durations much shorter than anything than what only very expensive pro-monolights offer.

Many pros with large budgets are adding speedlights to their on location arsenal because 3-4 speedlights take up the same space as an Einstein and weigh less. Also they run on AA batteries instead of large expensive and heavy battery packs or requiring an electrical outlet. The small size also allows them to be inserted in small spaces such as glove compartments, small boxes and places a monolight won't fit.or bungie them to a tree or telephone pole. There are also high quality full sized softboxes and other light mods designed specifically for strobists. I get great results with Westcott's lightweight and portable Apollo Series of Softboxes that were primarily designed for strobists. Many Canon and Nikon models allow you to program them for very sophisticated TTL lighting with several different groups of speedlights. I also use the multiple strobe setting for movement capture. You can create lighting effects that you can't with larger lighting units.If you are on location more than in a studio Speedlights might be worth considering.

The downside is that a battery operated flash at full power takes longer to recycle than a monolight plugged into an electrical outlet. Although speedlights now have enough power to be used in a professional setting to create very professional looking lighting, monolights are more powerful. If you mostly shoot in a studio, monolights might better serve your needs

the Strobist blog at http://strobist.blogspot.com that was mentioned before is a great source on information and techniques including where to find quality third party speedlights and modifiers. Another must read is Syl Arena's "Speedliter's Handbook." Though Arena uses Canon flashes and his examples are with Canon's the book is still the definitive strobist work for non-Canon shooters.
Dec 28 12 01:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Perrone Photography
Posts: 1
Merritt Island, Florida, US


I enjoy working with my Photoflex 650s. Adjustable power settings and recycle quickly.
Dec 28 12 01:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


MaL kap wrote:

I 'm sorry yes the brand is newer hmm and they are three 250w ones..
I ll turn the power down and what should I do in terms of aperture?  I use 2 or three lights at a time for full body shots (two softboxes one above the other and a fill light). So, I should turn down all three and they should have the same power right? The speed is 1/160 max.

if they are Neewer then I am baffled. They should work for you.  I have a few of them (paid a lot more than the current pricing, ouch).  Models jumping so their dress billows out. Models spinning so their dress twirls around them.  Never been a problem freezing the action.  Getting the models to land softly and not wake up a kid in the basement on the seventh try is a problem.  I typically shoot around f8, ISO 100, 1/160 or 1/200 sec from about 10-15 ft (3-5m) away. I have no clue what the t. times are on them.  Pretty sure they don't publish it.  On their website, they claim a flash duration from 1/800 to 1/2000 sec but that's total, not t.x time.

Dec 28 12 01:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


twoharts wrote:
my studio strobes (abees, jtl) can't stop action. i saw an ad from buff showing pictures of how the einstein can, though.

you can cheat and do things like shoot the model at the top of her jump. also check your strobe to see if it's faster on full power or low power.

Thanks I ll do that! Do i have to keep in mind anything specific  in terms of aperture?

Dec 28 12 01:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Innovative Imagery
Posts: 2,815
Los Angeles, California, US


Make sure the room lights or sunlight in the room is low.  that way they won't contribute to the recording of the image and make blur.
Dec 28 12 01:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


Dec 28 12 01:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:

if they are Neewer then I am baffled. They should work for you.  I have a few of them (paid a lot more than the current pricing, ouch).  Models jumping so their dress billows out. Models spinning so their dress twirls around them.  Never been a problem freezing the action.  Getting the models to land softly and not wake up a kid in the basement on the seventh try is a problem.  I typically shoot around f8, ISO 100, 1/160 or 1/200 sec from about 10-15 ft (3-5m) away. I have no clue what the t. times are on them.  Pretty sure they don't publish it.  On their website, they claim a flash duration from 1/800 to 1/2000 sec but that's total, not t.x time.

So which power do you use for shortest fast duration??
These are the settings I use, something is  wrong with my gear hmm ..
Thank you for your advice. I find it very very useful wink

Dec 28 12 01:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


MaL kap wrote:

So which power do you use for shortest fast duration??
These are the settings I use, something is  wrong with my gear hmm ..
Thank you for your advice. I find it very very useful wink

honestly I never gave it a thought.  I never had a problem with blur, either in the model's body or the fabric moving. I just shoot at whatever power level works for the exposures.  models jumping is pretty standard for the fitness work here.  sometimes its bright light against a white seamless, sometimes its darker and contrasty with hair lights and side lights against a black background.  the strip lights are usually on minimum because they are really close to the model. the rest? who knows.

