Flash question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ChAoS84, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. ChAoS84

    ChAoS84 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hello all. I'm fairly new to the world of photography, but I'm already totally addicted to my D90. I do have a couple of questions about flashes, hence my post.. Does anyone know of a good beginners guide <for lack of a better name> for flashes? It seems like there's so much out there, I'm spinning my head trying to figure out what they all do. Also, what good brands are out there that won't break the bank?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    An American in Europe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, what's in the bank?
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This is like "What camera should I buy".

    What do you want to do and what do you want spend? You could get one Nikon speedlight for $200 and put it on your camera and call it a day. You could also purchase a Profoto pack and head system for about $10,000.

    This is fun, and cheaper. Start with the following link and get back to us. Keep in mind that the following was written over three years ago. Prices and options are definitely much better.
    Strobist: Lighting 101
     
  4. ChAoS84

    ChAoS84 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oops, kinda left that part out.. $200 is my ballpark. Little over wouldn't hurt. I'm looking to do some portraiture. The sight of the built-in flash makes me cringe for some reason. Again, not looking for proffesional-grade over-complicated equipment, just something to get me headed in the right direction.

    And thanks for the link, I'll read that over.

    Edit: That link is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,237
    Likes Received:
    5,007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    To get professional looking results pretty much takes professional techniques and gear.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    www.mpex.com sells "Strobist" kits with everything put together. My recommendation is to read the Strobist site, look at the kits and make your own. Having at least one TTL capable flash in your kit is a good idea. You could buy an SB600, a light stand, umbrella adapter, and umbrella for a one light kit.

    The D90 has Nikon CLS which will allow you to fire the flash remotely without purchasing additional equipment. It has it's pros and cons, but it should work for now to keep your cost down. Depending on where you want to go in the future, you could pick up cheap manual speed lights, additional Nikon speed lights that are wireless TTL capable, or studio lights with additional modifiers and stuff.

    Techniques, yes. Gear, no. I was just browsing the Strobist site since I haven't in a while and there's an article about a large photo in Heathrow airport that was shot with two Nikon SB800's. Not exactly professional studio lighting.

    Joe McNally uses Nikon speed lights as well.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,237
    Likes Received:
    5,007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Didn't say anything about studio lighting. SB-800's are pro gear.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    OK, Vivitar 285HVs, Lumo Pro speed lights, Sigma flahses, etc...any flash that you can manually adjust the power on. Hell, anything that emits light. An iPhone? Seen it done before. Shower curtain and Vivitars? A Captain Crunch box for a snoot? Lemme guess, pros eat Captain Crunch?

    Oh, oh! Another one. Alien Bees. Elinchrom D-lites, Interfit, etc...
     
  9. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Oahu
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For on-camera hot shoe flash - Flash Photography Techniques

    I would stick with Nikon flashes. You can probably find SB-28s for less than $100.
     
  10. ChAoS84

    ChAoS84 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for all the responses. You guys have been really helpful, i'm looking forward to trying all these ideas. :thumbup:
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,797
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'd go another way for $200; I would buy one, or two Speedotron Brown Line model MW3U light heads for as little as $35 off of eBay. Here's one selling Buy It Now for $49.95 from a reputable vendor Speedotron MW3U Brown Line - 400 Watt/Second Lamphead - eBay (item 270437889828 end time Aug-10-09 17:00:39 PDT)

    And then I would look for a Speedotron Brown Line D202 two-outlet power supply for somewhere between $75 and $100, or better yet, a D402 model power supply for $85 to $125,also from eBay. Both the MW3U and the D402 have been made, virtually unchanged, since the early 1980's...I have owned three, D402's which are 4-outlet 400 watt-second units, and they are a virtual "commodity". The D202 is very small,portable AC-powered 200-watt power supply, and has two outlets, but a third head can be used with the addition of a Y-cord (splitter cable, $35 or so off eBay).

    A few months ago, I got a MINT condition D202 and a mint MW3U light head for $145 from eBay. The MW3U lights are small,lightweight,rugged, and use 150 watt quartz modeling lights that give off a lot of light, and have a built-in umbrella mounting system,and use 400 watt-second flash tubes that cost only $27 to replace, and there are also 1200-watt-second capable tubes for around $59 or so if you ever need to pump 1200 watt-seconds of power through a single flash head.

    Speedotron Brown Line light units like the MW3U and M90 are set up for umbrella use,and are very simple, rugged, and share the same flash tube, and have been made for so,so long that they are plentiful on the US market, and thus sell for very low prices on eBay. I've bought both models for as little as $33 within the past year, to as high as $49 for a particularly clean model of the M90, which is also a capable background/area/main light with its 8.5 inch reflector, which can also be fitted barn doors and/or a snap-on diffuser. A flash tube is $27; an entire light unit,with tube and modeling light for $35-$49 is therefore a veritable "steal",and MW3U's are on eBay every week.

    You live in Chicago...Speedotron has been made in Chicago since 1939....head down to Helix Camera at 310 South Racine Avenue to look at the full line of Speedotron stuff....the Speedotron factory is in the same building as Helix Camera is located in. Helix is a huge camera store!

    I think beginners can learn to light much better with studio lights with modeling lamps in them than with speedlights. Speedo's modeling lights show you a reasonable facsimile of what you will get AS you move the lights around, allowing you to preview lighting effects as you set your lights. AFTER you learn how to light, then speedlights make more sense, but learning without benefit of modeling lights makes it harder to see the subtle differences which appear to your eyes AS you set the height and position of your main light. To my way of thinking, you'll progress faster and farther with real studio lighting gear, AND have the benefit of 150 watt quart lamps for better rapport with your subject and for better focusing, rather than shooting in the dark and having two or three speedlights blasting a subject whose pupils are wide-open and giving that racoon-like look that comes from sitting in a dimmed room with no modeling lights.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The problem with AC powered lights though, is not always is a noob going to be shooting some where where it's convenient to have them plugged into a wall. I think shooting in many different environments would help a person to advance more. I know I've been in many places where power wasn't an option and space was limited.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

speedotron flash heads made in 1980's