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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 03 Jan 2012 (Tuesday) 13:46
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Budget flashes with remote power capability?

 
picturecrazy
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Jan 03, 2012 13:46 |  #1

I am getting tired of changing my gear setups before every shoot. I have certain lighting setups for weddings, e-shoots, portraits, boudoir, commercial, etc...

I'm tired of wasting precious time putting together my gear before the shoots. So I want to have a dedicated lighting setup for each type of photography so I can just grab it and go without assembling/dismantling over and over.

So I want to look into cheaper speedlites because I'll probably end up buying at least 15 more lights. I've only ever used Canon speedlites, so this is new to me. I'll use my canon units for weddings, and my studio strobes for commercial, but for e-shoots, boudoir, and portraits, I'll stick with speedlites.

I have gotten to like the Radiopopper JrX studio triggers with the RP Cube, which allows me manual control of the lighting power from the camera. So I'm looking for something cheaper.

So are any of the cheaper flashes compatible with a triggering system that will allow me to adjust the manual power setting of the flashes from the camera? Also in groups? I don't have time to run back and forth between flashes.

Thanks!


-Lloyd
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BrandonSi
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Jan 03, 2012 15:10 |  #2

That's a tough one.. I don't have first-hand experience, but a user did comment that the YN-565's output was not able to be adjusted via cube... Maybe Metz? Not sure if that's going to get you enough savings to justify going 3rd party..

Maybe some used 580 EX I's..? I'm sure BH/Adorama or some of the other big guys have 15-20 in stock at a time..

and btw, your wedding stuff is mind-blowing. awesome awesome stuff. :)


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mikeca42
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Jan 03, 2012 15:19 |  #3

picturecrazy wrote in post #13640215 (external link)
...

So I want to look into cheaper speedlites because I'll probably end up buying at least 15 more lights. I've only ever used Canon speedlites, so this is new to me. I'll use my canon units for weddings, and my studio strobes for commercial, but for e-shoots, boudoir, and portraits, I'll stick with speedlites.

I have gotten to like the Radiopopper JrX studio triggers with the RP Cube, which allows me manual control of the lighting power from the camera. So I'm looking for something cheaper.

So are any of the cheaper flashes compatible with a triggering system that will allow me to adjust the manual power setting of the flashes from the camera? Also in groups? I don't have time to run back and forth between flashes.

Thanks!

Wow, 15 speedlites would put you on par with Joe McNally.

Unfortunately, I think there aren't many cheap remote power control options for speedlites. RadioPopper, Pocketwizzard, and PixelKing are radio options for E-TTL flashes, but these are usually only tested to work with Cannon speedlites. Some people have reported getting the YN-565EX to function with PixelKings, but I'm not sure this includes manual power adjustment.

The Canon wireless system may be the cheapest way to get this working. The YN-565EX is suppose to work as a wireless slave, so you could use a 580EX II on a long E-TTL cord as a master to control a lot of slaves. You might want to think about using Canon 430EX II as slaves, if you are a professional. The 430EX II is a fully functional slave, including HSS. The YN-565EX does not do HSS. Lack of HSS is not a big deal, unless you are taking skateboarders in bright sun light or something similar.




  
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PacAce
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Jan 03, 2012 15:58 |  #4

picturecrazy wrote in post #13640215 (external link)
I am getting tired of changing my gear setups before every shoot. I have certain lighting setups for weddings, e-shoots, portraits, boudoir, commercial, etc...

I'm tired of wasting precious time putting together my gear before the shoots. So I want to have a dedicated lighting setup for each type of photography so I can just grab it and go without assembling/dismantling over and over.

So I want to look into cheaper speedlites because I'll probably end up buying at least 15 more lights. I've only ever used Canon speedlites, so this is new to me. I'll use my canon units for weddings, and my studio strobes for commercial, but for e-shoots, boudoir, and portraits, I'll stick with speedlites.

I have gotten to like the Radiopopper JrX studio triggers with the RP Cube, which allows me manual control of the lighting power from the camera. So I'm looking for something cheaper.

So are any of the cheaper flashes compatible with a triggering system that will allow me to adjust the manual power setting of the flashes from the camera? Also in groups? I don't have time to run back and forth between flashes.

Thanks!

Why would you need so many flashes when all you really need are different masters configured for the different venues. The slaves are controlled (i.e. set) via the master so there wouldn't be a need to have different sets of those, would you?


