August 03, 2015, 02:39:49 AM

Author Topic: Lighting advice  (Read 1556 times)

lux

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Lighting advice
« on: April 17, 2015, 01:56:54 AM »
Well I took the plunge and upgraded my lighting. Sold some stuff..found a couple great deals and ended up with a couple 600 exrt's and a ste3. I have bounced flash inside (every once in awhile using a light sphere) and used fill flash on AV for a long time. I have gelled a flash a couple of times too. However, with the new flashes I was thinking of trying to up my game a bit. I'm looking for an initial set up for portraits…outdoor and indoor…that includes these flashes. I've been reading on this forum and some others and looked at strobist as well. I was considering a couple set ups and wondered what people thought.
1)BH Westcott 43" apollo orb speed light kit. Add a phottix multi boom maybe? or some other boom?
2)Impact 7' parabolic umbrella (white diffusion) with light stand kit. would need some sort of boom as well
add some sandbags as well

These are both…with some sort of boom…around the $200 mark I think. I was wondering if people thought either of these were any good or if there were any other ideas that folks had. #1
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Lighting advice
« on: April 17, 2015, 01:56:54 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 09:21:06 AM »
I'd also add the photek softlighter, as it serves both an umbrella and a octobox. I personally use the Manfrotto mini-boom stand as its a tank. I'd would also buy honl speed straps and some velcro gels to have a way of correcting your flash color.

triggermike

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 10:42:59 AM »
The fastest and least expensive route to get going is to use umbrellas and umbrella/flash adapters. For each flash your spending around $25-$30 then add stands. Shoot-thru umbrellas work well and usually produce a softer light than reflected umbrellas - though for the price you can have both! With this set-up you can also be quite mobile - just collapse the umbrella and go. Later you can add softbox adapters/speedrings if you want. You can also use the umbrella/flash combo on a monopod or boom arm that an assistant can hold when your out and about.

agierke

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 11:52:50 AM »
I also recommend photeks softlighter series. One of the most versatile light modifiers I have ever used. I use them all the time.

If you do go with a boom...don't go cheap. I use manfrottos boom combo stand with steel base as RLPhoto mentioned its built like a tank. You don't want your lighting gear taking a tumble off a boom so spend money on a solid one lest you end up spending more on flash replacement or repair.
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FTb-n

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 12:17:01 PM »
I've used Photoflex 60" convertible umbrellas as shoot-thrus (without the black backing) and liked the results.  But, I recently discovered the Paul C. Buff PLM system.  I use the 64" Soft Silver with 8mm shaft for $50 plus the white diffusion fabric for $16.

http://www.paulcbuff.com/plm.php

I also have the Photek Softlighter.  Frankly, I was disappointed with the Softlighter.  The fabric keeps coming off  and it's tedious to attach the diffuser.  However, is does offer good light and is relatively light.  I save mine for overhead use with a boom.

The PLM remains my favorite system.  Very quick and easy to setup, great color balance, more efficient than the Photoflex umbrellas, and very even lighting.  It is heavy than the Softlighter.  I highly recommend heavier stands.

For indoor, small rooms,  I use Photoflex stands (7 or 8 foot).  But, my favorite stands are Cowboy Studio heavy duty 12' footers.  I think the model is 806D.  They are heavy duty, with all metal parts, and they handle the 64" PLMs well at full height.  They do have a longer than usual top spigot.  I had to cut short 1/2" PVC pipe to make a bushing to fit around the indentation in the spigot so the swivel mount would fit better -- not a big deal.  I can't vouch for all Cowboy Studio stands and suspect that shorter ones are cheap.  But, these big boys work great.

Try the Manfrotto swivel mount 026 ($35).

Lastly, I recommend the Yongnuo 622C remote triggers.  These are actually transceivers that act as both transmitter and receiver -- it doesn't matter which one that you use in the camera shoe.  They run about $80 per pair.  With these you can remotely control the flash settings with your camera's menu.  (Note, I use manual exclusively, so I can't vouch for TTL with these.)
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lux

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 02:51:19 PM »
Is the 7' and/or the 64" pcb system too large for speed lights?  More than one? 
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FTb-n

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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 03:48:41 AM »
Is the 7' and/or the 64" pcb system too large for speed lights?  More than one?
For the 64" PLMs, I use two Yonguo 565 EX II mounted in a home made version of the DIYP Double Flash Bracket that puts both flashes close to the axis of the umbrella:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/811643-REG/DIY_LK_DFB_Double_Flash_Bracket_Kit.html

Set the flash to 24mm or use the wide angle pop out lens and one should work fine.  It all depends upon you subject.  I prefer to use two flashes to cut down on output level and recycle time.  This also extends battery life. Typically, I use 1/16 power or less for one or two subject portraits.  I also shoot larger groups for my kids grade school and use two 64" PLMs with two YN 656s each.  To get 4-5 rows of kids properly lit, you need the light source about 20 feet back (maybe more).  This is when I dial up the power to about 1/4.  ISO range is 400 to 800 for the larger groups with aperture at f8.  For larger groups, I sometimes choose not to use the diffuser fabric.
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Re: Lighting advice
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 03:48:41 AM »