Paul C. Buff, Inc. Technical Forum

concerned about flash duration at high power
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Author:  bobpilot [ Sat May 13, 2017 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  concerned about flash duration at high power

Example 1: three Einstein's set up for water-drop photography. A small aperture on camera is needed for a greater depth of focus, thus, a high power setting on the Einstein's is needed. If I understand what I read in the manual, at a high power setting the flash duration is greater than at a lower power setting. A brief flash duration is preferred for this type of photography.

Question 1: Is the Einstein the right option for a strobe for high-speed photography?

Example 2: Per-arranged photo of a dirt bike racer going over a hill. Because the strobes are a safe distance away from the contact point on the hill, a high power setting is needed as well as a brief flash duration. However, it seems that it is not possible to have a brief flash duration at a high power setting on the Einstein.

Question 2: What is the better option for this type of photograph?

Author:  Technical Support [ Mon May 15, 2017 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: concerned about flash duration at high power

Einstein is a good choice for water drop photography. Even at half power, you can get 1/2000s flash durations. At 5 feet, and with an 8.5" reflector, you should be able to achieve f/32 at ISO 100 at this setting. Again, as power is reduced, flash duration get shorter.

As for shooting dirt bikes, there are many variables. Is it indoor or outdoor. Bright sun or shade, day or night (predominantly, how bright is the ambient). If the ambient is bright, and you get motion blur from it, the flash duration of the flash is somewhat irrelevant, especially on a clean background (like the sky).
If flash is your only/dominant light source, then the flash durations will be relevant.

The 640Ws power level, you will find little that is significantly faster, so regardless of which light you choose, the flash duration will be similar. It is at reduced durations that the type of light will really start to make a difference.

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