Elinchrom, Bowens, Broncolor, Hensel and Multiblitz are popular brand names in the UK. I have considered buying a powerful flash with softbox for use with my 8x10 Camera for still-life, but like Dave, I am not sure what to look for in terms of light outut, accessories etc. Any suggestions?
For 10x8 work you really need the larger power packs, the 3K Bowens pack is ideal, so are the equivalent Elinchroms, they are the most common and and often come up for sale second-hand. You can also hire them at quite reasonable rates.
For LF still life you need a lot of light. The old Broncolor stuff is a very good choice as you get raw power for a fraction of the price that you pay for new equipment. I own several of these, they are big, heavy, ugly but reliable.
There is one company that is not only a very good address for repairs:
Studioblitztechnik Max Stamm
Phone: +49 (0)30 - 7726002
Fax: +49 (0) - 30343599
It's a small company but the build their own small series of power packs, strobe heads, ring flashes etc. and sell some of them on eBay, but I know they have many more products:
The prices are very reasonable, there is no import tax to the UK, and they fit the connectors for many different makes like Multiblitz, Bron, Bowens, Elinchrom, Hensel and others.
but as your shooting 5x4 you need a reasonable amount of power.
For 10x8 work you really need the larger power packs
Larger film formats do not need more light.
For LF still life you need a lot of light.
So please stop this silly line of reasoning.
Well John and Ian are on the ball noticing that I'm in London! Most of the units suggested I have never heard of.
I am plumbing for Elinchrome or Broncolor...Thanks all........Cheers Dave
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A still-life at 50cm distance, 4x5" - is that more f 5.6 or f 64?
Originally Posted by Q.G.
"Larger film formats do not need more light.
So please stop this silly line of reasoning. "
They need more lights, because you have to stop down much more on a 8x10 for to get the same DOF!!!
You are also very soon at 1:2 or 1:1 at 8x10 with a stillife, thats the 2 reason for more power!
I was thinking of buying second-hand, a Bowens Prolite 120 (if I could find one) or equivalent with a 1m X 1m softbox. That with a light-stand and boom arm for overhead lighting of the subject similar to those for pack-shots. Would that be a good choice Ian? More power than this might be even more desirable.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Keith, the Prolite 120 might just be OK if it's the 1000 joule one, that kind of power is fine for 35mm & medium format and some LF work, small still life sets etc. You can never have too much studio flash equipment, so you could add more later if you feel yo need more power.
Remember a soft-box significantly drops the potential light output.
Contrary to this posters comments larger formats require substantially more power to be able to stop the lenses down to obtain significant depth of field. While a 35mm camera might be fine at f8/f11, a medium format camera is often used at f11/f16 and a 5x4 at at f22/f32. Larger formats such as 10x8 cameras are often used at f32/f45.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
So the power requirements for studio flash work are very dependant on the format being used, as well as the size of the area being photographed.
It's not unusual for me to be using f32 on 8x10 in the studio, with bellows correction (between 1 and 2 stops, for most of my tabletop work) and filter factor, the effective aperture gets really small quickly. For me, the best solution has been a Bron pack on each head, I can use up to 6400 w/s on set easily, while still having control over each head, if I'm using a simple setup, the bi-tube head goes in the softbox. Maybe not ideal for everybody, but alot of flexibility for low cost.