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Photo Craft Technique Easy Portable Flash Setup

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Old Sep-25-2006, 10:06 PM
#41
AntoineD is offline AntoineD
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How one can ask a question which the answer is one post up...
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[FONT="Verdana"]have a quick look at my portfolio (there's a photolog, too) :: (11-07-2006) experiencing a new flash portfolio. What do you think?[/FONT]
Old Sep-28-2006, 07:36 PM
#42
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Thanks so much, Shay. I was actually just about to start a thread, asking if anyone has endeavored to go about portable light this way. I have a Canon Speedlite 430EX, which is decent for my event photography. I had been considering the 580 for more power, but at the same time, I've been thrust into the market of organizations wanting actual (school, club) portrait work done. I've been considering a fat $1600 Alien Bees setup consisting of a few monolights, soft boxes, stands as well as Alien Bees portable power. I'd still need a light meter, background stands, etc., AND to learn how to use it all, together, almost immediately.

Do you think I could get professional, attractive results for 1-2 person full body shots (karate), using the 580 in off camera master mode, with the 430EX in slave (built in) as fill, and a couple of umbrellas? This sure would save me some money, maybe enough to get a decent light meter and lovely portrait lens (of which I'd certainly take suggestions on!!) and buy me some time to afford a full blown studio lighting solution and time to learn how to properly use it. Do you think this is a good way to go, or am I going to be disappointed?

Of course, this reply isn't just for Shay! Any comments, flaws in my plan, or suggestions will be wholely appreciated!

Thanks guys,
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Old Sep-29-2006, 04:37 PM
#43
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Bizzump.

Any more input on this before I make a purchase? I have an itchy purchase finger!
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Old Sep-29-2006, 07:26 PM
#44
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
Do you think I could get professional, attractive results for 1-2 person full body shots (karate), using the 580 in off camera master mode, with the 430EX in slave (built in) as fill, and a couple of umbrellas?...
Light is light, you could do your work with nothing but the sun and reflectors. The canon lights are good ones and versatile. There are plenty of people out there doing portraits with them everyday. My concern is the speed at which you need to get this up and running. You might not have enough time, but then again, I guess that is the definition of "trial by fire" right ;-) I suggest not sleeping much and practicing like a _________ ;-) After a while of doing your thing, you will know what you need, if anything, to replace the equipment.
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Old Sep-29-2006, 08:12 PM
#45
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shay Stephens
Light is light, you could do your work with nothing but the sun and reflectors. The canon lights are good ones and versatile. There are plenty of people out there doing portraits with them everyday. My concern is the speed at which you need to get this up and running. You might not have enough time, but then again, I guess that is the definition of "trial by fire" right ;-) I suggest not sleeping much and practicing like a _________ ;-) After a while of doing your thing, you will know what you need, if anything, to replace the equipment.
I'm so overwhelmed right now. I've been reading non-stop for days. I guess my biggest problem right now with the 580EX is how to get it off-camera. They have a whopping 2' long hotshoe cord? What good is that other than for a flash bracket? Then there's adapting them to light stands and worrying about whether whatever off-camera system I use is going to be manual, E-TTL or preserve the E-TTL II. I'm going to be old and grey before I get this off the ground. I know nothing about any of this and can't afford to risk a $400+ mistake.
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Old Sep-29-2006, 09:32 PM
#46
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
I'm so overwhelmed right now. I've been reading non-stop for days. I guess my biggest problem right now with the 580EX is how to get it off-camera. They have a whopping 2' long hotshoe cord? What good is that other than for a flash bracket? Then there's adapting them to light stands and worrying about whether whatever off-camera system I use is going to be manual, E-TTL or preserve the E-TTL II. I'm going to be old and grey before I get this off the ground. I know nothing about any of this and can't afford to risk a $400+ mistake.
If you are doing studio type flash, don't rely on ttl, go manual exposure on camera and flash units. Now having said that, I do believe there is a transmitter (B&H# CASTE2) you can get that will trigger the canon flashes. That will get it off camera.

The trouble is, lighting is expensive, it takes time to learn, and you always need something else ;-) So determine what your needs are, buy to that, and figure on needing something else later anyway. Right now, most of my equipment purchases are lighting related.

I am using Sunpak 555 units, but I seem to be burning through them faster than I like. So I am going to try a metz flash next.
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Old Sep-29-2006, 10:36 PM
#47
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shay Stephens
If you are doing studio type flash, don't rely on ttl, go manual exposure on camera and flash units. Now having said that, I do believe there is a transmitter (B&H# CASTE2) you can get that will trigger the canon flashes. That will get it off camera.

