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Thread: Portable strobes for Phamiya

  1. #1
    jmvdigital
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    Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Hey guys, I just wanted to get some quick input on where to start looking for portable flash setups for my Phamiya. Ideally, I'm thinking 2-3 off-camera location strobes (i.e., mobile, not plugged in), triggered wirelessly by the hotshoe. I started a new full-time position, part of which involves product photography. I'm looking to do some quick, lightweight shoots at several locations featuring the small product(s). Something that could also play nice with a regular Canikon DSLR system would be good. Perhaps it's as simple as picking any wireless trigger and a couple of Alien Bees? Recommendations requested.

    Much appreciated.
    -J

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    To my knowledge, AB's are not portable and need a mains power source unless you buy the battery/inverter pack? You might want to look at portable units from Elinchrom, Hensel or Profoto. IMO each has their strengths and weaknesses.

    I personally chose Elinchrom because they were very well weatherproofed, lightweight and readily available new and used.

    If money is no object, I would look at the Hensel Porty or Broncolor battery units. If you want the best selection of modifiers and are not concerned with weather-proofing, I would consider Profoto.
    Jack
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Check this out.

    http://tinyurl.com/mqezaf


    For small and lightweight battery power, this is a very cool piece of kit that we sell from Elinchrom. Works with the Skyports, enabling control of modeling lights, output, etc. Up to 1/6000th second flash duration, 6 lbs, also has a low watt LED light...


    Steve

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Okay Steve NO one ever said you guy's sold Elinchrom. Geez learn something new everyday. been looking at these quadra's actually. One thing I did not realize is i can use my bigger Ranger heads on this with a adapter
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I like the Quadra concept, but it is only 400 WS. On the upside, it's small and I can buy a $100 adapter cord and use my regular Ranger heads on the Quadra pack
    Jack
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Exactly bud and what I was thinking
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    We were posting above at the same time
    Jack
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I think that you still get 400WS with a ranger heads, no?
    I am needing sometimes more than that on sunny days for full length shots.
    -bob

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Maybe not Bob just a slight diffuser material and you may get F11.

    Knock your ranger down to 400 watts and see what you come up with
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Yes, you are limited to the power output of the pack, which for the Quadra is 400WS. The Ranger is 1100WS, or about 1-1/2 stops more light which can make a difference in brighter light. With MF, you usually want smaller stops so 400WS is marginal IMO. But OTOH this pack is less than half the size and weight and probably more than adequate for most DSLR needs. The fact it is cross compatible with the bigger Rangers is a plus.
    Jack
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  11. #11
    New Member footoograaf's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I prefer this one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...specifications. it's more $ but also with more power 1200w/s.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    the quadra is great for all work you normally would do as a strobist but with MUCH more power and speed.
    I love the light quality of the standard reflector, I normally don't use anything else.

    The Ranger RX/speed is a totally different story it's raw power, combine it with the Elinchrom Maxispot and you will kill the sun in most cases.

    For people interested I did a series of infomercials on the Ranger and Quadra on www.youtube.com/frankdoorhof

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Nice. This Quadra seems to be a great location kit for a wedding/portrait shooter IMO. Better than a couple of SB900s and Pocket Wizards and all the cords needed. It's a Norman/Quantum/Lumedyne killer to my way of thinking.

    I'd question it for the small product photography the original poster is asking about. MF Digital tabletop typically needs to be shot @ ISO 50 for max resolution of detail and true capture of tonal gradations ... and needs to be stopped down to the lens defraction limit just to gain enough depth-of-field (which is why I use a view camera with full T/S for this work).

    If you diffuse the light at all, (and you will) you'll most likely run out of light pretty quickly. Even two of the Quadra boxes, each driving a single head may not be enough. 400 w/s is puny when it comes to product work in my direct experience. If on location, it needs to soundly over-power any foreign light, which can vary all over the place both in color temp and intensity.

    It's a universal problem. People want a stand alone, battery driven solution ... but that comes at a compromise. If it's smaller, it's less powerful. If it's more powerful, it's not small anymore.

    I'd seriously think through whether the Battery Driven requirement is really a requirement. If not, there are a host of small and very powerful solutions available.

