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Messages - jonathan7007

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Neuro, looked again at my Zebra and the base is green, innards orange, so "green" is the FlashZebra unit that I have....knew I had to specify.

I understand the usual use of an Odin receiver. I just wanted whatever triggering I had in my kit. I had bought a FlashZebra "Canon Hotshoe" a couple of months ago to provide this function but loaned it to my daughter on the mainland for a wedding she was shooting. As I said, in these assignments I just need triggering as I use the speedlights as small size manual-setting output heads to mix with the Einsteins, so yeah, I could have gone back to the place we stashed all the cases, dug around for the Odin sender unit, loaded it with batteries.... you see what I mean. Everything has to move quickly because there's always more to shoot than fits into anything like a typical work day, so I avoid changing the set up after I get going to one approach. Many of you here will know what I mean.

The Einstein was next to me so I put the (hardwire) PC cord in the side of the body.

risc32, I'd love to know more about jamming a 1/8-inch fitting into a 580 or 550. I have one of each (not EXvII) and have been thinking of getting another 550 to replace one more Vivitar. The 550 puts out almost every bit as much light as the 580EX. ...and they're cheaper. That gives me the Canon IR solution of master/slave to fall back on. If I find the link I will post it back in here.

As I also said, I couldn't reproduce the problem.

Please read this account of a minor odd moment in strobe lighting and tell me if you know what went wrong.

I was photographing interiors and my kit includes both Einsteins and speedlights, Canon and Vivitars. In a small bathroom I planned to shoot from the door and snuck an Einstein head up next to me such that the head pointed straight up at the ceiling over my head. Satin 7.5 inch reflector. Dialed down to something like 100, 200WS, because it was a small bathroom and light in overall color (white ceiling). Attached directly to the 1DsMk3 by its own Buff-supplied PC cord. 17TSE on the body.

This body had been used on other rooms with just Einsteins (multiple heads) all good so far.

I had placed a Canon 580EX in the bathtub to brighten up the shower curtain and the matte-finished tile. It was mounted on a small stand up on top of a Phottix  Odin  receiver into which I had plugged a FlashZebra orange optical slave made for Canon triggering (FlashZebra has different models.) Odin "on" and set for Group A, Channel One. The speedlite was behind the white translucent cloth curtain pointed away from the lens. The Odin was underneath it and the slave stuck out the "back" of the Odin toward the camera position and therefore toward the strong pulse from the Einstein.

What went "wrong"? This: On first curtain setting only the Canon's light showed up in the exposure. Everything fired, though, and apparently at the same time. Tried it about five times.  Get this - I was dragging the shutter to let a ceiling light show in the image, so I wasn't anywhere near 250th. No banding showing on the screen. Change to second curtain and it works fine.

The same combination did it in another room a bit later. Again, second-curtain "fixed" the problem.

Nothing strange about those second-curtain images in post.

Tonight I pulled what may or may not be the same Einstein head and tested the setup. I should have marked the head! Works fine on both first- and second-curtain.  WTF? Presumably the Canon is going off milliseconds after the Einstein, as it's the Canon speedlite on a slave.

OK, anyone, any ideas?

(As an aside: One of the things that bothers me about my 580 and 550 is their lack of a PC connector, because when not at an event I think of them as small manual strobes to be hidden here or there or lighting a corner that just fades due to required placement of the bigger units. Before the purchase of the Einsteins this motley crew of Canon and Vivitar units was my only kit for interiors.  In most cases optical slaves are fine for that kind of work. The Vivitars have a connector, albeit a proprietary one.)


Lighting / Re: Light Meter Help
« on: August 08, 2013, 04:06:18 AM »
I needed a strobe meter and bid on several Sekonic L558 on eBay until one stayed at or below a figure I had chosen, about $180-200. I discovered that I liked having the ambient capabilities, too, although I like so many use a meter so much less now than film days.

