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Studio flash vs Speedlite

 
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ConstantinCornel



Joined: 20 Apr 2015
Posts: 14
Location: Romania

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Studio flash vs Speedlite Reply with quote

Hello everybody,
I've been using a studio flash (Dynaphos Craftline GS-300) for some time for my macro shots and with some DIY diffusion I managed to get pretty good and uniform lighting. Recently I've experimented more with higher magnification 10x-50x, and after testing my lenses at someone who uses 4 speedlites for lighting I've realized that my results were kinda bad.
I'm attaching 2 examples, the first is with the studio flash and the second with my Nikon SB-800 speedlite directly through some paper (so ignore the bad diffusion). Both flashes are at about middle of the power range, the magnification is 20x, the pictures are crops.

Studio flash


Speedlite


As you can see the speedlite catches many more details, I've tried many combinations of shooting styles and diffusion and the results are about the same always.
My setup is Nikon D7200 + 200mm Micro + Mitty 20x BD
exif is: iso 100, f/4, 2" exposure with another 2" exposure delay and rear curtain flash. (at 1/200 I get a little shutter shock).

It seems to me that the studio flash exposure is too long and I record some vibrations. The SB-800 from what I've read has a shorter flash duration than my studio flash so it freezes the motion better. Could this be the reason?
And if so should I change to Speedlites? I saw that fast strobes are really expensive.

So I'm asking if anyone has encountered this problem and what could be causing it? What is the best solution for 20x-50x?
I've tried with continuous light but the results were kinda blurry, is there any way to escape the shutter shock with a dslr without electronic shutter?

Thank you.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4003
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It seems to me that the studio flash exposure is too long and I record some vibrations. The SB-800 from what I've read has a shorter flash duration than my studio flash so it freezes the motion better. Could this be the reason?

Very likely it is.

Here you have excellent tests from forum member mawyatt with different units fired at different powers:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29729
(note the different behavior of compact speedlites vs the studio strobe Interfit EXT400 400WS)
There are some studio strobes IGBT regulated that work like the speedlites at reasonable prices recently posted somewhere at the forum
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Pau
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, looks like slow studio strobes.

I have (I think) corrected a typo in Pau's posting, "IGTB" --> "IGBT". Searching the forum for "IGBT" returns quite a few good threads.

--Rik
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 983

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you see from Pau's reference there is quite some variability in actual optical "flash" period amongst strobes and speedlights at various power levels. The test that Pau references were from almost 2 years ago and many more modern studio strobes have appeared. Some I'm familiar with are the Adorama XPLOR 600, Rapid 600 and Studio 300 AC (Godox has equivalents for all these). The first two use IGBT which allows very quick optical pulse periods at lower power settings, the last uses a different circuits scheme I believe but still achieves somewhat fast outputs according to the specs.

I'm not familiar with your strobe, so can't comment and I no longer have access to the equipment to make those measurements referenced.

Note the speedlight appears to be much lower effective illumination than the strobe in your images.

One older misconception is that speedlights are faster than studio strobes. This is not necessarily true with modern studio strobes like the XPLOR 600 & Rapid 600. At "given equal power levels" near the top of the speedlight range the mentioned strobes can be significantly faster.

For example, the typical speedlight has a maximum output of ~60WS, while the XPLOR 600 & Rapid 600 are 600WS, thus 10X more powerful. At full output the Nikon SB-800 speedlight has a output period of 1/1050 while the XPLOR 600 at 1/8 -0.3 power (~60WS) is 1/2702. At 1/2 power the SB-800 is 1/1100 while the XPLOR will be at 1/16 -0.3 power (~30WS) at 1/3816 second. The Rapid 600 is even quicker at 1/7246 second @ ~30WS.

Hopefully this helps.

Best,

Mike
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 2848
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: Studio flash vs Speedlite Reply with quote

ConstantinCornel wrote:
I've tried with continuous light but the results were kinda blurry, is there any way to escape the shutter shock with a dslr without electronic shutter?

Yes, you can avoid shutter shock by using a sufficiently long shutter speed in a darkened room (darkened so that room light won't impact your image; long so that the shutter-vibrated bit at the beginning of image formation constitutes only an insignificant portion of the total image). The sufficiently-long shutter speed that works for me is eight seconds.

Do beware that if any external vibration is affecting your images (as opposed to internal vibration, such as shutter shock), long exposures will make this problem worse.

If you haven't seen it already, you might want to consider this thread: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=223142#223142 .

--Chris S.
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