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  1. #31
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Things like hummingbirds and Lois Greenfield-style dancers in flight are pretty specialized cases of high-speed strobe photography, for which flashbulbs wouldn't really apply. The key there is to use more strobe heads (dancers) or portable flash units (hummers) at low power for short flash durations.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Things like hummingbirds and Lois Greenfield-style dancers in flight are pretty specialized cases of high-speed strobe photography, for which flashbulbs wouldn't really apply. The key there is to use more strobe heads (dancers) or portable flash units (hummers) at low power for short flash durations.
    David, I know what I should have done. Did the best I could with what I had. Should have used the longer lens I don't have or stood closer to the birds. The flash I used -- Agfatronic 643 CS -- supports auto TTL and I took advantage of that; as I used it I was getting flash duration much shorter than 1/200.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan Young
    Wouldn't you just cook them with a big bulb flash?

    Lachlan
    Cook 'em? I dunno. But I wasn't using bulb, its not appropriate. I was using a modern SCA 300 flash with flash output/duration controlled by my more or less modern Nikon.

    I initially mentioned the flash, an Agfa Agfatronic 643 CS, because its full power output is in the range you asked about.

    Thread drift is wonderful, eh?

  4. #34
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    Donald, its a huge deal when shooting hummingbirds. I've tried to deal with the duration by placing the flash close to the subjects and running it on TTL auto. Still pretty iffy.

    Its also a huge deal when the object is to overpower ambient, flash to subject distance is "far," and I'm shooting with a 35 mm SLR, max sync speed 1/250.
    Even in those situations, though, a bulb would be worse -- to get the full GN from a bulb, you need a shutter of 1/30 or slower (really, 1/15 for most M type bulbs -- 20 ms to peak and burn time of 25 ms or so), though they can be used at reduced GN at shutter speeds up to 1/200 or 1/250.

    And a bulb wouldn't synch with your SLR unless you use a much slower shutter; you need to stay open at least long enough for the bulb to ignite and peak, preferably for about 80% of the burn (to get down below 1/4 power) or you'll have uneven exposure from the second curtain cutting off rapidly weakening light (well, a shutter with X synch to 250 probably wouldn't produce enough of this to notice). That's getting down to 1/30 or 1/15 -- which is what most bulbs call out as the slowest X synch speed to use anyway.

    Sounds like what you really need for those hummingbirds is a bunch of smaller flashes, so you get the shorter burn time, and just add units until you have the power you need.

    Edit: Sigh. And if I'd read the second page, I'd have seen two other folks had already said pretty much the same thing relative to the hummingbirds...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  5. #35
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    And a bulb wouldn't synch with your SLR unless you use a much slower shutter; you need to stay open at least long enough for the bulb to ignite and peak, preferably for about 80% of the burn (to get down below 1/4 power) or you'll have uneven exposure from the second curtain cutting off rapidly weakening light (well, a shutter with X synch to 250 probably wouldn't produce enough of this to notice). That's getting down to 1/30 or 1/15 -- which is what most bulbs call out as the slowest X synch speed to use anyway.
    I don't know how old your cameras are but I know that my 25-30 year old OM1n cameras will synch all the way to 1/1000s with FP bulbs - if you can find them!

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan

  6. #36

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    My Rollei 6008i syncs strobes at 1/1000 with the PQS lenses, add a few dialled down small strobes and you'd freeze the hummingbirds alright.

  7. #37
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan Young
    I don't know how old your cameras are but I know that my 25-30 year old OM1n cameras will synch all the way to 1/1000s with FP bulbs - if you can find them!

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan
    FP bulbs have a burn time designed to permit use with the focal plane shutters in the 1930s versions of Speed Graphic, Soho Reflex, Graflex, and other similar cameras. My pre-War Anniversary model has a total shutter travel time of about 1/8 second or a little slower, depending on the slit selected and tension setting (1/10 is the slowest timed speed, and it's about a half coverage slit), and an FP bulb must maintain a nearly flat light curve for at least this long after a predictable and standardized ignition time. Any speed you like in a smaller FP shutter (like the ones in medium format and miniature camers) will easily synch with these bulbs if the camera has an FP sync output (many modern cameras, from the post-flashbulb era, don't).

    However, I was talking about X synch and type M bulbs, not FP synch with FP type bulbs.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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