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Thread: Getting a SpeedLight

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derrel View Post
    Having a PC port ON the flash itself greatly reduces costs when rigging multiple flash units together; Vivitar 285HV units come with inexpensive 7-inch PC cords. 285HV's will rubber-band back-to-back almost perfectly. SO it is very easy to put two of them together, and use ONE, single optical slave or one receiver to trigger a second flash, which is connected directly with a PC cord to the first flash. Same goes with using FOUR 285HV units mounted together in a semi-circle, and fitted inside of a 10 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe fitted with a Fresnel lens, and designed to make a High-Speed, motion-stopping flash unit for bird and insect photography. Because the flashes all have PC connector outlets, only "ONE" expensive radio trigger and only ONE expensive beam-interruptor trigger, or only ONE sound trigger is required--to fire multiple flashes, perfectly in synchronization, and with no extra bulk or weight to speak of. And YES, these 4-Vivitar, PVC pipe, Fresnel-fitted multi-flash units are an actually DIY reality used by a couple of my bird and insect photographer friends.

    A PC connector fitted with a top-quality PC synch cord, such as a Paramount brand cord, and not some Chinese $4 POS, works wonderfully. PC outlets are very handy to have, and they separate the flash mounting from the flash connecting aspects. PC cords can KEEP the flash CONNECTED, even when the flash is moved out of the shoe, such as when it is hand-held, held by an assistant, or simply layed down on a table or placed on the floor.
    Hey one more step back, what is the pc port? I see that it makes it cheaper and easier to use in the long run having it, but what is it actually and how is it set up? Sorry for the confusion.

    Thanks



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    Quote Originally Posted by washington View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Derrel View Post
    Having a PC port ON the flash itself greatly reduces costs when rigging multiple flash units together; Vivitar 285HV units come with inexpensive 7-inch PC cords. 285HV's will rubber-band back-to-back almost perfectly. SO it is very easy to put two of them together, and use ONE, single optical slave or one receiver to trigger a second flash, which is connected directly with a PC cord to the first flash. Same goes with using FOUR 285HV units mounted together in a semi-circle, and fitted inside of a 10 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe fitted with a Fresnel lens, and designed to make a High-Speed, motion-stopping flash unit for bird and insect photography. Because the flashes all have PC connector outlets, only "ONE" expensive radio trigger and only ONE expensive beam-interruptor trigger, or only ONE sound trigger is required--to fire multiple flashes, perfectly in synchronization, and with no extra bulk or weight to speak of. And YES, these 4-Vivitar, PVC pipe, Fresnel-fitted multi-flash units are an actually DIY reality used by a couple of my bird and insect photographer friends.

    A PC connector fitted with a top-quality PC synch cord, such as a Paramount brand cord, and not some Chinese $4 POS, works wonderfully. PC outlets are very handy to have, and they separate the flash mounting from the flash connecting aspects. PC cords can KEEP the flash CONNECTED, even when the flash is moved out of the shoe, such as when it is hand-held, held by an assistant, or simply layed down on a table or placed on the floor.
    Hey one more step back, what is the pc port? I see that it makes it cheaper and easier to use in the long run having it, but what is it actually and how is it set up? Sorry for the confusion.

    Thanks
    It's a place to plug in a cable to your triggering device that will trigger the flash when your device tells it to. It operates on voltage and it's not intelligent in any way. It's like a light switch that's either off or on.

    Here's a standard pc sync port on the side of this shoe.



    Some hot shoe flashes don't have them and either require a trigger with a hot shoe or a hot shoe with a cable to the trigger.
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    It's a small female port on your camera/wireless transmitter, and on your flash (assuming your camera and flash have them). It is connected with a PC cable which has male on both ends. It's simple a type of connector, nothing special about it, except as VI pointed out, you can get a cable that has a screw lock (I didn't know this, and I have constant issues with the 580EXII pc port. Thanks for the info.)

    Here's the thing, you can buy a two flash system with a receiver and transmitter for the price that you can get a 580EXII for. ETTL is great if you need it, but for strobist kind of stuff (exactly what I'm into as well), you will be using manual flash. You can get two LP160's for $320, a cybersync receiver and transmitter for $120, an umbrella and stand for less than $100.... that's well within your budget and you will be MUCH more versatile than if you buy one 580 EXII for the same price.

    Manual flash can do many things... but times when it isn't good is when the subject is not the same distance from the light from one shot to the next. Such as when you have the flash on your camera and are shooting an event where you are walking around a lot, like at a party or a reception and you are at different distances from the subject(s) for each shot.

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    Here's the kit I'd recommend....

    Strobist® Starving 2 Light Kit MPEX

    The price updates as you check or uncheck things...
    Included in my price....
    The "Included in All Kits" pack.... $32.86
    2x LP160 flashes.... $294
    1 Cactus V4 radio slave set.... $40
    2 LP606 Stands.... $51.76 (I prefer the 7' basic stands for their size but for some reason they're more expensive)
    1 Westcott 43" Satin Umbrella.... $16.54
    1 Lumiquest Softbox 3.... $33.79
    2 LP633 Umbrella swivel w/ flash shoe adapter.... $13.86 (in case you get another umbrella, but works fine as just a light stand flash adapter)

    Total price, $502.93. And that's all you need to get started with a two light kit. About the same price as one 580EXII.
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    It's a place to plug in a cable to your triggering device that will trigger the flash when your device tells it to. It operates on voltage and it's not intelligent in any way. It's like a light switch that's either off or on.

