How many w/s's for 4x5 inch?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by gurney_tim, May 5, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    Guess that this question has already been asked...For studio work with a 4x5
    what kind of w/s from makes like Elinchrom does one need?

    Needing to "black the background", standing portraits and other work. In the
    shops they tell me that 400 w/s is not enough and they work the way up the
    pricelist to stellar levels.

    Any and all advice will be appreciated here as I have no experince in this area.

  2. It really depends on how close you will be to the subject and what lens you will use. 1600 WS is a minimun, 2400 preferable but not absolutely necessary.
  3. Well this is pretty wide, 2400WS seems to be the strict minimum to work by . 4X5 is inherently light consuming (generally have a Minimum of F16 to start with (That is without using ANY Movements )) F 32 and f 45 is more like it .If you're lucky there might be 10 WS remaining from your 400Ws This is logarithmic hence for each stop difference = 400-200-100-50-25-12.Welcome to 4 X 5 Photography when big is not very big.
  4. When I was shooting 4x5 100 ISO transparency work daily in the studio ( I now shoot digitally) I used, and still have, 3-4800ws packs. Often they would be dialed down 1/2 - 1 stop for some of the heads but there were many times when I'd be using at least one or more on full power. Rarely would I be shooting at less than f-32 and usually I'd use f-45 with longer lenses.
  5. W/s really doesnt matter unless one is shooting hummingbirds, bullets or fast sports. <BR><BR>Watts per second is the slope of the strobes light curve until full duration. <BR><BR>Watt Seconds is the energy in the flash cap. One can light a tabletop settup with multiple pops using a dinky strobe; if one uses a bulb exposure in a darkened room. Some high end interior shots, cave shots, outdoor night shots are done this way; with many shots that paint/fil in the scene. <BR><BR>using the false term w/s for flash energy is like saying a car gets 30 gallon-miles; or saying you make 12 buckshours; or asking for a big over mac at mcdonalds. Its like saying the fstop is in seconds; the shutter speed is f8. Its like saying the football is one the 45 line yard; a man is on base first; the teenage girl has a pod/i; or calling google; "goggle". Its like scratching the fingers on the chaulkboard; be carefull about applying for a job using goofy terms. <BR><BR>Guide numbers dont matter with format. At f8 on a 110 is the same as f8 on a 8x10 camera. Thus a guide number of 80 makes a shot at 10 feet work; since 8 time 10 equals 80.
  6. "Guide numbers dont matter with format. At f8 on a 110 is the same as f8 on a 8x10 camera. Thus a guide number of 80 makes a shot at 10 feet work; since 8 time 10 equals 80."

    Well, the limitations in the lenses in different formats do make a difference though. With 4x5 you have slower lenses that you'll use more likely at f22 for most stuff and with bellows extensions that require twice the light, so YES format makes a difference.

    I would say you'll need probably a 1000 w/s light or two to start with at least. I shot a 4x5 occasionally with a 800ws pack and it was very limiting as to what aperture and shutter speed I could use. Not a huge deal if you're shooting products, but multipops are so much of an option with people...unless you're wanting to create some special effects of course.
  7. Interesting; here I have a press camera with a F2.5 178mm; a F3.5 210mm; a 150mm F2.8 lens. The reason folks use a bigger unit with tabletop 4x5 is they often use the iris closed down more; to make more of the table top settup focus. One can not buy a 1000 w/s light; they are defined in watt seconds. In shooting artwork with a 4x5 for a client thats still wants a trany; the f stop used is set for the best lens setting; often about f11 to f16 with my lenses. Here I use 4 smaller strobes so the illumination is uniform on the artwork. If you shoot a varied different types of work; having many different sizes gives one more freedom. A master homebuilder doesnt just have one saw or hammer. A master lighting chap client of ours has a van full of lighting gear to shoot house interiors.
  8. For 4x5 you want 2000-2400 watt-seconds minimum. You might not always need to use all of it depending o nthe subject and how you are lighting but you can always dial it down.
  9. are we taking about true WS or effective WS ? I think effective WS strobe is 400WS and its not true WS. I use a 4x4 and Trix 320 film, I get good results with one 1600ws (effective) at full power light strobe and book ends + reflectors.

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