Increasing Flash/Strobe Output without Increasing Power

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
ronscuba Regular Member • Posts: 266
Re: Increasing Flash/Strobe Output without Increasing Power

flyinglentris wrote:

flyinglentris wrote:

I've figured out from this thread how to stretch my budget toward my 3rd lighting purchase.

I'll be getting it all from Buff Inc., but instead of getting one more Einstein E640 and a DigiBee DB800, I've decided to beef up my light modifiers this time ...

DigiBee DB800 Flash Unit
Cybersync Transciever
13' Heavy Duty Combination Boom Stand
30" x 60" Foldable Softbox
Grid for 30" x 60" Foldable Softbox
LiteMod Unit Mainframe
LiteMod Snoot
LiteMod Barndoors
LiteMod Filter Holders, Set of (6)
LiteMod Diffusion Filters, Set of (6)
11" Long Throw Reflector
11" Long Throw Reflector 30 degree Honeycomb Grid
8.5" High Output Reflector
8.5" High Output Reflector 30 degree Honeycomb Grid
7" Standard Reflector
7" Standard Reflector (4) various angle Honeycomb Grids

I've recently received all this stuff from Buff and wow! There are some surprises wound up in these things.

1) The 30x60" Foldable Softbox is a lot deeper than I'd imagined it would be. Cranking this thing open on the Boom Stand is not an easy fit under a 10' ceiling. I'll think I'll have to go shopping for a strip box and use this big soft box vertically mounted. The grid is a rather bulky 1-1/2" deep (belt thick webs) and that too, was surprising. I had generated that Studio Dimensions thread and here's another reason to perhaps do that party tent solution for a studio.

2) The LiteMod Barndoors and the Diffusion Filters performed as expected, but the snoot dropped off in intensity by a number of stops. I wish it maintained a brighter beam power.

3) The Digibee DB800 was a welcome experience, especially with that 75W LED, effective 400W modelling light that can be used as a continuous light source. Very Nice. Granted it does not use IGBT flash cutoff for motion freezing and the modelling lamp cannot be user replaced. That's OK.

4) I worked my way through some evaluation of the various reflectors and the grids I purchased for them. Very nice. The grids don't just trim down the focus angle, but instead of intensifying the beam power of the light emitted, it is reduced by a few stops. I expected as much.

The increase in beam power generated by the reflectors and drop off in light beam power due to the grids, in the soft box and snoot has me wondering how I can estimate or calculate exposure stop adjustments, if at all. Sure, I could just flash meter and be happy.

On Buff's website, the reflectors and the soft box show effective output at full power for 10' and 5' subject distances. The output is measured as a stop + n/10. Sometimes the stop is huge, like f45, for example. These numbers certainly don't apply to lens aperture settings, but likely may only be intended to help purchasers understand the beam power amplification or reduction of the products. But I have to ask, is there a way to use these numbers during setup?

Buy a light meter.  More accurate than calculating using mfrs estimates.

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