Off Camera Flash...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by BuS_RiDeR, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    Picked up this little tidbit from my local camera club's Facebook group.... To help figure out what Aperture to use when using OCF. (Your shutter will be set to your camera's sync speed.)

    I thought I'd share... and I have a question...

    My question... What if you are using 2 flashes? Do you divide the result by 2??? Average it out to compensate for different flash to subject ratios???
  2. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Buy a flash meter!



    You can, with some experience estimate exposure for multiple flashes, but if you're into that level of lighting, you really should treat yourself to the single most useful tool in the lighting arsenal.
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  3. camz
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    camz Well-Known Member

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    In theory if you add one flash to the already existing flash you will add an extra stop. Considering that its triggering with the same output power at the same exact location. I do that to save on battery where I have two flashes mounted on a lightstick where I dial them both at half power.

    So as far as the power with two flashes is concern, yes I divide by two to equal the same exposure of one flash. If you're doubling the flash where a single flash is equal to the right exposure, you'll have to multiply the flash power by two.
  4. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    True, but in most cases you're not going to use two flashes in the same location.
  5. camz
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    camz Well-Known Member

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    From what I've seen with other photographer's shooting style probably not. I do use this alot during reception for my main light.
  6. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    No can do... I am out of work and living on medical disability insurance. I am saving my pennies for a meter... But I want a macro lens or extension tubes before that...

    I am not too proud to accept donations though. :)

    Thanks for the input... But part of my medical issues involve memory problems... Therefor, I prefer not to put too much faith in experience... Especially new experiences. I have less problems with stuff I already know... At least it seems that way.

    My background/history.... The Liptonian Institute - Mark, Linda, and Sam: A cancer survivor's story/diary. Last updated October 7th, 2011
  7. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input as well Camz.
  8. IgsEMT
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    IgsEMT New Member

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    buy a grey-card, they have some with instructions on metering, zone system and white balance. Read those and use it for metering. Average 8x10to 8.5-11 card would cost no more then $10.
    Here's the one I have Delta 1 Gray Card 8x10" (1) 22030 B&H Photo Video
    I took it, scanned the back and printed it smaller 2 copied. Then cut the card into 2 while taping the printed material on the back.
    One card is in the camera back and I use it on-location and second one in-studio.
  9. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Check out eBay and Craig's List for used, analogue meters. They come up fairly often, and even high-end meters (Luna-Pro F, and similar) can be had very cheaply. They might not look as sexy as a brand-new Sekonic 700-series, but they will work just fine!

    IgsEMT's idea of using a grey card is a good one; not quite as flexible as having a meter, but will get you into the ball-park a lot more quickly.
  10. bazooka
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    bazooka New Member

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    Or you could just take a shot and look at it on the histogram. That's what I do and it works well, combined with RAW processing to compensate for some error.
  11. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    You can find old used meters that don't cost $300. The problem is without memorizing experience or having a device to meter, it becomes almost purely trial and error. If you're using two flashes in different positions, they could end up far enough apart that they don't affect the exposure of each othe,r or they could be close enough to overlap where they do affect the exposure of each other, or they could be close enough together to cause the overall light to go up by one stop.

    You also have to deal with zoom in your equation if you're using speedlights with zoom head heads.
  12. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    This is a thought... But I don't understand how to read the histogram.
  13. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    I can probably swing 6$.
  14. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    I agree this is a good idea. However, the government pays me under $800 a month... Toss in my mortgage payments, car payments, groceries, taxes and all that good stuff... And well... I am saving my pennies (literally) but it will take a while.
  15. BuS_RiDeR
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    BuS_RiDeR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys/girls.

    Looks like trial and error it is; at least until I can afford a meter...
  16. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    Got it. David Hobby, the creator of the Strobist blog as well as other photographers sometimes use a lighting journal.

    Get a book to write down your light setting to match your shots. Write down aperture, SS, ISO, flash power, flash distance, flash zoom, flash positioning, ambient exposure, ambient conditions, location and any other information that you think that would help you to remember what's needed for that type of shot. When you're done, if it's something that's a keeper, print out a photo and slap it in that bad boy. It can be printed off and ink jet or a color laser and doesn't have to be photo quality, just good enough to show you the results you get from using that lighting setup.

    You can use the same lighting setup for multiple shoots and you'll have a nice little reference guide that you've created to help you along the way. It'll take some work, but that's what photographers used to have to do before there was EXIF data.
  17. camz
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    camz Well-Known Member

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    Yep definitely good advice from the members up there. I think you'll get it in no time. I use to write down my settings when I was learning too. My memory doesn't serve me well at times...

    For outdoor shoots I pretty much have 3 settings I have memorized as a starting point.

    1. Sunrise/Sunset
    2. Mid monring/mid afternoon.
    3. High Sun.

    For the indoor shots I use the same concept. Then it's just all fine tuning from there. Good luck with it!

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