I do mostly "event" photography - just did DragonCon in Atlanta, and I do Daytona Bikeweek and Biketoberfest, Leesburg Bikefest, Sturgis, Laconia, maybe a few other 'Cons if folks ask me. I only do DragonCon regularly.
In the past, I've shot a lot film at these events, shooting Hasselblad 500c/m and Leica M's. Hasselblad sort of dropped by the wayside, as set-up posed shooting was becoming less of what I did, and candids were more the norm. So, I kept plugging away with my trusy M4's and M6's
Flash equipment - I'd keep one M4 set up with a flash rig - basically two 283's in 16x24 Chimera box on a frame. That was the vast part of my shooting, and yes, changing film became damn near performance art in itself.
This year, I said, hey, what the heck, I wont like the quality of the light, but lets shoot with the 7D and a 28/1.8, and I'd augment that with a trusty M
Not happy at all....
So here's where my thinking goes -
I can get a Quantum light for the Canon EOS's - but that will run me about $1300 or so, or a bit more. It will go well in the Chimera rig though. Plus side there is the use of a parabolic reflector and bare bulb. Bare bulb is fantastic for some conditions. I've shot entire weddings with bare bulb and HP-5 film (in the old days...) and it was just fantastic with a 1940's look to the result.
Or, I can maybe just begin to get my feet wet with a Yongnuo YN565ex, or even two of those. My thoughts there are I can also use those in the Chimera rig, and... later on they can be radio slaves. I'd rather do the 565 since I really need a battery pack - screwin' with batteries is one thing I'd rather not have to deal with while shooting, and the quick recycle is a plus.
Or, I can just use the two low voltage shoe 283's in the rig as they are, shoot manually and forget E-TTL. Cheap option, but... I always shoot color negative film, and of course that is forgiving with exposure. I'd generally tend to slightly over expose on purpose when shooting negative film. I can see a lot of testing, and fewer keepers going with the present flash rig.
Gimme some thoughts, shoot me down... I'm up for it so long as I can get pointed in some logical direction. I've got an arsenal of 283's, all low voltage...all been re-capped and adjusted. They work well too with Quantum batteries. Got two of those Chimera rigs - the otheris a box I had cut square on special order so its 18x18 (I think?). Doesn't matter, you can use it on square or 1:1.5 aspect ratio, same great results.
I'm really stuck on carring the box... I just love the effect of a soft broad fill. Its very forgiving when mixed with ambient light, even strong and contrasty ambient light.
And finally, maybe there's options I've missed. Not too fond of Canon lights, seems there are better bang for the buck out there.
The Yongnuo's ... I wonder how they'll hold up. You hear about infant mortality with those, but seemingly if they last past a month or so, they're good to go? Dunno. Last weekend, I shot 50 rolls of Ektar with the M4 and oh... 5000 shots with the 7D. So I'd need something that will hold together ok. I'm actually surprised that the 7D's tiny flash held up actually.
So, thats my story (and I'm stickin' to it!)