If you do need flash metering, especially metering that report the mix of flash and ambient (even through the spot meter field of view) then pick your budget and bid on all the good L558 eBay units until one stays in your range. The 758 seems like more than we need these days (unless really careful in the studio product work?) I don't know much about the Sekonic L3xx units.

I love having this even if only using it in the most difficult setups.

Software & Accessories / Re: YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAA!
« on: July 15, 2013, 03:52:05 AM »
Here's another possible use: turn a tablet toward the model and give them the feedback on what you see. In some shoots this will help. I looked unsuccessfully for a tripod leg mount for my 10" ASUS but didn't push all the way through to find a possibility for this larger size tablet.

Tether Tools is iPad only, but they offer such a thing.

Software & Accessories / Re: YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAA!
« on: July 15, 2013, 03:23:45 AM »
I have used the Android app "dSLR Controller" on my ASUS Transformer 101, so know that part of your set up. When the full tether benefits aren't needed it is a good solution. $8.00 when I bought it.  I am stills only so don't worry about the issue you mention on video feed. But the viewing is great and it's easy to bracket. Think copy job, on a tripod, small products.

The ASUS makes it possible to attach a USB to either their dock/keyboard (no adapter needed) or to the tablet alone (adapter needed from ASUS for my model). Can't have it in one hour and it's more $ but the usefulness of the tablet made me willing to buy the adapter. I also use the tablet to sell my services. I never went with the iPad so didn't see that as a lost $$.

I will look closely at your mount. These days I have fewer clients showing up for shoots but I would like it to be easier for them when they do. I spent some time looking for a practical wiFi solution to use with the ASUS while tethered to a windows laptop for the actual shooting, but I could not find a mirroring app that I thought I could make work. EyeFi not really a solution as best I can tell. Too slow, people say. I am open to looking again at that... shooting with 5DMk3 and 1DsMk3 bodies.

Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for Product photography tripod
« on: July 15, 2013, 03:09:17 AM »
I miss my studio... except for the rent.

Lighting / Re: Softbox Size question
« on: July 12, 2013, 05:43:21 PM »
Are these Octa units able to use a grid/limiter? I would not want at least some softboxes in my kit that didn't have some way of controlling how wide their light is cast. I have no experience with an octabox but saw one a friend had in use and it would have been hard to card it off and I saw no attachment for a honeycomb. Rectangular units of any size mean easy scrim with a black card. I have cut sawtooth cards to taper the effect. Rectangular softboxes, if not too deep, are a bit easier to hide in the corner of a room, but I haven't looked at an Octa up close.

Think long term and wait for what will work. Or order from another source. Post a "Want to Buy" ad.


Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for Product photography tripod
« on: July 07, 2013, 03:13:18 PM »
Amazon's search sort of woke up. This is the column stand I used: was wonderful and was a productivity booster

Yes, did need 4x5 then -- looking at it through the lens of day-to-day experience I realize that a lighter version would be OK for today's work! (MF or 1DsMk3, the Nikon?) Note the flexibility of movement (arm goes back and forth with wheel handle) and the height flexibility. Bring your own head.

Lighting / Re: Softbox Size question
« on: July 07, 2013, 02:35:41 PM »
David's answer is excellent and thoughtful so hesitated to try to add to it. You buy stuff and try it. One important warning he offered is: consider the torque placed on the front of the strobe head by the weight of the boxes you choose.

On a practical note: in my kit I always take strip lights like 1x5 or such. I do end up using these horizontally. Sometimes I want the light from the long horizontal source to fall off as the angle of light to subject changes so I will set the front of the striplight  so that the distance to, say, the subject's face changes enough to cause the light to fall off.

I bring this up to give a hint as to the flexibility of strip light units in a kit. (Striplights can also be "ganged to make a more traditional softbox shape, which was originally designed to mimic the effect of a bright window. Hence the 30x40" ratio of most of these [rectangular]units.)

