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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 15 Nov 2010 (Monday) 12:03
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Off Camera Flash Thoughts/Suggestions

 
MichSt
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Nov 15, 2010 12:03 |  #1

Dear lighting gurus - my wife and I are expecting our first child and I'm looking to purchase some off camera lighting for taking family portraits and such over the years to come. I like to keep it simple and flexable as far as the setup goes so I can move it around the house or outdoors easily.

I'm thinking of going the route of a speedlite since I can fire it remotely with my 580 II and my wife can also use it on her 30D when she's out shooting. Other than that, I was going to get a light stand and umbrella. See below for what I was thinking about purchasing. Overall I'd like to keep the budget below $500.

I'd appreciate and comments, suggestions, words of wisdon, etc on my plan. Thanks!!

430exII
Manfrotto 1052BAC stand
Manfrotto 026 adaptor
Not sure about the umbrella type or size...suggestions?


Mario.Q

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CosmoKid
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Nov 15, 2010 14:39 |  #2

Why are you buying a 430? Grab a YN flash ad a second flash. Much cheaper and it will do what you want the 430 to do.

A nice big soft light source is great for babies. The photek softlighter or the buff PLM is a good choice.

If you already have the 580 for on camera use, why not look at a monolite? Much better recycle times and more power.


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MichSt
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Nov 15, 2010 20:16 |  #3

I wasn't really thinking of any thrid-party flashes, mainly because I'm not familar with any of them. But, I see they are much cheaper than the canons. I'll have to take a closer look at some of those.

Also, I was thinking a hotshoe type flash over a monolite because of protability. Also, I could possibly fire a hotshoe remotely with my 580 and my wife would also use the light on her camera. But, if a monolite would also be much cheaper than a speedlite I might reconsider.

I'll take a look at those umbrellas. You say a nice big soft light is great....is an umbrealla the best tool for creating that type of light or should I be looking at something else??


Mario.Q

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bobbyz
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Nov 15, 2010 20:47 |  #4

Since you already got 580ex-II just get a long eTTL cable for now fro flashzebra. Baby won't move for a long while and by that time you would know what to buy next. Photek softliter is nice modifier. But am umbrella should work, something like 40-45" or so to begin with.


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MichSt
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Nov 17, 2010 12:00 |  #5

Thanks Bobby. I'm thinking now of going with a cable instead of a second flash and spending a little more to get a softbox. I'm really lost in the world of modifiers. If any on could may and recommendations for a decent softbox to use with a 580, or any good spots to do some research, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!


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RPCrowe
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Nov 17, 2010 13:36 as a reply to  @ MichSt's post |  #6

A couple of ideas...

THE MOST PORTABLE WAY OF SHOOTING...

Using your 580EX on camera bounced with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro ( www.dembflashproducts.​com (external link) ) + hand holding a 430EX strobe used in bounce mode equipped with a Joe demb FlipIt diffuser reflector. This would mean handling the camera with one hand (which I can do easily) and being able to reach out with the FlipIt equipped 430EX using the other hand.

This setup is far easier to use if you are right handed or ambidexterous enough to handle the camera with your right hand.

The Joe Demb difuser reflectors are versatile enough to use when ther isn't a surface off which to bounce. The angle of the FlipIt portion of the reflector/diffuser is adjustable and can be set to direct the majority of the light forward.

A BETTER WAY OF SHOOTING

If you don't require battery operation or if you can make do with A/C; a set of inexpensive studio type strobes is a great way to operate. They have modeling lights so you have "what you see is what you get" operation and, even the smaller studio type strobes have reflectors many times the size of the miniscule hotshoe flash reflector. This will provide broader lighting and allow you to use a larger umbrella or softbox. They are also equipped to fit on light stands and to accept light modifiers without involving extra accessories. The A/C power allows constant fast recycle time and even the smaller studio type strobes are more powerful than the hotshoe flashes.

The price of smaller studio strobes, especially the Chinese entries into the field are quite reasonable. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend these flashes for eight hours a day, five days a week professional operation, they are usually quite adequate for the non-professional photographer.


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Off Camera Flash Thoughts/Suggestions
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