Off Camera Flash question...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrpink, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since upgrading to the D90 and playing around with commander mode, I am really starting to love the creativity of off camera flash. I have one SB-600 and I am looking to expand to two, maybe three flashes. My questions are:

    1. is there any reason to get another SB-600 over say a vivatar 285HV? I do plan on getting radio triggers so wireless TTL is not really an advantage I would be using all the time. I guess my real question here is, two 285's is about the same price as one used sb-600; bang for buck wise what would you do?

    2. Would having three flashes be overkill? I am guessing a key light, fill light, and maybe a background. I would hate to order one, then be limited and wish I had a third.

    3. shoot thru umbrellas, anything I need to look for in them or are they all pretty much the same? I know sizing is different, but I see some with snap in reflectors- is this something people use or just toss to the side? What size would you recommend for toddler/infant portrait?

    thanks





    p!nK
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Many Strobist type location portrait shooters like a special type of umbrella that has a diffuser across the umbrella opening. Like this popular one:

    Photek | Umbrella - Softlighter II - 46" | SL-5000 | B&H

    Or Interfit's Octobox, that I've only heard about, that may take a bit of adapting to use with a speedlight.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I will no longer use a shoot-through umbrella, but one which is around 40 inches in diameter is a good size. I much prefer reflecting umbrellas for speedlight use, and prefer the Photoflex convertible model, which used to be called the RUT. It has a white interior with a slight bit of sheen to it, and a removeable black backing. With the black backing left on, the umbrella is used as a traditional reflecting umbrella, and it works great with 285 or Nikon SB series flashes. I have several in 32 inch size.

    The Photek Softlighter that KmH referenced above is popular with Annie Liebovitz, who has been using them for several years now. I use a similar product, called the Lastolite Umbrella Box, which is a bit more expensive, but probably no better. WHat this type of enclosed umbrella offers is more control than a shoot-through umbrella, and the light is also "double-diffused"; ie, the light is first scrambled by the umbrella, and then that light is diffused by the front screen. This type of umbrella functions sort of like a softbox, but has the more-rounded shape and the faster set-up and tear-down than a softbox.

    40,4,43,46 inch umbrellas are plenty big for use with a speedlight.
     
  4. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the detailed responses KmH and Derrel!!

    KmH. Could the lack of fine tune-abilty in the 285HV be overcome by simply moving the light sources closer and further from the subject? Is there any other flash I should be considering?

    I am going to go with at least one of those Photek Softlighter Umbrellas, maybe two, they look like they are very versatile (being used as a softbox, reflector, or shoot thru)

    This is what I am looking at as far as triggers...
    Radio Remote Dual-Flash Trigger PT04 C+3Receiver+3Mount - eBay (item 190362889111 end time Apr-05-10 00:58:17 PDT)

    do you see any reason why these mounts will not work with the Photeks? I do notice that they will only accept up to a 7mm umbrella shaft and the photek shaft is 8mm, I am guessing it is a simple drill out procedure and all is well.

    Now to find some lightstands... anything specific to look for in them?



    p!nK
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Food for thought. TTL is nice and is very useful in a variety of situations. Full manual control is nice in a variety of situations.

    You can make an SB600 fully manual. You can't make a 285HV TTL. While it would be more expensive, you might want to consider picking up a second SB600 or something similar from Nikon (I'm a canon guy) and then add a couple of 285's to the mix.

    I have 2 Canon 580's and 4 Sunpak 383's (no longer made) and they give me as much flexibility as you could ask for with this kind of strobe setup.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :thumbup: for the photoflex. Softboxes are something to consider. The directional light is nice and with the proper adapter for the mounting ring you can get plenty of light as most adapter rings are big enough to put two flash heads in.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    2. I have 7 strobes and I'm going to end up with more.
     
  8. LearnMyShot

    LearnMyShot TPF Noob!

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  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Impact | Digital Flash Umbrella Mount Kit | DFUMK | B&H Photo

    Impact | Air Cushioned Three Light Stand Kit with Case | LS-3K

    Impact | Air Cushioned Two Light Stand Kit with Case | LS-2K

    Better still, but cost a bit more: C-Stands

    Matthews | Century C Stand - 8' (2.4m) | 339561 | B&H Photo Video
     
  10. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ordering another SB-600 and the first light stand kit KmH linked. I figure this should get me started, and possibly keep me happy for some time.

    One question, somewhat related: Can I use CLS with a wireless radio trigger on my D90? I know the pop up needs to be up in order for CLS to work, but I am not sure about the wireless trigger (mounted on the hotshoe) working while the pop up is up. I am sure I get get some optical triggers if worse comes to worse.

    What I am hoping to do is, use the two 600's for my main and fill (taking full advantage of the TTL feature), then add some 285HV's down the road for background, hair, etc...

    Ugh, my head hurts.






    p!nK
     
  11. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    I invested in a sb-600, sb-800, 4 vivitar 285hv's and I was soon extremely limited with my urge to advance in more creative lighting. Sure they're nice for quick assignments or if you want to travel lightweight and get a good session accomplished. Now I have 2 ab800's, an abr800, and 2 wl 1600's.

    Just a thought.
     
  12. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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