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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 19 Nov 2010 (Friday) 20:42
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Freezing Action With Strobes - What AF mode suits best?

 
icarus57
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Nov 19, 2010 20:42 |  #1

Hello,

I recently purchased the Elinchrom Ranger RX with an A Head and tried to test it out on a location shoot. I know that freezing action depends on the flash duration of the strobe which is 1/1450th at max power. So keeping that in mind I placed the strobe about 8 ft away from the model and used Rembrandt lighting at a 45/45, turned the power to half which would compute about 1/700th of a second (more than enough to freeze action).

I set my camera to AI Servo and had the model flare her dress to capture the flow of the fabric, but to my surprise most of my shots were out of focus and my AF point was directed at the models face at all times. Also, you could still see trails of blur from the fabric when it was in motion. Am i doing something wrong? What is the most effective technique to use when capturing motion while using strobes on location? I do appreciate your feedback




  
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Nov 19, 2010 21:14 |  #2

icarus57 wrote in post #11315283 (external link)
Hello,

I recently purchased the Elinchrom Ranger RX with an A Head and tried to test it out on a location shoot. I know that freezing action depends on the flash duration of the strobe which is 1/1450th at max power. So keeping that in mind I placed the strobe about 8 ft away from the model and used Rembrandt lighting at a 45/45, turned the power to half which would compute about 1/700th of a second (more than enough to freeze action).

I set my camera to AI Servo and had the model flare her dress to capture the flow of the fabric, but to my surprise most of my shots were out of focus and my AF point was directed at the models face at all times. Also, you could still see trails of blur from the fabric when it was in motion. Am i doing something wrong? What is the most effective technique to use when capturing motion while using strobes on location? I do appreciate your feedback

You've got to kill your ambient light, else you won't freeze the action. What's your synch speed on your camera?


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icarus57
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Nov 19, 2010 21:23 |  #3

windpig wrote in post #11315415 (external link)
You've got to kill your ambient light, else you won't freeze the action. What's your synch speed on your camera?

I use a 5D mk II, which is 1/200th max sync speed. Kill ambient meaning, take a picture without the strobes till the image is pure black? THank you again for helping me




  
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Nov 19, 2010 21:29 |  #4

Scroll down on this page for a picture that Pham took, along with comment on the ballerina's toe being out of focus.
https://photography-on-the.net …elinchrom+range​r&page=154

When you kill the ambient, the strobe at 1/700 or faster will freeze the subject. Also, be aware that the lower the power the the longer the flash duration.


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Nov 20, 2010 05:34 |  #5

icarus57 wrote in post #11315455 (external link)
I use a 5D mk II, which is 1/200th max sync speed. Kill ambient meaning, take a picture without the strobes till the image is pure black? THank you again for helping me

It means simply to turn down the ambient lighting in the studio.

One reason most serious studio photographers use studio flash units instead of Speedlites or equivalent is so that the light needed for focusing (as well as observing shadows from the lighting) comes from modeling lights rather than having bright lighting throughout the studio.


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Nov 20, 2010 09:37 |  #6

icarus57 wrote in post #11315455 (external link)
I use a 5D mk II, which is 1/200th max sync speed.

Is that the shutter speed that you used in manual, or were you in one of the "Auto" modes that might have changed it? Let's see an image with the EXIF info intact.


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icarus57
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Nov 21, 2010 22:43 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #11316924 (external link)
Is that the shutter speed that you used in manual, or were you in one of the "Auto" modes that might have changed it? Let's see an image with the EXIF info intact.

As I read the manual, my max sync for my camera is 1/200th of a sec. It's kinda frustrating because my Sekonic Light Meter doesn't meter 1/200th only 1/125 then next stop is at 1/250th. How do you dl images on here? it only accepts images 150kb and less, but my images are huge and degrading it to a small file doesnt do the picture justice. Sorry new to this site.




  
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Nov 22, 2010 00:28 |  #8

icarus57 wrote in post #11324630 (external link)
As I read the manual, my max sync for my camera is 1/200th of a sec. It's kinda frustrating because my Sekonic Light Meter doesn't meter 1/200th only 1/125 then next stop is at 1/250th. How do you dl images on here? it only accepts images 150kb and less, but my images are huge and degrading it to a small file doesnt do the picture justice. Sorry new to this site.

What Sekonic meter are you using?


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korrektor
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Nov 22, 2010 00:48 |  #9

The less power of the flash, the less is the flash duration. Ranger RX Speed will freeze just about anything. Killing the ambient means setting the aperture to the point when the ambient light can't reach
the lens. Shutter speed has nothing to do with freezing the action in this case.