    Here's a standard pc sync port on the side of this shoe.



    Some hot shoe flashes don't have them and either require a trigger with a hot shoe or a hot shoe with a cable to the trigger.
    oh wow! that clears that up for me much appreciated for the photo as well, VI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka View Post
    Here's the kit I'd recommend....

    Strobist® Starving 2 Light Kit MPEX

    The price updates as you check or uncheck things...
    Included in my price....
    The "Included in All Kits" pack.... $32.86
    2x LP160 flashes.... $294
    1 Cactus V4 radio slave set.... $40
    2 LP606 Stands.... $51.76 (I prefer the 7' basic stands for their size but for some reason they're more expensive)
    1 Westcott 43" Satin Umbrella.... $16.54
    1 Lumiquest Softbox 3.... $33.79
    2 LP633 Umbrella swivel w/ flash shoe adapter.... $13.86 (in case you get another umbrella, but works fine as just a light stand flash adapter)

    Total price, $502.93. And that's all you need to get started with a two light kit. About the same price as one 580EXII.
    Im going to definitely look into this, more bang for the buck. Thanks a fortune, this is pretty much what I'm looking for!

    Is this setup, for the most part, are these reliable and decent quality products? I just don't want to come up short and lose money in a few months, rather than years you know.
    Last edited by washington; 10-05-2011 at 03:01 PM.

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    The LP160's are very reliable. I've been using 3 a lot and have had zero problems. I even dropped one from about 6 feet onto hard un-padded carpet and it still works with no damage. I just bought a 4th from the used section here on the forum (thanks Ross, it came in yesterday!).

    The only thing I cannot speak for is the Cactus V4 radio set. I use the Cybersync's which are more expensive so I was recommending these so they would fit in your budget. This is a transmitter and receiver for $40. A Cybersync set is about $120. I've read plenty of people using the Cactus' and not reporting issues, but I encourage you to do some reading yourself before you make the purchase.

    For mobility, I actually recommend the 7' cheap lightstands, but for some reason they are more expensive. However, I do have an air-cushioned stand too and it's nice to have... much sturdier than the lighter cheapies.

    I think you'll be happy with this setup and you'll be able to start making well lit photos right off the bat without having to make extra purchases. I encourage you to not start with both lights though... just leave one in the box and get used to working with one light. When you feel confident with making solid images with it, then start working with two lights.

    Btw, the optical slave on the LP160's is sensitive and works very well so you won't need two receivers unless you are working outdoors. It's great to have a receiver for each light, but it's a waste if you don't use them. Right now, I have two receivers for my 5 lights. I just finished a project where I had to shoot 26 vehicles (not at the same time) outdoors in sunlight and it was a struggle to get all 4 lights to fire with only 2 receivers, but I managed.

    Let me know if you have any issues, I'm happy to help. It sounds like you are on the exact same path I was when I started and I'd like to make sure you get the most out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by washington View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka View Post
    Here's the kit I'd recommend....

    Strobist® Starving 2 Light Kit MPEX

    The price updates as you check or uncheck things...
    Included in my price....
    The "Included in All Kits" pack.... $32.86
    2x LP160 flashes.... $294
    1 Cactus V4 radio slave set.... $40
    2 LP606 Stands.... $51.76 (I prefer the 7' basic stands for their size but for some reason they're more expensive)
    1 Westcott 43" Satin Umbrella.... $16.54
    1 Lumiquest Softbox 3.... $33.79
    2 LP633 Umbrella swivel w/ flash shoe adapter.... $13.86 (in case you get another umbrella, but works fine as just a light stand flash adapter)

    Total price, $502.93. And that's all you need to get started with a two light kit. About the same price as one 580EXII.
    Im going to definitely look into this, more bang for the buck. Thanks a fortune, this is pretty much what I'm looking for!

    Is this setup, for the most part, are these reliable and decent quality products? I just don't want to come up short and lose money in a few months, rather than years you know.
    MPEX is an awesome company and if Moishe is still there, he's the guy to call and talk to about the Strobist products.IIRC, He had the LP160's developed basically for the whole Strobist thing. And just to show you his dedication to customer service, when there was a bad batch of Vivitar 285HV's floating around, he was removing everyone from the box and testing it in house to make sure that it worked before sending it out to the customer so they didn't end up with a DOA flash and didn't have to deal with shipping back to MPEX.

    I just can't say enough good things about them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overread View Post
    *moving to lighting subsection --- yes we have one now!!*
    SWEET!!!

    I am going there now!
    MY GEAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    This is Photography...not rocket science. I'll let you in on a secret....

    There is no right or wrong.

 

 
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