ultra high speed flash

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by raucousimages, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Does any one sell a high speed flash and trigger (1/100,000 sec or faster). I have seen plans for flashes and triggers but not an assembled unit. My photogenics stop at about 1/700.

    Thanks
    John
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sure Jim Galli knows the answer to this, since he's done some really high speed photography, but the usual method without getting into scientific equipment is to use many flash heads at low power.

    Lois Greenfield, for instance, uses Elinchrom strobes, I believe, set to low power for her dance photos. With Normans, you can use a dual-tube head, so you don't have to deal with mounting two or more heads next to each other.

    People who photograph hummingbirds usually set up three small shoe-mount flash units around a feeder at 1/64 power and use a fast lens to get sharp images of the wings.
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    The inventor of the electronic flash Harold Edgerton wrote a book on the flash and included plans for building a super high speed flash as well as the timing circuits to fire it. Showed pictures of bullets stopped in midflight by one of those units. Biggest problem to building it is getting the capacitors, they had a weird values to them. I have no idea what happened to my copy of it, I could have supplied specific details. I do know the flash "tube" was inside out. It used air as the medium because it had superior damping qualities over xenon or any other gas and was simply a quartz tube with a trigger wire run inside it and two leads tied to either end.


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0262550083/qid=1143156782/sr=1-8/ref=sr_1_8/104-0544846-0867119?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
     
  4. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I have seen the Edgerton plans along with others. I just don't want to sit down and build one right now not to mention some of the parts he used are costly and hard to find and even the fastest photo strobes are too slow for what I want to do. I hope to find something for industrial use but so far no luck.

    If you want to see the original Edgerton photos go to the Atomic Energy Museum in Las Vegas. They are very impressive, the detail is great.
     
  5. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    John, I'm wondering how big a thing you are lighting. If it were small enough, you could do it with LEDs. They can be very fast.
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I wonder if anyone has ever tried to build one of those Edgerton flashtubes and try it on a regular studio strobe power pack on low power. It would have to make a briefer flash than a standard head would simply because of the faster quench time.
     
  7. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    In the back on my Sunpak 611 manual there is a widget that might be what you are looking for. Catalog # 651-713. Sunpak sound synchronizer. It has sensitivity settings for firing the flash at a pre-determined sound level. Will fire as fast as 1/50,000th of a second and can do single or multiple flashes. I don't know if they still make it but a used one might be around somewhere. Was 1/100,000th absolutely required?
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    It's not the flash tubes that made the difference. I believe Edgerton used very high voltage oil filled capacitors for some of his high speed photography. Multiple heads on one capacitor further shorten the flash duration. The tubes used on these units wouldn't work well, if at all, on the relatively low voltage of modern power packs. Perhaps some of the old high voltage commercial flash units from the 1940s could be modified to minimize the flash duration. As I remember, my ancient Sylvania Wabash units operated at 2000 volts, but had a fairly long duration of maybe 1/1000 or 1/2000 second. The duration may have been extended to avoid reciprocity failure.