...Leo

  
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Dustman
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Jan 03, 2012 16:02 |  #5

BrandonSi wrote in post #13640675 (external link)
and btw, your wedding stuff is mind-blowing. awesome awesome stuff. :)

Clicked your website link after reading that comment........Agree Fully, Awesome Images Sir!


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wizard13
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Jan 03, 2012 16:29 |  #6

mikeca42 wrote in post #13640718 (external link)
Wow, 15 speedlites would put you on par with Joe McNally.

Unfortunately, I think there aren't many cheap remote power control options for speedlites. RadioPopper, Pocketwizzard, and PixelKing are radio options for E-TTL flashes, but these are usually only tested to work with Cannon speedlites. Some people have reported getting the YN-565EX to function with PixelKings, but I'm not sure this includes manual power adjustment.

The Canon wireless system may be the cheapest way to get this working. The YN-565EX is suppose to work as a wireless slave, so you could use a 580EX II on a long E-TTL cord as a master to control a lot of slaves. You might want to think about using Canon 430EX II as slaves, if you are a professional. The 430EX II is a fully functional slave, including HSS. The YN-565EX does not do HSS. Lack of HSS is not a big deal, unless you are taking skateboarders in bright sun light or something similar.

Add Phottix Odin to the radio control for ETTL. I thought I read that Nissin are remote power controlled by the Odin but not sure if that is saving you that much.

And I agree. Great images on your site!


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picturecrazy
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Jan 03, 2012 16:40 |  #7

BrandonSi wrote in post #13640675 (external link)
That's a tough one.. I don't have first-hand experience, but a user did comment that the YN-565's output was not able to be adjusted via cube... Maybe Metz? Not sure if that's going to get you enough savings to justify going 3rd party..

Maybe some used 580 EX I's..? I'm sure BH/Adorama or some of the other big guys have 15-20 in stock at a time..

and btw, your wedding stuff is mind-blowing. awesome awesome stuff. :)

Dustman wrote in post #13640940 (external link)
Clicked your website link after reading that comment........Agree Fully, Awesome Images Sir!

wizard13 wrote in post #13641081 (external link)
Add Phottix Odin to the radio control for ETTL. I thought I read that Nissin are remote power controlled by the Odin but not sure if that is saving you that much.

And I agree. Great images on your site!

Cheers guys. Thanks! :)

mikeca42 wrote in post #13640718 (external link)
Wow, 15 speedlites would put you on par with Joe McNally.

Unfortunately, I think there aren't many cheap remote power control options for speedlites. RadioPopper, Pocketwizzard, and PixelKing are radio options for E-TTL flashes, but these are usually only tested to work with Cannon speedlites. Some people have reported getting the YN-565EX to function with PixelKings, but I'm not sure this includes manual power adjustment.

The Canon wireless system may be the cheapest way to get this working. The YN-565EX is suppose to work as a wireless slave, so you could use a 580EX II on a long E-TTL cord as a master to control a lot of slaves. You might want to think about using Canon 430EX II as slaves, if you are a professional. The 430EX II is a fully functional slave, including HSS. The YN-565EX does not do HSS. Lack of HSS is not a big deal, unless you are taking skateboarders in bright sun light or something similar.

Hmmm, to be honest, I'm trying to avoid ETTL. I don't like it. It takes longer for me to dial in ratios and do test shots than to just dial in the manual power for each light. Which is why I'm looking for a setup that allows manual flash power control from the camera position. It looks like I'm not going to have much luck in this... super bummer! :(

PacAce wrote in post #13640922 (external link)
Why would you need so many flashes when all you really need are different masters configured for the different venues. The slaves are controlled (i.e. set) via the master so there wouldn't be a need to have different sets of those, would you?

Well, the thing is, I don't have specific venues that always shoot at. It's different and always changing. So I can't have some masters set up and ready to go. I need to be able to change power dynamically from shot to shot. Anyhow, dialing in settings is the lesser of my problems. My main gripe is the PHYSICAL setup. Gathering light stands, brackets, swivels, adapters, sync cords, hotshoes, triggers, flashes, softboxes, umbrellas, gels, and other modifiers. Assembling parts and putting all the pieces together before each shoot. Then dismantling it all afterwards. I want everything to be assembled and ready so I can just grab and go. Currently, I have to spend up to an hour setting up all my lights and adapters just so I can load them into the car. It's a waste of time. I want to have flashes fully set up and attached to triggers and mounted in speedrings, which are then mounted onto light stand adapters. When you're taking 5 lights to a shoot, it takes a long time to get them all ready.


