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Please Help me solve my ringflash problemo
Old 06-27-2004, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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You may wish to scroll down and read the short version at the bottom:

Sorry but the subject of ringflash has been bugging me so much for over 2 years i'm on the edge of blowing a wad of cash on a super over powered sytem.

First off let me say I only shoot digital, i only plan to shoot digital. I don't know if that makes a difference because i have no film experience, but i thought i'd point that out.

It seems to be that these power packs are WAY over powered and I only really need like 100 to max 200 w/s. Am I right or am i Insane, And considering i shoot at like 6-10 feet away from the model i seriously do not need a lot of juice, and then i saw a video which i have included some caps below:



This guy is at about the distance i shoot at. I am assuming the ring on the bottom is so the subject doesn't go blind

Any recommendations, i was thinking that a Sunpak ringflash meant for macro might cut it because its close. But other than that I saw some ringflashs for smaller norman packs but those packs seem old and just as expensive as the new 1200 - 2400 packs. Again am i insane or is this for real?

There must be a way to get the good $1000 ringflash that CAN handle a lot of watts (which is good for upgrading later) but have a smaller pack with only the juice i need?

I'm not looking for a debate on the need or use of ringflash because that can be beaten to death and just goes off topic but if anyone has any advice or can simply confirm that yes, reality is retarded and you have to get a way too powerful system for a simple need



Short Version:

I have no problem getting a $1000 Ringflash, But i only need like 100-200 w/s are there any small packs i can get so i don't get 1200-3200 when i don't need it?
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problem
Old 06-27-2004, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the bottom light a strobe? I'm guessing it is a plain or hotlight so the model's pupils are constricted to reduce red-eye.

Shorter version is at the end.

Electronically, strobes are trivially simple devices. The head (tube and triger coil) and the power source (capacitors) are a very simple circuit. The money comes in on the pack side, for controls, varistors, recycle speed, power source (AC or DC) and the number of capacitors (flash power). On the head, the expense comes from the head design (attackments for reflectors, swivels, etc) and the size and capacity of the tube.

Electrically, nearly any studio flash head can be attached to any power pack, if you connect the right wires together. You can get slight color variations if the voltages are widely different, but it is generally not noticable. Most heads are designed for power packs in the 450 to 600 volt range, and most heads will safely handle well over 1000 volts.

Juice size (wattseconds) is another matter. Pump too much joice throgh a head and you can fry things, including melting the flash tube iteslf.

I have some ring flashes I got off of eBay. No power packs. I just put new plugs on them to hook up to a Norman 200B power pack or my Novatron packs. Simple as pie.

Short Version:

Find a head you like... without a power pack. For $20 you can buy the right connector for you current power pack and I'll tell you how to wire it up. It only takes 2 (or at most 3) wires. I do it all the time.... buy heads, cut off the connectors, and wire them to work with my Norman 200b pack.

I'm in the same boat as you... I'm still looking for a LARGE ringflash head like the one in the pictures you posted. If you find two, let me know!
 
 
You couldn\'t be more...
Old 06-27-2004, 02:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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wrong with the issue of power Rory, usually ringflash heads are no more than 1500ws (j), and many no more than 1000j. The light needs to be more powerful because you usually use it as a main, oftentimes the only light source, and occasionally as a fill both in the studio but more often on location. It is a wonderful lightsource, you would never want to limit yourself to only a couple hundred ws. If you need to reduce your light to chip, use ND filters on the lens, you can hold the f-stop but still have the wonderful full fill effect from the ringlight.

Having said that, the beauty dish in the shot you are showing here is not the ring light, the ringlight is around the lens. Most ringlights do not have a modeling lamp so you have to come up with another source for focusing - here they are using the beauty dish for a modeling lamp - AND, having a secondary light offset from the lens angle will eliminate "RedEye" when using a ring flash. When you see the movie makers using ring units they always have a secondary light above the camera, usually a nice softbox, to remove redeye... it is the only way to do it if you are shooting color.

One of the primary features of ringflash is the ability to blow out areas and have the light move away from the center of the subject. Your shadow is a halo or silhouette around the subject... but it causes issues with the eyes. Here is a before and after I fixed the eyes on Camille. This shot was using a ringflash only... behind me about 6 or 8 feet is a secondary light that is at least an f stop lower so I just fill the eye with an angle light to knock out redeye. I am about 8 feet from the model.



This shot is also ringflash and I am right on top of the model Dani, maybe 5 feet. Wonderful effect:



Finally a combination of models and method of same lighting... this time I am farther back and using more of a coverage. Remember, the closer the camera, the closer the light, the effects will change.



One final note on this subject, don't be fooled by cheap ringlights, they are not what you may expect. They are fine for shooting flowers close up, or objects, but moving back and using them for models can be whole other challenge.

Robert
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problem
Old 06-27-2004, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It was my thinking that you had to use the same packs for the heads

But if you can just rewire for any head for any pack thats sweet then

I've never seen a good ringflash on ebay, figure i'll just buy one new because i'll be waiting forever to find a used one in canada.

thanks for the reply
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problem
Old 06-27-2004, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Robert,
How hard would it be to rewire some old photogenic flashmaster heads to work on my speedotgron system? Could you then use ac modeling lights instead of the weak dc unites original with the flashmaster heads?
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problemo
Old 06-27-2004, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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this the brittney murphy shoot for maxim?? off of on demand??
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problem
Old 06-27-2004, 06:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Calumet ring flash for their elite II 2400 pack

http://www.calumetphoto.com/ctl?
PAGE=Controller&ac.ui.pn=cat.CatItemDetail&ac.item .itemNo=CE2309&ac.cat.CatTree.detail=y&type=PRDIND EX


Calumet ring flash for norman 200c
http://www.calumetphoto.com/ctl?PAGE...&type=PRDINDEX

Calumet ringflash for 400b
http://www.calumetphoto.com/ctl?PAGE...&type=PRDINDEX
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Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problemo
Old 06-27-2004, 06:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is the Brittany Murphy shoot for Maxim, from bThere.TV .. got a load of shoots from there and kazaa

And about your other posts, i am aware of my ringflash options, its the pack options that was my main concern. seemed like too much power.

I might just bite the bullet and look into leasing a big pack and ringflash
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Two flavors...
Old 06-27-2004, 06:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Two flavors of ring flashes... One is the little ones that are not much bigger than the lens diameter, and usually hook up to a small battery unit not much bigger than a medium on-camera flash unit. Great for Macro photography, crap for anything else. However, some of these go up to 200ws or more in rated power.

These are not good for glamour however. Becaue the light source is a small diameter ring, the halo you get around the subject is small and harsh.

The one in the posted image is what you want... the large reflector area surrounding the flashtube is what makes the larger softer halo shadows. These also can accomodate much larger lens diameters (although, I have never found one that will fit around my 200mm F2 Nikor.... rats).

And yes, you can rewire "almost" any head to work on any pack. You have to have a source for the right plug (for example, Novatrons, Normans, and many other use Amphenols) and they usually run $15 to $25. And you have to make sure the head will handle the voltage/wattage. There are a couple of oddball manufacturers that use power packs over 1000 volts, and you should not put a head that it not rated for that voltage on those packs.
 
 
Re: Please Help me solve my ringflash problem
Old 06-27-2004, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Are the spedos Brownline or Blackline? Drownline are the same Amphenol connectors that Novatron's use are are easy to get. I don't know about the blacklines.

I can't change the way anything operates, such as changing modeling lights from DC to AC.
 
 
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