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  1. #1
    djkloss's Avatar
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    watt seconds and meter readings low

    I'm new at this and have no clue on flash / studio lighting. My question is ... with 1400 watt seconds how much light should I be getting from my flash meter reading? Is that (1400 ws) relativlely low? That would be 700 each. I'm using two units w/bounce umbrellas at about 5 ft from my subject. My readings are very consistent at about 1/8th second at about f/2.8. Walls are dark paneling, carpet is dark blue, subject is dark brown, film speed is 100. This is just a test - nothing major. It just seems as though I'm not getting much of a reading. I expected more from studio lights. Camera to subject was 6 ft. Is this normal for this power supply? Its a brownline.

    Thanks!

    Dorothy

  2. #2
    blansky's Avatar
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    Are you using a flashmeter?

    At that distance 5 feet, you should be getting F8 or F11 at about 200-300 ws.

    If you're using a leaf shutter, set it at maybe 125 or 250 of a second, unless you want to pick up some ambient room light.

    I use a soft box as a main light at about 3-4 feet and am at less that 300ws and F81/2 at 125. (125asa)

    With my lights and an unbrella at 600ws at 12 feet it's still 5.6, so something is not right.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #3
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Yes, something is not right, that 2.8-1/8 sounds more like a reading of the rooms ambient level, or nearly so. I would suspect the meter is not syncing to the flash correctly.

  4. #4
    djkloss's Avatar
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    I'm using a Gossen flash meter and tried it both with reflective reading and incident. With just the modeling lights i got a reading of 1/8 sec @ f/5.6.

  5. #5
    blansky's Avatar
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    Do you have the flashmeter set to "flash". Is the sync cord attached to the meter?

    You take the sync cord running from the lights to the camera and use it on the flashmeter until you get the settings then attach it back on the camera.

    It does sound like you're just getting a reading of ambient light.

    I think with that meter you only use incident (for flash) and point the dome at the light but close to the face.




    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #6
    djkloss's Avatar
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    If I used a bigger reflector would that help?

  7. #7
    blansky's Avatar
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    No something is fundamentally wrong.

    You need to plug the sync into the flashmeter and push the button to flash the lights, that is the reading you need.

    700 ws is way too much light for what you described. With that much light you would be at f22 and 125 of a second

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #8
    djkloss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Do you have the flashmeter set to "flash". Is the sync cord attached to the meter?

    You take the sync cord running from the lights to the camera and use it on the flashmeter until you get the settings then attach it back on the camera.

    It does sound like you're just getting a reading of ambient light.

    I think with that meter you only use incident (for flash) and point the dome at the light but close to the face.

    Michael
    My meter is set to flash, but there's no where to plug in a cord on the meter. I plug the sync cord into the power supply and the lights into the power supply. I pointed the incident reading at the camera, close to the subject, and with reflective, held the meter next to the camera...

  9. #9
    djkloss's Avatar
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    I trigger the flash with one hand using a spare camera body (sync from camera to power supply) and with the other hand take a reading

  10. #10
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    My flash meter (a really cheesy Quantum) has a setting where you press a button and have a few seconds to manually trigger the flash. Perhaps you are pressing the wrong button and only getting an ambient reading. I imagine that your Gossen should have that capability. Which model is it? Maybe we can hunt down a manual on the net that will help.

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