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  1. #1

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    Calculating Exposure with old Spiratone ring flash?

    I came across an estate sale today and picked up an old Spiratone ring flash for a few bucks. But I've noted it doesn't have a table for calculating exposure based on distance. It also doesn't have a button to trigger the flash without firing the camera, so I'm not sure how one could meter without wasting an exposure.

    Is there some sort of formula for calculating exposure with a ring flash? Or will I need to just meter it at different distances and build my own exposure table?

    Thanks for any ideas!

  2. #2
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Does it have any indication of a guide number?
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  3. #3
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    There's a lesson here photography is so automated these days that many photographers don't know the basics, here's how to calculate the guide number
    ww.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics1c.html
    Ben

  4. #4

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    If no guide number (GN) marked on it, flash meter. Other than tria-and-error there are only a few options.

    If you beg, borrow, or steal a flash meter you can deermine the GN with one pop -- meter at 10 feet, ASA 100.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    I came across an estate sale today and picked up an old Spiratone ring flash for a few bucks. But I've noted it doesn't have a table for calculating exposure based on distance. It also doesn't have a button to trigger the flash without firing the camera, so I'm not sure how one could meter without wasting an exposure.

    Is there some sort of formula for calculating exposure with a ring flash? Or will I need to just meter it at different distances and build my own exposure table?

    Thanks for any ideas!
    Ummmm, you could short the PC plug with a paperclip? Use a camera without film in it? Look up the GN on Google?

  6. #6
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    There's a lesson here photography is so automated these days that many photographers don't know the basics, here's how to calculate the guide number
    www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics1c.html
    Fixed the URL so the link works now.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Ummmm, you could short the PC plug with a paperclip? Use a camera without film in it? Look up the GN on Google?
    I tried google, but I can't find the same model I have. It has no manufacturers marks on it, no guide number, wattage, anything at all. I only believe it is Spiratone because the power pack that came with it says Spiratone.

    I guess I'll meter for 100ASA and figure it out from there.

    Thanks for the responses!

  8. #8

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    ^ that's the way it's done by the manufacturer.
    Normally the distance is 10 feet 'cause it's easy for us mathematically challenged to figure out.
    As an example for GN56 would be 5.6 for ISO 100, ~11 for 200 and so on.
    With the ringlight you have it's pretty likely you're not going to get much light at 10 feet.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9
    M Carter's Avatar
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    Light meter and a lens cap on the camera...

    I came up more in the commercial studio realm than fine-arts training, so my knee-jerk response is often "grab the polaroid back" (along with a meter). The 'roids give me more of a feel for quality of light, etc - they tell me a lot when used with the meter.

  10. #10

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    With a ring light one would generally use it very close to the subject and thus it's a relatively large light source and not a point light. I am not sure the GN would work well with it.

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