Going off-camera with my Flashes

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by onedayillknowbetter, May 20, 2008.

  1. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    I've been wanting to get into off-camera flash for a while, but not really sure where to start. I've done a lot of reading, and looked on Strobist, and the Flickr group for Strobist, but I haven't found the answers to everything yet, and I was hoping for some help. I've been doing a lot of nightlife photography, and know that a second off-camera flash will fill the shadows that I often get with only one flash, but I'm not sure how to do it, and if I can with the equipment I have now. I have a Speedlite 430ex and a Sigma EF 500 DG ST. Could I use the Sigma as a master on my camera and then the Speedlite as the hand held one, or do I need to have two Canon flashes? Can I use a wireless transmitter with my 40D? (A friend was trying to show me how to do this, but his wireless thing didn't work on my camera.) If I can't use a wireless transmitter, can I use a regular hot shoe cord?

    Constructive comments and responses are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    My advice is to start out with just one flash. Then you can use the flash and the sun as two light sources.

    You don't say what kind of camera you have. The easiest way to get the flash off camera is to use a sync cord. if neither your camera or flash have sync ports then you can get hotshoe adaptors for each. have a look at the tutoprial about manual flash in my signature, that has some more information.
     
  3. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    The sun isn't usually shining in nightclubs ;) Actually, it's usually pretty dark, so I think I need to use two flashes. I'm not sure you really read my post because I did say that I have a 40D (I just didn't say Canon). Either way, thanks for your response.
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Well do you need to go wireless? If so you could just grab some Cactus V.2's in the mean time untill you get pdubbs
     
  5. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    I don't know, I was hoping someone here could tell me!
     
  6. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Haha, how far away do you want the flashes to be? Would cords get in the way?
     
  7. ChickenFriedRyce

    ChickenFriedRyce TPF Noob!

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    You could use a cable.

    Connect a flash to another and hold the off camera one relatively close to the camera and fire away? If that's how it works...
     
  8. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, you're right. It was early in the morning and I was rushing to get ready for work.

    With two Canon flashes you'll be able to do it, but you'll need to make sure that one of them can be set to "master". I think the 430EX can only be set to slave. The 580EX (both versions) can be set to master. Canon also has a wireless controller that just acts as a master, it doesn't produce any illuminating flash of it's own.

    In nightclubs, i'd say some kind of wireless system is the way to go, be it the light pulses of the Canon system or a radio slave set up. Using sync cables causes obvious problems. (people tripping over them or pulling them out as they walk through them).
     
  9. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    If you dont already have a 580, and you want to go wireless without having to drop all that money on just one flash, you could use something like vivitar 285's or sunpak 383's, or even older nikon speedlights, like the sb-28. Then i would look to use something like bogen super clamps to hold the flashes up on walls. Then you have several choices for slaves.
     
  10. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    I've never really liked the idea of putting flashes on the walls in a club. They're usually a couple stories, so I would need like a handful of flashes, plus, the lighting changes so much the point of going wireless would be to control the lighting more. On the walls, I'm not sure that would really do the trick. I use Canon equipment, but really what I was asking in this post was, "Can I go wireless with the equipment that I have right now?" The equipment I have is a Canon 40D, a Sigma EF 500 DG ST (which I don't know if I can use as a master or not/combine with an off-camera Canon Speedlite), and a Canon Speedlite 430EX.
     
  11. onedayillknowbetter

    onedayillknowbetter TPF Noob!

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    The Sigma Flash that I bought was kind of a cheaper version of the 580EX, because I didn't really have that much cash to shell out for a flash at the time. I know that this wireless setup will work with two Canon flashes, but would it work if I used the Sigma EF 500 DG ST as the master and the Speedlite as the hand held? I will buy a 580EX if necessary, but it might just have to wait a bit until I get a wider lens.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can't fire the 430EX with the sigma and the only way to fire the 430 so that it uses TTL is with a 580 or maybe even a 550.

    The 430's generally have troubles with optical slaves too.

    How are you plannin on shooting? Are you going to have some one carry around your second flash for you?
     

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