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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 29 Oct 2013 (Tuesday) 19:18
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How necessary are battery packs?

 
AlexanderO
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Nov 01, 2013 14:33 |  #16

To me, the AA's are a non-starter. I carry a small power pack even when I shoot for pleasure. If I feel that the shots are important enough to lug an SLR, I may as well grab a power pack for my flash. I don't like the inconsistent recycling time, I want to be able to leave the flash on and not worry about the batteries getting drained and the added weight and bulk is minor.




  
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cdifoto
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Nov 01, 2013 14:34 |  #17

AlexanderO wrote in post #16416556 (external link)
To me, the AA's are a non-starter. I carry a small power pack even when I shoot for pleasure. If I feel that the shots are important enough to lug an SLR, I may as well grab a power pack for my flash. I don't like the inconsistent recycling time, I want to be able to leave the flash on and not worry about the batteries getting drained and the added weight and bulk is minor.

I don't shoot anything for pleasure that fast. I can wait a couple seconds between shots. I'll toss a spare set of AAs in my pocket though if I plan to be out long.


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pwm2
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Nov 01, 2013 14:48 |  #18

PhotographersWorldWide wrote in post #16413732 (external link)
[...] because you really need a Quadra.

"need" a Quadra? Have we gone so far that there are one single solution possible??? Such a statement disqualifies you from any "it depens" debate.


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cdifoto
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Nov 01, 2013 15:16 |  #19

PhotographersWorldWide wrote in post #16411807 (external link)
Thats interesting, but not challenging, and yes. Most of those situations are low light and you're shooting fairly wide open at high ISO so you need very little flash and AA's work pretty well.

When you start putting softboxes on Speedlites or pointing them into 'power-eating' bounce cards, then you really should be using something (useful) else which can put up with the higher outputs and fast recycling without the chance of overheating.

And then there are the broad daylight ones...maxing the poor little flash, lowest ISO, aperture way down low. Even when nailing them direct.

I don't hammer down constantly, but I also don't want to be forced to wait on my flash to recycle. I can't stop a wedding, and even on a portrait shoot 5 seconds feels like ages.


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PhotographersWorldWide
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Nov 01, 2013 17:44 |  #20

pwm2 wrote in post #16416579 (external link)
"need" a Quadra? Have we gone so far that there are one single solution possible??? Such a statement disqualifies you from any "it depens" debate.

It doesn't depend as already pointed out.

And has already been pointed out, the requirement for the Quadra is from those using inappropriate lighting and needing inappropriate battery requirements..

Echo63 wrote in post #16413609 (external link)
I do plan on getting a set of Quadras at some stage - that should solve my power/recycle time issues

Reading the posts will provide the relevance of comments. That's comprehension. So I'm well qualified to comment whereas you need to read the posts.




  
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AlexanderO
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Nov 01, 2013 17:58 |  #21

cdifoto wrote in post #16416558 (external link)
I don't shoot anything for pleasure that fast. I can wait a couple seconds between shots. I'll toss a spare set of AAs in my pocket though if I plan to be out long.

Sometimes I want to grab a shot, even for pleasure, and if the flash is off, I want it on almost instantly. I also need to pop two in a row and it's nice to have the flash charged. I just don't get that type of dependability with AA's.

Changing AA's is a pain in the ass as well.




  
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Curtis ­ N
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Nov 02, 2013 06:25 |  #22

PhotographersWorldWide wrote in post #16417062 (external link)
And has already been pointed out, the requirement for the Quadra is from those using inappropriate lighting and needing inappropriate battery requirements...

Oh, how omnipotent you must be! You can anticipate every conceivable photographic situation and conclude that using most of the power from a 600EX would be inappropriate.

Canon sells flash units with external power sockets. Canon also sells the CP-E4 battery pack. They are designed to be used together. Thousands of professionals have used them for millions of shots without destroying their flash unit.

We use technology today that didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago, and sometimes new technology gives rise to creative opportunities. Sometimes people will use technology differently than you would. Feel free to tell them all what's appropriate.


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umphotography
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Nov 02, 2013 07:32 as a reply to  @ Curtis N's post |  #23

There is a few ways to light that seem to work well so Im going to pass my very little wisdom to you guys to consider

Inside- I think you can get away w/o power packs most of the time. High clean ISO capabilities and lower flash output lets you get away with murder these days. The speedlights cycle very quick at low power output

Inside with closed down apertures F/5.6 and Up and no 110V in sight. You are going to need to raise flash output and thats gonna slow cycle times way down so I can see where a battery pack would really come in handy

Inside with 110V readily available- Put the speedlights away and break out the strobes with big fat modifiers is the way I choose to go. I treat it as basically being in a studio. Measure your ambient and create a main/Fill ratio and have at it. Your not gonna miss

OUTSIDE.... Speedlights have big limitations. Your only good to about F/6.3-8.0 before you start blowing out skys. Hard to light larger groups unless your shooting later in the day with low ambient light. Your good for magic hour and screwed for 2:00PM light

Solution for outdoor lighting- Strobes and power packs. I use AB1600's and 2 vagabond minis with socked BD's for modifiers. I can light any group I want in F/16 light and match the ambient light and wont blow out skys......speedlights and even speedlights with power packs cant match the ambient light and simply cant do this.

