Cheapest possible "second light"

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Summer75, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    Doing a photo booth and I have an off camera flash with softbox and lightstand that I am very comfortable using and I think will work well as my key light. I am doing a photobooth and want the cheapest possible light as a second light. The issue I am having is that I will need something to run on batteries as I won't have an AC outlet where the booth is. I am hoping to not spend more than $100 as it is something I won't use alot. Also, I live in Canada so it has to ship there. Ideas?


     
  2. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    You could use any of the cheaper flashes that are available and they'd work perfectly well as an optical slave fill light.

    The only minor issue you will have is that the two lights will not likely have the same colour balance so a custom balance will be needed.
     
  3. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I have a wireless flash trigger that I use for my off camera flash. How would I flash a second flash with the same camera... would I need another trigger?
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can get a cheap studio strobe that runs on mains power for only $50 U.S.

    Flashpoint Budget Flash

    And, of course, you don't need a separate trigger or cable. Plus, it has a modeling light. I recommend a modifier for it, and you'll need a stand.

    Oh, and some gaffer's tape to tape the cord to the floor. Don't forget that.
     
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  5. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    The second flash would use it's optical sensor to recognize when your key light flashed then it would flash as well.
     
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  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can probably find the flash your currently using used. Not sure what system your using or what brand flash. Many flashes has an optical triger system built in. Or you can buy a simple optical trigger if your wireless triggers are pricey. And of course an inexpensive stand, head, and light modifier will be needed.

    Ok, I see your have a reflector but worry about keeping it set up properly.

    There are several off brand flashes sold on Amazon from $27 to around $70 that would fit your need that has optical sensor on it. I would order one of those, a 2nd stand, and a light modifier. Could probably be within your $100 budget. Just remember you may have a several second recycle if the budget flash is near full power. Some around $50 are camera system specific too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  7. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Would a suitably placed reflector work for you fill light?
     
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  8. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I don't have anyone to hold my reflector and I can never seem to get it placed in a way that fills the shadows anyway. I am not highly experienced with studio setups as I do more on location. So when it comes to a photo booth setup on the location, I am thinking of buying a second light as I may have an easier time with it. I am interested in what benhasajeep said about getting a flash with a trigger in it. How would that work if I have a remote trigger triggering one flash and if I get a second flash that is compatible to my current trigger?
     
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are several ways to fire a flash now a days. I don't know what system you shoot and that's hard to give advice on. But flashes come several ways.

    Pure dumb flash (just any flash that only fires from a hotshoe). Now if you want that dumb flash off camera. There is an accessory called an optical slave. It has a hotshoe on it. It also has a light sensor that when it detects a flash, it fires the flash on it's hotshoe. This setup requries a manually adjustable flash (flash can be from any camera system as long as it can be fired from a hotshoe). Now dumb flashes also work with radio triggers that it's reciever has a hotshoe. Works the same way as optical slave but goes by radio instead of light. This is preferrable when working in bright light and daylight outdoors, as optical slaves don't work well in bright light.

    Then there are flashes with built in radio recievers. They match a system of wireless triggers. So if you have brand X radio trigger, you pick a flash that works with brand X radio triggers.

    Next you have intelligent flashes. They can be adjusted from one position. And have some automatic functions controlled by the one position. These of course are the more expensive flashes. These flashes work as a system with a camera or a master flash controller connected to a camera (hotshoe, or by cable). And like radio flashes they have to match your tranmission system. Canon has their own system, Nikon their own, etc. But now third party flash makers also have intelligent flashes. Some it's their own system but designed to work with the specific camera system, or they use the specific camera system themselves. Younuo seems to be a current popular manufacturer that has their own trigger system, and also flashes with works with the camera makers system. They are much lower priced than the brand name system flashes.

    Almost all my flashes are Nikon. About 2/5 ths of them can be used with Nikons CLS that is their wireless system that uses pre-flashes to communicate. But I also have older Nikon flashes that were made before CLS was invented. So, I use inexpensive (dumb) radio triggers with those. Some of my older flashes do have optical triggers built in. But like I said radios work better outside in brighter light. Especially if the flash is more than 6' away or so. And several of my older flahses have a built in optical sensor on them.

    An optical flash trigger can be bought for around $10. And you can use just about any flash that can be controlled manually with one of those. They are all over ebay for $8 with shipping in the US.
     
  10. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    A very through and helpful answer! Thank-you. The only thing I didn't understand was about the optical flash trigger. Is that for a slave flash situation or where does it get the signal from?
     
  11. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    I have found a flash that compatible with my wireless trigger. So does this mean that I don't have to buy another piece to my wireless receiver/transmitter set? The new flash itself will just receive the signal by itself and flash at the same time as the other old flash (that is sitting on my receiver), when my the transmiter (sitting on my hotshoe) sends the signal when I press the shutter button?
     
  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, if the flash has your trigger installed in it. Then you do not need the external trigger.

    An optical trigger is similar to your wireless trigger. It is a block with a hotshoe on the top and a optical sensor. Some also have sync cable connections on the side as well. But you mount your flash to the top of it like you would your wireless reciever / trigger. And will fire your first light as long as it can see the flash from your other light. But if you found a flash that works with your current wireless system. Even better!
     

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