September 16, 2014, 01:35:21 PM

Author Topic: Light Meter & SpeedLites  (Read 6852 times)

MagnumJoe

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 44
  • 5D MK III
    • View Profile
Light Meter & SpeedLites
« on: April 07, 2013, 09:10:33 PM »
Hello All,
 I live on the emerald coast, between Panama City Beach and Destin, Florida. As a hobbyist photographer, I went out to shoot two young ladies today against a 1 o'clock sun sky with a canon 6d, a canon 430ex II, Yongnuo YN568EX, beauty dish, reflectors, umbrellas and soon on. Needless to say, I didn't have enough power. Just learning, it took me a good 30 minutes to figure it all out.  In this environment would a light meter had help me out?  I'm learning, and I'm not sure how well a bright day, speed lites and a light meter would work together.  The meter I'm wondering about is the Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter.
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

canon rumors FORUM

Light Meter & SpeedLites
« on: April 07, 2013, 09:10:33 PM »

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3446
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 09:20:06 PM »
HSS could kill the ambient light or more speedlite. Shooting mid-day is begging for a Studio strobe for raw output.

bycostello

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 910
    • View Profile
    • London Weddings
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 09:23:58 PM »
midday sun your problem...  try going out in morning or evening instead...

MagnumJoe

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 44
  • 5D MK III
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 09:32:23 PM »
midday sun your problem...  try going out in morning or evening instead...

Thanks bycostello, I know those are the best time, but I watched one of those BHPhotos workshop videos last night called "Getting The Most Out Of Canon Speedlites", by Syl Arena.  I just need more experience. :) 
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

scottkinfw

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 756
    • View Profile
    • kasden.smug.com
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 10:51:55 PM »
I'm no expert, but HSS or use Pocket wizard for the hypersync. 

Golden hours are easiest, best, outdoor lighting, and you can use your fills and scrims, and reflectors, etc. 

sek
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 716
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 11:24:11 AM »
To kill the ambient you need a higher sync speed. Aperture controls flash and shutter controls ambient.

You are shooting a 6D which has a max shutter speed of 1/180 but the only way to obtain that is to set the camera up in half stops rather than third stops other wise the fastest sync you can get is 1/160.

That said, 1/180 in full sun, ISO100 still requires likely more power than you have in a 568EX and 430EXII. HSS drops the power output of your strobes considerably. Try to look for shade of scrim your subject from full sun.

Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 716
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 12:49:27 PM »

If you want  a darker background and are at sync speed, close your aperture one stop and increase flash power one stop and the subject is the same brightness and the ambient is one stop darker. If you are at sub sync speed sure leave everything else the same and just shorten shutterspeed, but that wasn't what I was talking about. The most efficient way to underexpose ambient, as a starting point, is sync speed and base iso.

The OP is using underpowered strobes for the job. Full sun, midday, is not the ideal scenario for a 568EX and 430EXII. At base ISO (100) and max sync speed of 160/180 on the 6D, the option of stopping down to say F8 or F11 would require more power than those little lights can put out. This is why David Hobby loves the Nikon D70 as it has a max sync of 1/500. I think some Canon 1d series have that too.

You can also use an ND filter on your camera but again it requires the light to work really hard to over power the sun.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 12:49:27 PM »

Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 716
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 01:12:02 PM »
OP: Here is a useful article on balancing ambient with flash outdoors: http://strobist.blogspot.ca/2006/03/lighting-101-balancing-flash-and.html

To your earlier question, a lightmeter is a very useful piece of equipment to own if you intend to do manual flash photography. If you are only planning on doing ETTL flash then they are are pretty much useless to you. I bought one for a workshop I did a couple of years ago where it was a course requirement and love not having to guesstimate the exposure.

ishdakuteb

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 01:16:24 PM »
first, i have to say that i am not an expert in strobist.  i am just like you, just start reading, researching and learning.  however, your problem might be the use of E-TTL if i am corretly guess based on my knowledge of speedlite.  either not to use E-TTL under extreme sun light or have to compensate the flash power...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 01:19:17 PM by ishdakuteb »

Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 716
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 01:29:39 PM »
ambient."[/b] when we are already talking about max sync you are implying use of HSS and guarantees you will run out of power sooner, that is not the best way to continue darkening ambient, closing aperture and upping flash power is.
I never implied HSS or ETTL, pure manual all the way. I agree with you if you are at the base camera ISO of say 100 and max sync then the only other thing to do to kill ambient is stop down the aperture and/or increase flash power. My point is, full sun, midday you may run out of gas in those tiny strobes.

OP: I still feel anyone playing with manual strobes would benefit form a light meter. I have a Sekonic L-358 - very helpful tool to quickly establish your ambient/flash exposure mix.

Oupstd

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 01:31:21 PM »
Regarding ND filters, do you need to use "circular" ND filters or can you use rectangular filters such a lee filters...
I have lee filters for landscape, but I am wondering if it is a good idear to use them for a portrait shoot...
thanks for the advices


Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 716
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 01:35:56 PM »
Regarding ND filters, do you need to use "circular" ND filters or can you use rectangular filters such a lee filters...
I have lee filters for landscape, but I am wondering if it is a good idear to use them for a portrait shoot...
thanks for the advices
I believe an ND filter is an ND filter - it cuts doen the light coming into the lens. The square system is merely films that drop into the square holder. I have only ever used a cheap eBay variable ND filter that screws on the lens - I have heard the Lee filters are high end for architectural use but I see no reason they could not be used for a portrait.

Oupstd

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 01:52:06 PM »
I have no doubt that they are of good quality. My concern, is more will they fall and brake...
I am sure that if take care of them while shooting there will be no problem, but if I forget they might fall... Just wanted to have some feedback from people who are using these type of filters...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 01:52:06 PM »

ishdakuteb

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 02:12:49 PM »
Regarding ND filters, do you need to use "circular" ND filters or can you use rectangular filters such a lee filters...
I have lee filters for landscape, but I am wondering if it is a good idear to use them for a portrait shoot...
thanks for the advices
I believe an ND filter is an ND filter - it cuts doen the light coming into the lens. The square system is merely films that drop into the square holder. I have only ever used a cheap eBay variable ND filter that screws on the lens - I have heard the Lee filters are high end for architectural use but I see no reason they could not be used for a portrait.

+1 to "ND filter is an ND filter"... and if i understand correctly, there are only two kind of nd filters which are fixed and variable.  i have not heard about circular nd filter.  i am not sure if you meant variable nd filter.  however, variable nd filters are great, but expensive.  i guess that would not be a problem to you since you can afford for lee filter  :P

MagnumJoe

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 44
  • 5D MK III
    • View Profile
Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 09:46:14 PM »
Thank you all, you've been a tremendous help, I'm going again Saturday with ND Filter in hand. Would the Tiffen 77VND 77MM VARIABLE ND FILTER be a good choice?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:59:56 PM by MagnumJoe »
Cameras:  5D MK III, 6D,   Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm MK II f/2.8| Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 24-70 VC

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light Meter & SpeedLites
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 09:46:14 PM »