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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 10 Aug 2009 (Monday) 14:27
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a question for you educated people

1,793 posts
Joined Jun 2009
Location: North Carolina
Aug 10, 2009 14:27 |  #1

I read through a few of these threads looking for some help... gotten some pretty good answers but nothing specific.

most of my photography up until this point is using natural lighting and when flash is needed 580ex with fong diffusers.

i am curious as to thoughts on what type of set up is recommended for on location portraits. We want something that can help us out without us having to hire a donkey to carry it all around. We don't want to be carrying around 30 new pieces of equipment.

One more question... what to use for diffusing the sunlight? Obviously sticking with something portable, preferably collapsable. I have seen both retail bought and build your own. We have quite a few beach sessions coming up in the near future.

suggestions? and thanks

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Senior Member
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Gallery: 1 photo
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Joined Mar 2008
Location: Turlock, CA
Aug 10, 2009 14:40 |  #2

Ok here we go.. For your on locations photography you have to think about how much you want to spend?

1. You can stick with your 580ex and either purchase some PW or get a ST-E2..( I have both for different situations)

2. You can get something bigger and heavier.. AB 1600 and VBII.. cost you around $800 shipped...

For diffusing the sun:

1. you can get the Westcott 48" or 48x72" 1stop diffuser and it does great... $95-$135...

2. You can go for the good stuff and get a scrim jim... Anywhere from $280 for a 48" to $730 for a 96"

Hope that helped you out.


Who needs gear?

dumb remark memorialized
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Joined Dec 2006
Aug 10, 2009 15:07 |  #3

I agree with fabian, you can go the speedlite route, lots of options regarding which you want to use, whether to have ettl or not? The benefits are lightweight, operates on battery power, small lights allow you to use more of them for different effects. if you go ettl you can also do high speed sync. Downside is they arent powerful enough to compete with mid day sun.

Second option is portable studio lights and power supply. Cheapest option is the alien bees, but it still aint cheap. Two lights and a vagabond II batter system is around $800 before shipping. Kind of heavy but has power to compete with the sun when necessary.

As for scrims, I dont have any experience, but I would suggest forgetting the scrims and working early and late for better light if possible.

Cream of the Crop
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Joined Feb 2005
Location: Kalama, WA USA
Aug 10, 2009 16:22 |  #4

I would suggest looking at a camera rotating bracket and the Lumiquest ProMax System (external link).

I use an Amvona 5-in-1 (external link) unit for a reflector/scrim but they don't seem to be listing that item any longer. It is something like 40x55 if I recall.

Perspiring photographer.
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2,483 posts
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Joined May 2005
Location: Bel Air, MD
Aug 10, 2009 18:00 |  #5

sctbiggs wrote in post #8434186 (external link)
One more question... what to use for diffusing the sunlight?

If you can control the weather ... an overcast sky.

Dave Hoffmann

157 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Location: Freeway close to all Southern California
Aug 10, 2009 18:50 |  #6

Flash on a stick if you have an assistant.
this is just your 580 and a radio trigger mounted on a monopod or boom arm and pointed at your subject from out of camera view.

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a question for you educated people
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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