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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 27 Feb 2012 (Monday) 13:01
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gotglade
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306 posts
Joined Apr 2010
San Rafael, CA
Sep 17, 2013 00:26 |  #496

usdm wrote in post #16300389 (external link)
Well, Id been putting it off for a lil while now, but I finally broke down and ordered a Tiffen. Have a maternity shoot this friday, and the weather is suppossed to be good, so I want to see if I can get some nice washed out backgrounds. My only challenge is that I only have two speedlites, so I guess Ill have some figuring out to do. Wish me luck :D

Congrats on the purchase! Is it a variable ND or a fixed?

If you're using speedlights then you could also use HSS (high speed sync). I've found if I use too much ND with my speedlights (580exII and 430exII) they have a hard time producing enough power, unless I bring them in VERY close. That's why I tend to stick with strobes (WL x1600 and Einstiens) when using an ND filter.
Using HSS though, the speedlight will do an extremely short burst of flashes, allowing you to use much higher shutter speeds than with a strobe (1/500th - 1/8000th). The only downside is it'll eat into the battery life of the flashes quicker than a normal flash.

Here's a shot I did a while back using speedlights and HSS.
Exif: 5dmkII, 85L, 1/8000th, f/2.0, iso 100
580exII and large silver umbrella high camera right (~7ft from subject) as main light. Bare 430exII next to subject on left (~4ft away) as rim light. The sun is directly behind her providing back/hairlight.
No ND filter.

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5336/8781486194_9bfbc206e8_o.jpg

You might also want to expirement using both HSS and the ND filter and see what kind of results you can achieve.

Glade

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3ntreri
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Nanaimo, BC
Sep 17, 2013 00:40 |  #497

All shot with a 5D2 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 + Hoya ND64X + Paul C. Buff White Lightning X1600

IMAGE: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ujBMpIpHeJk/Ui0M1LKJTrI/AAAAAAAAPoE/BwUEEqwriTE/s960/20130906_BioStation-9343-Edit.jpg

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abbadon31
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Sep 17, 2013 01:23 |  #498

Taken 12.04PM
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Exposure 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture f/1.4
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 50
Elinchrom Quadra Ranger with maxilite boomed camera center


IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3830/9720052903_808e21c2cf_c.jpg

I AM SHOM

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sdipirro
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Sep 17, 2013 14:41 |  #499

Hey, Scott, that's how my wife dresses for bed.


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

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abbadon31
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Sep 17, 2013 15:20 |  #500

sdipirro wrote in post #16304356external link
Hey, Scott, that's how my wife dresses for bed.


That could be a good thing or a bad thing. ;)


I AM SHOM

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usdm
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Joined Sep 2012
Bklyn NY
Sep 18, 2013 07:45 |  #501

gotglade wrote in post #16302765external link
Congrats on the purchase! Is it a variable ND or a fixed?

If you're using speedlights then you could also use HSS (high speed sync). I've found if I use too much ND with my speedlights (580exII and 430exII) they have a hard time producing enough power, unless I bring them in VERY close. That's why I tend to stick with strobes (WL x1600 and Einstiens) when using an ND filter.
Using HSS though, the speedlight will do an extremely short burst of flashes, allowing you to use much higher shutter speeds than with a strobe (1/500th - 1/8000th). The only downside is it'll eat into the battery life of the flashes quicker than a normal flash.

Here's a shot I did a while back using speedlights and HSS.
Exif: 5dmkII, 85L, 1/8000th, f/2.0, iso 100
580exII and large silver umbrella high camera right (~7ft from subject) as main light. Bare 430exII next to subject on left (~4ft away) as rim light. The sun is directly behind her providing back/hairlight.
No ND filter.

You might also want to expirement using both HSS and the ND filter and see what kind of results you can achieve.

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I bounght the Tiffen variablr nd. Ive been messing with it for a few hours indoors, and I dont seem to be getting much out of it in terms of figuring out how it all works together. Hopefully once I get outside, I can better appreciate it. Next to learning my speedlites, this is by far one of the most challenging things Ive tried to do, and I dont want to mash up a shoot trying to learn this in front of a the client.

For that shot, were you at full power on your lights?


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Seeker of the "AH HA" moments....

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gotglade
Senior Member
306 posts
Joined Apr 2010
San Rafael, CA
Sep 18, 2013 18:50 |  #502

usdm wrote in post #16306148external link
Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I bounght the Tiffen variablr nd. Ive been messing with it for a few hours indoors, and I dont seem to be getting much out of it in terms of figuring out how it all works together. Hopefully once I get outside, I can better appreciate it. Next to learning my speedlites, this is by far one of the most challenging things Ive tried to do, and I dont want to mash up a shoot trying to learn this in front of a the client.

For that shot, were you at full power on your lights?

It was a while ago, but if memory serves: I'm pretty sure they were both 1/4 power.

Yeah, it can be a bit confusing at first. But just remember that the ND brings down ALL the lights, both ambient and flash/strobe.
This is my typical workflow/thinking behind an ND/daylight/strobe shot:

1. Figure out how much bokeh I want and what I need to set the aperture at to get to that point. ND is at lowest setting (or off). (for this example, say I want f/1.8)
2. Keeping the camera @ f/1.8, set camera to max sync speed of strobe (usually around 1/250th for my camera). Image with these setting will probably be completely blown out.
3. Dial in the ND to get the background exposed how I want it.
4. Turn on strobe/flashes and dial it up to the power needed to expose subject properly.
5. Repeat #4 for other strobes/flashes used in the shot.
5. Custom White balance using grey card.

Then I'm good to go.
I've gotten to a place where I can get through that process very quickly and not have to think about individual steps. They all kind of meld together. Takes me about 30sec for each
setup.

