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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 29 Apr 2018 (Sunday) 10:32
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craigat
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Apr 29, 2018 10:32 |  #1

I've always had the luck of studio strobes whenever artificial lighting was needed, but am currently setting up a couple of night shoots in the woods where I'll need to go with speedlites instead, which I've never really looked at before. I've been reading up on them and have become all confused. Can anyone help guide me to the best value (performance and capability vs price) 2 light setup? Note also that at least one of these shoots would be at night, so ensuring auto-focus works is important too. For reference, I'll be shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV.

What I'm thinking for gear is this:

Option 1 (preferred, if possible):
A) 2x Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT for key and fill
C) Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT to make them work

Option 2:
A) Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT as key light
B) Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT for fill
C) Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT to make them work

Here are the questions I have and the information that needs confirmation.
1) Am I correct that the wireless functionality built into the 5D4 will not trigger the flash and I do need the transmitter? Some articles say it works, some don't - but I think I need the external trigger nonetheless, correct?
2) Can I use two 430EX instead of one 430EX and one 600EX? The main reason I went with the 600 is the auto-focus assist, but it looks like the 430 might also have that, in which case, is there any value to the 600? I ask because teh 430EX seems to be generally the best bang for the buck if it can also do the auto-focus.
3) What am I missing? Not peripherals, just missing about flash that I didn't take into account.
4) Any recommendations on light modifiers for these?

Thanks




  
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jlafferty
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Post edited 3 months ago by jlafferty. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 29, 2018 10:47 |  #2

Best value to price ratio is to avoid name brand speedlights. The Flashpoint stuff from Adorama - even if you're just sticking with speedlights - are great. They have a speedlight called the R2 Li-Ion that is an upgrade from a conventional speedlight due to the battery.

But look at the eVOLV. I just did a series on them at the ALC. I was skeptical about them but having had the chance to work with them they're killer:

https://www.adorama.co​m …ashpoint-evolv-200-part-1 (external link)

https://www.adorama.co​m …-200-part-2-a-closer-look (external link)

https://www.adorama.co​m …ashpoint-evolv-200-part-3 (external link)

They cost under or about at what a high end speedlight costs, at around $330, pack in the same size, but outperform a speedlight in a ton of ways. The receiver is built in, though this does mean you'll also need a trigger. I rec the R2Pro.

But to the benefits, principally they are:

  • 2-3x the output of a speedlight
  • Built in receiver for remote power adjustments
  • Included bare bulb fills modifiers much better than a fresnel at its broadest zoom


And lastly, if you grab the $60 Twin Head adapter you get: an even better modeling light, a rugged Bowens mount and umbrella mount, and the option to add a second flash to turn it into a single 400ws monolight.

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FarmerTed1971
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Apr 29, 2018 10:53 |  #3

The Canon system works perfectly and yes you do need the transmitter.

That being said... take a look at Godox/Flashpoint. The cost is lower and you could get two AD200’s, a transmitter and modifiers for the price of the 4 Canon units... and they are more powerful.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - 18-55 - 23/35/50 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m

  
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inkista
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Post edited 3 months ago by inkista. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 29, 2018 20:34 |  #4

craigat wrote in post #18615856 (external link)
I've always had the luck of studio strobes whenever artificial lighting was needed, but am currently setting up a couple of night shoots in the woods where I'll need to go with speedlites instead, which I've never really looked at before. I've been reading up on them and have become all confused. Can anyone help guide me to the best value (performance and capability vs price) 2 light setup? Note also that at least one of these shoots would be at night, so ensuring auto-focus works is important too. For reference, I'll be shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV.

Most folks would tell you get Godox TT685C (external link) or V860IIC (external link) speedlights, since they have built-in radio triggers, cost less than Canon's RT gear, and work just fine. You will find early reports that the AF assist did not work with the 5DMkIV, but apparently,this was changed with a hardware upgrade with newer units (external link).

The TT685C (US$110) and the V860IIC ($180) are identical in function and UI, except that the TT version has an external battery pack port while the V version does not, and the V version runs off a li-on rechargeable battery pack vs. 4xAA batteries. And the pack has roughly 2-3x the capacity of the 4xAAs. Both are spec'ed at having a guide number of 60m at iso 100, 200mm, just like the 600EX-RTs.

The transmitter of choice would probably be the XPro-C (external link) ($70).

