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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 23 Jun 2015 (Tuesday) 05:17
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Rebel XT, Alien Bees B800, 580EX Speedlight, Weak Studio

 
ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 05:17 |  #1

I've read countless forum posts, manuals, and more forums trying to improve the pictures from my setup. The goal is a photo booth for a wedding using some oldskool theater pars as a prop and back splash. When I took some sample shots of my 4 month old daughter today, it was not enough to freeze her and the light quality was poor.

I turned up the B800 to full power. It is running as a slave while the 580EX fires from my camera. I am getting a 1/8" hotshoe female adapter for the Spedlite today so I can run the PC hotshoe adapter from my camera and put the Speedlite off to the side in a diffuser box. Maybe thenI can run the Speedlite at 100% and get enough light.

I am out of money to spend on the setup after dropping $1500 on lighting and props. The camera is set at 400 iso now with aperture priority. I tried some in manual, and will have to settle for manual if I can get the Speedlite off camera and in the diffuser.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will post some pics later. Am I just limited by my crap old camera and cheap kit lens? For the record, I am an oldskool film photographer with every photo course under my belt. Thanks in advance! Clint.


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FerozeK
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Jun 23, 2015 05:53 |  #2

What lens are you using? What F-stop?




  
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ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 06:01 as a reply to  @ FerozeK's post |  #3

Crap old kit lens 18-55mm, tried various f-stops, usually around f8. I wanted to be able to shoot at iso 100, but the exposure defaults to multiple seconds. Maybe I need to run the camera and flash in manual??


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Jun 23, 2015 06:45 |  #4

You're doing something wrong. Not sure what, but a single direct 580 has more than enough power to run your camera at full sync speed.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 07:00 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #5

Yea, something isn't working proper. The Alien Bees should be putting down some power. The Speedlite should be triggering the B800, and the exposure should adjust accordingly with the TTL setup on the 580. I should be able to run better than iso 400, but even that looks like schtako.

When the flash is on, the whole display is flashing. IMHO the manual doesn't do a good job of explaining how best to use the flash.

So what menu selections would I want to make for optimizing my setup? Thanks again in advance.


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Echo63
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Jun 23, 2015 07:09 |  #6

You will need to have the camera and speedlight in manual

Heres what is probably happening

Flash in ettl fires metering pulse while shutter is closed, alienbee sees metering pulse and fires.
Camera sees lots of light, open shutter, fires the flash at the really low power it thinks it needs, and you get poor pics.

Throw the camera and speedlight into manual mode, shoot chimp and adjust.


Keep the shutter speed at or below sync speed too (1/200 or 1/250 depending on camera model)


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Jun 23, 2015 07:31 |  #7

Echo63 wrote in post #17607432 (external link)
You will need to have the camera and speedlight in manual

Heres what is probably happening

Flash in ettl fires metering pulse while shutter is closed, alienbee sees metering pulse and fires.
Camera sees lots of light, open shutter, fires the flash at the really low power it thinks it needs, and you get poor pics.

Throw the camera and speedlight into manual mode, shoot chimp and adjust.



Keep the shutter speed at or below sync speed too (1/200 or 1/250 depending on camera model)

exactly!

i had to have a couple of cups of coffee before i realized what was going on.

also, am i the only one whose wife randomly buys terrible coffee? This stuff is awful.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 07:36 as a reply to  @ Echo63's post |  #8

Thank you for the concise explanation. Is there a way to run just TTL or kill the preflash? I think manual eill be the best bet anyway so I can get one good exposure setting, take all the pics, and the. Batch process the images with the same recipe. Now to just be able to find one of these...

http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/slfa.php (external link)

Notice the female tip-sleeve 1/8" jack so this can receive the flash signal from the PC hotshoe adapter, then trigger the Alien Bee and whammo! I just hope somewhere local in Kansas City has one since the gig is this Saturday!


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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Jun 23, 2015 07:54 |  #9

is your plan to use only the off camera speedlight?

you might run into issues of having the AB get tripped since the softbox will limit spill. That would likely only be a problem if you were outside in the sun.

