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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    2000+ WS in a single power pack...

    I'm looking for something more potent in a strobe setup. I'm working on building a 12x20 portrait camera, and I need some serious watt-seconds to give me adequate f-stops. Right now I have an older Norman 2000 w/s kit, but I'm wondering what people would recommend for something a bit more modern with a bit more oomph. I did some shopping around on ebay for used kits, and I was seeing Balcars, Elinchroms, Profotos, Calumets, Speedotrons and Broncolors. Does anyone have recommendations for a system to watch out for? I'm operating this out of my house at the moment, so I don't have 40amp circuits, so lower power consumption would be a nice plus.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Ellis Vener has suggested on photo.net and the LF forum that from his tests the Norman heads are a lot less efficient than others, and that he could get about a one stop boost by converting Speedotron heads to Norman. Places like Flash Clinic in NYC can do the conversion (I believe the plugs are the same but the pin configuration is different, so don't just plug a Speedo head into a Norman pack!).

    Of course you could also get another 2000-Ws pack or a Norman 4000-Ws pack and LH-4000 head.
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  3. #3

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    Do you really need that much power? Last weekend I got F/25 with a 1000ws monolight in a 45" umbrella softbox. The film rated at 64EI. Switching to faster film would have gotten over F/45 for sure. I don't even think the monolight was at full power.

    If you really need lots of power Speedotron makes a head that can be plugged into multiple power packs. I think it'll take up to 9600 ws if plugged into four packs. The one nice thing is a shops rent the things [head and power pack] so you can test it out without spending the $1000 for just one head. Still I wouldn't want to be sitting in front of that much power.

    Some of the Speedotron packs come with slow recycle switches. That way you can plug two packs into one normal home circuit.

  4. #4
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I do think I need more than 2000 WS - I want to make sure I can hit F32+ with my softboxes - I've got a 36x48" softbox that I use a lot, and an 18x78" that I would use often with the 12x20 camera for vertical full-length portraits. With the diffusion screen and the center baffle to even out light distribution in place, I'm getting something around F16 1/2 off the softbox at a reasonable working distance- 4-6 feet. The lens I have for the 12x20 is a 600mm f9 Zeiss Apo-Germinar, so it will have very limited DOF at f16, espeically when focused at portrait distances.

  5. #5

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    Broncolor made 6400ws packs usable with the 6400ws bi-tube heads...not offered anymore though. But with broncolor 6400ws is really 6400ws. Maybe find them used.

    Profoto and Broncolor still offer bi-tube heads. A bi-tube Profoto head with two 7a packs will give you 4800ws. With 2 3200ws broncolor packs and a bi-tube you can...you get the idea.

    I've never used gear that has more bang for the buck power wise than broncolor. Just make sure if you buy used that the tubes are in good shape (old tubes can get weak) and try and look for shorter cables from head to pack. Broncolor offers long and really long cables off the heads, and you can loose like a half stop to a stop in them.



 

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