The trouble is, lighting is expensive, it takes time to learn, and you always need something else ;-) So determine what your needs are, buy to that, and figure on needing something else later anyway. Right now, most of my equipment purchases are lighting related.

I am using Sunpak 555 units, but I seem to be burning through them faster than I like. So I am going to try a metz flash next.
Thanks Shay. That put me at ease quite a bit. I think I'll go with a 580EX to compliment my 430EX and the ST-E2 trigger and figure out how to adapt em to light stands and umbrellas. That should put me around the $800 range total which is a lot better than $1600 and a heckuvalot more portable. Any recommendations/suggestions on a EOS mount portrait lens?

Thanks again,
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Old Sep-30-2006, 10:03 AM
#48
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
Thanks Shay. That put me at ease quite a bit. I think I'll go with a 580EX to compliment my 430EX and the ST-E2 trigger and figure out how to adapt em to light stands and umbrellas. That should put me around the $800 range total which is a lot better than $1600 and a heckuvalot more portable. Any recommendations/suggestions on a EOS mount portrait lens?

Thanks again,
It's hard to go wrong with the 50mm f/1.4 lens or the 100mm f/2.8 if you have a 1.6x camera. As for mounting hotshoe flash units to a light stand, these guys work great:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=50067&is=REG&a ddedTroughType=categoryNavigation
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Old Sep-30-2006, 12:26 PM
#49
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shay Stephens
It's hard to go wrong with the 50mm f/1.4 lens or the 100mm f/2.8 if you have a 1.6x camera. As for mounting hotshoe flash units to a light stand, these guys work great:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=50067&is=REG&a ddedTroughType=categoryNavigation
Awesome. Thanks again, Shay. 392 more questions and I'll be you! Say, will you pop over and set this all up for me, and shoot for me while you're here? Seriously, the handholding is much appreciated. I'll toss some results shots up in the future to show I'm paying attention in class.

U R D r0x0r! (That's groovy for us old folks).

EDIT: Hmm, I might have to change my forum profile to "Aspiring to be Shay!". Sorry Andy! ;)
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Old Oct-18-2006, 04:39 PM
#50
Pamela is offline Pamela
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Shay

How's the Sunpak 555 going for you lately?
You mentioned that you go through them often.

I have had great luck using the Sunpak 622 pro for the last 10+yrs.
I use it with my Mamiya 645 Pro.
Both of these have been good to me, never broke down yet. (Well now that I said it, you know what is bound to happen )
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Old Oct-18-2006, 06:26 PM
#51
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela
Shay

How's the Sunpak 555 going for you lately?
You mentioned that you go through them often.

I have had great luck using the Sunpak 622 pro for the last 10+yrs.
I use it with my Mamiya 645 Pro.
Both of these have been good to me, never broke down yet. (Well now that I said it, you know what is bound to happen )
From the looks of it, they seem to be lasting me about a year or about 40k-50k flashes. I have started putting dates on them so I can keep track of when to expect to replace them. I wouldn't mind a longer lasting flash, so in that vein, I am going to pick up another flash, and use it for a while to see if I can get a feel for how long they last.

I have not been able to get any feedback from manufacturers or users as to the number of expected flashes it can produce before dying. The 622 is on my list and so is a metz, though I forget the model number at the moment. They are about twice the cost of the 555 if I remember right, so they need to at least do 100k flashes before pooping out for it to worth it.
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Old Oct-19-2006, 04:47 AM
#52
Bodley is offline Bodley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shay Stephens
The 622 is on my list and so is a metz, though I forget the model number at the moment. They are about twice the cost of the 555 if I remember right, so they need to at least do 100k flashes before pooping out for it to worth it.
Other than cost are there any reasons you don't use the Canon 580ex?
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Old Oct-19-2006, 08:26 AM
#53
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodley
Other than cost are there any reasons you don't use the Canon 580ex?
The 580ex has too many features (e.g. optical wireless triggering) that would just go to waste for me. All I need is manual variable power output, external power plug, and a sync plug I can trigger with pocket wizards.

I decided a while ago to use non-dedicated flash units that could be used on any camera I happen to be using. A side benefit is that they tend to be less expensive that way too.
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Old Oct-19-2006, 03:43 PM
#54
Pamela is offline Pamela
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Shay


I have a question

I have a Sunpak 422D, with a Canon (A-1,AE-1,etc) slow snyc Module, and a off camera cord.
From the way I understand it, is that digital cameras can't get more than 6v from the flash. I checked the volts when triggering the flash and I get 5.99 volts.

