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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 07 Aug 2007 (Tuesday) 16:26
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pepperoni
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Aug 07, 2007 16:26 |  #1

I'm looking for a few inexpensive speedlites to add to my arsenal. Ideally they need to have good power at 1/1, and have the ability to adjust down to 1/32 or 1/64 (or lower).

I will be using them as Manual strobes (off camera), so fancy auto features are not necesssary.

They also need the ability to easily connect to Pocket Wizards.

If you have any recommendations, please reply.

PS. I already have a few Vivitar 285HV's and a 430EX. I like the 285's, but I wish they adjusted down further than 1/16th power.

Thanks.
John


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pepperoni
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Aug 07, 2007 20:49 |  #2

Okay.. it's been a few hours.
I don't know what else is out there and I hear the Nikon speedlites are pretty popular. Any information or suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks again.


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FlashZebra
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Aug 07, 2007 21:12 |  #3

Pepperoni,

Staying with flash units that are "reasonable".

The Nikon SB-24, SB-25, SB-26, and SB-28 are all very nice flash units that are no longer flash bargains, but still reasonable values.

Some may not go to power levels lower that 1/16, but I think most do.

The SB-26 has a built in optical slave which is a very nice feature, but the SB-28 is the most powerful one. They all have a Nikon Screwloc PC sync port.

The SB-28 would be my pick.

You may also want to look at some of the Sunpak handle mount flash units like the 555, they have flash power to 1/64, and are more powerful than almost any hotshoe based flash. They typically were a bargain, but recently the prices have been inching higher and higher. You might get lucky and run across a bargain on one.

The Canon 540EZ might also be an option, but it does not have a built in sync port and I understand that some early models could not be taken out of standby mode, which would make them very annoying to use off camera.

Enjoy! Lon


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Jim ­ M
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Aug 07, 2007 21:43 |  #4

Rather than adjusting down to 1/32 or 1/64, why not get some neutral density gel material and cut some light reducing filters. You wouldn't have to have very many. If you got something that would drop exposure two stops, you could set the flash on 1/8 and get 1/32 and with the flash on 1/16 you would get 1/64. Not as easy as turning a dial, but you could get there.




  
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bieber
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Aug 08, 2007 00:05 |  #5

Because it'd be an unnecessary inconvenience. To the OP, I have an SB-25 now, use it with Pocket Wizards, and I love it. I've got an SB-26 too, but Fedex is holding it for me for a little while ;) B&H currently has two of them for $120 each, and they're nice because they have that built-in optical slave, which means that I'll be able to get by without another Pocket Wizard until I can afford one, and I'll always have a backup mechanism if one of them fails (or, I could use it to free up one PocketWizard to use as a remote control for my camera, since TMR Designs' break-apart cable release works so nicely as an N3->Miniphone adapter). The SB-25 I picked up for, I believe, $90, and it also makes for a great deal. They're not nearly as cheap as they used to be, but they're good solid units; I just like them better than Vivitars or Sunpaks and such thing, they have that more polished feel to them.


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pepperoni
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Aug 08, 2007 00:38 |  #6

Thanks for the model numbers. I'll investigate those units and get out my checkbook.

One more thing... will a pocket wizard plug into any of the SB's, or do I need some sort of adapter?

Thanks again.


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bieber
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Aug 08, 2007 00:41 |  #7

They all have a PC sync port, so you can just use the included sync cable. If you (as I do) hang the Pocket Wizard from a knob on a light-stand, the cable will stay in just fine. If it's being moved and jostled around more, you might want to consider replacing the stock sync cable with a Nikon screwlock version, that'll screw in and stay put (I'm actually considering picking one of these up for the occasions when I use my camera's PC port to fire a Pocket Wizard).


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canoflan
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Aug 08, 2007 11:02 |  #8
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If you end up getting flashes without a sync port (i.e. canon), then Flashzebra.com has a great little hotshoe adapter where the mini plug is wired directly into the adapter so you can simply put your flash in the adapter, screw it onto your flash bracket directly (via the threaded hole in the bottom of the adapter), then plug it directly into the PW. Works great!


Pat




  
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pepperoni
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Aug 08, 2007 11:22 |  #9

canoflan wrote in post #3690903 (external link)
If you end up getting flashes without a sync port (i.e. canon), then Flashzebra.com has a great little hotshoe adapter where the mini plug is wired directly into the adapter so you can simply put your flash in the adapter, screw it onto your flash bracket directly (via the threaded hole in the bottom of the adapter), then plug it directly into the PW. Works great!

Pat

Thanks Pat.
I already have a few flashzebra adapters. I'm just trying to simplify things, but thanks for the suggestion anyway.:D


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FlashZebra
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Aug 08, 2007 12:28 |  #10

Pepperoni,

The cord that comes with a Pocket Wizard will plug directly into any of the Nikon SB flash units I cite in my post above.

Enjoy! Lon


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pepperoni
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Aug 08, 2007 13:00 as a reply to  @ FlashZebra's post |  #11

I ended up ordering another Vivitar and PW. Should have it Friday.
I coundn't find the lower end SB strobes at B&H, but I did find a few on ebay. I have a property shoot Friday evening, so I needed something right away and I'm already familiar with the Vivitar.

Thanks everyone.
:)


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bieber
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Aug 08, 2007 20:39 |  #12

For future reference, the trick is to select "Search All Used Products" by the search box at B&H. Just got my SB-26 in the mail today, now I have to charge up all the batteries that I bought with it.


EOS 20D w/ BG-E2 grip
Nifty fifty, EF 28mm f/2.8, EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
Speedlights SB-25/SB-26/580EX, Pocket Wizards and such
My Gallery (external link)

  
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