October 30, 2014, 11:55:50 AM

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Messages - Skirball

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Lighting / Re: Basic home studio setup question
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:53:09 AM »
I have a Rouge FlashBender, I wouldn't recommend the small, get the large. The large has three flexible supports and can be manipulated much better than the small which only has two. Highly recommended.

Do you still use these [in a studio] if you have softboxes and full-sized modifiers?  I’m not sure where I would use them, and if I did, I’d just use a piece of posterboard and a hair tie.  Might be a nice to have, but if you’re trying to build a studio on a budget I’d think that $40 could go to far more useful pieces.

Lighting / Re: Basic home studio setup question
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:43:08 AM »
Thanks for all of the advice.  One thing I wanted to be clear on is that I have 2 x 430EX II's and an ST-E2 transmitter...

Even better.  You already have to eTTL flashes, so that gives you some options for either more flexibility, or you could just cut the cost in half.   The ST-E2, well, it makes a nice paper weight.

You could either get a third eTTL-equipped flash, like the Yongnuo YN-565EX (or a third 430exII), and then get the eTTL radio triggers (RF-622), or stick to manual and just use the RF-602s.  Personally I never use eTTL for portraiture, but some people do and like it.  The nice thing about the 622s, is that you can control power from your camera, which is nice for those umbrella softboxes where the flash is inside and hard to adjust.

Since I use manual a lot, I just use my RF-602s.  They have a 1/4" thread on the bottom so they screw right into my stands, no cold shoe needed.   They’re also small, and I find them easy to use. That said, if I had none and was to purchase radio triggers, I’d probably just get more flexible 622.

The ST-E2 only works on line of sight, which can be a problem when using softboxes.  It’s just not worth it given the amount of radio options out these days.

I could drop the price by changing the manfrotto stands, but reviews on amazon are hit and miss on a lot of the cheaper stands. Do your PBL stands hold up pretty well?   

My PBL stands feel quite robust actually, but the action opening and closing them isn't the smoothest.  But to be fair, I mostly use them for a backdrop, which is to say not much, or a third light stand.  I have two Manfrotto Nanos.  I love them, but they’re not as big and sturdy as the ones you listed.  They’re the gold standard for “Strobists” who want easy portable lightstands.  I put softboxes on them and have never worried they were unstable.    I know some people swear by aircushioned; I don't really care one way or the other, I just wanted something small and portable.  If it's just going to stay in your studio, then you might as well get something beefier.  There are plenty of good brands out there, but I've never had a complaint with any of my Manfrotto gear.  I don't remember if I said it in my first post: DO NOT SKIMP ON UMBRELLA HOLDERS.  I've got a couple of plastic paper weights in my drawer, just get the Manfrotto ones and you only have to buy once.

The other big ticket item is the Sunbounce reflector.  It looks portable and easy to use, but I can't say that I have any practical knowledge of reflectors.

Holy crap.  I had to look that one up.  I’ve never heard of that thing, but I don’t see what it does for $200 that would make it remotely worth it.  Get a generic circular 5-in-1 reflector off Amazon for $15.

Lighting / Re: Basic home studio setup question
« on: March 31, 2014, 05:37:22 PM »
I should have said, you can do fine portraiture with 2, or even 1 light and a cheap reflectors.  But as you may find...  strobism is an addictive disease.

Lighting / Re: Basic home studio setup question
« on: March 31, 2014, 05:35:29 PM »
Great thread. I had a very similar query. From what I have gleaned so far, speedlights should be sufficient to begin with, however they don't provide as much power as the strobes and working them full tilt is probably not a great idea. I was also curious about umbrella (that too, shoot-through vs reflector) vs softbox. Really hoping to get some great information from the experts.

Speedlights are plenty strong enough for studio work, it’s only when going up against the sun that their weaknesses really shine, or don’t as the case may be. 

+1 what PbD said regarding softboxes.  Umbrellas are fine but given that you can get these knockoff softboxes for hardly more than an umbrella it’s almost a no-brainer.  Home studios are usually cramped and spill from an umbrella goes everywhere.  Personally I think the catch lights are leagues better than an umbrella as well.  If you have space to store a fully assembled soft box then I can personally recommend this one:

If not, any of these type:

 …sets up and tears down almost as fast as a brella.  The down side is that it’s a bit of a hassle to adjust power settings and you have to fudge it to tilt them down.  But it’s still better than an umbrella.  You’ll need an umbrella holder.

If I was on that tight of a budget I’d get:

(3) Yongnuo 560 III – radio receivers built in: ($75x 3 = $225)
(1) Yonguo RF-602 – you need a transmitter and have an extra receiver if you get another flash ($25)
(1) PBL Backdrop support (link) -  you can go cheaper, but these are a good middle ground IMO.  Use them as flash stands for now, but can be used as background support if you upgrade down the road to some sleeker flash stands.  ($80)
(0-2) Manfrotto 026 Umbrella Holder – you’ll need one for umbrella type softboxes (or umbrellas), but not the Photodiox rear mount box I posted above.  ($33 each)
(2) Light modifiers – say one of each of above for variety ($50 + $25 = $75 + 1 umbrella holder at $33)

That puts you at $438 plus tax for a three light setup.  I’d take what I have left over, go to JoAnnes, and grab some cheap fabric for background – if you want.  But you don’t need it.  Yongnuo makes a YN460 that is super basic, doesn’t even zoom.  I got mine for $25.  Find one cheap (or any cheap used light) and you can use that as a background light (no zoom needed), you already have another receiver, and use your third 560 III as a hair light.  Pro portraits in $500.

