November 23, 2017, 08:31:15 AM

Author Topic: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question  (Read 6405 times)

snappy604

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Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« on: June 05, 2017, 07:40:00 PM »
Wanting some thoughts/advice for a begginer with lighting.

Currently invested with a Canon 580 (ver1) and a Canon 320 flash. I've had some success with using flash off-cam using canon 7d and 80d onboard flash to control
for macros and some portrait shooting, but would like to get better results.

Been thinking of adding a 3rd flash (430 v3) and getting Neewer softboxes (vs umbrella)  or going with a Medium (Aputure?) and 2 smaller LED panels and some sort of diffuser.

I recognize the LED panels will have a shorter range, but trading off being able to see what I'm doing at all times (also don't have a studio, so space/portability important).
Both are portable, more or less cost effective solutions (under $600).

Any advice from more experienced folks?

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Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« on: June 05, 2017, 07:40:00 PM »

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 08:34:31 PM »
A set of 430 EX III RT would be far more reliable than your current flashes, but DO NOT communicate with them. One option would be to add a 430EX ii, which is compatible with the others.

Continuous LED light is very pleasant to work with, because you see in real time any change of position or power. The color of the LED light may be quite different from the flash color. To avoid strange colors, you can use flash only for "against light" and LED only for front and side illumination. In general, every LED has a near-red color spectrum deficiency, and it is common to use colored gel to fill this gap.

The LED power needed to "replace" a flash, would be something like 100w at least, so forget the models that run on AA batteries, and look for ones that use 6 amp batteries, or AC power source.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 11:00:28 PM »
There is good LED lighting technology, but its not the cheap units you see for under $100.  Its pretty difficult to match led colors with flash colors, the combination can look bad.  A bargain priced good quality entry level led setup might be had for $!,000.  https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fotodiox-led100wb-review

I recommend reading reviews of the exact led light source you plan on getting, and read reliable reviews, some reviews may be fake, its difficult to tell if you don't already know about the product.

I have a pair of 35 watt led lamps, they look bright, but do not put out enough light.  For continuous lighting, I finally bought some high CRI CFL's, and use 600 watts (4 X 85W + 4 X 65W).  Its barely enough light for me when 8 ft from the subject, and covered by a white diffuser. I also have a light table with 12 ea 4 ft 32 watt 98 CRI or 384 watts.  these are only a few inches from the subject, and provide good light, but not as bright as I'd like.  I tried a diffuser over them, it cut out too much light.

Two 480 EX series flash units will output plenty of light for close work like mine, but I prefer continuous lighting.  I also have two old 750 watt Tota lights, they light up the world, but cook it as well.  I bought them for video in the 1980's, and used them for digital stills of products around 2000.  That much light made even a P&S output look good.  They also had great color.

leadin2

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 06:48:19 AM »
Not familiar with LED. But for flash, maybe you should replace existing ones with 2x 430 III-RT as suggested by ajfotofilmagem. The 430 III-RT can be your master/slave radio or as slave Infra-Red. Radio would be better as it has longer range and not affected under bright sunlight. If you need more light, just buy a third 430 III-RT or STE3 so that you can place 2 flashes off camera. :)