Now say I accidentally brushed the ND ring and opened it up more, the exposure on both the background AND the subject would go up.
I hope that was clear. Sorry if it just confuses you more.

Good luck with everything!


Glade

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fashionrider
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1,091 posts
Joined Dec 2011
Sep 19, 2013 01:57 |  #503

gotglade wrote in post #16307728external link
It was a while ago, but if memory serves: I'm pretty sure they were both 1/4 power.

Yeah, it can be a bit confusing at first. But just remember that the ND brings down ALL the lights, both ambient and flash/strobe.
This is my typical workflow/thinking behind an ND/daylight/strobe shot:

1. Figure out how much bokeh I want and what I need to set the aperture at to get to that point. ND is at lowest setting (or off). (for this example, say I want f/1.8)
2. Keeping the camera @ f/1.8, set camera to max sync speed of strobe (usually around 1/250th for my camera). Image with these setting will probably be completely blown out.
3. Dial in the ND to get the background exposed how I want it.
4. Turn on strobe/flashes and dial it up to the power needed to expose subject properly.
5. Repeat #4 for other strobes/flashes used in the shot.
5. Custom White balance using grey card.

Then I'm good to go.
I've gotten to a place where I can get through that process very quickly and not have to think about individual steps. They all kind of meld together. Takes me about 30sec for each
setup.

Now say I accidentally brushed the ND ring and opened it up more, the exposure on both the background AND the subject would go up.
I hope that was clear. Sorry if it just confuses you more.

Good luck with everything!

+1 with what he said, this is basically what I do. However, others have asked me how to shoot with ND filters when using a light meter. You can't exactly rely on the light meter anymore since what the lightmeter thinks is properly exposed is actually underexposed on the image due to the ND filter.

One thing you can do is set camera to aperture priority, f1.8, iso 100. Point it at the background... what's the shutter? let's say it's 1/1600. That's your settings for a properly exposed background. However, if you're like me, I like to have the BG 1 stop underexposed. So set your exposure compensation to -1 stop, which increases the shutter to 1/3200.

f1.8, iso 100, 1/3200 is your current settings for a background which is 1 stop underexposed.

So how do we use a lightmeter? First question is: how many stops apart is 1/3200 to 1/200? 1/3200, 1/1600, 1/800, 1/400, 1/200. That's 4 stops of difference... in other words, the ND filter has cut out 4 stops of light. Why's that important? We need to add that much stops to the flash exposure. Normally, we'd want the light meter to show f1.8 for a properly exposed subject without an ND filter... so increase that by 4 stops and f1.8 becomes f7.1

Using the flash sensor, adjust the light so it reads at f7.1. Now take the picture, you'll have a slightly underexposed background and a properly exposed subject, with lots of bokeh. :D


Gear List (5D3, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, Sigma 85mm f1.4, Sigma 35mm f1.4, 50 f1.8, 24-105L, Alien Bee lights, etc etc)

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ereuter
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69 posts
Joined Sep 2013
Kittery, Maine, USA
Sep 19, 2013 06:35 as a reply to fashionrider's post |  #504

I'm new around here, but figure this is as good a place as any to jump in. I've been experimenting with using speedlites with ND filters. This is a single Yongnuo 560-II with a shoot-through umbrella, about 4 feet from my face (self-portrait). 7D, 24-105L @ 105, f/4, 1/160, ISO 200, 8x (3-stop) ND. It was about 1 pm on a sunny day. I was in the shade, but the background was obviously not.

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Thorrulz
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Joined Jan 2009
The Land of the "Go Big Red!"
Sep 19, 2013 06:45 |  #505

^Welcome to the forum^

Not a bad first entry at all and hope you ejoy it here.


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My sister, the professional baker and cake decorator once told me that my camera takes great pics. My reply was that I thought her oven baked great cakes.:lol:

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usdm
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Bklyn NY
Sep 19, 2013 07:41 as a reply to Thorrulz's post |  #506

gotglade and fashiorider, thanks again for the feedback.

Part of the challenge for me is to get outside to play around with the filter. I work very odd hours and as it turns out, the only day I have to really figure this all out out is on friday; the day of the maternity shoot. So, I think Im just gonna play it safe; set my apeture for 2.8 or f4, go to x-sync, adjust the filter a touch to soften the sky, and just use the speedlights for some fill flash.


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Seeker of the "AH HA" moments....

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riffster
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Joined Apr 2009
Ohio
Sep 20, 2013 15:01 as a reply to usdm's post |  #507

Don't remember the exact details other than I had a ND filter on and I was wide open using a socked BD.

IMAGE: http://riffster.com/images/phocagallery/img_1829-1.png

5DII | 7D | C100mkII | Tokina 16-28 2.8 I Canon 24-70L | Canon 70-200L 2.8 | Canon 85 1.8 | Sigma 30 1.4 www.riffster.com (external link) www.facebook.com/riffs​terproductions (external link)

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usdm
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Bklyn NY
Sep 21, 2013 18:50 as a reply to riffster's post |  #508

Quick question, are you guys shooting handheld or using a tripod?


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riffster
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Ohio
Sep 21, 2013 19:29 as a reply to usdm's post |  #509

Handheld here. I really never use a tripod accept for the occasional landscape dragging shutter shot.


5DII | 7D | C100mkII | Tokina 16-28 2.8 I Canon 24-70L | Canon 70-200L 2.8 | Canon 85 1.8 | Sigma 30 1.4 www.riffster.com (external link) www.facebook.com/riffs​terproductions (external link)

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usdm
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Bklyn NY
Oct 03, 2013 07:24 as a reply to riffster's post |  #510

Another couple of questions..

Do you guys do a white balance before the shot? If so, do you do it with the filter on at the setting you want, or off?


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