-Lloyd
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dmward
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Jan 03, 2012 17:03 |  #8

FlexTT5s and Nissin Di688s with an AC3 on top of the MiniTT1 do what you want for me.
That said, I have no idea of they would work with the Radio Popper stuff.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, you have to get TTL speedlites to have any way to do remote power adjustment. So, if you want RP, it will be limited to TTL speedlites they support.

As said, why different kit for each, all the remote lights are the same -- maybe different modifiers.

I have my speedlites in a bag, stands in a bag and modifiers in a bag. With your scenario the only bag that might change from job to job would be the modifiers.


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mikeca42
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Jan 03, 2012 17:19 |  #9

picturecrazy wrote in post #13641138 (external link)
Hmmm, to be honest, I'm trying to avoid ETTL. I don't like it. It takes longer for me to dial in ratios and do test shots than to just dial in the manual power for each light. Which is why I'm looking for a setup that allows manual flash power control from the camera position. It looks like I'm not going to have much luck in this... super bummer! :(

You can manually adjust the power levels from your camera back using E-TTL II. If you set the flash mode to manual, then you can adjust the power level of each group. Syl Arena uses E-TTL extensively with Canon flashes and discusses how to control them from the camera here:

http://speedliting.com …-flash-control-interface/ (external link)

I have heard Syl Arena say he normally used the E-TTL and adjusts the group ratios with two groups of flashes (A and B), but if he has 3 groups, he usually switches to manual and just sets the power of each group.




  
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elv
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Jan 03, 2012 18:35 as a reply to  @ mikeca42's post |  #10

Are you looking for cheaper radio triggers or just cheaper flash units?

The JrX work with old Nikon SB flashes like the SB-24, 25, 26, 28 etc. So that's the most reliable set up you would get at the cheaper end (but it requires searching for good second hand flash units)

The only other cheap option would be Pixel King and YongNuo YN-565 flashes, but I wouldn't buy a lot of either as your bound to run into reliability issues.

Regarding fast set up, I make flash brackets for just this purpose. Using the Chimera quick release speedring you can snap the softbox closed in place on the speedring and transport as one complete unit with everyting else set up ready to pop open again. You can even fold it all nicely still attached to the stand.

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If your throwing a few in the boot of the car I would definitely remove the flash units though. This is also why I like shoe mounted triggers like the Pocketwizard TT5's or Phottix Odin as you can quickly and easily remove the flashes with triggers in place and there's no cords etc to mess around with. Radiopopper JrX are still a good option too though.

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bobbyz
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Jan 03, 2012 22:30 |  #11

Any particular reason to stick with speedlites for other stuff? I am guessing weight but if you carrying 15 speedlites then I think you looking for power, could be wrong.


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picturecrazy
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Jan 04, 2012 00:32 |  #12

hmm, you guys are getting my ideas going. I appreciate it!

bobbyz wrote in post #13642971 (external link)
Any particular reason to stick with speedlites for other stuff? I am guessing weight but if you carrying 15 speedlites then I think you looking for power, could be wrong.

Yes, mostly for weight. But I don't intend to use 15 speedlites on a shoot. I want 15 so I can have a ready-to-go setup for each type of shoot I do.

So for example,

2 speedlites reserved only for e-shoots.
3 speedlites only for family and portrait shoots.
4 speedlites only for commercial shoots. (In addition to my studio lights)
6 speedlites only for boudoir shoots.

I'd have separate softboxes, triggers, speedrings, brackets and stuff for each type of shoot too, so I would end up with a lot of duplicated equipment, but it will save me time. Nothing is more valuable to me than time. I think saving time is always money well spent. Especially when I spend an hour before each shoot chasing down all my tiny pieces of gear and putting it together.


-Lloyd
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bdillon
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Jan 04, 2012 00:41 |  #13

I don't think more flashes is the logical choice. I would never transport a flash on a stand. The foot breaks rather easily. Just assmeble all your rigs with a trigger, grab x amount of rigs and x amount of speedlites. Pop speedlite on and you're ready to go.




  
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cojoth
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Jan 04, 2012 01:16 |  #14

Not sure if it was mentioned, but e-TTL is required for control of the units when RP CUbe or PW Flex is used. The units need to be in e-TTL mode.




  
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Jan 04, 2012 02:39 |  #15

Lloyd.. Awesome site


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Budget flashes with remote power capability?
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