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  1. #1
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Smallest Powerful Accessory Flash?

    Hi all,

    Need some advice here. I'm looking for the smallest powerful accessory flash I can find. I hold the flash in my left hand and use open flash technique (basically opening the shutter for a long exposure and manually firing off the flash to make the exposure) so all I need is something with a test button that I can push to fire it. I don't use the flash mounted to the camera and I don't worry about flash sync speeds because I use the above stated technique. The key here is SMALL but still powerful. Any suggestions?
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Olympus T32?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    Well, Press 25 flashbulbs, of course.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars

  4. #4

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    Press 25 flash bulb at ASA 100 is guide number 280 feet.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars

  5. #5
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Haha, no flash bulbs. I have plenty of them but thats not what I'm going for.

    I'll check out the Olympus!

    Any other ideas folks?
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  6. #6
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Flashbulbs, the way to go! =]

    I got the T32 flash, its a nice compact one, the smallest I can think of as well that packs that much light, even has a rotate-able front for angled bounce flash. GN of 32 meters or 100ft @iso 100. Lacks a bit in manual modes though.

    What is your intended goal? Using for fill light in architecture at night? If using long exposures, I have read sometimes a good choice can be a high intensity flash light or flood light to paint in the areas.

  7. #7
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, Francesco;

    Need some specifications here. This question is remarkably subjective and will vary widely based on what is meant by "small" and what is meant by "powerful." If we are clearly limited to electronic flash and cannot use the older flashbulbs, then we are really out in an area where the specific numbers for any one of the qualities will probably limit the numbers for the other qualities. My Minolta Auto 25 will easily go into my shirt pocket, but the Metz 60 CT1 will outperform the Auto 25 by a factor of about 4 or maybe 5.

    From your description of the intended use, it sounds like you are just opening the shutter in a dark area, and using multiple flashes from the electronic flash to illuminate the scene to be recorded onto the film. If you are using something that can be carried in your shirt pocket, you will need to space the flash positions closer together and make more of them than you would with something carried on a shoulder strap or in a bag.

    The best general suggestion I can offer is to just take what you have, and start experimenting and documenting what you did for each identified exposure. Then choose the one you like the best for that scene and situation. One thing to be said for a smaller, less powerful unit in this case, is that you will probably have a more even illumination from that unit with more closely spaced together flash positions than you probably will with a more powerful unit with the flash positions spaced farther apart.

    Try what you have and see if you like what you get.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  8. #8
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Hello Francesco,

    Depends on what you mean by "small"... I say this because I noticed that you didn't necessarily specify, "lightweight". If you're already shooting mega-formats, perhaps an old Graflex Stroboflash or Norman 200B flash (what are they? 200ws?) would do the trick? They're relatively small. Or how about something like the Profoto B600? Not as lightweight as a shoe-mount flash, but all the power (light) you might need, and certainly portable (the head can be easily handheld)..

    Just an idea ..

  9. #9
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Metz have some smaller units which are nice. I have a metz 32 which is really nice and can rotate and tilt, provides TTL with the right SCA-module and camera. I can use it both with Nikon and Pentax.

  10. #10
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. Sorry for the ambiguity in my initial inquiry. I'm not doing anything fancy here. I just need a small pocketable flash. I really don't need any setting or buttons besides a simple test button to manually fire the thing. The T32 that's been mentioned looks good and is smaller then what I've been using so far but I'd like even smaller if possible. Ideally something that'll fit in a shirt pocket. This is for use with my Fuji GS645W (my small camera that I carry) so I want a flash that will not add much bulk to what I'm already carrying. I remember seeing a little flash a while back that was about the size of a cigarette pack and it put out a heck of a lot of light. I just didn't pay attention to what it was so now I don't know how to find it. To sum it up, I'm just looking for a simple pocketable flash. No special features, no need to pivot or swivel, just something I can fit in my pocket which will put out a decent about of light. Both flashes I've been using, some old Minolta thats lost its name badge and an old Polaroid flash that I ripped of a Polaroid camera which doesn't even have a shoe mount (which I like), have a guide number of 56 (guide number measured at 10ft at 100iso) which is fine. More power would be nice but not if I have to sacrifice size. I would tolerate a little less power for smaller size. If I could find something the size of a cigarette pack that would be the perfect size.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

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