My flash melts faces...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Village Idiot, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Or gels...

    This was after probably about 3-4 pops at full power. It was sitting behind my bike:
    [​IMG]

    I posted these just showing off the pics in another thread, but here's what happened; I was taking pictures with my 580EX II sitting behind the bike with a dark red gel over it to see what kind of effect I could get off the back lighting. So I was coming out with some good effect:
    [​IMG]

    And about my fourth or fifth shot I noticed that the 580EX II wasn't firing. I remembered some one saying it would do that because of some built in thing to keep it from over heating and melting down and figure that was the cause. I waiting a minute then snapped three more shots, and though that something looked a bit funny on my lcd...my red back light changed to purple?:
    [​IMG]

    I went to check after the third shot and sure enough, I melted a hole in the gel. I really like the color you get from it, so I'm going to keep it and try not to melt it anymore. Fortunately the flash is fine. I was playing with it last night at my friend's place.
     
  2. GwagDesigns

    GwagDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Wow, i never knew the flash got hot enough to melt a gel, interesting.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    I saw a photo somewhere, where a guy had fired his 580 with the head up against his leg/pants...(I guess to drain the batteries or something). It burnt a stain into the fabric...

    Did you need to be shooting at full power? Could you have opened up two stops and shot at 1/4 power?
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Was that name brand gel (Rosco, Lee, Apollo)? Or was it basically just some colored plastic sheet from a craft store? I'm thinking the latter, Real gel should not melt, we put gel in 6" front of 1000watt Halogen lamps and after weeks of use its just starts to wrinkle.

    Theres nothing wrong with using cheap gel, just go easy on the duty cycle, or pay a bit more and go for some Roscolux or whatever is available.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was shooting at f/5.6 1/250 mostly. The side lights were at full power and 1/2 and I wanted the back light bright. I wanted to keep the aperture a little narrower for a sharper shot.

    I think it was a rosco sample pack. They are real gels, just it was on my 580EX II at full power. That's one of the most powerful speed lights out iirc. They do produce some heat. David Hobby has a picture of an SB800 that's melted here. If a speed light can melt the hard plastic that's intended to stand up to that abuse, a gel is no problem.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Set it to manual 1/1 and place it against your upper lip (lots of nerve endings are great for sensing temperature).

    You'll be amazed how hot it gets for a split second. As for buring through gels, my flash does this if I don't wait more than about 10-15 seconds between triggers.

    Also not sure about the Canon's but I have managed to get my SB-800 to become so warm that the flash has shut down just flashing the red ready light at me telling me it's time to cool off.

    They really are a sun in the pocket.
     
  7. Mesoam

    Mesoam TPF Noob!

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    i like the effect though...did you shoot one with no color on the flash?
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, that's in the picture post on here. It turned out blue though. I had the other two flashes gelled cto because of the garage light and I wanted the back light to show up blue.
     
  9. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess the key is to keep the gel a bit away from the touching the flash; the heat transfer from one surface to another is much greater than if there is a gap of air between them. I made a cheap gel holder using some of the plastic edges from a report cover that squeezes the pages together. It holds the gel perfectly. I still need to make a new on for my recently purchased speedlight. I'll post a pic of it when its done. I think my old one got thrown out when I moved last month
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is a gap between my 580 and the gel. It's not huge, but it's there.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I suppose that they put out a lot more heat than you were aware of. ;) :D

    Increase the space between the gel and flash. At the edges, in your pic it looks like its near touching and thats where it's melted. A 1/2" gap at the sides and at least a 1" gap in the middle will likely let you take 20-30 pics before it dies again unless you give it a min or 2 between shots to cool down.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It melted inwards like that. I took like 10-15 shots about 5-15 seconds apart. Plus it was at full power. The vivitar on the right was a full power with a CTO gel over it and did nothing.
     

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