Valvebounce

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 10:09:04 AM »
Hi Snappy.
Sorry I can't offer anything on LED vs flash, others seem to be firmly guiding you away from cheap LED lighting so I thought I would throw in an alternative to the Canon 430EX-RT that others have mentioned.
You don't say whether you are a pro or an amateur trying to bring things to the next level, if you are a pro this is probably not for you due to the nature of pro photography, you can't miss the shot and sometimes these can be slower to recycle than a canon flash.
If you are an amateur I can highly recommend this option due to the incredible savings over genuine Canon gear!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/YongNuo-YN600EX-RT-II-Speedlite-Flash-Kit-YN-E3-RT-Transmitter-Kit-For-Canon-/272584148763?var=&hash=item3f7748071b:m:mMxCJbezXE9JWvgkAU-Vtig
used with a couple of these to get your existing flashes involved,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yongnuo-YN-E3-RX-YNE3-RX-e-TTL-Wireless-Flash-Receiver-for-YN600EX-RT-ST-E3-RT-/161614579625?hash=item25a0fac7a9:g:AEUAAOSwLF1X2-oP
Plus I got one of these to help with my macro, this doesn't interact with the other equipment except by usung the add on receiver and then it looses the A:B ratio setting between the sides so is essentially a standalone item.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/YONGNUO-YN-14EX-TTL-Macro-Ring-Flash-speedlite-YN-14EX-for-Canon-camera-/161103549575?hash=item2582851487:g:z0oAAMXQvV9SLtgT
please do your due diligence as some sellers are still selling the version 1 and some are including a diffuser too.
Total for this little lot is $481 leaving room for some of the Neewer modifiers.

Cheers, Graham.
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snappy604

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2017, 04:40:52 PM »
Thanks everyone. To be clear, NOT Pro.. trying to evolve my skills as a hobby only, hence hard to justify expensive equipment when I don't earn anything with it.

Had hoped to go continuous lighting with LED panels, but sounds like unless you invest a lot it may not yet be mature enough? was reading a DSLR video blogger on youtube and it sounded like a decent kit could be put together for about $500 with LEDs with a high CRI (they used Apunture brand).. the Fotodiox option sounded interesting as it addressed an issue with LEDs I'd seen.. the pinpoint lights/shadows created. Distance is another major issue from what I gather. Does anyone have direct experience with LED Panels?

Sounds like most people still think multiple flashes is better than LED. I may have to look into multiple 430s, but my 580 v1 and 320 both work fine line of sight from the onboard controller, tossing them would be... painful, especially because again, no income from it.

re: Yongnuo, the line confuses me on which to buy, which controllers etc and I've heard quality control issues. hence apprehension via that avenue.

again many thanks..  not in a big rush, so still would appreciate any other insights.


ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 08:04:31 PM »
A good video about day light color LED.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3LWXznJx_0

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 08:04:31 PM »

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 10:18:10 PM »
I have a load of LED stuff I never use. None of it would be powerful enough to use outdoors during the day. I don't have the room to shoot indoors.

So what do I do with my LED lighting? I plug it into the generator when the lights go out. :)

If willing to go third party, flash is much more versatile and far less expensive. Best to go with a radio transmitter and flash with a radio receiver.
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Valvebounce

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017, 04:19:16 AM »
Hi Snappy.
I didn't want to toss my 550ex, still a bloody good flash, that is why I got these as listed in my last post
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yongnuo-YN-E3-RX-YNE3-RX-e-TTL-Wireless-Flash-Receiver-for-YN600EX-RT-ST-E3-RT-/161614579625?hash=item25a0fac7a9:g:AEUAAOSwLF1X2-oP
they basically convert your existing flashes to the RT system with FULL ETTL, they will also act as remote release for the camera via the YN-E3-RT.

As for the build quality, no the YongNuo 600RT don't feel like they are canon units, but then at 1/4 the price of a Canon item are we surprised?
What did surprise me was how good they do feel, all the rubber covers fit nicely and stay in place whilst not being too tight to remove, the tilt swivel motions are crisp and the positive detents feel nice as you click to them.
Would I recommend them, yes.
Would I recommend them if they were not good, heck no, I call a pig a pig!

Cheers, Graham.

Thanks everyone. To be clear, NOT Pro.. trying to evolve my skills as a hobby only, hence hard to justify expensive equipment when I don't earn anything with it.

Snip 8< 8<

Sounds like most people still think multiple flashes is better than LED. I may have to look into multiple 430s, but my 580 v1 and 320 both work fine line of sight from the onboard controller, tossing them would be... painful, especially because again, no income from it.
8< 8< 8<
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Viggo

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 04:55:26 AM »
First off, when learning light, start with one source, very easy to loose control when doing to much too fast. Learning the physics of light is important. I highly recommend reading Strobist 101 first.

