how many of you use only speedlights ?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ghache, May 19, 2010.

  1. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    I am currently saving some money for strobes

    and i was wondering how many of you are currently working with speedlight only.

    i know that for in studio use they are not that good since the recycle time is longer and power is an issue but i heard it was still feasable if you can work around thier limitations.

    latelly ive seen some awesome on location work done with only speedlight and i am really thinking about investing in speedlights at first since i dont have a studio yet. (i have one in my basement but i have limited space).

    i allready have 2 sb-600 and 1 OPUS L-150.

    my plan is to buy 2 sb-900 and use them with softbox/boom.

    i just wanted to see if there is any of you doing it. cons? problems ? experiences ?
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    SB-900's cost a fortune for the amount of flash power related to money...if you are going to use speedlights on light stands or booms with either softboxes or umbrellas, I see very little reason for buying anything other than Vivitar 285 HV flashes, or something comparable. I have used Vivitar 285 HV flashes with umbrellas off and on for years...there's no need for the high-tech features of an SB 900 at $459 Nikon | SB-900 AF Speedlight i-TTL Shoe Mount Flash | 4807 | B&H

    versus a Vivitar 285HV at a cost of $89 from the same retailer.
    Vivitar | 285HV Flash | 233965 | B&H Photo Video

    Most off-camera flash can be handled in Manual mode, and the Vivitar is set up quite well for easy adjustments to manual flash output mode,and can take terrific abuse in terms of repeated flashes, even from a powerful battery. The Quantum Battery 1 will power TWO Vivitar 285HV flashes from one battery (you need two cords though). The thing about the 285HV is that they will easily mount back-to-back, either taped together, or held together with rubber bands, and for the price of two SB900s, you could buy TEN 285HV's...or,.more realistically, you could buy three or four 285HV's and softboxes,light stands, two boom arms and counterweights, infrared triggers, and some accessories for the $919 cost for just the two Nikon speedlights alone. I have had a "Strobist" setup for 285's since the mid-1980's, and it really is quite workable to build around the 285HV,since it has all the needed features, without unneeded electronic sophistication, electric head zooming, and so on.

    The SB900 is designed as a dedicated, TTL type strobe for single-flash use, for the most part. ONce you start taking flashes,plural, off-camera, the need for dedicated electronic communication with the camera goes down, IMHO.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Derrel. If you are on a budget (aren't we all?) then you can get a lot more for your money, going with some simple flash units rather than the fulled decked out SB900s.

    Of course, you have to decide how you want to work. If you really want to stay with Nikon's CLS system, then you will need compatible units. There some some benefits (auto metering, high speed sync etc) but it's going to be very expensive.

    Simple (manual) flash does take a bit of know-how, but it's not that hard and actually many photogs prefer it because it's consistent and dependable.

    You can head on over to Strobist and read for days on end, about off camera flash, both with studio strobes and flash units.
     
  4. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    i was looking at the cactus wireless trigger and does the transmitter mounted on the camera required a pc port to work? or it connect through the hotshoe?

    the CTR-301P i have dosnt support the vivitar. if i can get cheap radio triggers, i will definetly go that route. for 89 bucks a piece, you cant go wrong....i never though they were that cheap.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't own a speedlight... not one that sits on top of my camera.

    I do have a couple of old Sunpack strobes that I still use at weddings.

    They're just lighting, quick and consistent. I'm strictly a "manual mode" kind of guy.

    -Pete
     
  6. wisv1k

    wisv1k TPF Noob!

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    I have been doing a lot of reading and the YongNuo stuff on eBay is also very tempting with such positive reviews. I actually just ordered some radio triggers to try out since they are so cheap. Based on what I have read they are quite reliable too. Just throwing it out there as food for thought.

    RF602 Wireless Flash Trigger Canon 350D 400D 450D 500D - eBay (item 320455448821 end time May-28-10 03:54:35 PDT)

    Speedlight from them although there are others, including a full function model with ettl. This one seems to come highly recommended as a cost and power balance:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/YongNuo-YN-460I...ories_CameraFlashUnits_JN&hash=item35a65de315
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Here is an inexpensive trigger and 3 receiver set:

    PT-04 C II Wireless Remote Flash Moonlight Trigger +3Rx - eBay (item 280496757936 end time May-22-10 01:58:39 PDT)
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The RF-602 radio triggers use the same 2.4GHZ frequency as in-home cordless phones, which could be problematic depending on your shooting location.
     
  9. wisv1k

    wisv1k TPF Noob!

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    [/quote]
    The RF-602 radio triggers use the same 2.4GHZ frequency as in-home cordless phones, which could be problematic depending on your shooting location.[/QUOTE]

    I can't say personally yet but the reviews are very positive considering the cost. I will find out, hopefully soon.
     
  10. --ares--

    --ares-- TPF Noob!

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    I have an sb600 and a hv-285 and they are both great, I broke part of the vivitar so it doesn't mount anymore on my SLR but I use it as a wireless strobe anyway. What Derrel said is totally true. Save your money.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The Cactus (and most other) radio triggers sit in the hotshoe and yes, use the hotshoe...they do not require a PC port on the camera.

    On the receiver end, if your flash doesn't have a sync port (or has a weird one) all you need is something like this...FlashZebra.com: Female Hotshoe with Miniphone Jack (female) (Item #0128)
    You connect the receiver to it via a short cord and the flash unit connects to the shoe.

    The miniphone jack connection is much better than the PC connection.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    b.t.w.

    I have a couple sets of 'cheap' radio triggers....and while they did/do work, they are susceptible to interference & other problems...which results in a loss of reliability. They were OK for playing with, but when it comes time to shoot people who are paying you, you don't want to be scratching your head when they don't work.
    That's why I upgraded to the CyberSync system.
     

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