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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    studio strobe for 8x10

    Anyone have a good recommendation for strobes to use with 8x10? I currently have a set of Calumet Travelite 750s, which I suspect won't have enough oomph to get me the depth of field I need, especially when using 30x40" softboxes. I'm shooting an old Calumet C-1 with a 14" Commercial Ektar as my main lens. I'm saving up my pennies for a longer (18-24" range) lens for doing head/shoulders portraits, which will limit dof even more. Are there decent monolights out there that will serve me better, or do I need to go up to a power pack and heads? Should I stick to the Calumet Elite, the Bowens QuadX, or go with something like a Profoto?

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    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Do these lenses have a flash sync? If not then maybe hot lights?
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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    Wouldn't it take ALOT of power for hot lights big enough? I've got some 1000 watt work lights I doubt they're powerfull enough for medium format. Even with fast film it's going to take some serious hot lights for 8x10.

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    Jeremy's Avatar
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    That's true, didn't think about that fact, ack! May melt the sitter :-)
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    So far, all the 8x10 lenses I have are equipped with strobe sync - the 14" CE has a bipost sync (I've got a bipost-PC adapter on it) and my 240mm Nikkor has PC sync (Copal #3 shutter).

    Yes, hotlights strong enough to give you sub- 1/2 second exposure times would have me better off running a tanning salon than doing portraits. OTOH, if I could get my hands on some 8x10 Kodak HIE.....

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Depends on your style, the light modifiers you use, and such. Usually the Comm. Ektars are in Ilex shutters with bipole sync, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Since you say you like big softboxes, you want to err on the side of more light--a pack system with about 3000 W-s or more (W-s are a measure of energy input, not light output, but it gives you a ballpark idea of what the system can do).

    I don't own any large softboxes (I do use umbrellas and other kinds of diffusers), sometimes I use a fresnel strobe that increases light output, and I usually like selective focus, so I manage pretty well with a Norman P-2000D, and Normans are less efficient than more modern lights, but I like the quality of the light they put out, and they're real workhorses and are fairly affordable.

    Also, do you enlarge or contact print? If you contact print or if you don't print that big, faster film can save some money on lights until you can afford something bigger.

    For static subjects, when you don't have enough power, multiple pops are also an option.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Scott-

    Where can I get a bipost-PC adapter for my ancient 12" Dagor?

    BTW, my Calumet 750s are ok for use with my 19" Artar, but I only use the softbox on the fill light. I can get down to about f/32 using TMax 400 if the main light uses a 7" reflector. That yields enough depth of field for portraits.

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Paramount makes cords with bipost connectors. I think you can order them from their website.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    What kind of F/stop do you like ? The good news is that ISO 400 is VERY good with 8x10 portraiture, and you get the vital choice of curve shapes. TMY is a GREAT choice.

    Look for Speedotron black line. Simple, and lots of raw power. If you have zillion bucks, why not Bron ? But Speedo is industrial strength, easy to fix if you need it, and there are tons of it available used.

    You CAN get by with 1200 ws. 2400 is better. 4800 ws are kind of profligate, but handy. The cool thing about a 4800 ws pack is that you can run 4 heads, and that gives you 1000w of modeling light. You don't need it all the time, and you usually will turn down the modeling lights, but if you want to see at f/32, it's handy.

    The big demand on strobes is banging out pictures on a motor drive, roll after roll all day long. In the Kodachrome Era, a 1/3 stop fluctuation was frustrating and a 1/2 was fatal. But B&W sheets, every minute or so, makes the load on a pack pretty low. You can shoot for years with 8x10 and the flash will never know you're there.

    Check with your local pro repair house, and see whose gear they fix. That's the important thing.


    Don

    "This suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts."

  10. #10
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    I have had excellent luck with Norman and Photogenic for many years. I believe the trend today is more and more light, I am more concerned with what is done with what light I have rather than how much. Most images we see today are not carefully illuminated, but show more of the flood effect.

    The placement of the highlights are everybit as important as the places you allow the shadow to fall. Regardless of format I like to work in the range of f8 to f11 for people, and save the smaller stops for product illustration. For product work you can get by with a lot less light, meaning "mutiple pops".
    I call it "making time exposures with strobes".

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