The only time I ever have problem with blur is at runway fashion when the models decide to take tight turns and I'm stuck shooting without flash.  Maybe your problem is not in the strobes but somewhere else?  What about ambient light? is your studio space dark enough so that you dont get ambient added to the equation ?  Are you shooting at wide open apertures to let in a lot of light? these are possibilities.

Dec 28 12 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,933
Santa Ana, California, US


BTW: I sync at 1/250 in the studio pretty religiously and also keep the room lights on (don't like shooting in the dark) and have no issue with the natural light interfering. If the flash doesn't fire, the frame's black. Oh, I should say, I'm typically no more open than 5.6 usually 8 and above.

EDIT:
Also, for what I'd try with the packs to get the fastest/shortest flash duration: I'd try the minimum setting before I'd try the maximum - that's much more common.
Dec 28 12 03:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


MaL kap wrote:

So which power do you use for shortest fast duration??
These are the settings I use, something is  wrong with my gear hmm ..
Thank you for your advice. I find it very very useful wink

My guess is that your lights have their shortest duration at full power.

Run a test and see.

Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling.  Let it swing side to side in a wide arc.  It will be moving the fastest at the exact bottom of the swing.  Take a few test shots at various power levels.  See which show the least amount of motion blur.  My guess is that will be full power.

Note: if you had a different brand of lights (Profoto, Einstein, Vivatar hot shoe flash), the shortest flash duration would be at minimum power.

Dec 28 12 06:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
VisiFoto
Posts: 501
Knoxville, Tennessee, US


Sam Cantu wrote:
The Paul C Buff alien bees actually shoot so slow that you can use higher shutter speeds.  Here in Texas in the summer and middle of the day ive shot at 1/800th at 2.8 using the pocket wizard tt5 triggers is the key. both curtains will move pass across the sensor before the strobe has finished firing.  forget about blue skies though. 
If you just want a fast strobe then use the Einsteins from the same company.  those are as fast as it gets, accept maybe for the new prophotos that just came out but these are less then $500 each. cheaper then my Nikon speedlight camera mounted flashes.

The little B400 is faster than the B800 or B1600, at the lower power settings. Einstein is twice as fast as the B400 for twice the price. I like my 400, plan to get a bunch more.

B400 = 160 Ws
•0.5 second recycle to full power
flash duration t5
1/6000 second (at full power)
1/3000 second (at 1/32 power)
flash duration t1
1/2000 second (at full power)
1/1000 second (at 1/32 power)

B800 = 320 Ws
1 second recycle to full power
flash duration t5
1/3300 second (at full power)
1/1650 second (at 1/32 power)
flash duration t1
1/1100 second (at full power)
1/550 second (at 1/32 power)

B1600 = 640 Ws
2 seconds recycle to full power
flash duration t5
1/1800 second (at full power)
1/900 second (at 1/32 power)
flash duration t1
1/600 second (at full power)
1/300 second (at 1/32 power)

Einstein = 640 Ws
640 Ws max. at full power; 2.5 Ws min. at 1/256 power
1/10 to 1.7 seconds recycle to full power
flash duration t5
1/2,000 second at full power
Flash Duration (t.1) - in Action Mode
from 1/588 to 1/13,500 second
Flash Duration (t.1) - in Color Mode
from 1/588 to 1/8,000 second

t0.1 and t0.5 is when the flash energy is above 10% and 50% respectively.

Dec 28 12 07:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Michael Fryd wrote:

My guess is that your lights have their shortest duration at full power.

Run a test and see.

Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling.  Let it swing side to side in a wide arc.  It will be moving the fastest at the exact bottom of the swing.  Take a few test shots at various power levels.  See which show the least amount of motion blur.  My guess is that will be full power.

Note: if you had a different brand of lights (Profoto, Einstein, Vivatar hot shoe flash), the shortest flash duration would be at minimum power.

I happened to have a neewer 180 and a neewer 300 nearby so I tested using as ceiling fan at highest speed (hurricane force).  couldnt see any blur at any power level from full down to minimum.  This is what I expected. had there been blur at any power level I would have noticed it. I dont think you need really fast to capture jumps.  You dont need it to freeze a ceiling fan, which is a total blur to the naked eye.