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Nov 22, 2010 02:48 |  #10

SkipD wrote in post #11324978 (external link)
What Sekonic meter are you using?

Im using the L-358 model.




  
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icarus57
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Nov 22, 2010 02:52 |  #11

korrektor wrote in post #11325039 (external link)
The less power of the flash, the less is the flash duration. Ranger RX Speed will freeze just about anything. Killing the ambient means setting the aperture to the point when the ambient light can't reach
the lens. Shutter speed has nothing to do with freezing the action in this case.

QUOTED IMAGE

Wow! great image. Thanks again that does help me out a lot. Also, would you happen to know what is the most effective technique to focus movement. I've been using AI Servo to focus on the subject's face. Some say that i should depress the AF-ON button when taking the shot, another suggested I put it in MF and take the shot. What would you recommend in your professional opinion.




  
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Nov 22, 2010 06:37 |  #12

icarus57 wrote in post #11324630 (external link)
As I read the manual, my max sync for my camera is 1/200th of a sec. It's kinda frustrating because my Sekonic Light Meter doesn't meter 1/200th only 1/125 then next stop is at 1/250th. How do you dl images on here? it only accepts images 150kb and less, but my images are huge and degrading it to a small file doesnt do the picture justice. Sorry new to this site.

SkipD wrote in post #11324978 (external link)
What Sekonic meter are you using?

icarus57 wrote in post #11325254 (external link)
Im using the L-358 model.

If you look in the manual for the L-358, you will find that you can adjust some switches under the battery compartment cover for different setups. Page 8 has the details. Turning DIP switch 4 on makes the L-358 display 1/3 stop values just like you camera appears to be set for.

That said, it does not matter one whit what shutter speed you set your meter for when measuring light levels from flash sources. The reason is that aperture settings alone affect flash exposures on the camera. Assuming you are in a dark space you could literally use the proper aperture and any shutter speed which is slower than the "max sync speed" with a flash lighting source and you will have the same exposure.

In practical terms, changing the camera's shutter speed when using flash sources will only affect the exposure from ambient (constant or non-flash) light sources. If you want to minimize the effect of the ambient light in your image then you would choose the fastest possible shutter speed (at or slightly slower than the "max sync speed").


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Nov 22, 2010 07:47 |  #13

korrektor wrote in post #11325039 (external link)
The less power of the flash, the less is the flash duration. Ranger RX Speed will freeze just about anything.

This is inconsistent with what I'm reading, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you. I thought that the flash duration increased if the output on either the AS or non-AS power packs was lowered. If the B port is used on the AS power pack though, the circuitry is such that you will have a max output that is lower than the A port, but still retain the faster flash duration. One of the reasons to go with the AS power pack.

With that said, I'm finding information on the Elinchrom product line to be enigmatic.


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Nov 22, 2010 10:36 |  #14

you are not misunderstanding me, you are misunderstanding the spec readings...
but really, all you need to know is that at MAX power the Ranger has around 1/1800 (channel A, full power) The lower the power, the faster the flash. It makes sense if you think about it. The longer you expose, the more light will hit the lens.

here's profoto 7b specs from b&h

Recycle Time 2.8 sec @ maximum power, .1 sec. @ minimum power
Flash Duration 1/1400 sec. @ maximum power, 1/3000 sec. @ minimum power


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icarus57
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Nov 23, 2010 01:35 |  #15

SkipD wrote in post #11325708 (external link)
If you look in the manual for the L-358, you will find that you can adjust some switches under the battery compartment cover for different setups. Page 8 has the details. Turning DIP switch 4 on makes the L-358 display 1/3 stop values just like you camera appears to be set for.

That said, it does not matter one whit what shutter speed you set your meter for when measuring light levels from flash sources. The reason is that aperture settings alone affect flash exposures on the camera. Assuming you are in a dark space you could literally use the proper aperture and any shutter speed which is slower than the "max sync speed" with a flash lighting source and you will have the same exposure.

In practical terms, changing the camera's shutter speed when using flash sources will only affect the exposure from ambient (constant or non-flash) light sources. If you want to minimize the effect of the ambient light in your image then you would choose the fastest possible shutter speed (at or slightly slower than the "max sync speed").

OMG! you genius! LOL. Maybe I should have read the manual fully instead of acting like a excited little child playing LEGO without reading the manual. Thank you again, testing the equipment again I've examined the shutter does affect ambient light and aperture affected the strobe. I love movement, so capturing it takes quite of a skill; nonetheless, I have learned A lot from this posting.

Thank you everyone for passing you knowledge to a young Padiwan (dunno if the spelling is correct)




  
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Freezing Action With Strobes - What AF mode suits best?
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