So, I Was Testing One of My Shiny New 580EX IIs Today...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by musicaleCA, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    And at one point my gel was melting from all the heat that thing puts out. I swear I could fry an egg with that flash. :lol:

    Still, today was fun; rocked my photos with the ST-E2 transmitter and a softbox on the flash. First time really getting the flash off-camera too. Next time I'm gonna bring my other 580, just so I can swap when one starts to melt my gels again.

    Anyone else roast a gel? >.>
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are melting gels, here is what you are doing wrong:

    1. using coloured plastic instead of quality gels (I made my own set from Rosco gel sheets, and they are pretty much impossible to melt, even with a 1000 W/s studio head using them over a 4 hour and 1000 picture time period... so far, 5 times. they still look 100% new). A 20 X 24 inch sheet cost me $7Cdn and I can make a LOT of speedlight gels out of that sheet. Enough to last me a lifetime. I also bought 2 sheets that were 1/2 CTO and set up my velcro on the cut gels so that I could stack them to make a full CTO or more, for more dramtic effects when I so desire.

    2. hold your speedlight gels in place with velcro

    3. make sure the gel is NOT so tight that it is flat against the flash. it should be rounded and have an air gap, with a good 1/4" - 1/2" gap in the middle. This will not affect your shots.

    If you melt the gel to the fresnel, all your shots without gels will look like crap and you can over time damage the flash.

    Free hint:
    Are you using a ROSCO sample pack that are just a little too short? Extend the sides by adding a little duct or gaffers tape, that is what I then attach a sliver of velcro to, that will hold the gel to my speedlight. I placed the loop side velcro on the flash in such a manner that it does NOT interfere with the usage of the factory diffuser. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  3. dave196

    dave196 TPF Noob!

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    Whilst working on a film set, the lighting guy managed to burn an epic hole in a bounce board, as the inners work well as diffusers.
    But that makes sence considering it was 2ft away from a 1k light.
    I remember melting a gel, as it was clipped onto the bard doors of a 1k for around an hour, just kinda bent more than anything.
    As for a flash, never even got close to melting a gel on one!
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh yeah, a constant on light can cause way more damage than a flash and gels are made to be used under high temp situations, but if you want an eye opener, set your speedlight to 1/64th, cup your hand over the fresnel and press the test button... you WILL feel the warmth, and it will be more than you expect. Do NOT do this a lot

    But it is also easy to blow a speedlight, especially if you use an external power-pack or do not follow factory recommended cool-down times. All you have to do is set it to 1/2 or 1/1 power and pop off 40-50 shots in rapid succession... voila, burnt out speedlight. At that point, it doesn't matter what kind of gel you use... lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Jerry: I'm using the gels and holder thingamajig from LumiQuest (it's mostly a conveniece thing of having gels at my fingertips; I'm using light modifiers anyway so I don't care much about not having the flash's bounce card and diffuser). I think I was just strapping it to tight too the flash. The melting only really started when I had to compensate for a red light in the room with a deep red gel, which really eats light; I was on ETTL so I think the flash must've been firing at 1/2 or 1/1; a CTO eats way less light. Thank goodness I caught that it was heating up. The ambient temperature was high and that didn't help much either, I suppose. That and the recycle time from zero to full power on my 580 is less than three seconds, with those new NiMH batteries. Shooting ETTL it's easy to lose track of how much strain is being put on the flash.

    Thanks for the tip Jerry. :)
     
  6. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Were you repeatedly horse whipping your flash at full power?
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    No no, in fact, I had the flash's exposure comp set below 0 much of the time (to balance ambient and flash light; I would have loved a higher ISO than 400).
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Flash compensation means nothing. You can set it to -3 and full power will still be the right exposure. Generally though if your flash fires over about 1/4 it generates a short but very hot burst of heat. Try it. Put your flash up to your ear and blast it full power. It is amazing what those little things can do.
     

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