So, Its best to have a couple of solutions in your bag. We shoot weddings and carry 3 light set ups with us to every wedding. Depending on what we are doing and the time of day and location choose'n allows us to grab the light set up we need. Speedlights on brackets, speedlights off camera triggered with tt5's and Strobes powered by 110V or power packs is our solution to controlling the light. Everyone does things different but for what we do, its important to have a solution for any lighting situation and to be able to access it quickly and efficiently. This works for us.


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Pearlallica
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Nov 02, 2013 15:18 |  #24

AlexanderO wrote in post #16416556 (external link)
To me, the AA's are a non-starter. I carry a small power pack even when I shoot for pleasure. If I feel that the shots are important enough to lug an SLR, I may as well grab a power pack for my flash. I don't like the inconsistent recycling time, I want to be able to leave the flash on and not worry about the batteries getting drained and the added weight and bulk is minor.

honestly, I respect your passion for shooting if that's the case. I feel socially awkward being the family member with the big camera during get-togethers, hence why I bought a compact for this one reason.

Anyhoo...

Power packs are nice. I shoot all of my paid events with them. Shooting events is often like shooting sports. Take 8 frames of the same scene and you get a mixed bag of results. It hurts when "the shot" wasn't properly exposed because the power source wasn't able to keep up to your needed pace. Not being hampered by battery changes is another confidence booster. After all, the best way to shoot is knowing that your equipment is robust enough to keep up to the job and you can focus better on the task at hand.

I invested a lot of money in various battery pack systems this year. It has made a big difference in the efficiency of my work. No regrets whatsoever. There are too many things that can go wrong on paid shoots. Eliminating power issues is one big step towards a more worry-free workflow.


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AlexanderO
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Nov 02, 2013 16:47 |  #25

Pearlallica wrote in post #16418946 (external link)
honestly, I respect your passion for shooting if that's the case. I feel socially awkward being the family member with the big camera during get-togethers, hence why I bought a compact for this one reason.

I've been shooting since I was 11 years old, so my family is used to seeing me with a big camera. In fact, everyone goes silent and looks at me as though I just came back from the Twilight Zone if I don't have a big camera with me. :D




  
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Wilt
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Nov 02, 2013 16:50 |  #26

AlexanderO wrote in post #16419136 (external link)
I've been shooting since I was 11 years old, so my family is used to seeing me with a big camera. In fact, everyone goes silent and looks at me as though I just came back from the Twilight Zone if I don't have a big camera with me. :D

Initial suspicion by everyone that aliens have abducted you, and replaced you with a look-alike that does not know you always have a camera.


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cdifoto
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Nov 02, 2013 16:51 |  #27

umphotography wrote in post #16418159 (external link)
There is a few ways to light that seem to work well so Im going to pass my very little wisdom to you guys to consider

Inside- I think you can get away w/o power packs most of the time. High clean ISO capabilities and lower flash output lets you get away with murder these days. The speedlights cycle very quick at low power output

Inside with closed down apertures F/5.6 and Up and no 110V in sight. You are going to need to raise flash output and thats gonna slow cycle times way down so I can see where a battery pack would really come in handy

Inside with 110V readily available- Put the speedlights away and break out the strobes with big fat modifiers is the way I choose to go. I treat it as basically being in a studio. Measure your ambient and create a main/Fill ratio and have at it. Your not gonna miss

OUTSIDE.... Speedlights have big limitations. Your only good to about F/6.3-8.0 before you start blowing out skys. Hard to light larger groups unless your shooting later in the day with low ambient light. Your good for magic hour and screwed for 2:00PM light

Solution for outdoor lighting- Strobes and power packs. I use AB1600's and 2 vagabond minis with socked BD's for modifiers. I can light any group I want in F/16 light and match the ambient light and wont blow out skys......speedlights and even speedlights with power packs cant match the ambient light and simply cant do this.

So, Its best to have a couple of solutions in your bag. We shoot weddings and carry 3 light set ups with us to every wedding. Depending on what we are doing and the time of day and location choose'n allows us to grab the light set up we need. Speedlights on brackets, speedlights off camera triggered with tt5's and Strobes powered by 110V or power packs is our solution to controlling the light. Everyone does things different but for what we do, its important to have a solution for any lighting situation and to be able to access it quickly and efficiently. This works for us.

What kind of recycle times do you get out of the B1600 at full power plugged into the mini? I tried a 600 w/s Interfit into my mini and it wasn't even usable. 10 seconds to full power is forever in the real world.


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AlexanderO
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Nov 02, 2013 19:07 |  #28

Wilt wrote in post #16419141 (external link)
Initial suspicion by everyone that aliens have abducted you, and replaced you with a look-alike that does not know you always have a camera.

They once tried to replace me with Folger's Crystals, but everybody noticed that it just wasn't the same.




  
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umphotography
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Nov 03, 2013 05:06 |  #29

cdifoto wrote in post #16419142 (external link)
What kind of recycle times do you get out of the B1600 at full power plugged into the mini? I tried a 600 w/s Interfit into my mini and it wasn't even usable. 10 seconds to full power is forever in the real world.

About 2-3 seconds each pop. Ive read that people have problems with non Buff lights and the vagabond minis.


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cdifoto
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Nov 03, 2013 05:18 |  #30

umphotography wrote in post #16420311 (external link)
About 2-3 seconds each pop. Ive read that people have problems with non Buff lights and the vagabond minis.

That's really good. I might go back to ABs then. 1/2 power should be pretty much always ready then.


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How necessary are battery packs?
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