Flash for skateboarding short FD! -- using bronica SQ-B

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by will_a., Apr 6, 2016.

  1. I have been shooting skateboarding for some time but have always felt rather limited by only using available light. I want to start shooting with flash off camera on a bronica SQ-B with an 80mm lens. I am looking for something with a short flash duration that can freeze action well without getting expensive studio lights such as lumedynes or einsteins.
    The bronica’s high sync speed of 1/500th of a second will be great for cutting down the bright daylight but correct me if I am wrong, the flash duration is what is responsible for freezing action.
    Any recommendations for affordable flash guns (without TTL—no need for it) that have a short flash duration at full power? Or is my best bet just to get multiple speedlights and power them down to make them faster? I was thinking that a fast duration at full power would be useful for keeping the flashes at a safe distance from my subject and balancing the sun.
    I was thinking about the Yongnuo 560 which according to this article (http://gock.net/2012/01/flash-durations-small-strobes/) has a pretty short flash duration when powered down but at full power seems adequate (at about 1/300s). And here (http://speedlights.net/2010/07/14/yongnuo-yn-560-speedlite-review/) there is a chart showing how these are among the fastest at full power when rated using t.1. Anyone use these for skating/other fast action shots with good results?
    It is difficult to find accurate information about flash duration as there is a lot of speculation on the web and there are two rating systems (t.5 and the more reliable t.1) that complicate matters more.
  2. SCL


    I love the old hammerhead Metz 45 CL-4, and have used it for years on all my cameras ranging from 35mm rangefinders & SLRs to modern DSLRs and my TLR (I also used it on my Bronica ETRSi when I had it). Sort of dinosaurish, but it never fails to deliver.
    laurencecochrane likes this.
  3. I used Vivitar 283s on Bronica ETRSi for years at weddings to add to the dinosaurs. I still think I got better
    exposures than I do with Canon Flashes today. They were pretty simple to use and I learned to compute fill to be kind to skin with them.
  4. I am giving away a powerful high speed flash. I used it mostly for birds in flight, without motion blur. It runs off of 12 volts (I use a small motorcycle battery) has a central power supply, a bit bigger than a shoe box, and has 4 cables leading to 4 flash heads, which are parabolic reflectors.
    It is an antique, but works well. The problem for action photography is that it is sort of a "studio" setup. You need light stands or whatever, and there are cables too. Very delicate flash heads. Would be destroyed by moisture in connectors, because of very high voltage.
    Still, I am giving it away, and it has a flash duration of about 1/30000 sec at half power. For sunlit subjects, it might not be powerful enough to avoid ghosting at the distance your sports might require. you can call me at 404-445-0989 if you wish to discuss.
  5. I use one too even on DSLRS. So uncomplicateded compared to MINISCULE LCD's and tiny push buttons. Great SIMPLE flashgun with 6 auto settings.manual and reduced power settings too.
  6. Not good if you want a short flash duration though. The t0.1 time is about 8 milliseconds, compared to 4 milliseconds for most modern speedlights. (I have the storage 'scope traces to prove it, somewhere.)
    However, the long duration allows you to use the badly-named HSS mode - Aka FP synch. - available on some cameras.
  7. Did I mention flash duration ? NO I DID'NT Granted crux of the thread..Modern flashes scunner me, far to fiddley hard to read grey on grey LCD's..Not to mention the so called PROS who use them commonly on the hot shoe IDIOTS ! The Metz does what I need. The Metz you dial in, thats it Simples. Granted outdated and bulky. But so am I

  8. That is ONE f stop at full power..Obviously flashes must be the same full power output otherwise comparisons are bullshit. or are you comparing apples with oranges ? The Metz has six auto settings any one of which will be much shorter duration than that quoted, in real usage.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  9. Flash output is measured in energy. So you can have a high 'brightness' over a short time, or a lower brightness over a longer time with the same resultant exposure.

    The hammedhead Metz 60CT-4 has a true GN one stop greater than the YN560, and the YN560 'scope trace is fairly typical of the most powerful hotshoe speedlights. However, you can see that to get the higher exposure on the Metz, the shutter has to stay open for 10 milliseconds - 1/100th second. Whereas the YN560 is fully discharged in 5 milliseconds - 1/200th second. Therefore, at full output, the Metz isn't as good at freezing fast action. It's also not going to show its full 'power' advantage at any shutter speed shorter than 1/100th second.

