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what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am using Elinchrom strobes from two days. I was wandering that what is f/ number on studio strobes? I mean people talk "my softbox was on f/5.6" What exactly that mean?

My elinchrom have power settings from 1.0 to 5.0 which increase or decrease in.1 increments (1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc)

So would I know what F number is my strobe on?
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this is where a light meter comes into play.
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It means that the light was placed at a distance from subject with a power setting on the light that made it necessary to set the lens at fx.xx ie f5.6 or f8.0 ect. in order to get a proper exposure.
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 01:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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oh ok! You mean, say if I am using a power of 3.0 on elinchrom, and the aperture is f8, then it means my power is f8 (given is properly exposing the scene) But then where the shutter speed goes?
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 05:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarao View Post
oh ok! You mean, say if I am using a power of 3.0 on elinchrom, and the aperture is f8, then it means my power is f8 (given is properly exposing the scene) But then where the shutter speed goes?
I've never used Elinchrom but it sounds like they settings are a lot like my Hensels. The "dial" or number output on the back of the strobe is NOT an fstop indicator...its a power setting. Dial it up to 5 in your case, and you will be at full power. Now what does that mean in terms of fstop?? Who knows....depends on the power out put of the strobe...and the fstop is relative to the power output as well as distance from the subject.

Turn that bad boy all the way up and put a diffused softbox on it and place it 5 ft from the subject....meter the light....lets say your meter reads f 11 at 100 ISO...put that in your memory bank....cuz in most if not all cases, the light placed 5 ft from your subject with THAT softbox at THAT power setting will read f11....now move it further from the subject say 3 ft....re-meter....it may read f8....put THAT in your memory bank, rinse and repeat....

As for the shutter speed, as long as you don't out-sync your camera, it doesn't really matter relatively speaking because you will be exposing to the speed of the strobe which should be in the 1/1000 of a second range. You need to find out what your camera sync speed is....many are in the 1/200 to 1/250 range....I set my shutter to 1/160 in most studio settings. Keep the shutter speed under your sync speed and you'll be fine...I would suggest 1/125 to 1/160 as a start....
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Bobby, thanx for the elaboration. From your explanation, it means that the "f" number i snot universal. right? I mean I can't suggest any one that I Used f/x.x number and if you'll use this number, it will produce the same results.

Did I get that right?
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 06:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarao View Post
Hi Bobby, thanx for the elaboration. From your explanation, it means that the "f" number i snot universal. right? I mean I can't suggest any one that I Used f/x.x number and if you'll use this number, it will produce the same results.

Did I get that right?
I'm not sure if I am understanding exactly what you mean, but relatively speaking, f11 at 1/125 shutter speed at ISO 100 is the same for you, me or anyone else....having said that, not all cameras may expose exactly the same....I'm not technical enough to know why 2 different brands of camera set at the exact same settings will render different exposure (minimal difference, but a different exposure nonetheless) but I have seen it happen on many occasions...


But to answer your question (I believe this will do that), if you displayed an image and stated that I shot this image at:

f8, 1/125, ISO 100

and I wanted to duplicate THAT image, the yes, relatively speaking if I metered my lights to the same exposure settings...and then set my camera to the settings you noted... in theory, I should capture the same exposure....

There are a lot of variables though.... different brand light meters have been known to offer different exposure readings... again,minimal differences...and as I stated earlier, camera sensors in some cases differ from brand to brand (at least in my experience) as to what they ACTUALLY expose in terms of the exif data
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, I got that. Means if I say my light was at fx.x and SS was at 1/xx, it means that for other peoples to duplicate the same exposure have to set the light power and keep the camera at those settings. Right?
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like you've got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarao View Post
Ok, I got that. Means if I say my light was at fx.x and SS was at 1/xx, it means that for other peoples to duplicate the same exposure have to set the light power and keep the camera at those settings. Right?
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Re: what is "f" on elinchrom
Old 04-25-2009, 09:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cool. One more question. I posted a photo on some other forum. Someone asked me, did you use f/5.6, now what that means?
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