    Marc

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    Member Clawery's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I still like the Profoto line of portable solutions. They are a bit beefy, but can be used in studio too. I recommend the R series because of the built in Pocket Wizards.

    http://www.profoto.com/products/prof...y/pro-b2-1200r

    http://www.profoto.com/products/prof...ry/acuteb-600r

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by Clawery View Post
    I still like the Profoto line of portable solutions. They are a bit beefy, but can be used in studio too. I recommend the R series because of the built in Pocket Wizards.

    http://www.profoto.com/products/prof...y/pro-b2-1200r

    http://www.profoto.com/products/prof...ry/acuteb-600r

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    Chris, I use Profoto in studio, however the Acute B 600 only has one outlet, so one would need 2 or three boxes to run 3 lights.

    Jack has mentioned that the Profoto B2 is not weather proof compared to the Elinchrom battery packs. Can you comment on that?
    The B2 is quite expensive and most certainly not small or light weight. Harder to use when working alone without grips or assistants to lug it around.

    Again, I think one has to really think through the need for a portable pack.

    One solution for a versatile system is a set of monos or a 1000 w/s AC powered pack and a separate battery generator for the occasional need where AC power isn't available. Hensel makes one called the Visit which will power two 500 w/s monos or a 1000 w/s box with multiple heads ... it provides 2 common household plug receptacles which will drive anything including a laptop.

    Another solution is the trusty old Dynalite UNI-400 kit. It offers dual AC/battery power capibility Monos that plug in to an outlet for 400 w/s per head, or hook up to small Jack Rabbit batteries for 320 w/s output per head.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...d_Package.html

    These can be found used for a very reasonable price.

    Marc

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I'm moving to all battery right now two Ranger packs but need a couple more heads. These Quadras though add another element to get really portable.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Chris, I use Profoto in studio, however the Acute B 600 only has one outlet, so one would need 2 or three boxes to run 3 lights.

    Jack has mentioned that the Profoto B2 is not weather proof compared to the Elinchrom battery packs. Can you comment on that?
    The B2 is quite expensive and most certainly not small or light weight. Harder to use when working alone without grips or assistants to lug it around.

    Again, I think one has to really think through the need for a portable pack.

    One solution for a versatile system is a set of monos or a 1000 w/s AC powered pack and a separate battery generator for the occasional need where AC power isn't available. Hensel makes one called the Visit which will power two 500 w/s monos or a 1000 w/s box with multiple heads ... it provides 2 common household plug receptacles which will drive anything including a laptop.

    Another solution is the trusty old Dynalite UNI-400 kit. It offers dual AC/battery power capibility Monos that plug in to an outlet for 400 w/s per head, or hook up to small Jack Rabbit batteries for 320 w/s output per head.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...d_Package.html

    These can be found used for a very reasonable price.

    Marc

    Purchasing battery powered strobes is a tricky balance. You have to really think hard about what you want as there are many compromises. If you want performance, you have to deal with weight. If you want portability, you have to deal with limitations. Will you use 1 head per pack or will you double up? How will this affect battery life? Know what is important to you and even prioritize those factors and then the best product will jump out.


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  18. #18
    jmvdigital
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Thanks everyone! I've got to spend some more time getting familiar with the products and brand, and start to develop a long term game plan for the shooting style and concepts. Then can I figure out what features will be beneficial in a lighting solution. You've given me a good head start and great advice to think on.

    -J

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by jmvdigital View Post
    Thanks everyone! I've got to spend some more time getting familiar with the products and brand, and start to develop a long term game plan for the shooting style and concepts. Then can I figure out what features will be beneficial in a lighting solution. You've given me a good head start and great advice to think on.

    -J
    Jim:

    If you have not added the Q Flash from Quantum please check it out. It is a small battery powered unit that has both TTL modules for Canon 5D Mark 2 and Phamiya. I just spent some time testing this unit with both and I really light it for a quick grab strobe with full power controls. It has a remote on top of the camera that allows for quick up and down power changes on the fly, really useful for tricky light scenes. It is a staple in the wedding markets. What I really like about it is some of the light modifiers. A soft box, diffuser, and bare bulb with enough power to create the mood you want on or off camera axis. The battery system is of course Quantum too, which speaks for itself.

