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Thread: Tax returns and off camera lighting

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters View Post

    Also, you may want to look at smaller light modifiers too. When you start down the strobist journey, there's a tendency to go as big as you can with your light modifiers (here's proof of that). However, when it comes to small flashes, I often grab my 15" collapsible softbox. It can be fairly soft depending on how close it is to the subject, but it's more often just a bit punchier--and it's a nice change from the creamy soft gradients afforded us by larger modifiers. There are also plenty of other sizes and cheaper versions on Ebay.
    Sean

    I got a good laugh out of your hat set up. Being a novice myself I knew not to make that mistake. I bought a 16 x 22 and it has been a christmas decoration in the the dining room and hasn't been taken down yet. The wife hasn't said anything about it yet, as a married man I can attest that you should start small. It is easier to get the big stuff moved in later. Of course you can see my reasoning was based on what I knew I could get away with, not what would work best.

    Rick

  2. #12
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Sean

    Of course you can see my reasoning was based on what I knew I could get away with, not what would work best.

    Rick
    I didn't know what I could get away with; hence the ex-fiancée. :-)

  3. #13
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters View Post

    Of course, monolights aren't for everyone; they're generally more time consuming to set up, they require pure sine wave inverters and a large battery source, and they are indeed bulkier to haul around. However, they provide me with the freedom to be as creative as I wish without being incumbered with the limitations of a speedlight's power. There are also more modifiers specifically made for monolights than for speedlights (although a plethera have emerged within the last few years).
    For now, that's a big part of the appeal of going speedlites, for me. Mobility. I haven't talked anyone into being my very own "voice activated lightstands", so for me light in a small package is very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters View Post

    Also, you may want to look at smaller light modifiers too. When you start down the strobist journey, there's a tendency to go as big as you can with your light modifiers (here's proof of that). However, when it comes to small flashes, I often grab my 15" collapsible softbox. It can be fairly soft depending on how close it is to the subject, but it's more often just a bit punchier--and it's a nice change from the creamy soft gradients afforded us by larger modifiers. There are also plenty of other sizes and cheaper versions on Ebay.
    HAHA! That thing is INSANE Sean. Any example photos taken with it? Also, any recommendations as far as smaller modifiers go? Was looking at possibly a strip light or beauty dish? I saw Wescott also makes a 28" Apollo softbox, but like their other stuff you have to buy the kit and that includes a stand, making it more expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson View Post
    www.robgalbraith.com says there's about <= 0.5 stops difference between the 430EX II and 580EX II

    Read this blog post by "Strobist" Q&A: Controlling the Sun When Using Flash - A Comparative Guide. It may change how you think about shallow DoF in bright sunlight.

    For me, the ability to change power settings from the camera via the AC3 controller is worth the total ($$$$$) expense of the PocketWizard Flex system. If setting the power at the flash is not as big of a deal then I would highly recommend CyberSyncs from Paul C. Buff. They are moderately priced and highly reliable.
    Mark, Thanks for the reply. So are you using speedlites still, then? Any reason why you haven't gone to mono lights or studio strobes?

    The PW Flex system seems like it's totally worth it to me, that purchase I'm completely set on. Also, based on that link, I think I'm set on the 430's now. Maybe some eneloop batteries (any other cheaper/better suggestions there?)
    Last edited by Rocco; 01-08-2012 at 06:29 AM.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  4. #14
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    Mark, Thanks for the reply. So are you using speedlites still, then? Any reason why you haven't gone to mono lights or studio strobes?
    I use both. I have a studio in my home where I use Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 Flash Units. On location I use either or depending on the situation. I tend to shoot groups of people more often so lately I've been lugging around my Einsteins. I have one Vagabond Mini which makes for a relatively light weight kit for location shooting. As location work justifies it, I will add another Vagabond Mini and relegate my Speedlites to quick indoor setups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    The PW Flex system seems like it's totally worth it to me, that purchase I'm completely set on. Also, based on that link, I think I'm set on the 430's now. Maybe some eneloop batteries (any other cheaper/better suggestions there?)
    The only time I miss my 580s is when the flash is on camera. The 580s rotate in more directions. Other than that I actually prefer the 430s. They are small, light weight, compact and pack a pretty good punch. They are very versatile and you can almost buy two of them for the price of one 580!