Today I went to a camera store, the person I spoke to said I could use that flash and it would be safe. He said that Canon cameras were always set up to only be able to use flashes that use 6 or less volts.
I dont care that I wouldn't have TTL, because I have always set my cameras and flash to manual anyway.

I really dont remember this, and I guess Im looking for advise, that it would not harm my Digital rebel.
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Old Oct-19-2006, 04:05 PM
#55
SteveM is offline SteveM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela
From the way I understand it, is that digital cameras can't get more than 6v from the flash. I checked the volts when triggering the flash and I get 5.99 volts.

Today I went to a camera store, the person I spoke to said I could use that flash and it would be safe. He said that Canon cameras were always set up to only be able to use flashes that use 6 or less volts.
I really dont remember this, and I guess Im looking for advise, that it would not harm my Digital rebel.
Hey Pamela,

It should say in your manual. I'm looking at my Canon 20D manual under "Using Non-Canon Flashes, p98" and it reads "Also, do not connect to the camera's PC terminal any flash unit requiring 250 V or more". I think Canon saw this as an issue and addressed it so that basically any reasonable flash can be used, but be sure to check your manual!
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Old Oct-19-2006, 06:45 PM
#56
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela
Shay


I have a question

I have a Sunpak 422D, with a Canon (A-1,AE-1,etc) slow snyc Module, and a off camera cord.
From the way I understand it, is that digital cameras can't get more than 6v from the flash. I checked the volts when triggering the flash and I get 5.99 volts.

Today I went to a camera store, the person I spoke to said I could use that flash and it would be safe. He said that Canon cameras were always set up to only be able to use flashes that use 6 or less volts.
I dont care that I wouldn't have TTL, because I have always set my cameras and flash to manual anyway.

I really dont remember this, and I guess Im looking for advise, that it would not harm my Digital rebel.
Ya, if the voltage can shock you or run your hair dryer, it's too high for a camera otherwise, I don't worry about it.
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Old Oct-20-2006, 09:01 AM
#57
ziggy53 is online now ziggy53
Still learnin'still lovin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela
Shay


I have a question

I have a Sunpak 422D, with a Canon (A-1,AE-1,etc) slow snyc Module, and a off camera cord.
From the way I understand it, is that digital cameras can't get more than 6v from the flash. I checked the volts when triggering the flash and I get 5.99 volts.

Today I went to a camera store, the person I spoke to said I could use that flash and it would be safe. He said that Canon cameras were always set up to only be able to use flashes that use 6 or less volts.
I dont care that I wouldn't have TTL, because I have always set my cameras and flash to manual anyway.

I really dont remember this, and I guess Im looking for advise, that it would not harm my Digital rebel.
Pamela,

According to this page:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

I suspect your flash is OK.

If it is a concern, you can purchase a Wein SafeSync which limits the voltage to a maximum of 6V. I use one of these with an old flash that puts out over 200V at the trigger and have had no problems.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

ziggy53
Old Oct-20-2006, 11:14 AM
#58
Pamela is offline Pamela
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy53
Pamela,

According to this page:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

I suspect your flash is OK.

If it is a concern, you can purchase a Wein SafeSync which limits the voltage to a maximum of 6V. I use one of these with an old flash that puts out over 200V at the trigger and have had no problems.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

ziggy53
Thankyou

I decided to call Sunpak , the tech said that both my Sunpak 622 and 422D are safe and wont damage my Rebel XT.
She said that the warnings went out a while back when people were pulling 20 yr old flashes out of their closets and using on new digital cameras.
Some cameras have a low trigger volt tolerance.
She also mentioned that from her records that the rebel can tolerate 250v.
That Im not aware of , I dont have time right now to check my camera book that came with it.
If anyone has a flash that they would like to use with a new digital camera, the best thing to do is call the company the flash was made by and find out.
PLEASE dont use a flash you have because of this reply.
I also double checked the trigger volts, 6v or less .
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Old Nov-22-2006, 07:28 AM
#59
cooldude is offline cooldude
Beginner grinner
Portable flash
Hi Shay
This is all fine but i have canon 20d and a pair of580ex flashs
any idea what equipment i need for this setup?

Thanks
Old Nov-22-2006, 08:05 PM
#60
Shay Stephens is offline Shay Stephens OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldude
Hi Shay
This is all fine but i have canon 20d and a pair of580ex flashs
any idea what equipment i need for this setup?

Thanks
I don't use canon flashes, but you could most likely use the same setup, just leave out the sync cable or pocket wizards since you can use the infrared triggering. The light stand, umbrella adapter, and umbrella would still work I should think. Just make sure the umbrella adapter has a shoe adapter to hold the flash.

You would need the canon infrared transmitter on the camera to trigger the light.
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