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166+ Series #18: Tipster 166+, Flash Study

Here it is, flash photography. It’s one of the columns of film photography, and (at the same time) a great problem for photographers, due to the enormous quantity of possible different settings that a photographer can do.

Photo by b0rn2b1ush

Tipsteroids were “Tips and Tricks” about composition of the image, with the Lubitel 166+. Now we can skip to an other kind of stuff: real tipsters, or better “technical tipsters”.

Let’s start from flash settings. The possibility of making huge mistakes in this kind of photography makes possible to ruin entire rolls of film. Film photography has several problems during flash photography, due to the incredibly high quantity of variables:

  • Kind of film (slide, color negative, black and white).
  • ISO of film.
  • Format of film (large, medium, 35mm).
  • Type of lens.
  • Distance of the camera from the subject.
  • Shutter speed and aperture.
  • Ambient light (presence of lamps and their power in indoor and outside light in open environments).
  • Power of flash light.
  • Direction of incidence on the subject of flash light rays.

The bigger risk is both underexposure and overexposure. There are existing general charts of configuration with aperture/shutter speed settings, which should suit every kind of camera. Well, personally I think that it’s not true: every camera/flash combination require its own settings, according to the other parameters that we saw before.

My suggestion is: waste one or two rolls to examine and study all the combinations. For example:

  • Put your subject in the conditions (light, distance, etc) that you want to “study”.
  • Set 1/60 shutter speed (is the most used shutter speed in flash photography).
  • Apply (shot by shot) a sequential variation of apertures (without changing the power of flash and the distance from the subject).
  • When you will develop and scan your film, you will choose the better exposure shot among the different aperture-changed shot you made. You can use always that aperture/shutter speed settings with that specific flash, in those specific conditions.

Obviously the result of your “study” will be valid only in that specific conditions.

This method is annoying, I know!
For this reason, in the next episode I will tell you how to upgrade this study method, giving you a general chart that can suit (with proper modifications) all the flashes that you can use with the Lubitel 166+!

Disclaimer: We spoke about philosophy, history (ancestors and birth of the project of the Lubitel 166+), tech specs. Inside all the previous article I left some little, but very important, details that will let you easily interpret the next ones. These articles are meant to be read in series, so don’t lose the opportunity to go and check the previous episodes.

Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice).
Read more about Alessandro’s work and life in his tumblr or add him on Facebook or Google+.

written by yopanic

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