    And yes, I would definitely pick up some eneloop or similar batteries. I think you should have at least 8 batteries per flash so that you can always reload on the fly.

  5. #15
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    HAHA! That thing is INSANE Sean. Any example photos taken with it? Also, any recommendations as far as smaller modifiers go? Was looking at possibly a strip light or beauty dish? I saw Wescott also makes a 28" Apollo softbox, but like their other stuff you have to buy the kit and that includes a stand, making it more expensive.
    Examples of pics taken with the large softbox:
    Image 1
    Image 2
    Image 3
    Image 4

    The way Westcott assembles and labels their packages is confusing. If you wanted the 28" Westcott Apollo, you'd get this set (it's the same price as buying the Apollo alone, but you get an umbrella swivel as well).

    As far as smaller modifiers go, I already suggested something along the lines of the 15" collapsible softbox I have. However, other things to consider might be:

    16" Beauty Dish
    Lumiquest Softbox LTP
    Small umbrella (sometimes I use a 25" in crowded places)

    When it comes to stripboxes, I use them quite regularly now that I have them; for the longest time, however, I did without them just fine. I have no experience with ones designed specifically for speedlights. You probably couldn't go wrong with the new Westcott versions, but I'd suggest waiting until you find yourself missing the advantages of a stripbox before investing in them. Until then, you can use bare, umbrella, or softboxed rim.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    So, I've been thinking on this pretty much everyday since I posted this.. I realised that I never really gave monoblocks any real consideration. I suppose I was heavily influenced by McNally's book, and somehow I was thinking that the speedlite method was a natural step before going with studio strobes.. but then I started taking a harder look at the total cost of everything I wanted and started looking into monoblocks.

    I now think I'm getting strobes. Specifically PCB Einsteins. I can get two of those with the vagabond mini battery packs, the 86inch parabolic umbrella, the 64inch parabolic umbrella, the large foldable softbox, the white 22inch beauty dish with grid (30 degree), two light stands, the white fabric covers for the umbrellas, and the TT1, AC3, and two MC2 controllers all for a few hundred more than I was looking to spend. And i'd still have the option of getting a TT5 for my 430 if I felt like I needed another light.
    Last edited by Rocco; 01-16-2012 at 09:59 PM.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  7. #17
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    +1 on the Einstein. I have one with some modifiers (48" gridded octabox, HOBD, 8.5" reflector with grids), and a PowerMC2. I'll likely get a Vagabond Mini-Li soon.

    I also have a pair of 430s with TT5s, and 24" Lastolite Ezyboxes for them.

    Just to spend more of your money, I didn't see backdrops and a stand for them on your list.

    --John

  8. #18
    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    +1 on the Einstein. I have one with some modifiers (48" gridded octabox, HOBD, 8.5" reflector with grids), and a PowerMC2. I'll likely get a Vagabond Mini-Li soon.

    I also have a pair of 430s with TT5s, and 24" Lastolite Ezyboxes for them.

    Just to spend more of your money, I didn't see backdrops and a stand for them on your list.

    --John
    ..Eff. heh. Any recommendations there John? I look around.. and like everything photography related I see tons that are super cheap, Name brand stuff that's super expensive.. and a few thousand kits in between.

    Can't see my self wanting more than white seamless or black vellum at first.
    Adobe, give us courage to edit what photos must be altered, serenity to delete what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
    Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro - PCB Einsteins & PW Triggers

  9. #19
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    Any recommendations there John? I look around.. and like everything photography related I see tons that are super cheap, Name brand stuff that's super expensive.. and a few thousand kits in between.
    I went with muslin backdrops from Backdrop Alley - $55-80 each IIRC, from B&H. I use a Manfrotto background stand, but the Impact one seems well-reviewed, too.

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