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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 11 Sep 2012 (Tuesday) 13:41
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How many watts / Ws is ideal to overpower the sun in the middle of the noon?

 
5W0L3
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Sep 11, 2012 13:41 |  #1

Lets say using a silver beauty dish reflector.. approximately how many Ws do you guys set your strobe to (assuming you only use one strobe)?

Basically sun is out, no clouds, and its 12 noon and you are shooting at somewhere around f/8 - f/11.


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sigma ­ pi
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Sep 11, 2012 14:04 |  #2

there is no perfect answer, it depends on distance to subject, max sync speed ect ect

Ill say 1200 ws


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emdzey01
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Sep 11, 2012 14:20 |  #3

Do you want to balance flash with ambient (1/200 f/11 ISO100) or do you want to underexpose the background by a certain number of stops?

It all depends on what you're trying to achieve. Most photographers will tell you that an Einstein E640 or AB1600 will be able to balance or even underexposure the sun by 1 stop, given a reasonable distance between the light and the subject being exposed by the strobe.


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Sep 11, 2012 14:40 |  #4

5W0L3 wrote in post #14977374 (external link)
Lets say using a silver beauty dish reflector.. approximately how many Ws do you guys set your strobe to (assuming you only use one strobe)?

Basically sun is out, no clouds, and its 12 noon and you are shooting at somewhere around f/8 - f/11.

To overpower the sun under these conditions, your strobe will need to provide f/16 or better.


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dmward
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Sep 11, 2012 15:09 |  #5

Here is a table from the Buff website for the 22" high output beauty dish with both the sock and deflection disk.
I expect that the sock absorbs close to a stop of light so without it you can add that back.


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Hot ­ Bob
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Sep 11, 2012 16:59 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #6

Overpowering the sun in those conditions can take a little light or a lot of light. There are a lot of variables. I shot a while back with a full 4800w/s through a bare silver beauty dish and didn't have enough light to squash the sun as much as I wanted. On the other hand, I've shot with a 550EX on 1/2 power in full sun and got what I wanted. Distance to subject, type of modifier, and how many stops you're trying to reduce the ambient are all going to be factors in determining your needs.

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dmward
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Sep 11, 2012 17:05 |  #7

As Bob points out. You have to start with where you want the ambient exposure. That will dictate, F-stop, ISO and shutter speed. Then, based on those you have to decide where the light will be relative to the subject and with which modifier. Finally, you can determine what power setting is necessary for the strobe to deliver the required light.

At least that would be the decision process I'd use.


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Curtis ­ N
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Sep 11, 2012 17:21 |  #8

5W0L3 wrote in post #14977374 (external link)
Lets say using a silver beauty dish reflector.. approximately how many Ws do you guys set your strobe to (assuming you only use one strobe)?

Basically sun is out, no clouds, and its 12 noon and you are shooting at somewhere around f/8 - f/11.

Conspicuously absent in your described scenario is any reference to distance. It's critical to understand that distance is a huge part of the equation. Once you have an estimate on that, the chart David posted will be useful.

I can overpower the sun with a 580EX II (diffused) at a distance of 4 inches.


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dmward
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Sep 11, 2012 17:28 |  #9

Curtis N wrote in post #14978229 (external link)
Conspicuously absent in your described scenario is any reference to distance. It's critical to understand that distance is a huge part of the equation. Once you have an estimate on that, the chart David posted will be useful.

I can overpower the sun with a 580EX II (diffused) at a distance of 4 inches.

Curtis, now someone is going to ask which modifier and will it cover full figure. :-)


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Sep 11, 2012 18:39 |  #10

5W0L3 wrote in post #14977374 (external link)
Lets say using a silver beauty dish reflector.. approximately how many Ws do you guys set your strobe to (assuming you only use one strobe)?

Basically sun is out, no clouds, and its 12 noon and you are shooting at somewhere around f/8 - f/11.

In bright sun (and assuming ISO 100),

  • if you had f/8 on the lens you would need to use 1/400 on the shutter (sunny 16 rule for bright sun = 1/ISO f/16) for 'correct exposure'. But if you needed ambient light to be underexposed by -1EV, shutter now has to be 1/800.
    1/400 would force the use of HSS, and you would need to use the flash ridiculously close to the subject for it to reach the subject. Flash coverage for normal lens with 580EX would be normally GN130...but put the flash into HSS mode at 1/400 the GN drops to (at most) GN65, maybe (depending upon the flash unit!) it could even be as low as GN46, but at 1/800 it would be GN32...and at your specified f/8, it would need to be only 4' from the subject.
  • If we change aperture from f/8 to instead f/11, our shutter speed at ISO 100 could be 1/200 for 'correct exposure' and 1/400 for ambient underexposed -1EV. Using HSS flash, we have GN65 and at f/11 the flash would need to be 6' from the subject.
  • If we change aperture from f/8 to instead f/16, our shutter speed at ISO 100 would be 1/100 for 'correct exposure' and 1/200 for ambient underexposed -1EV. We could use an ordinary (non-HSS) flash.

If I used my GN54 flash unit, I would have to position it 4.5' away.

Or if I used my 500w-s studio flash it would have to be 6' away. It would have to be 2000 w-s to be 12' away.


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Sep 11, 2012 19:24 |  #11

dmward wrote in post #14978251 (external link)
Curtis, now someone is going to ask which modifier and will it cover full figure. :-)

Full body for an action figure :lol:


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bobbyz
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Sep 11, 2012 21:54 |  #12

sigma pi wrote in post #14977457 (external link)
there is no perfect answer, it depends on distance to subject, max sync speed ect ect

Ill say 1200 ws


I have Einsteins. Could never do it for typical full length shots. I know folks say so but I am with sigma pi, I feel I need atleast 1 stop more than 640ws provided by Einstein.

In real life you shooting with some modifer and restricted by how fast your max sysn speed is. Here is an example. Using BD would have given me more power but not too much.

IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s4/v9/p824617285-5.jpg

Here is Kacey dish in the evening using AB800. No problem with knocking out ambient.
IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s1/v20/p959540450-5.jpg

Here is Kacey dish with Einstein at 3/4 or more power. Around 2:00pm on the beach.
IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s2/v60/p337203392-5.jpg

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MrScott
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Sep 11, 2012 23:03 |  #13

dmward wrote in post #14977687 (external link)
Here is a table from the Buff website for the 22" high output beauty dish with both the sock and deflection disk.
I expect that the sock absorbs close to a stop of light so without it you can add that back.

David, the notes below explain how much light the sock and reflector use up... the hobd is a great source for throwing light out pretty far!

" Notes: with the diffusion sock removed (with or without the shield place), the readings are approximately 3 f-stops higher with the light-blocking shield removed (sock still in place), the readings are approximately 4/10 of an f-stop higher. "




  
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dmward
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Sep 11, 2012 23:44 |  #14

Thanks,
Just looked at the Buff site information specific to the HO BD. They say the sock is 2.5 to 3 stops.

Thus, the table above can be increased by that amount if not using the sock. The 2.5 number means an Einstein would be at F16 at 10 ft at about 160Ws. That leaves a lot of room for underexposing the ambient.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Sep 12, 2012 00:18 |  #15

You really want >=1000w/s overpower the sun and underexpose daylight.

Also, more power means you can balance daylight with less power and recycle quicker+get more pops if you use a battery.

I was showing my intern this today, will post a couple examples tomorrow of full power overpowering the sun and daylight balanced.


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How many watts / Ws is ideal to overpower the sun in the middle of the noon?
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