Getting serious here... I could use some flash advice. Please and spank-you!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 26, 2011
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So I have become somewhat of a photography enthusiast over the past couple years (my husband says I'm obsessed... Lol) and want to start experimenting with flash. My goal is to torture my friends and family with making them do outdoor photo shoots. I want to be able to cover high fashion looking to more high end portraits (seniors or whatnot). Right now I have an old (like '85ish?) Vivatar 285 and I am wondering if pairing it with my Canon t1i will fry my camera... (That is question #1). My other question is what flash would you guys suggest for the applications I mentioned above? I would like to eventually like 3 units and go with a wireless radio transmitter or possibly slavecells? Please and thanks for any responses.

J.M. Briggs
Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

For outdoor fashion and high end portraits I'd recommend studio strobes and portable power packs.

However, I did high end on location portraits using 285HV's, but I used as many as 14 of them at a time. I often needed to double up and even triple up the lights to have enough light power at each lighting position.

When the 285HV's weren't enough, or were logistically not suitable, I rented what lighting I needed and just line itemed the cost to the client.

Speedlights aren't very power lighting and are intended for indoor use, not outdoors in direct sunlight.
you can use ANY old strobe or speedlight off camera! I have a ton of old ones I'd never put on my camera, but they are awesome for sticking anywhere I want to stick them off camera!

Check out Strobist Hobby recommends the Yongnuo's and they are super cheap too.

Personally I'd like to have at least one dedicated flash unit that you can use e-ttl on the camera and is capable of full manual. So, first and foremost I'd want to have either a 580EX II or, if budget is an issue, a 430EX II. Then add in all of the off camera flashes you want!
Thanks to both of you.

J.M. Briggs

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