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Old May 2, 2007, 6:32 PM   #1
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I have a Canon Rebel XT, Tamron 17-50mm. I mostly take pictures of my family, both hand held and Tripod. I know lighting is crucial, and indoors fill flash is requirement most of the time.

I would like to improve the lighting in my indoor photos. At this point I would like to add lighting to my equipment though I do not wish to spend too much and for now would like to limit myself to either a stand alone flash or or some sort of Strobe/Umbrella thing.

I know a flash is more verstile to the extent that it can be taken elsewhere more easily, allows for some what more improptu shooting. I guess my question is how much improvement will a single additional light soruce provide over the built in flash and where should I put the money for now, an external flash or a Strobe/Umbrella thing.

While you are at it any recomendations for the flash or Strobe/Umbrella would be grealy appreciated. I guess I need to provide an aproximte budget. I was thinking of somwhere around $200. I do not know if that is a reasonable number or many times that needs to be spent.
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Old May 9, 2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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anthlover wrote:
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I know a flash is more verstile to the extent that it can be taken elsewhere more easily, allows for some what more improptu shooting. I guess my question is how much improvement will a single additional light soruce provide over the built in flash and where should I put the money for now, an external flash or a Strobe/Umbrella thing.
I don't know... Strobe/Umbrella are also "portable" as many now offer rechargeable battery pack which will allow on-location shoots

The issue is with your budget which limit your choice... A bigger light source like strobe is always better: A flash is more like a point source so by the time you have to reflect or diffuse this point source over to larger areas then its output is quite limited - So to answer your question any additional lighting to augment the built-in flash is a positive step, but the light quality will also improve with cost!
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Old May 11, 2007, 7:38 PM   #3
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Well if you were starting @ aprox $200- $250for an additional light source. Perhaps later spending more are there any suggestions.

I was starting to move down the path of a Sigma 500 dg super and bouncing coupled with perhpas a reflector (umbrella, bounce card, etc.).

You seem to advocate starting with an umbrella and a strobe. I would be at a loss as to which ones to look at.
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Old May 11, 2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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The Sigma flash will do for now as it's fully ETTL enabled and quite easy to use...

As you gain confidence you can start looking at theses: http://www.alienbees.com/b800.html
... or some other starter packages on Ebay (but they'll run you more than $200)
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Old May 12, 2007, 7:22 PM   #5
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Hmm It seems like that is a very nice Strobe...

http://www.alienbees.com/beginner.html

I see I can save $50 with 400 verus the 800 Not sure what the real world 1/2 power difference would be I guess I would have to read a little on their site.

I suppose the long term Ideal would be to buy a pair. Or beter still a pair and softboxes.

Fun company. Thank you for the info. Now I just have to decide whether this is the way to go to start. I think for my intent it will work better. I could not use it out the home in as many circumstances..

So I can read the manual but silly question. I hook my Rebel xt up via sync cable to a unit like this an and then what. Is it all manual or does the modeling flash or preflash help with the metering. I guess it is no different then a flash that is bounced.

******OK One semi last question lets say I go for broke and order an Alien rig. Is an umbrella the way to go brolly box better choice... http://www.alienbees.com/brolly.html

Its not available in the "kit" But the kit really is just the same stuff for the same price thrown togther as one package..

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Old May 13, 2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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anthlover wrote:
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So I can read the manual but silly question. I hook my Rebel xt up via sync cable to a unit like this an and then what. Is it all manual or does the modeling flash or preflash help with the metering.
It's all manual, but that's where all the fun begin...

Since you'll be doing this indoor the lighting is constant so you can play around with the aperture and/or moving the lights... After a few tries most people will have a hang of it right away. BTW the Alien Bee is just an example, but there's more:
http://stores.ebay.com/Photography-s...QQftidZ2QQtZkm

-> You might want to get a flashmeter which will be slightly faster




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I guess it is no different then a flash that is bounced.
-> With the E-TTL (Sigma/Canon) flashes it's fully automatic - The camera does the metering for you :idea:
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Old May 14, 2007, 5:35 PM   #7
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Hmm.

1) Is the AB stuff the best for the money or are you recomedning I look elsewhere

2) I know manual is good.... I thought the Sigma/Canon stuff could not Meter Bounced/diffused light reliably becuase the preflash is usually to weak to do so when bounced or diffused?
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Old May 15, 2007, 9:46 PM   #8
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NHL,
Could you point to where you think the best source/book, etc for overall understanding of lighting.

One learns much from these posts, but, like many topics, they only prompt more questions.

thanks
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Old May 16, 2007, 5:31 AM   #9
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anthlover wrote:
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1) Is the AB stuff the best for the money or are you recomedning I look elsewhere
I'm just giving you a choice - Theses are all starter kits (i.e. read inexpensive)
-> and of course just like other things in life the sky is the limit here in term of $$$ for lighting (i.e. how much power and how fast they can recycle with this amount of power...)!
... and then there's the imports: the BMW and Porsche of lighting :-):lol::G




Quote:
2) I know manual is good.... I thought the Sigma/Canon stuff could not Meter Bounced/diffused light reliably becuase the preflash is usually to weak to do so when bounced or diffused?
Have you seen this bouncing example? http://eosseries.ifrance.com/eosseri...ork_ssfil.html
Only your imagination is the limit...
-> The wireless sensor on the flash faces each other while the flash head is free to rotate about for bouncing or diffuse!

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Old May 16, 2007, 5:33 AM   #10
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leeraff wrote:
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Could you point to where you think the best source/book, etc for overall understanding of lighting.

One learns much from these posts, but, like many topics, they only prompt more questions.
How about this: http://www.friedmanarchives.com/flash.htm

Minolta was the grand daddy of wireless flash :idea:
-> They invented this system a decade before (early 80's) Canon and then followed by Nikon only some 2 years ago - Of course everyone claims they have it 1st in first, but then I still have my Minolta 9xi to prove this way before my EOS... :-)
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