And Adorama has Flashpoint R2 versions of all these, which do not leave you high and dry with no customer support if there's an issue. The tradeoff in going with the cheap Chineses flashes is that they push customer support to the retail level, and their QA isn't quite as tight, so there's more copy/component variance than with OEM. Typically, also the TTL and AF-assist functions may not be quite a nice as with OEM flashes.

1) Am I correct that the wireless functionality built into the 5D4 will not trigger the flash and I do need the transmitter? Some articles say it works, some don't - but I think I need the external trigger nonetheless, correct?

Correct. There is no radio transmitter or pop-up flash in the camera body. So you have no built-in flash master. You must put something on the camera hotshoe to be that master. It can be a transmitter (ST-E3-RT, Phottix Laso, Jinbei/Orlit RT-Q6, or Yongnuo YN-E3-RT), or a speedlight with RT master capability for radio transmission; or the ST-E2 or any speedlight with "smart" optical master capability (e.g., 550EX, 580EX, 580EXII, 600EX-RT, YN-600EX-RT, or Jinbei Caler 600, etc.) for "smart" optical transmission. The wireless functionality built into the 5D4 is basically the flash control menu that lets you communicate with remote flashes through your master unit.

2) Can I use two 430EX instead of one 430EX and one 600EX? The main reason I went with the 600 is the auto-focus assist, but it looks like the 430 might also have that, in which case, is there any value to the 600? I ask because teh 430EX seems to be generally the best bang for the buck if it can also do the auto-focus.

The 600EX has more power output (more light). For some folks that's crucial enough to make a difference.

3) What am I missing? Not peripherals, just missing about flash that I didn't take into account.

That Canon's -RT system is closed. It's mostly speedlight-only, doesn't allow for easy integration of studio lights (unless you're willing to go to 3rd-party gear), and that integration may not allow for power control, TTL, or HSS with said studio lights. And that the system is, of course, only TTL/HSS with Canon gear.

Godox's lights range all the way from a $65 manual-only speedlight (with built-in radio transceiver that allows for HSS and remote power control) up to a $900 600 Ws battery-powered TTL/HSS studio strobe with color consistency mode that can be split into a pack'n'head, or use an adapter for AC power. :) And everything in between, such as the $300 AD200 bare bulb flash, which is roughly speedlight sized, but can look a bit more like a studio strobe, as well as doing TTL/HSS from its built-in radio receiver.

In addition, their radio triggering system supports TTL/HSS for five systems: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and MFT. So, if you add or switch to a mirrorless system, or need to share your lights with a different-system shooter, you don't need to buy new lights. You just need to get a new on-camera transmitter. As off-camera radio slaves, the lights can autoswitch between the five systems, even in the same shoot.

4) Any recommendations on light modifiers for these?

Usual. Umbrellas or softboxes. :) What I would recommend, is to get the Godox S-Type bracket (external link) for mounting a modifier with the flash onto a lightstand. It's very versatile and pretty low-cost.


I'm a woman. I shoot with a Fuji X100T, Panasonic GX-7, Canon 5DmkII, and 50D. flickr stream (external link)

  
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MalVeauX
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Apr 29, 2018 20:40 |  #5

I will also recommend either looking at a Flashpoint R2 TTL Zoom LiOn speedlite (or two) and R2 transmitter (this goes on the camera, you only need one). Or the AD200's (power equivalent to 3 speedlites, only 1.X stops lower than a 600Ws strobe, but affordable, portable, lithium battery, bare bulb or standard speedlite flash head, they're amazing little lights).

The modifier you choose is based on what you want to sculpt with the light. They effect softness, hardness, direction, spill, etc. You have to have a goal and describe it to get good advise on a modifier. Otherwise, it's just going to be random and may not be what you want. That said, a night shoot in the woods? That screams to me headaches and I would go with all metal modifiers like reflectors or beauty dishes, and avoid big umbrellas that will catch webs and wind.

Very best,


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Phil ­ V
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May 10, 2018 15:16 |  #6

I’ll clarify some of your thoughts without stating the obvious (buy the Godox), once your flash is off camera, the focus assist lights don’t fire (because there’s no guarantee what they’d be pointing at), so you need a focus assist on the transmitter at camera position (that the camera can see).
The Godox / flashpoint transmitter has a focus assist light (as do most other 3rd party triggers including the Yongnuo clone of the Canon), but the ST-E3rt doesn’t have this feature.

3rd party speedlights tend to be slightly underpowered compared to Canon, but they’ll be better than the 430.


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