Umbrellas?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jenn76, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so I'm going to Charlotte this Friday, and they have a Wolf Camera there... so i was looking online, cause I'd like to pick up an umbrella and light stand for my external flash. I have been shooting some in my home, using just a black backdrop and stand, and my camera (canon 20d) with my 420ex speedlite bouncing off of a white posterboard. I'd like to use an umbrella and light stand, and be able to put my flash on it... I guess I'd need something to trigger the flash too. Not sure how all this works yet! Anyway, there are like 35 kinds of umbrellas on wolfcamera.com! So setting up in a room in my house to shoot portraits, what do I need? Silver, white, shoot thru, what size? Any advice would be helpful. What do you guys use (who have the kind of set up I'm looking to do)? TIA! :D
     
  2. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Currently I use shoot-through umbrellas. The reflective kind are more efficient (shoot-through's eat some light), but you can position a shoot-through closer to the subject which makes up for the light loss and gives a softer light (since the lightsource is closer, it is relatively larger). Besides a light stand and umbrella, you'll also need a way to attach everything together, for that you'll need an umbrella swivel. As far as triggering your flash, there are many ways.. Cheapest is using a sync cable or Cactus/Gadget Infinity radio triggers. If you haven't already, spend some time over at strobist.com, they explain everything in much more detail (see the lighting 101 section). Also, get an idea of the prices before you buy anything, it may be cheaper to order online instead of buying at a store.
     
  3. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Andrew... that's great information, and I'll definitely check out strobist.com! :D
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I got my umbrellas and light stands from Adorama. I found that I could get stands that were 10 feet tall for the same price that others charged for their standard 8 foot stands. They are a little longer when folded up for carrying around, but they are still very light (nothing worse than needing 10 foot stands and them being short!). I easily carried these to remote outside locations and they proved both easy to carry and setup as well as stable in a light wind with an umbrella attached.

    Umbrellas... in time, they all die if you use them a lot. I decided to get the cheapest ones that I could find and again what Adorama had are great. They have the ability to shoot through, bounce AND the black top cover has a silver inner cover that can be removed and used as an extra reflector. One of the nicer designs I've seen, and CHEAP for just under 16 dollars each (I bought 4, one each for my lightstands). I expected to get some super cheap and badly designed umbrella, and what came was some really nice and usable equipment for the money!

    Umbrella link HERE.
    Light stand link HERE.

    Oh yeah... www.strobist.com is a must for beginners to get a great start into this field. Look specifically for Lighting 101 and 102.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  5. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    First of all, Jerry, thank you so much for those links. That equipment is definitely cheaper at adorama than the store website I was looking at. I will be purchasing that umbrella and light stand you recommended.

    I also have been looking at strobist.com. One thing I've learned is that I don't have a place to plug in a sync cord on my flash. I have a 420EX speedlite. There is a plug-in on my camera though... I shoot with a Canon 20D. So it said I need to get a hot-shoe to household sync adapter. When I tried to look for this on adorama.com, I came up with a lot of things, but I'm not sure which one I'm supposed to get!! Can someone help?

    So this is my list so far... please tell me if I'm missing something, or if I need something different than what's on here... Also, with a small setup at home, can I get away with just one umbrella and light stand, and use my external flash, or do i really need to get a second light source? Thanks!!

    Umbrella and light stand from Adorama that Jerry recommended
    Umbrella swivel bracket
    Sync cable (http://www.adorama.com/FAPCAC15S.html) - is that right?
    Hot shoe to household sync adapter

    Anything else?
     
  6. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, another question about the sync adapters... in the video for Lighting 101 on strobist.com, he says you need a PC to hot-shoe adapter if you don't have the PC plug-in thing on your flash... but if you look at the link that says "Two things your flash needs", that's where I read that if your flash doesn't have it, you need a hot-shoe to household sync adapter. So which is it, or are they the same thing? From what I've read, it looks like PC and household are 2 different things, so I'm more confused now. TIA!
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hotshoe to PC sync.

    Flash Zebra has some good prices and can make whatever cables you need. I didn't see any pc to hot shoe on his site, but you can send him and e-mail, tell him the connectors and lengths, and ask for a price.

    http://flashzebra.com/

    ed: or buy this http://flashzebra.com/hotshoes-shoes/0065.shtml and a 16' PC to PC cable.
     

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