Stobes for high speed photography

skap

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Hello everyone !
I have to throw paint at my model and freeze it in a Karl Taylor style.
I need 4 strobes (backlight, two soft box and a beauty dish) for around a ground or max 1500$.
Any ideas ?
 

Mike_E

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Look for the flash duration at power settings in the specifications.

Most will have shorter durations at lower power and from there it's a matter of matching the wps total lowered to your required output at your needed duration. If a 600ws has a flash duration of less than 1/4000 seconds at 1/8th power then for a 1/4000 shot you could use this at 1/8 and lower. Make sure that you don't over-power yourself or you'll have to move the strobe even further back than you might like..

So if you need 1/4000 of a second @ f5.6 to get the shot you look for one that will give you enough power at the distance you need to have them away from the model to keep paint off of the equipment in the power setting that gives you what you need. You can find out what you need with a flash meter and a single strobe (borrowed if needs be), just work out the distances involved for your desired settings and multiply the stated ws (600ws, 400ws 300ws and so on) by 1/whatever the setting is (1/2, 1/4, 1/128- whatever) on the strobe that gives you the required as measured by your flash meter. You are effectively dividing the number on the strobe by 2, 4, 128 or whatever.

HTH
 
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tirediron

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^^ That. I seem to recall a recent ad in one of my magazines extolling the virtues of the super-short flash duration of the Alien Bee line.
 

Buckster

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PCB's Alien Bees top out at 1/6,000 second and that's at full power on the B400. The PCB Einstein is a faster strobe at 1/13,000 second:

Which Strobe Has The Shortest Flash Duration: Profoto, Broncolor, or Einstein? | Fstoppers

When it comes to real stopping speed though, you can't beat speedlights at 1/30,000 to 1/60,000 to possibly even twice that (see the video at the link below):

How Fast Is Your Strobe? | DIYPhotography.net

As mentioned above, the secret to fastest speeds (shortest durations) with speedlights is to use them at low power settings (opposite of studio strobes, which achieve their fastest durations at max power). If that's prohibitive because it's not bright enough and you can't get them closer to your subject, you can always use several of them. The YN-460 speedlight featured in the video clip that was so freaky-fast is cheap enough that you could get 20 of them plus triggers and batteries and still be under your $1500 budget.
 

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Here is an article you might like to read.Flash Duration for Studio Flash ? Jerry Schmidt | Photographic Education - JerryCentral

Be aware that "some" manufacturers list their flash durations using the T 0.5 method, versus the more real-world T.1 method, in an effort to make ther flashes "seem" faster...cough,cough...

Also, I believe that some of the newer studio flash units which use IGBT cicuitry reach their shortest durations when set to LOWER power, and not higher power. The majority of studio flash units work like speedlights: lower power, shorter flash durations. Speedotron units for example, work JUST like speedlight do, in that they have their shortest durations at LOW power, such as a T 0.5 duration of of 1/1200 seconds at 300 Watt-seconds thru a 102 head, as opposed to 1/225 T 0.5 time at 1,200 Watt-seconds through the same head (source : Studio Flash Duration Chart).
 

Gavjenks

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Keep in mind that you could probably get your equipment closer than you might think if you just protect it with a piece of clear plastic tarp. Unlike a camera, you don't need optical quality clear things in front of your flashes (although you may want to avoid excessive wrinkles that threaten hotspots or loss of light which would defeat the purpose). If that can get you 3x closer, then that's a lot of money saved over the alternative of buying 9x as many lights to make up for the extra distance at the same speed of flash.
 
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skap

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Thanks everyone for your advices. I am gonna go for renting a few Einsteins ... just sound better than 20 flashes to trigger and it look more professional.
Before anything else i am sorry im beeing so lazy not creating a new thread.
But i still want to buy my own strobes (I aint gonna drive 4h everytime i want to use strobes).
Any advices on a good bang for the buck on an entry level but reliable Kit with 4 strobes (400W or so), large soft boxes, modeling lamps, etc ... No batteries since generator running on fuel would be cheaper.
AlienBees are quite good but i'm wondering about the ECD400 from StrobePro.com. Does adorama have better ?
Thanks in advance and sorry again.
 

Mach0

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Thanks everyone for your advices. I am gonna go for renting a few Einsteins ... just sound better than 20 flashes to trigger and it look more professional.
Before anything else i am sorry im beeing so lazy not creating a new thread.
But i still want to buy my own strobes (I aint gonna drive 4h everytime i want to use strobes).
Any advices on a good bang for the buck on an entry level but reliable Kit with 4 strobes (400W or so), large soft boxes, modeling lamps, etc ... No batteries since generator running on fuel would be cheaper.
AlienBees are quite good but i'm wondering about the ECD400 from StrobePro.com. Does adorama have better ?
Thanks in advance and sorry again.

A generator is going to be huge ! Might want to consider the flashpoint strobes. Their battery pack is inexpensive.
 

Mike_E

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Thanks everyone for your advices. I am gonna go for renting a few Einsteins ... just sound better than 20 flashes to trigger and it look more professional.
Before anything else i am sorry im beeing so lazy not creating a new thread.
But i still want to buy my own strobes (I aint gonna drive 4h everytime i want to use strobes).
Any advices on a good bang for the buck on an entry level but reliable Kit with 4 strobes (400W or so), large soft boxes, modeling lamps, etc ... No batteries since generator running on fuel would be cheaper.
AlienBees are quite good but i'm wondering about the ECD400 from StrobePro.com. Does adorama have better ?
Thanks in advance and sorry again.

Since you're in the general point of origin for them why not see if you can find some Metz 60 CT-4s? They have a battery pack, best thyristors ever and have about 300ws adjustable down to 1/256.

You can also get lithium batteries for them that will go all day or you can rig a battery holder for a pair of lithium 26650 5000 mah batteries that will give you 10 amp hours total and will really last. The batteries made for the flashes are about $75 US and the 26650s are about $8~$10 each plus $16~$20 for a charger. If you have more than one you'll quickly see why I mentioned the 26650s, plus you can keep an extra set or two if you are a long way from home.
 

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