Software & Accessories / Re: Fast CF+SD reader for Mac?
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:15:56 PM »
Sure. From the FAQs:

I was looking for confirmation that my own unit would work, which is slightly different: it just allows use of CF and SD.

I searched the Lexar site for the string "Mac" and among the documents were a lot of FAQs. Another one that might be interesting to you is this:

I just want her to have a fast and OSX-reliable SD/CF but I knew that Apple has no interest in strongly supporting USB3. So, no hiccups for this on the iMac? And an iMac ordered this week with what I assume is still the Ivy Bridge chipset. I just don't keep close track on Apple I/O connector issues.

Thank you for providing the real-world targets -- just what I was hoping for. I had forgotten about the self-imposed restriction of staying under 30 min capture which I believe avoided placing the camera in a different regulatory category of video device in certain areas of world marketing.

This means she can probably stay with 32, not 64Gig, as she defines her need.

A client for whom I teach still photography will use her new 5DMk3 for occasional video at events. She will be buying a Lexar 32Gig 1000x UDMA7 CF card. In 99.99% of the usage scenarios there will be stills shot and some video but for starting point, can someone tell me the empty-card capacity for 5DMk3 video on that card?

She will want the easiest and most common playback file format to give to friends by way of copying to optical media (not posted to the cloud. She does not plan lots of (any?) video editing.

Just not my area.

Thanks, in advance, for suggestions.

Software & Accessories / Re: Bogen 3040 Tripod
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:54:20 AM »
Re: growing collections of tripods: I suspected that the tripods in my studio storage room were procreating. Every few months there were more of them!

(I think I had one of that very same combination.)
My amazing find:
Favorite current tripod, but truly old-school in design, is my Gitzo 309 Tele-Studex. Gotta be 20+ pounds. 36" with a head, five sections, Cremelaire (sp?) geared column. Came with the giant R#4 head for 4x5. Fantastic luck seeing it on out-of-state CraigsList late one night the minute the shooter in SanFran put it on CL way after midnight. (Believe it or not I was looking for a good tripod and where I live nothing interesting ever shows up...) The photographer told me he got hundreds of e-mails after mine. Thankfully he held to his word and shipped it to me.

Software & Accessories / Fast CF+SD reader for Mac?
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:04:30 AM »
A client of mine needs a reader for CF and SD cards that will connect to a new iMac 27". I use a Lexar pop-up unit on USB3 on my Lenovo w520 laptop and Win7 production desktop machine, but there is a warning on the Lexar site about *some* Mac users' difficulties (which are not described.)

So what's the equivalent good reader for Mac users?

Software & Accessories / Re: Looking for Product photography tripod
« on: July 06, 2013, 04:00:47 AM »
In my studio I always used a single column wheeled stand with a horizontal arm that was counterbalanced with a weight that travels in the column. This works where there is a smooth floor, of course, but it offers a lot of advantages for product work (often done with a 4x5 in those days but with smaller cameras, too.) We worked at table height for ease of camera control while still able to swap out products and props on the table. Adjustments are super easy and quick. The arm configuration means that you can extend the arm toward the table a little and repositioning is *much* easier than any tripod. The arm should be designed to allow sliding in its collar horizontally and that collar goes up and down the vertical shaft. A column stand allows you to go from very low to very high in seconds and that high position isn't taking up studio floor space with a wide tripod stance. A column stand makes it way easier to fit lightstands near the set. 

You still have to buy a head that works well with your camera and the nature of your necessary adjustments.

This inexpensive because it does not counterbalance the crossarm:
read the comments on the one negative review. This, too, is lighter than the one I used, but looks better than the above...

where are the good columns!? I was surprised that these searches turned up only a couple of light-middleweights...

Consider that better productivity is so valuable that I feel it paid for itself very soon.

There's a Korean cube head that looks interesting. Can't remember the name. I like my Manfrotto 410 geared head but shoot all on location now with a super heavy Gitzo Tele-Studex that starts at a 31" leg length.

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