Dec 28 12 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Lorrin
Posts: 6,959
Eugene, Oregon, US


Something happened in last 20 years with strobes.

I sold a lot of high end strobe systems..Norman, Ascor, Balcar, Bowens, Bogan, Sunpack (AC), Stroblox, Sunlight, Photogenic Elincrom, White lightning coffee cans, Broncolor.

The old rule was the lower the power level - the faster the effective shutter speed (exception Sunlight by Ascor)

Then something happened -- Reading White-lightning data sheets  - I was surprised to see it was no longer true.

Yes I called them

Then I called them again about how their new flash tubes had a faster flash speed than their older ones with a smaller tube diameter.

So it now appears that flash tube shape and diameter can change flash duration.

Age of flash tube may be another .

Since I no longer work in stores with the instruments to test tubes and do not have the relationship with manufactures that I used too - I now have more questions but do not have the test equipment or the testing samples.

I am sure that some people out there can fill in some of the blanks.

Right now the question about flash speed and the shape or the diameter of the tube might be one such question I have never seen discussed.
Dec 28 12 10:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,528
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Sam Cantu wrote:
The Paul C Buff alien bees actually shoot so slow that you can use higher shutter speeds.  Here in Texas in the summer and middle of the day ive shot at 1/800th at 2.8 using the pocket wizard tt5 triggers is the key. both curtains will move pass across the sensor before the strobe has finished firing.  forget about blue skies though. 
If you just want a fast strobe then use the Einsteins from the same company.  those are as fast as it gets, accept maybe for the new prophotos that just came out but these are less then $500 each. cheaper then my Nikon speedlight camera mounted flashes.

Reason I went Einsteins.
Shooting Dancers and birds in flight. Yes in studio. Takes well behaved subjects. Not saying which of the 2 are better behaved.

Dec 29 12 01:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,528
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Nick Peluffo wrote:
This thread is getting confusing so I'll just add to that:

If you're shooting indoors, your 1/160th shutter duration should not interfere with the flash duration as long as you can darken the room enough or keep your aperture small enough. If not, you will see some "ghosting" (you'll have a sharp image captured with the flash and a faint blur from the ambient light) It's very distinctive, you'll know when you see it.
As long as you separate your background from your subject you can use slower strobes for the non-moving stuff. they will all fall withn your sync speed.

generally speaking, except for specific, and expensive ones, strobes are much slower than speedlights. Unless they say specifically that they have short burst duration (it's a selling point), Strobes typically have a gradual curve to their burst so, when a strobe fires at 1/600th of a second, you still get some light for twice as long or more. They will not freeze motion and will sometimes cause the same ghosting.

speedlights flash even faster as you decrease power, most cheap strobes actually do the opposite.

If you have some powerful manual speedlights, you can double them side-by-side to get decent depth of field and lower their power setting. You should be able to get decent speeds.
the nissin 866, for example has a burst duration of 3.3ms (1/333) at full power, but it goes down to .03ms (1/33,333) at minimum. at 1/4 power, you should be able to freeze most action (the bat of a fly's wing is about 3.3ms).

Yep.

Know a bird photographer who sets up 2-3 banks of 5 speedlights. Not that he needs that much power, but he gets razor sharp Hummingbird wings, in flight.

Dec 29 12 01:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,528
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


photoimager wrote:
The fastest studio flash unit is the Hensel Speedmax and it also has a strobe mode, something most studio flash units do not have:
- down to 1/66 000 ( 1/66,000 for those on the other side of the pond )
http://www.hensel.eu/en/products/compac … d-max.html
The fastest budget studio flash unit is probably the Einstein.

The cheapest route to short flash durations are speedlights / hotshoe flashes at low power.

Hensel ... nice.
And if I ever decide to sell the Ferrari, I'll buy some.