Second, use a normal indoor lamp to learn how light affects your subject just to visualize. Then use a speedlite for actual pictures, much more power for less, you'll soon be able to place it where you want to get the light, and more important, where shadows go.

And practice practice practice.

I've been using OCF for quite a few years now, mostly outside. Still use one light, and the sun as my second source, endless possibilities. Master one source before even thinking about 2, 3, 4 lights.
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hne

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 06:04:14 AM »
The tip to read Strobist 101 is a good one. Do that.

I doubt you need more light sources. An umbrella or softbox would make more of a difference. Use ambient or a reflector for fill.
After a while, you'll run into cases where ETTL becomes an obstacle (such as when trying to get a consistent strobe-lit white background). This is where you buy a light meter and go full manual.

Have a look at this for inspiration on what you can achieve with one or possibly two flashes: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL821B7D720DEA39FA
Your 580 flash is basically the same thing as the Flashpoint/Godox AD360 on half power, minus the bayonet for attaching modifiers.

Only after having full control over ambient and one or two flashes would I advice you to think about adding more light sources. Four is the most I've had use for (key, background, and two rim lights). I could never pull that off in some kind of auto (iso/flash power/aperture/shutter) mode and without a flash meter it'd take 15-20 test shots to get all lights set.
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YuengLinger

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017, 06:20:22 AM »
If you can find a tolerable mannequin's head, it can be great for practicing lighting setups.

Wow, I'd love a continuous light that would allow shutter speeds over 1/200th and apertures f/8 and tighter, but currently we don't have the tech--unless we're willing to carry a ton of gear that gets as hot as the Saharan Desert in minutes.  And needs a hydroelectric dam of its own to power.   :P

I have a prettier one of my own, but this is the general idea of the head:

https://www.amazon.com/Mannequin-Hairdresser-Training-Cosmetology-Included/dp/B01HO3LT1Y/ref=sr_1_14_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496830554&sr=8-14&keywords=dresser%27s+mannequin

CanonFanBoy

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 02:43:22 PM »
If you can find a tolerable mannequin's head, it can be great for practicing lighting setups.

Wow, I'd love a continuous light that would allow shutter speeds over 1/200th and apertures f/8 and tighter, but currently we don't have the tech--unless we're willing to carry a ton of gear that gets as hot as the Saharan Desert in minutes.  And needs a hydroelectric dam of its own to power.   :P

I have a prettier one of my own, but this is the general idea of the head:

https://www.amazon.com/Mannequin-Hairdresser-Training-Cosmetology-Included/dp/B01HO3LT1Y/ref=sr_1_14_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496830554&sr=8-14&keywords=dresser%27s+mannequin

Great advice and there is even a tripod made for the head. Might have to get these myself.
https://www.amazon.com/Abody-Mannequin-Tripod-Stand-Cosmetology/dp/B01F3J9GV6/ref=pd_sim_194_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01F3J9GV6&pd_rd_r=3X1M8XB863PF83W3CDGH&pd_rd_w=D9Esk&pd_rd_wg=DAx58&psc=1&refRID=3X1M8XB863PF83W3CDGH
I can't list my gear. I'm too ashamed. Everything I have is crippled and obsolete.

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 02:43:22 PM »


snappy604

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2017, 07:22:02 PM »
good advice, but haha that mannequin looks creepy!

I do have umbrellas, I find that the shadows created against the wall behind causes some of the issues I have with a 2 flash solution, but yes it might be positioning. Often also I have issues with space with umbrellas (they're bulky)

Flash speeds also are an issue.. Would love to go above 1/250th sometimes.  I will review some of the other links / suggestions.

I did hold off impulse shopping LED panels ;-)

thanks!

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Re: Portable lighting - Flash vs LED - Newbie question
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2017, 07:22:02 PM »