    Looking at the 0.5 exposure point on the 'scope trace, the Metz flash duration should be 2 milliseconds - 1/500th second, which, agreed is shorter than the YN560 at full output. But that's generally not how these things are used or perceived. The faster rise time of the speedlight gives a visually sharper image for a given exposure.

    Also, why would you put up with a bulky 60CT-4 and its power pack, if you're only going to throttle it back to 1/2 'power'?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
  10. I do not have a CT60 and power pack. This discussion was around CT45-4 Same as I have.
  11. Same goes for the 45CT/CL series, except for the shoulder pack, and a drop of around 1/3rd stop in light output compared to the 60CT series. The flash decay time is about the same.

    I just didn't have a 45CT - X 'scope trace to hand.

    Incidentally, all the battery packs for my 45CT/CL series Mecablitzes now need re-celling, for the 2nd or 3rd time, and a couple of the synch leads have become brittle and cracked. Replacement battery packs and leads make the things uneconomical to keep in service, and the full-pop recycle time is twice as long as anything modern. That, and their weight and bulk, just make them white elephants these days.

    Two modern speedlights on a bracket are about the same weight, but give more light at 1/250th synch speed. They also have a much shorter flash duration at equivalent light output and a much faster recycle time. Plus the flexibility of having two light sources available and the convenience of working off a handful of easily obtained rechargeable AAs.
  12. Those Metz 45 series flashes work with regular or rechargeable AAs too. No need to find battery pack workarounds.
    Considering the camera the units are to be used with, hammerheads aren't really increasing the bulk or making things that much more cumbersome. In fact, in handheld action photography using a MF camera, an extra grip might be good to have.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  13. Feeding any flash on disposable alkaline cells? Rather your wallet taking the strain than mine.

    As for rechargeables: The replaceable AA holder for Metz 45 series flashes is designed solely for 6 disposable 1.5 volt cells, to give 9v. The rechargeable NiCd pack (I don't think Metz ever progressed to NiMH) only supplies about 7.2 volts and mates with a different terminal inside the flash handle. So fitting lower voltage NiCd or NiMH cells in the disposable holder results in lower performance, longer recycling and a lower number of pops compared to the purpose-made rechargeable pack. And Metz warns that it might also damage the circuitry - but I'm not sure if there's any real-world evidence for that.

    To be used only with MF cameras? Considering that the main market for those flashes was with national and local newspaper photographers, it's a fair bet that 90% of them sat next to a 35mm camera. Especially from the mid 1970s onwards, when the days of PJs sporting a Rolleiflex TLR were well over.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  14. Rechargeables in the AA cage work fine. No problem. NiMH better than NiCd.

    Use in conjunction with a MF camera is the subject of this thread. No matter that 35 mm cameras might have used these units as well.
  15. Dont use it that often SO NOT A PROBLEM. Used on Bronica SQA Mamiya C33 and Mamiya RB 67 I also use on my Canon F1 New, A1 and Canon 7D MkII
  16. If we're getting pedantic about the OP (from 2016), then the 'off camera' bit is another good reason not to use the clumsy old Metz hammerheads. Because fitting them to a portable light stand is a complete pain.

    If you simply screw one to the top of a stand, you can't easily angle it downwards - not unless you dangle it upside down from its bracket like a sleeping bat. Plus you'll probably want to avoid a long trip-hazard synch cord, and then where do you fix your radio triggers?

    Whereas stand-to-hotshoe adapters are readily and cheaply available that easily angle up or down. The radio trigger will clip onto the flash shoe and into the adapter. Neat and tidy. No cables and no rigging triggers with elastic bands or cable-ties.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
  17. The base plate screws directly to the top of the lamp stand To angle downward simple as a very small (CHEAP) tripod ball joint. NOT SO DIFFICULT ! My small radio trigger can easlily hang by its PC wire NO BIGGIE. I usually wrap the PC extension round the lamp stand / boom no tape or ties.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
    q.g._de_bakker likes this.
  18. Problems are often made out to be more than they are.
  19. Nobody said the issues with Metz hammerheads were insurmountable - just unnecessary when neater, lighter, more ergonomic and efficient alternatives are available.

    They were great in their day, but then so were flashbulbs, and trays of magnesium powder before that.
  20. FUNNY You are the very person who every time Metz hammerheads are mentioned you stand hard on the line thet these LITTLE ISSUES ARE INSURMOUNTABLE.

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