mylifeis3 wrote in post #17733729
Wow!!! Amazing responses, thank you!
So I have my 300-series speedlight. And it's definitely not enough light. Seeing such responses, I understand that I need to read up a lot about flashes.
What's a good place to start to familiarize myself with the various types of technology? Ideally, I'd like to end up with a master/slave flash combo, so I can use in my tiny studio but also bring to functions like bdays, medium-sized weddings, etc.
There are several ways you can go, but I always think you learn fastest by doing. Don't worry about getting the best gear now if you're just starting out or have a limited budget. You could buy an inexpensive studio strobe like this Westcott plus an import-brand, 5' octa-shaped softbox for only about $300. And don't feel hampered by the idea of only owning one strobe at first, because a single large source can go a long way just on its own, both as a teaching tool and as an essential component of your portraiture kit.
If you want to begin investing in a system, I would recommend one of the entry-level Elinchrom D-Lite series studio strobes with built-in RF triggers. An Ellinchrom D-Lite RX2 is more than enough for interior portraits, and buys you the interoperability of Elinchrom's entire line of lightweight modifiers and accessories. While this costs a bit more than the Westcott, you get a unit with a far better feature set, plus it still costs less than a top-line Nikon or Canon Speedlight.
If you're interested in Speedlights, you could opt for any of the import brands, or buy a pile of used Vivitar 283s. As TTL units gained popularity, these once-$150+ flash units dropped to only $39 brand new (now discontinued), and offered the best bang for the buck in a hot-shoe flash. If you go with the 283s, be sure to also get the Vari-Power plug-in modules for them. They won't have TTL capability, but with the Vari-Power module, you can adjust their output manually (a great way to learn). Then all you'd need is a few inexpensive triggers (e.g., Interfit, Cactus, etc.), or even just opt for some $10 optical triggers. Buy what you can afford now, and just start shooting!