Dec 29 12 01:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


I am so happy and grateful to all of you for answering. You helped me a lot. Thank you smile
Dec 29 12 03:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orcatek Photography
Posts: 1,686
Tempe, Arizona, US


Plain old alien bees did these two

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1yom5kUFa1qzp5wio2_1280.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101022/18/4cc23a02ed2a3.jpg
Dec 29 12 03:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


Orcatek Photography wrote:
Plain old alien bees did these two

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1yom5kUFa1qzp5wio2_1280.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101022/18/4cc23a02ed2a3.jpg

nice images! out of curiosity, what power levels were you using for the two shots?

the more I think about this issue, the more I think it must be 'something that used to be true but no longer isn't'  or 'something that was confused'.  when one of my kids wakes up (the official line is 213 to 1 on the oldest) I will get them to jump and flip hair and stuff in daylight and find the shutter speed that freezes them.  I know it will be way below 1/800 and 1/600, I'm better closer to 1/250. 1/250th freezes the ceiling fan in daylight.  you are going to need a flash pop around 1/200 sec to get blur. 

Even ABs seem to be able to do better than that. so this brings us back to the OP.  if it's not the strobe times then what is the problem?  ambient light? narrow DOF? anyone have ideas for the OP to test?


somewhat unrelated, there were a few threads this past summer about air shows where they have the opposite problem. I learned you have to keep the shutter speed down below 1/600 if you want to KEEP the blur on the props.  As I found out shooting the ceiling fan, a blade that isnt turning is really boring.  sometimes you want the blur. Freezing it, turns out, is relatively easy in both cases.

Dec 29 12 08:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SKITA Studios
Posts: 1,564
Boston, Massachusetts, US


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
when one of my kids wakes up (the official line is 213 to 1 on the oldest) I will get them to jump and flip hair and stuff in daylight and find the shutter speed that freezes them.  I know it will be way below 1/800 and 1/600, I'm better closer to 1/250.

Depends if you pixel peep or not.  If you don't, I can see that working.
I can tell you if you get a model to whip their hair, you'll need a T.1 of around 1/2000 in studio.
If you have ambient sunlight, you'll need a shutter of 1/2000 too, just like trying to take pics of tennis players to freeze the ball on the strings.

I'm actually fairly impressed w/ how well the Einsteins work for this.  You have to keep the power fairly low, but that's easy to do in-studio.  I've never had luck w/ pixel peeping sharpness w/ profoto D1s (terrible even compared to AB400's).  Broncolor had a nasty blog post about Profoto's pre-ignition system too...apparently, it causes blur because it's effectively raising ambient before the real strobe pulse, so the Broncolor IGBT stuff works a lot better...

Dec 29 12 08:25 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,498
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I'm happy with 1/1000. For this shoot, Kassandra was tossing her hair around so fast she got dizzy and had to sit down. My Photogenic Powerlight 1500 (1/1000 at full, shooting at 1/4 had me closer to 1/600) still froze her hair quite well at breakneck speeds. There may be a bit of blown out nonsense in her hair, but it's pretty damn frozen.

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/flash_frozen_full.jpg

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/flash_frozen.jpg
Dec 29 12 08:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


As with many things in life, measuring flash duration is not as simple as it sounds.

Two flashes with identical t.5 flash durations may have different abilities to stop action.  t.5 is the time it take the strobe to output half of the flash.  How long the remaining half takes depends in the technology used in the strobe.

A traditional light with a 1 millisecond t.5 time may have a total flash duration of over 4 milliseconds.

A strobe that use IGBT (or equivalent) technology with a 1 millisecond t.5 time, may output 99.9% of the power in that same millisecond.

Thus the IGBT strobe will stop action better than a traditional strobe with the same t.5 rating.


There's a good explanation of this on Paul Buff's web site:
http://www.paulcbuff.com/sfe-flashduration.php


Buff's Einstein is one example of an affordable light built with IGBT technology.   I mention the Einstein because I am familiar with Mr. Buff's products.   I am sure there are other brands that offer similar functionality.  I encourage those familiar with other brands to make appropriate recommendations.
Dec 30 12 01:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


SKITA Studios wrote:

Depends if you pixel peep or not.  If you don't, I can see that working.
I can tell you if you get a model to whip their hair, you'll need a T.1 of around 1/2000 in studio.
If you have ambient sunlight, you'll need a shutter of 1/2000 too, just like trying to take pics of tennis players to freeze the ball on the strings.

I'm actually fairly impressed w/ how well the Einsteins work for this.  You have to keep the power fairly low, but that's easy to do in-studio.  I've never had luck w/ pixel peeping sharpness w/ profoto D1s (terrible even compared to AB400's).  Broncolor had a nasty blog post about Profoto's pre-ignition system too...apparently, it causes blur because it's effectively raising ambient before the real strobe pulse, so the Broncolor IGBT stuff works a lot better...