    I found the exposures to be very accurate with TTL module on both Phamiya and Canon 5D Mark 2. Nice to be able to switch the modules that way too.

    http://www.qtm.com/

    Check out the Q Flash Academy where you will learn a lot about that strobe.



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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Another vote for the Quantum Q flash systems. I'm not a fan of TTL, so still use only manual or the flash' auto mode---but can attest that the Q is a sturdy workhorse of a system. I'm still using the old Quantum Qflash model T and T2 with Turbo batteries at weddings/events. (about ten years old!) They just keep going! Same beautiful light quality, so I've found no need to upgrade to the latest iterations. Many modifiers available. Work flawlessly with Pocket Wizards as well as with other lights. I've only had to re-cell the Turbo batteries....

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    Senior Member faneuil's Avatar
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Another vote for the Quantum T5dr. Super compact and long lived battery pack (the latest Turbo model)

    Very nice wireless TTL with the canon.
    No TTL that I can make work with phamiya and p45 digital back however.

    Right now trying to get my T5dr to mount onto a Mola demi for portable headshots.
    (Mola is about to release a swivel handle and mount to adapt portable flashes to the Demi model)

    cheers,
    Eric
    Last edited by faneuil; 18th August 2009 at 12:37.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I've been using them for years and all the above advice is spot on.

    FWIW I use a couple o fHensel Porty Premium packs but with converted Profoto heads. I get the cost/weight advantage of the Porty Premium pack, but with the Profoto heads I get access to just about every light modifier in just about every rental house in the world, sadly Hensel don't have that complete network that profoto has.

    Also the Profoto heads can give me very short flash durations, handy now as I have switched from Hassy H2 (1/800th sec sync) to Mamiya AFD II (1/125th sec sync).
    (Come on Phamiya with the leaf lenses)

    The Hensel Porty Premium has 1200W of symmetric and asymmetric power, that means you can adjust the 2nd head in relation to the first.

    Very very sturdy, very well designed and built, truly shower proof.

    Just expect to be asked lots of questions at airports... damn thing does x ray like a bomb (wires, lights.. big dense bit at the bottom)


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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by dogstarnyc View Post
    Very very sturdy, very well designed and built, truly shower proof.
    Sounds like something for Jack...
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Sounds like something for Jack...

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    You guys are just toooooo funny!

    ()

    BUT! I have just received word we will have a quadra pack and head in Oregon to demo
    Jack
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  26. #26
    Johannes01
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    uh..Thanks for your good ideas.Please wait for me checking it out.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    These may not be adequate for your needs, but I get good results with my Metz mecablitz system. Nice thing about it...I get full wireless exposure control.

    I have a 70, a 50, and two 54's. I can use any one as controller on the camera, and the other three as slaves.

    Keeping the Ni-Cd batteries charged for the 70/50 is a bit tough, though. The have Ni-MH now...not sure if they perform any better. In either case, the batteries can get pretty pricey.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by gsking View Post
    These may not be adequate for your needs, but I get good results with my Metz mecablitz system. Nice thing about it...I get full wireless exposure control.

    I have a 70, a 50, and two 54's. I can use any one as controller on the camera, and the other three as slaves.

    Keeping the Ni-Cd batteries charged for the 70/50 is a bit tough, though. The have Ni-MH now...not sure if they perform any better. In either case, the batteries can get pretty pricey.
    How do you do that?

    I have two 70s I'd like to use that way.

    Thanks,

    Marc

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Marc,

    You have the 3952 adapter, right? I'm assuming it works on the new cameras the same way it works on my AFD.

    The secret trick on the 76/70/50 is that it has built-in slave capability without the connecting controller attached. So, as just the potato masher, it will default to Channel 1 slave. Set the one on the camera to A and Co1, and it will trigger the remote.

    I'm pretty sure it's 1:1 (no ratio), and I don't think it can be varied, but I'm not sure.

    I haven't used it this way in over a year.

