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Jinbei Outdoor Flash


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hi Sigmund,


I (we) are not familiar with this product.


It looks like an 'ok' product. Doesn't look like the 'best' nor the worst'. Be sure to read the comments of the url that you sent. Lots of shooters are reporting a very low synch speed --- 1/160th ish. I also noticed that the flash power variation does not go below 1/16th. In addition, the WS (watt second) seems a bit low on this unit.


I'm not sure if you're a Lab shooter or an exterior full sunlight capture guy, but in general, the more light you can buy, the better. If you're the outside shooter, (documenting rock art in full sun)— don't forget that you will need enough light to get 'through' your ND filters.


I'm not sure how you plan to trigger your light. I'd suggest wireless (no synch cable). Before you buy make sure that you can trigger this light with Pocket Wizard 'like' devices. If you do shoot with a long synch cord make sure that it is looong. (our extra long cable are 30 footers). This will reduce cable vibrations that could move the camera around.


You also might want to look into the accessories of this unit: extra battery when it goes down, time to recharge, filter holder?


There are numerous RTI shooters who have purchased the Alien Bee 1600 as well as the 'Einstein 640'. Check it out!




Let us know what you end up purchasing.



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Hi Marlin,


thank you!


Most of my objects are kept in museums. Only some of them are outside but I will not document them in full sunlight. Thus, 400 WS should be OK? AT the moment I use a sony HVL F60M flash (actually, I do not know how much WS it has ...).


Concerning the synch time: Isn't 1/160-200 good enough? Isn't it enough light for my purposes? I do not know much about it.


You say "the more light you can buy, the better". Do you mean, it is good to be well equipped for every possible situation and light condition or would you say, RTIs become always better the more light power you use?


Thank you so much, the CHI forums are really helpful!



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Dear Sigmund,


I did a quick look up on the Sony flash. You should be Ok with that unit on objects up to about 3-4 to maybe 5 feet across. Make sure that the flash is in the Manual mode. Your light output should be on the same setting throughout the capture sequence. (stay away from ETTL, or TTL) Manual Only.


400ws seems a bit low (this is the figure that I saw in the specs). I suppose that you could get away with this, but I wouldn't go much lower than that. A 400ws might not be very useful out side in full shade or sun (not with ND filters and a smaller aperture).


We tend to use a 640ws, 800ws and 1600ws strobes. Most of the time we grab the 1600ws strobe. More light allows the 'string length' to be longer. Thus allowing the documentation of larger objects. Remember that your string length must be at least 2x the distance of the area of interest of your object. If you are documenting and area that is 4 foot wide, then you need a string that is at *least 8 foot.


Having more Light.

Having more light, or rather the ability to turn up (or down) the light output is important bc than that means you have more Exposure Setting options. For example, you might be able to dial down your ISO to 100 instead of having to shoot at 325 or 400. More light could get you to a better DoF (depth of field) by giving you the ability to use a smaller aperture like F11. etc etc.


The synch time.

The 1/160th should be ok. But realize that it may never get faster (according to the material/feedback that I read on that product), incase you were intending to use the flash for tasks in addition to RTI. 


I hope that his information helps!



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Dear Marlin,


yes, this was very helpful - thank you.


I will always document only certain sections of my objects. These sections are appr. 30-60cm, perhaps up to 90/100cm (appr. 1-3 feet). That seems to be OK with this euipment, doesn't it?


Do you know, how many WS this sony unit has? I can find the information neither in the manual nor on the internet. I assumed that the Jinbei has much more power?


Concerning the Sony flash: As far as I understood, I can't select the manual mode when I have selected the wireless mode. But I need the wireless mode, don't I? Why is it so important to use only the manual mode?


Thank you so much!



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hi Sigmund,


Your Sony flash 'speedlight' will have plenty of performance for objects within the 1 to 3 foot range. Make sure your beam spread to set to its widest. Go for wide even light distribution.


Sony flash and Manual setting.

The basic idea here is to provide broad, even and *consistent light for each light position of your image sequence. Your flash should be in Manual Mode. Every time the flash is triggered, the light output needs to be *Exactly the same, this is achieved by switching the flash to Manual mode . Don't use ETTL or TTL for RTI data acquisition. You should take a good look at the sony flash feature functions and see if your flash actually can be set to Manual and if it already has a built in wireless trigger.


It might be IR trigger or a 'wireless radio' type trigger, not sure. Another option is that you can use a long long synch cable to fire the flash.


You should take a look at the "Lighting Setup" and the "Flash lighting options" sections of the RTI Capture Guide. You can read more at the link.






Hope that this information helps!



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everything you tell me is very helpful. Thank you!


I checked the flash and see, that I (of course) can select wireless modus and manual modus at the same time. My question was stupid.


Now, another question is on my mind: The sony flash is triggered by the integrated camera flash. Thus, I always have two flash lights and alway two points on the spheres - a tiny and a big one. Is that a problem or is the integrated flash too weak? Does it disturb my RTI results?


Thanks and best regards



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You need to be able to turn the On-camera flash to Off. There is likely a setting, perhaps its a custom setting. Camera manual documentation?


The only light source that is triggered during a RTI data capture is the one that creates the LP (light positions).


The idea is to have One specular highlight on the spheres. The software looks for those highlights to track the position of the light as it moves around the object.


Though it is possible to shoot an RTI with a small fill light, such as a ring flash, it is not recommended, and the quality of the surface normal comes into question. Thats a different topic.


Thanks for posting to the CHIForums!



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