Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wafer and Marco Vallentin

Hello Gary.

The attached picture is shot with four Wafers plus a Bowens reflector with grid: I have used a set-up which I call "Orion" (check the reflections, and you'll see why !) "Orion" is a dual-symmetrical set-up, that resembles the look you get from using ringflash, but is much more controllable:

Above the lens, is a Bowens reflector with a narrow grid, below the lens is my primary fill - a small Wafer, and to each side, two large Wafers. The two large Wafers act dual-duty as secondary fills, but their prime function is to induce active reflexes (ed. highlights) in the shiny latex fabric - a technique commonly used for photographic vintage wine bottles! From the reflection, you also notice that on the right Wafer, both baffles have been removed, to obtain a slight more asymetrical look ! My client was DeMask, in Haarlem NL who are the world's largest fetish clothing label (model: Miss-Suzn, MUA: Louva, setdresser: Siba Kladic)

I know you were one of the men behind Chimera some years ago, so you must be the perfect man to ask this:

What will you say are the biggest differences between your Wafer Strip 200 and a Chimera Super PRO Strip Bank? I ask you this, since the Wafer Strip 200 seems more expensive than the Chimera. Perhaps the Chimera doesn't have your choice of different front and inner diffusers?
A few years ago, I bought Profotos large 4x6'RF. I really like the size of it (as a supersoft fill), but when I look inside, it's just a plain silver fabric box! In our studio, one of my colleagues has a few of your Wafers, and when I study how this is build, it's strikingly clear how much more detail has gone into this design. I have played around with the diffferent diffuser screens on his Wafers, and this what made me think, that my next box will NOT be a Profoto - but a Wafer ! [ - and you can quote me on that Gary!]

Sorry about this long mail, but for me it's pleasure to "speak" to the man who invented the Wafer design ;-)

my BEST regards,


Good question about the differences in large Strips - some of my answers are substantive and some subtle - I'll let you decide which is which:

Sizing relationships: My Strips are the same length as my rectangle banks so that you could use the rectangle/strip banks side by side (often with camera postion between) as you fill your quiver - adding flexibility (hence value) to your kit. My Chimera design did not. As example, a Wafer 200 with two Wafer Strips 200 is also like owning two Wafer 200s, etc - and can be joined to create giant edge-to edge banks (end to end - 400 x 140 cm; side by side, 280 x 200 cm). Or more interestingly, separated to background, rim and fill combinations, etc. - but with a single size relationship throughout.

Evenness - due to the silver with thin white interior you have better evenness than Chimera WITHOUT any inner baffles - add the two different graduated baffles and you have four choice of control on the distribution of light across the front diffuser or, if needed the famous Octa negative center (two baffles at once). Add the inner baffle with Chimera and you get less, not more evenness (due to all silver interior).

Second masked diffuser - again, easy added value and flexibility by a second masked diffusor that takes the width down half again. This second mask is included with my Strips but note my masked diffusers are not included (and not costed into) in the pricing for the Wafer rectangles or HexOvals.