    The 54 will work as a slave, but it needs either a matching module (3952 in this case) or 3083 slave module attached. IIRC-YMMV

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I think Marc will have to use the 3083 Slave module. I have a Metz 76-MZ5 and Metz 54-4. I have never tried as a trigger/slave. So I can use the 54 to trigger the 76 without the additional module? I am going to try this.

    BTW the newer batteries are much better. However you need to charge/discharge a few times to bring them to max capacity.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Yep. The 70 and 50 do it, so I'm sure the 76 will. You have to disconnect the cable from the potato masher. It's buried in the manual somewhere, in that rigid translation from German.

    Put the 54 on your camera and try it on your stripped 76.

    The 3083 will give added functionality, but then you'll have to deal with the cable flapping around.

    Yeah, the cost of the Ni-MH batteries plus the charger is more than I can stomach.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    You are right!!!!.. Found this in the manual

    The Metz remote mode is supported by various flash unit types:
    Mecablitz type Controller functionn Slave function
    76 MZ-5 digital yes yes
    70 MZ-5 yes yes
    70 MZ-4 yes yes, with SCA 3083
    54 MZ-... yes yes, with SCA 3083
    50 MZ-5 yes ja
    45 CL-4 digital no yes, with SCA 3083
    44 MZ-2 no yes, with SCA 3083
    40 MZ-... yes yes, with SCA 3083
    34 CS-... no yes
    28 CS-2 digital no yes
    The flash units mecablitz 76 MZ-5 digital, 70 MZ-5 and 50 MZ-5
    automatically become slave flash units if the handle mount is operated
    without a control unit.


    Quote Originally Posted by gsking View Post
    These may not be adequate for your needs, but I get good results with my Metz mecablitz system. Nice thing about it...I get full wireless exposure control.

    I have a 70, a 50, and two 54's. I can use any one as controller on the camera, and the other three as slaves.

    Keeping the Ni-Cd batteries charged for the 70/50 is a bit tough, though. The have Ni-MH now...not sure if they perform any better. In either case, the batteries can get pretty pricey.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsking View Post
    Yep. The 70 and 50 do it, so I'm sure the 76 will. You have to disconnect the cable from the potato masher. It's buried in the manual somewhere, in that rigid translation from German.

    Put the 54 on your camera and try it on your stripped 76.

    The 3083 will give added functionality, but then you'll have to deal with the cable flapping around.

    Yeah, the cost of the Ni-MH batteries plus the charger is more than I can stomach.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Aha, looks like the 70 MZ-4 (no front fill flash) may not have this functionality. I seem to recall reading that. I thought the 50 had an MZ-4 version as well, but can't find evidence.

    Both of mine are MZ-5's.

    Note that the 54's need a module attached to be used as a slave (and obviously as a controller) I have the 3083 which works fine, but I suppose any module with Metz remote would work. It wouldn't care that the actuating camera was a different brand.

    In other words, I could probably use my 54 with 3302 Minolta/Sony module attached as it has both Sony protocol and Metz Remote protocol built in.

    I should give it a try.

    Greg
    Last edited by gsking; 25th August 2009 at 15:36.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I am going to try it without the 3083 module tonight. I love the translation in their manuals. Words spelled wrong or not even translated.. ja---yes.

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I use the Metz 54 with my Phase body , works nice but I am really looking at this Quadra's for all sorts of stuff. I will get a demo in Oregon and try them out at the workshop, might hire a couple models for this.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Greg... It worked as you described. I ordered the 3083 module so i could use my metz 54s as a strobe/slave combo. thanks

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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    I use (and would definitely recommend!) Profoto: B2 for outdoors and D4 for studio work, with 3 Pro heads & 1 ring flash - they would give you as much raw power & flexibility as you might need for your work, but they aren't the smallest or lightest of the pack (nor the cheapest, if this is of concern to you).
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    Re: Portable strobes for Phamiya

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Greg... It worked as you described. I ordered the 3083 module so i could use my metz 54s as a strobe/slave combo. thanks
    Cool. Yeah, I've used the 54 as a hair light with the 3083. It's easier to use than the 50 or 70, and also has manual level control. The 70 can be quite bright if placed too close.

    Greg

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