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Author Topic: Strobes for stopping water  (Read 4901 times)

gr8fl4295

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Strobes for stopping water
« on: June 26, 2009, 12:37:49 pm »

Wondering which strobes are the best for stopping water, drops, splashes, etc.
Profoto?
Broncolor?
others?

and which models?


Thanks.
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Geoff Wittig

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 01:17:32 pm »

Quote from: gr8fl4295
Wondering which strobes are the best for stopping water, drops, splashes, etc.
Profoto?
Broncolor?
others?

and which models?


Thanks.

Well, any flash/strobe system will freeze water droplets using a sufficiently short flash duration. Even small hot-shoe flashes will work fine if you're close enough to the subject. Fancy studio flash units from Profoto or Sinar/Bron produce vastly greater power output which is fine if you need to light an auditorium, but you'd better bring your Platinum Visa card.
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gr8fl4295

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 03:52:53 pm »

ok, which ones will sync with the camera at 1/250 or faster?
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Geoff Wittig

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 10:06:38 pm »

Quote from: gr8fl4295
ok, which ones will sync with the camera at 1/250 or faster?

Flash sync speed is generally a function of the camera's shutter rather than anything specific to the flash. With focal plane shutters (like typical D-SLR's) it's the shortest exposure duration for which both curtains are open simultaneously for at least an instant, permitting the flash to expose the subject. Flash duration is generally much less than the sync speed for hot shoe type flashes, so the camera's sync speed is the limiting factor. That's usually 1/200 or 1/250th sec. for high-end D-SLR's.

Studio flashes/strobes will also have a very short flash duration for reasonably low power levels, like what you'd need for exposing splashes from water dripping into a pan. But flash duration gets longer for higher power outputs; your basic Profoto monster unit may need more like 1/60th sec. at max output to light an auditorium.

Finally, flash sync speed isn't really relevant unless you're trying to expose in bright sunlight. For most indoor/studio shots, lower ambient light levels mean that the flash exposure generally is the exposure, so you can use any shutter speed you like, as long as it's longer than the sync speed.

Short version, it depends on what you're trying to light. If you're trying to light water drips into a pan, all you need is a couple of hot shoe flashes. If you're trying to light the splash of a car driving off a dock, you're going to need more than anything I know how to use.

Don't know if that helps any; you may know all this already.
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michaelnotar

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 02:29:08 am »

vivitar 283 flashes, dialed down to min power. provides alot of light at close distance. dont worry about sync speed, drops need to be shot in the dark with trigger beam break connected delay unit connected to flash. camera exposure of several seconds. you need something like this www.bmumford.com. it MIGHT be possible to do a 1 2 3 you might get some thing during the day but to do it with precision you need a timing device. thats the gear i would recommend, its what i used while at brooks institute of photography. some of the best out there, easier to use than most, very well made and at a moderate price.

you can use like a profoto 7a pack dialed all the way down to min power. other spendy packs like bronocolor etc will probably work too but are spendy. the hotshoe flashes are king, the 283 goes for $40 uses $70 new. any canon/nikon flash that can dial down to 1/64th power or less works just as well. i personally have 4 vivitars since they are cheap. they also have a very secure sync connection, hotshoe to pc cord adapters are useless, atleast for me.
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Tgrain

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 03:31:56 am »

Flash duration not sync speed is the key here.  Profoto and Broncolor would be good choices, you may also want to consider Elinchrom.  I personally like the Broncolor because you can specify the flash duration.  I have also worked with the Elinchrom 500 series with good results.  You could call Flashlights, a rental house in  Los Angeles and talk to them about it.  They know their stuff
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paul_jones

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2009, 03:35:38 pm »

freezing water needs a very fast flash duration. last generation profoto(not including the new pro-8) has a dissapointing duration, they look good in the specs but in practice are well behind the broncolor grafits (and now scoros). all the photograhers i know that do splashes, smashes etc use broncolor grafits.

if you only have profoto to use, use 1200ws pro-7 or the latest pro-8.

also, you will need to run the flash at a very low setting to get the fast durations, so make sure you have enough packs to give enough light.
this shot i used 3 x broncolor A4 grafits for these shots (this shot hasnt been retouched yet), i think i only had f5.6 of f8-
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 03:41:07 pm by paul_jones »
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mattcrawford

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2009, 05:30:30 am »

As Paul said Bron Grafits and Scoros with there user selectable flash duration seem to be the ones to use, they have been the first choice for a number of photographers I have worked for who have been trying to freeze movement.

Back in the day Harold Edgerton pioneered freezing motion with flash including the famous bullet going through apple image.

I have used a number of speedlights off camera and on low power with a Nikon for a small splash.

Here's a chart for speedlight flash duration: http://www.joesmalley.com/flashes/

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Marrtin Hopfengart

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Strobes for stopping water
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2009, 12:07:24 pm »

This was done with a Nikon SB-24 as main and several elinchrom as backlights on 4x5" with 1/60 sync.
[attachment=16040:01.jpg]
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 12:08:55 pm by Marrtin Hopfengart »
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