It was a dark day so i didnt bother playing with ambient to find out what the real speeds are, just used the strobes with the blackout curtains closed.  As I mentioned before these strobes dont have published tea times, just total flash duration (1/2000 down to 1/800) and there was no problem freezing hair. or freezing a ceiling fan.   just like the other poster had no problem freezing motion or hair with ABs in the images posted.  For the OPs application, its just not a problem. I'm sure for other things you need to keep the issues in mind. After all, nobody would care about t.5 and t.1 times if they didnt matter somewhere.  Just not required to play with jumping models anymore.  might have been in the past? i have no clue.

Dec 30 12 09:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


I got my Canon 6D and my new Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS and tested my neewer lights at the lowest power (2*250w on the left side).

First Problem!- I get a curtain over 1/125now! as opposed to when I used my Canon 450d with canon 18-135 IS - where I could use 1/160! Isn't it too slow of a speed so as to capture a moving subject? Why do I get a curtain now on even lower speed???

As good as the lens might be- I got blur on both low and high flash power settings. Not very much- but the results are not professionaly clear.. Settings used  1/125, iso 100, f8-11, no ambient light, tripod. I focused with the centre point at the subjects mid point.
Dec 31 12 02:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


MaL kap wrote:
I got my Canon 6D and my new Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS and tested my neewer lights at the lowest power (2*250w on the left side).

First Problem!- I get a curtain over 1/125now! as opposed to when I used my Canon 450d with canon 18-135 IS - where I could use 1/160! Isn't it too slow of a speed so as to capture a moving subject? Why do I get a curtain now on even lower speed???

As good as the lens might be- I got blur on both low and high flash power settings. Not very much- but the results are not professionaly clear.. Settings used  1/125, iso 100, f8-11, no ambient light, tripod. I focused with the centre point at the subjects mid point.

Could you post an image showing the problem?  Perhaps it isn't motion blur?

Try putting a stationary object next to the model (such as a stool or an autopole).  See if you have the same issues with the stationary object.

Dec 31 12 04:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


ok so i did some tests and here are the results. I used two neewer  strobes on the left side one softbox above the other in lowest and highest power. I used a tripod and my 6D with the 70-100  f/2.8 IS. I see some serious motion blur. Any ideas? 1/125 shutter speed- any higher and i get a curtain..

http://michaelfryd.com/posts/maria-kap- … -power.jpg

http://michaelfryd.com/posts/maria-kap- … -power.jpg
Jan 01 13 05:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


and I used the middle point. Which is the best way to focus for getting a clear face?
Jan 05 13 12:11 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,498
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


MaL kap wrote:
and I used the middle point. Which is the best way to focus for getting a clear face?

Focus on the face.

Jan 05 13 01:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


-JAY- wrote:

Focus on the face.

The subject is jumping, so you suggest that i focus on the face and not use alservo  (canon user)? moving subject focusing..

Jan 05 13 01:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


in case people didnt notice, those two images were hosted by Michael Fryd.  Thanks for helping smile

I'm wondering about the curtain at 1/125.  perhaps change out the batteries on the trigger/receiver?  You should be able to do 1/160 easy.  I'm not sure it will make a difference with blur/focus issues but at least it will be in the zone.  we may not find a solution to your motion problem but at least we should be able to fix the banding and get you up to a proper shutter speed for studio.
Jan 05 13 02:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M K
Posts: 251
Athens, Attikí, Greece


AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
in case people didnt notice, those two images were hosted by Michael Fryd.  Thanks for helping smile

I'm wondering about the curtain at 1/125.  perhaps change out the batteries on the trigger/receiver?  You should be able to do 1/160 easy.  I'm not sure it will make a difference with blur/focus issues but at least it will be in the zone.  we may not find a solution to your motion problem but at least we should be able to fix the banding and get you up to a proper shutter speed for studio.

Many Many thanks to Michael for Hosting!!!
The batteries on the receiver are 2 rechargable AAA batteries always charged to full power. As for the trigger- (as you know since you have neewer) it is a tricky battery- do not know the size.. And to change it you have to practically brake the trigger and then put it back hmm I have changed it though.. But you are right when I put the fully charged batteries on the receiver there is a bit of a difference - the curtain is much lighter- but the discoloration is still there...

Jan 06 13 08:57 am  Link  Quote 
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