Backdrop link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ANT1I8/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This morning it was raining a ton but I was using a plastic bag to cover my 6D as I shot a quidditch tourney. As time went on, my playback button stopped working...

I suspect evil magic is afoot, and the smart money is that Team Slitherin had something to do with it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS 6D Firmware 1.1.4 Available
« on: March 25, 2014, 12:14:09 PM »
Firmware Version 1.1.4 incorporates the following fixes:
1. Fixes a phenomenon in which some images cannot be transferred to mobile devices running the EOS Remote app.
2. Corrects an error in the German language Feature Guide.
3. Corrects an error in the Korean language Feature Guide.
4. Screws 3rd party batteries (WARNING!)

See user's comments here about "irregular communication with the battery": http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1281456

Good to know, thanks for the update.

Also good to see that threads on the Fred Miranda forum also quickly degrade into tired off-topic discussions on whether Manual mode should allow auto-ISO.

Are you sure the manual does not address this?


I thought this place was the manual?

Lighting / Re: Anyone using Honl flash gel filter
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:41:35 PM »
Thanks a lot guys. I've ordered the gels, the speed strap and the roll-up gel folder - should get them on Saturday. 

On a side note, what about the LEE Gel filter sheets, would I be able to use these with the Honl system? The LEE sheets are quite large and I could cut them to size if needed.

You would have to add your own velcro, but sure.

Lighting / Re: Anyone using Honl flash gel filter
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:52:03 PM »
I didn’t really care, but I know people who would curl into fetal position from just thought of it.

Not sure about curling up, but Velcro strips on the head are problematic if you want to use a StoFen occasionally, or Canon's gel holder for the 600EX-RT.

My StoFen (also generic) fits over the Velcro no problem; YMMV.  I can see it interfering with the 600ex gel holder, but if I had a gel holder I wouldn't need the Velcro.

Not saying it's a solution for everybody, but when I did it I wonder why I didn't do it much, much sooner.

Lighting / Re: Help: Yongnuo 622C and multi camera configuration
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:47:41 PM »
Hi Dave,

thanks. Ideally I would want a flash on both cameras, but that is a definite start. I'll take a good look at the link you sent through - see if I can crack it.


Grant  :)

<snip> deleted

Edit:  Sorry, ignore that, I didn't understand what you were trying to do until I read a section on it in that link that Dave posted and then it clicked (good stuff btw, thanks for the link).  What you're trying to do looks like what is on the bottom of page 10.  You set the remote flashes to group B, and the on-camera 622s to group C.  Then set both cameras to only fire A+B.  The on-camera flash is treated as Group A for that camera, but Group C for the other, and vice versa.  That is brilliant.  Can't say I have a use for it, but I'm going to try it just to do it.

Lighting / Re: Anyone using Honl flash gel filter
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:11:59 PM »
I had something similar to the Honl system for a grid modifier, but I found the speed strap annoying as it’d slip off.   But the real Honl may not do that (I don’t know if it has a rubber coating or something), plus the grid modifier puts a lot more torque on the strap than a gel does.

That said, I eventually grew tired of using those Roscoe sample gels so I bought some Velcro tape and full sheets of basic gel colors.  For $5 I had enough Velcro tape for 4 flashes (with tape to spare) and I probably made 20 or so gels.  It was so much better than dealing with those little sample gels with the hole punch.   Plus I can put my grid modifier on it, and I made a couple of snoots out of a soft plastic sheeting and put Velcro on it to keep it secure.

If you use a lot of colors then that Honl pack would probably be cheaper, but I mostly just use CTO and a bit of window green.  If I want funky colors I just use the little samples.  You also have to be willing to put sticky Velcro tape on your flash.  Personally I didn’t really care, but I know people who would curl into fetal position from just thought of it. 

EOS Bodies / Re: 100D/SL1 Discontinued already??
« on: February 25, 2014, 11:08:59 AM »
*crosses fingers and hopes for an embossed dial*

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 24, 2014, 04:10:06 PM »
Quote from: neuroanatomist

I am way over my head in this company!

What does one do with the atoms in a neuroan?


Perhaps you should just focus on perfecting your quoting technique first  ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: February 24, 2014, 02:11:57 PM »
There are those who read a manual from cover to cover before flipping the "on" switch. Then there are those who once they find the "on" switch, just jump in learning as they go.

And don’t forget that subset of people that flip the on switch and jump in, then 3 hours later in hysterics, post on internet chat forums about something that is clearly addressed on page 7.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Gura Gear Launches New Color for Bataflae
« on: January 09, 2014, 11:31:57 AM »
I appreciate the irony that an embarrassingly trivial announcement of a new backpack color quickly digressed into a discussion of using tupperware lids for lens caps, and it actually became a far more useful thread.  Now, if we can get Canon to put blue rings on the outside of the big whites we could have a yellow-and-blue makes green situation and know our lenscaps are on.

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