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Author Topic: What to get? Planning to strobe...  (Read 2439 times)


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What to get? Planning to strobe...
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:53:43 AM »
Okay guys, what should I get next?
I have:
17-40 F4L
35 F1.4
70-200 F2.8 IS II

430 EX II Flash
ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter

I am planning to get a strobing kit soon since I prefer shooting photoshoots and portraiture, and I am in Japan atm (I am from Canada). I can get some materials like the bracket and Yongnuo transmitters cheaper here than in Canada. The question is... DO I GET TWO SETS or ONE?

I have a budget around $800.... I was maybe thinking of investing in a Sigma 85 1.4 but maybe a strobing kit is higher priority... and tripod too.

What I plan to get?
1 Double sided umbrella (100cm).
1 Light stands (Manfrotto nano). 
2 Yonghuo 623C transmitters.
1 Flash bracket.

Are two strobing kits necessary for creativity and other uses? I feel like one is too basic though I know nothing about strobing >_> so should I invest in two sets or one? And I see everyone moving to the 600exRT, which makes my STE2 transmitter useless? Is there any use for STE2 transmitter? :( I bought it along with the 430 EXII as a package deal.

Thanks for any help.

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What to get? Planning to strobe...
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:53:43 AM »


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Re: What to get? Planning to strobe...
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 10:31:09 AM »
I don't know what prices are like in Japan, so I'll have to rely on U.S. Prices to estimate your $800 budget.

Get the following:

Two umbrellas (preferably convertibles, but if not, then one shoot through and one reflective)
Decent light stands (the nano looks a little delicate to me.) The heavier the better. Photoflex Medium Weight light stands are about $85 and are plenty sturdy for strobe work. Looks like Manfrotto has some similar ones.
A 600 EX-Rt ($500 with rebate in the U.S.)
2 x 3 ft (approx) size pieces of foam core (one black and one white)
Manfrotto Swivel umbrella adapters (2 @ $38 each).
A big bag of plastic clamps from Home Depot or Lowes or other home improvement store(about $15 for assorted sizes) Or you can pay at least three times that amount for the same thing from a photo store)
A few pieces of black and white card stock (8 1/2 by 11 or larger)
Big rubber bands.

You can use the ST-E2 to fire both the 430 EXII and the 600 EX-RT on optical.

This will give you a nice two light setup.

The foam core can be used as light modifiers. (Use the white on the opposite site of the strobe to soften shadows, use the black to keep the light off of things)
The plastic clamps to hold up backdrops or attach the foam core to a light stand.
The white cardstock as a flag to bounce light from the strobe. The Black cardstock to form a snoot.

Don't buy the Yongnuo transmitters. Since you don't have much invested in your current setup, you might as well start transitioning to the 600 RT system. You can use it on optical until you've accumulated enough of them to switch over to RT (and believe me, you will accumulate more of them). At that point you can sell the 400 EX and the St-E2 and probably have almost enough to get a ST-E3 RT. No point in throwing good money after bad.

Don't waste your money on the cheapo umbrella brackets, they don't hold things in place and the locking nuts strip the plastic out after a few uses. The Manfrottos are metal and very sturdy. There are other brands, just be sure they are metal and heavy.

You can use your 70-200 for all the portraits. No need to get another lens.

This may be a bit over your budget, but with careful shopping it will be close.


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Re: What to get? Planning to strobe...
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »
I would buy a stand, Bracket and an bounce/shoot through umbrella. Then head to amazon and buy a set of el cheapo cowboy manual triggers. This should cost around 70$ for every thing and you can start with the 430II off-camera to get the handle on balancing ambient/flash exposure.

Once you've done that, Buy whatever suits your fancy because by then you'll know what you'd like to do.

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Re: What to get? Planning to strobe...
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »