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Old Oct 20, 2004, 12:04 AM   #1
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My Girlfriend's high school class will hold their class reunion this Saturday, & all of a sudden they have decided on a Group Picture & want me to do it.

My main concerns are:

Will my 20-35mm USM be wide enough? I can go to the church meeting room in advance,where it is being held to see how much room I need.

Will my 420EX flash have enough light output for 48 people?

I will be using my 300D with the 20-35, 420EX, ISO set to 400 & Tripod with a wired remote(what we used to call a cable release). I also plan on taking my EOS-3 with Portra 400, my 28-135IS & either my Sunpak 544 - set on manual or a 2nd, borrowed 420EX. I can slave my 522 off my 544 with a Sunpak device & the 522 on a light stand off to the left for the film shots, but I doubt that either wouldslave off the 420EX. Was told if we seat people in front row , the a row standing behind them, & then seat more people on the stage behind the row of people standing to make sure they are not too far back from the standing row or there will be a problem with depth of field. Too bad the 420EX's won't slave off each other!

Will I have problems with the lens set on autofocus???

Wish I could borrow a 550EX, 17-40mm 4.0Las well asa laptop to check my shots. But that's neither here nor there.

Any comments will be Greatly appreciated.

David
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 5:05 AM   #2
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I think that the 420EX with a PocketBouncer (http://www.lumiquest.com/lq871.htm) should suffice for your group portrait. Mount the camera on a tripod and shoot at f8 or higher to preserve the DOF, and 1/15 or 1/30 to preserve the background light.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 8:46 AM   #3
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Take about 30 pictures of various types - you will get one that's OK.

The Drebel is 6mp. You can blow that up wuite a lot - so don't worry about getting everyone in and being too small.


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Old Oct 20, 2004, 10:21 AM   #4
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I would seriously fear that 20mm would not be enough. Stitching pictures together often doesn't work with group shots. Definintely get 3 deep, sitting on the stage is a great idea. I don't see any other way you'll get them all in, but I don't have experience with this... just a guess.

Definitely check out the place head of time and see what the lighting is like. I would be that flash wouldn't be enough either. Definitely slave the flashes if you can.

White balance will be fun, so use RAW.

Eric
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 12:09 PM   #5
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I called a friend today who shoots Professionally who shoots with the 10D & 1D MK II & he said to put the peoplein 3 rows - that's 16 people (if they all come).

To Eric: I don't know of any way to slave 2 - 420EX's without buying the ST-E2 transmitter & having is shipped overnight - that's $179.00 I'd rather not have to spend right now. If the 550Ex wasn't $329.00, I would be tempted to order one of those.

Thanks for all of the replies & tips! Too bad it wouldn't be outdoors in the afternoon!

I DO have my Mamiya 645 still but I had problems focusing the 45mm 2.8 about 2 years ago on a shoot outdoors, so that's out!

David


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Old Oct 20, 2004, 4:25 PM   #6
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Can you make one detect the flash of the other and have it fire? You'll probably have to get it to fire on the second flash because I think the DRebel (And many other digitals) fire a preflash for metering reasons. That shouldn't require the module.

Eric
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 12:35 AM   #7
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Eric: Never tried anything like that. I went ahead & took the plunge today & ordered a New Metz Model # 54AF-1 E-TTL @ $289.95 from B&H with 2 day shipping. I am keeping my fingers crossed! I actually saw a Sunpak 5000 AF on B&H's site - too bad it is not E-TTL @$149.95. I am not really wild about how the Sunpak PZ 40 AF looks - it does have bounce head, but not swivel. The Metz said it will take: Alkaline, Lithium, NiMh or NiCd batteries!

I was told by one person to shoot the pix in Manual(that was if I used my 420EX) instead of my usual TV Mode, & to shoot it at f8 so as not to have problems with depth of field.

Is there a bracket from Stroboframe or anyone else that will get either of these flash units up over the camera & work with DSLR's? I am thinking down the road.

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 5:37 AM   #8
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The Metz can not control your 420EX wirelessly! Although an excellent flash, it will only work wirelessly within a Metz system...

The only other 3rd party flash that can act as a 'Master' to your 'slaved-only' 420EX is the Sigma EF500DG Super!!! It costs approximately the same as a 420EX (or an ST-E2) and can act as an ST-E2 or a real flash with full overide like the 550EX.

It's such a no brainer value wise: @ around $200 more or less. It has more power than the 420EX almost similar to the 550EX, and it can double as an ST-E2 with full exposure compensation (The ST-E2 can't for the lack of group C). You also get Flash Bracketing (and 2nd curtain sync) which you can't on the 420EX!

BTW the Sigma's can also be slaved to any other studio strobes, which both the 420 and the 550EX can't because they don't have a built-in slave detector
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 8:57 AM   #9
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Group shot went well. Room where the event was held - stage was not used - I lined everyone up against a wall in rows of 3 with the first row seated in chairs. By the way, the 20-35 WAS wide enough! I shot across the room - put them against a white wall. Problem was, I shot the darn thing in TV Mode with the flash on E-TTL & should have shotboth in Manual Mode. Itwill take some photoshop work, but it's a go for 8 X 10's with no problems. Funny, how after I looked around the group & asked some people to re-position themselves so I could see their faces, there were 2 people on the back row, you could not see their faces in the final. I think next time, I will take my son, or someone for an assistant to double check everyone for their position(s).

As for the Metz flash - I am not sure I want to keep it. I will be taking it by a friend's studio to let him check it & give his opinion - he has the D60,10D, a 550EX & 420EX. IF the price ever gets right on the 550 I may buy one of those - that way I can slave my 420.

This may sound stupid, but what I would like to see is something along the lines of a Sunpak 544 with all of the adjustments on it, but built as an E-TTL handle mount strobe.

Hey as always - a BIG thank you to allwho gave their input.You all are Super nice & I really appreciate it. It WAS a learning experience. Next time, I would prefer to do the shot in the daytime - outdoors.

David

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Old Oct 25, 2004, 11:16 AM   #10
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Just wanted to jump in as I have been trying to experiment more and more with the flash (I have the Sigma 500 DG Super). Why is shooting in Tv with ETTL a bad thing when using the flash? What does having both the camera AND the flash in manual buy you - over say having just the flash in manual? Just trying to learn from everyone else.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Thanks
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