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  1. #1

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    Paper negatives and flash photography?

    Hi all,

    I am just thinking about using paper negatives for maybe some portrait shots (still deciding and looking at different options that I might want to look into), my main question is around the use of flash and the slower paper negatives.

    Would it be possible to use a flash but still use a paper negative? I know that paper negatives are rather slow but was wondering if it were possible to use a paper negative and a flash to get a short enough exposure time for a portrait?

  2. #2
    JohnRichard's Avatar
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    Most paper negatives fall somewhere around the ASA 6 range (at least for me). Why not do a test?
    Shoot a still at the speed rating you want to use with flash and see what happens.

    Perhaps 5 seconds at some mid-aperture with flash.
    Would be interesting to see what came out of shooting in total darkness with multiple flash bursts.
    There are plenty of people that shoot portraits without flash.
    - J. Richard
    4x5 Speed Graphic, Looking for another 8x10.

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Just for a ballpark sense of the problem, here's a generated flash-to-subject distance chart (from a small utility I wrote for my own use) for a higher-end Vivitar 285HV flash.

    The Guide Number for this flash is rated at 120 at ISO-100 by the manufacturer. All three regular zoom modes are shown, plus a column for use of the external diffuser filter at the Normal zoom setting. The "film" speed is set to ISO-6, per JohnRichard's estimate. The Guide Numbers for each 285HV zoom mode are indicated at the top of the chart.

    As you can see, even at the likely optimistic manufacturer's flash rating, the distances for standard large format apertures result in very compromised flash-to-subject distances. Generally (see NORM column) from only 5+ feet (at f/5.6, generally wide-open) down to less than 1 foot (for f/32 or greater, apertures required for any reasonably usable DOF). All distances shown are in feet.



    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  4. #4

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    it really depends on the paper ..
    i have taken many portraits with modeling lights and
    flash. graded paper and VC paper are sensitive ( it seems )
    to different types of light so do some tests before you shoot ...
    ( i have used a lot of agfa grade 1 ( and 0 ) paper
    and it took 3 600WS bursts through soffboxes to get a good exposure
    and without the flash same soffboxes, same modeling lights 30-40second exposures )

    YMMV
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

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  5. #5

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    Thanks for everyones help perhaps multiply flashes would be the answer? I havn't yet started to use paper negatives but will be soon, I am currently looking into different lighting setups as well so that I get the right sort for what I am looking to do.

    How were portraits done 'back in the day'? Was it a case that the wet plate was much faster than paper negatives?

  6. #6
    gandolfi's Avatar
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    just go for it - I do it all the time - I rate my paper (mostly Foma RC paper) a 8-12 iso so it is highly possible with only one flash...

    I can show some examples if need be..

    Don't wait - it is too much fun for that!!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gandolfi View Post
    just go for it - I do it all the time - I rate my paper (mostly Foma RC paper) a 8-12 iso so it is highly possible with only one flash...

    I can show some examples if need be..

    Don't wait - it is too much fun for that!!
    yes, wicked fun, and sort of addictive!!
    if my apug gallery looks empty you might check these places

    website
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  8. #8
    pasiasty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1tch View Post
    Would it be possible to use a flash but still use a paper negative?
    Yes.

    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/40471382 (blue toned)
    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/40668190
    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/41155433

    still-life is also possible:
    http://fav.me/d52cgvt
    http://fav.me/d5jr34z

    All taken with at most 400Ws heads. But if you want to take some high-key pictures, you'd better get a few 2000Ws ones...
    || Cezary Żemis <cezary.zemis@pronet.pl> | www.cezaryzemis.name
    || ph.:+49 176 7327 8527|skype:cezzem

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasiasty View Post
    Yes.

    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/40471382 (blue toned)
    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/40668190
    http://pasiasty.deviantart.com/gallery/41155433

    still-life is also possible:
    http://fav.me/d52cgvt
    http://fav.me/d5jr34z

    All taken with at most 400Ws heads. But if you want to take some high-key pictures, you'd better get a few 2000Ws ones...
    What sort of shutter speeds were those taken at?

  10. #10
    pasiasty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1tch View Post
    What sort of shutter speeds were those taken at?
    shutter speed? does it matter with flash lights?
    || Cezary Żemis <cezary.zemis@pronet.pl> | www.cezaryzemis.name
    || ph.:+49 176 7327 8527|skype:cezzem

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