I would skip the hotshoe thingy and cord for a set of these: http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …3_ii_wireless_r​emote.html (external link)

you could even buy another set and a short cord to go to the AB and fire all flashes with the remotes. Just make sure you get the right cord to go between your camera and the remote and you will also have a remote shutter release.

set up would be:

YN603II on camera plugged into camera's sync port
YN603II on 580
YN603II with short cord from trigger sync port to AB sync port
YN603II in hand to trigger camera (optional)

even if you just had one set of triggers:

YN603II on camera
YN603II on 580
AB in optical slave mode


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Jun 23, 2015 07:58 |  #10

oh yeah, you listed your camera. This coffee really is terrible.

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …s_flash.html/pr​m/alsVwDtl (external link)

^^that is the set of triggers with the correct cord to use as a wireless shutter release with your camera.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 08:07 |  #11

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17607454 (external link)
exactly!

i had to have a couple of cups of coffee before i realized what was going on.

also, am i the only one whose wife randomly buys terrible coffee? This stuff is awful.

You remind me of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Quentin Tarantino is talking about his wife buying crap coffee. Much like his character, if you want to taste your coffee, you must buy your own! Heh...


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Echo63
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Jun 23, 2015 08:09 |  #12

ForeverVinylDJs wrote in post #17607464 (external link)
Thank you for the concise explanation. Is there a way to run just TTL or kill the preflash? I think manual eill be the best bet anyway so I can get one good exposure setting, take all the pics, and the. Batch process the images with the same recipe. Now to just be able to find one of these...

http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/slfa.php (external link)

Notice the female tip-sleeve 1/8" jack so this can receive the flash signal from the PC hotshoe adapter, then trigger the Alien Bee and whammo! I just hope somewhere local in Kansas City has one since the gig is this Saturday!

No - the only way to kill the pre flash is by switching to manual.

there is three ways that a camera flash can be metered/adjusted/used

1. TTL/ETTL/ITTL - a preflash is fired, it is metered, camera figures out the exposure, opens the shutter and fires the calculated power

2. "Auto" or Thryistor controlled - and old school metering method, you set the aperture and ISO on the flash and camera, and a little "magic eye" on the flash unit cuts off the flash pulse when enough light has been fired.
not really used much, but the canon 580EX2 can be switched to this mode using a custom function, handy when using it on a Non Canon camera (i use a 580EX2 on my Leica in Thyristor mode)

3. Manual - either shoot/chimp/adjust or use a handheld meter to measure light output.

you could use the speed light on camera, in manual at very low power, to trigger the alien bee (they have the optical slave ?)


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ForeverVinylDJs
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Jun 23, 2015 08:11 |  #13

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17607483 (external link)
oh yeah, you listed your camera. This coffee really is terrible.

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …s_flash.html/pr​m/alsVwDtl (external link)

^^that is the set of triggers with the correct cord to use as a wireless shutter release with your camera.

Damn! $30 is all!?! If the B&H sales guy had been more interested in helping me rather than getting me off his phone, I would already have one! He acted like I was a burden with my $420 order! Sorry I wasn't spending thousands! Hopefully it is available locally, else paying huge shipping costs!

On a side note, what ISO should I be starting with? Hoping to be sub-400.


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FerozeK
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Jun 23, 2015 08:11 |  #14

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17607454 (external link)
exactly!

i had to have a couple of cups of coffee before i realized what was going on.

also, am i the only one whose wife randomly buys terrible coffee? This stuff is awful.

Yes, life's too short for crap coffee

http://www.coffeebean.​com …ue-mountain-coffee/d/1084 (external link)




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 23, 2015 08:39 |  #15

life is also too short to pay 50 bucks a pound to have coffee shipped to your house.

ForeverVinylDJs wrote in post #17607496 (external link)
You remind me of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Quentin Tarantino is talking about his wife buying crap coffee. Much like his character, if you want to taste your coffee, you must buy your own! Heh...

i think of that scene every time she does it. It seems like twice a year she comes home with Foldgers for some reason. Ick.

Your local store probably won't have the YN 603 but would likely have something else, at a slightly higher price point. My guess is that you could get them from BH with 2-3 day shipping for whatever you will pay at the camera shop.

you might even be able to talk BH into free shipping if you tell them the rep was not doing much to help you and it resulted in an oversight.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Rebel XT, Alien Bees B800, 580EX Speedlight, Weak Studio
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