I cannot control my strobes...Hmm

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dubious Drewski, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    My strobes have a dial for the strength of light that is emitted, as you can see here:

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that it only seems to affect the modelling lamp strength and not the strobe strength. If I set it to full power or lowest power, the modelling light changes like it should, but the strobe light always fires at full strength, no matter what.

    What am I missing? The manual even says "You can adjust the brightness of the flash by turning the flash output dial clockwise for more power or counterclockwise for less power"

    That seems pretty straightforward to me!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How are you measuring the flash output? In other words...How do you know that the flash is firing at full power every time?
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I suspect it is changing your flash output but it will increase the modeling light as well so that way if you had a second light you can still see the lighting ratio. Do you have a meter to check?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A meter shouldn't be required to check. Just put the camera in manual and fire off a series of test shots while adjusting the power of the light.

    (keep in mind that when you turn the power down, you may need fire a test/dump, in order to dump the stored power. The next shot will be at the newly adjusted strength.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    True, but setting ratios is much easier with a meter and a meter would be the easiest way to confirm if the light output is being changed.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well sure, setting ratios is best done with a meter...but we are just trying to confirm if the light is actually changing it's output or not. You don't need a meter or a second light. Just a camera and about 20 seconds worth of testing.
     
  7. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Well, I went and tested it. Here is photographic proof. What could I possibly be doing wrong here?

    [​IMG]

    The strobe I changed was the one out of the frame to the left. Camera was on full manual.
     
  8. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Oh wait. I just tried it again. Draining the capacitor seems to be the solution.

    For the first time in a long while, I am happy to feel foolish.
     
  9. Rich Ardt

    Rich Ardt TPF Noob!

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    By "draining the capacitor" you mean firing the strobe after adjusting it right? In other words "dumping the stored power" as Big Mike said.

    That's a question. Just to confirm that is what u did by "draining the capacitor". Cos it sounds like something I have never done before. :)
     
  10. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Yes, that's what I was saying, in different words. What stores the energy within the circuit is called a capacitor. I forgot that not everyone might call it that. ;)

    Yay! For a while there, I was afraid that I had some malfunctioning strobes!
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thats the first time I see or hear of this.

    On my strobes, I set it to full, take a pic... set it to minimum, take a pic... I *see* the difference.

    I would think that this is a PITA to need to discharge the CAP, every time I make an adjustment to the strobes.

    Live and learn. When/if I replace these studio strobes one day, avoiding this trait will be #3 on the list of important features. #1 will be the W/s that I need and #2 will be consistancy of WB in all strength settings.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some lights will adjust/drain on their own...although it might take a few seconds. My Alienbees are like that. if I turn the power up to full...it will take a second to charge, then the ready (OK) light will come on. If I have it charged up and turn the power down, the 'Dump' light will come on...showing that there is more stored power than needed. If I't left on it's own, it will cycle itself and the light will go off...or I push the test button to fire a flash (or just fire the flash from the camera).

    Glad to see that you figured it out.
     

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