Speedotron Brown Line Obsession


TPF Noob!
Jan 18, 2021
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I have @Derrel, @tirediron, and others’ posts here and on YouTube to thank for leading me up into the affordable, American-made, seemingly bulletproof light of Speedotron’s Brown Line.

I’m one of those dumb millennials shooting 6x7 in 2021. I’m looking at working ISO’s of 100 or less, thin DOF at f/10, and a TTL-free workflow. The Brown Line was made for me.

Just came into possession of a D1204, a D802D LV, 2 M11’s, 2 M90’s, 3 MW3RC’s, strip boxes, umbrellas, modifiers, etc. etc.

Got two questions for y’all, the most experienced Speedo Brown Line users online:

1. I am tempted to buy a third pack that does 200w/s “low” firing - either the D802 or D402. How much does the 80’s era D802 weigh? Seeing as the D802 does 800, 400, and 200 w/s, is there any reason I’d want a more modern D402 over a D802? Just weight? Flash durations?

2. I need to use one channel (the 4th in a three-point setup) on one of these rigs to wash a red brick wall indoors at a 40 degree angle as evenly as possible from ~ 18ft away. Said brick wall is ~35ft wide and ~23 ft tall, and the ceilings are dark unfinished timber. This is going down @ ISO 100 @ f/10. I’m going to purchase a big modifier for this task.

If you can only choose one head/modifier combo, would you pick:

- a 7” reflector on an M11 firing directly at the wall?

- An M90 bouncing into a 60” soft silver umbrella w/ or w/out a diffusion cover?

- An M11 on a 60” Fotodiox octabox with or w/or w/out diffusion panels?

Your collective wisdom on Speedo gear has proven to be priceless! Thanks again for all of your contributions.
FWIW, I have used Speedotron Black Line since 1985 and still own my packs and heads.

I'll take a stab at the weight of the D802, likely in the 12 lb. range as the newer D802 LV is 12 lbs. You say you are shooting 6x7 and ISO100, go with more power of the D802.

As for your lighting question, hmm I think you are going to have some challenges with your setup. If I understand your question, you want to evenly light a 35' x 23' brick wall from 18' away with enough oomph to yield a correct exposure at ISO100 and f10? I'd suggest you be open to pull your light further way to have the inverse square law work in your favour and by doing so you will need more power. You could test your D1204 with a meter at 18' and walk out your width to see if it yields the output you are looking for. I would use a high output modifier like a 11.5" 55 degree reflector but if your 7" is an umbrella reflector it should cover the width but you may need more watt/seconds.

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