Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Flash (External)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 12, 2005, 11:09 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 18
Default

I need a set of lights for weddings, I currently have just the 580 ex on my canon 20d. I want something that is wireless and will fire along with the 580 ex. Do I need to buy a wireless transmitter or just a good set of lights??? Please help before I waste my money!
morgan040 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 13, 2005, 9:32 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

A few things.
From all the wedding experience I have, I assume you are thinking of using this for set shots before or after the event, right? 'Cause you don't have time to set them up and us them during the wedding.

I believe with Canon all you need is a wireless receiver. The 550EX can be the wireless master, so I'd think the 580EX could be as well. I know people who like the 480EX (or whichever is one step down, I always forget the number) for the job.

Don't forget that you'll need some kind of stand or clip so you can put the flash where you want. Oh, and extra batteries or battery pack..

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 2005, 2:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
marokero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 769
Default

I'm not sure how the Canon flash system works as I'm a Nikon shooter. These days I'm shooting the formals with two SB800 flashes, one on camera, another (slave unit) on a light stand with its light sensor facing the master flash. It works very well. But the wireless TTL is not perfect, it needs line of sight so the flash units can communicate, and the effective range is limited (it doesn't work so well beyond 50 feet). There are wireless TTL options that use radio instead of pulses of light, but I don't want to buy into an entirely new flash system. My SB800s work very well already, and if a group shot is larger than two flashes can cover, I can add a third or a fourth one as needed. In my experience, two units are good enough for a bridal party of 24 - but it depends on how you pose them too.
marokero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 14, 2005, 10:55 PM   #4
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,547
Default

The Sigma EF-500DG Super is also 100% compatible with your 580EX (I use the 550EX) - You can almost buy 2 Sigma's unit for the same price as another 580EX for a 3 lights E-TTL wireless systems (one 580EX and two EF-500DG Super) with nothing else to buy.

Like I said they work great together and can be set to different ratio as well
all from the camera's mounted flash (instead of running to different remote heads)!
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 17, 2005, 6:54 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 155
Default

Coincidentally, my wife and I have just been bullied into shooting a wedding this Saturday. We first just said NO, but then "If you don't do it, we'll just have what the guests take and a couple disposable cameras. Wah, wah, wah." Personally, I was OK with that, but my wife is a pushover, and we're doing it.

We have a 20D, which will be the main camera with a Stroboframe holding a 580EX with "tupperware" diffuser. I'll be holding a 420EX, also with the tupperware diffuser,on a monopod as the slave--that is, the flash will be a slave--lighting the background, a wooded area adjacent to the deck where the wedding will be held at 6pm in 90+ degree heat with 95%+ humidity (technically, this is outside the allowable operating humidity for the 20D).

After the ceremony, we'll be separately shooting the sweaty dancing and other activities in the heat with the 20D and my Rebel XT. In our testing, the 420EX performed adequately, although outdoors, if we didn't have line of sight, the 420 did not fire. This is the circumstance that presumably call for radio control, however, we are not in the wedding business and so won't be buying extra gear for this!

For the posed group photographs, I plan to just set up my fluorescent video lights and stands. Not the best choice, but again, we can't justify buying gear for a one time freebee. If you want, I can report back on the level of success or disaster on Sunday or Monday, of this low budget use-what-you-have project.
wburychka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2005, 12:35 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
KCan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,625
Default

wburychka wrote:
Quote:
If you want, I can report back on the level of success or disaster on Sunday or Monday, of this low budget use-what-you-have project.
Yes please, and good luck
KCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 2005, 8:03 AM   #7
Member
 
Vlad the Impaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 59
Default

I'll be doing my first wedding in about a month. Does anyone have any tips they could share? I'm already stocked up on batteries and memory, have backup everything, and intend to scope out the place ahead of time -- so I mean more "I wish I woulda thought of that before" kinda stuff?

What is the best position of the slave flash(es) for the formals? From the side, 45' angle to the subject, to give dimension?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Vlad the Impaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 2005, 12:23 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 155
Default

We did our first and last wedding last Saturday. We originally said NO NO NO! Then felt sorry for them, because we were their only (free) hope. Next time, we stick to NO.

If you are planning to do this more than once, your best bet is to find a pro who will accept your no-charge assistance on a couple weddings. You will learn a lot. If this is a one-shot deal, then see the paragraph above.

No one is more demanding or with higher expectations than someone who is getting a free ride. (Just look at our nation of welfare recipients.) After we had tested our lighting at the planned location, they moved the wedding to a hotel, so we went to the rehearsal to check the lighting again. The wedding party was an hour late arriving for their rehearsal. We had a nice visit with the minister and the caterer.

Fortunately, we had done extensive research and had our own critical picture list. The person most knowledgable of procedures and schedules at the actual wedding was the hired DJ. The time had been pushed back an hour because of the change of venue, but the minister, the DJ, and the caterer did not get the word. Also, they needed a sign and maps posted at the original location, because most of the guests had not been called. Guess who had to drive over and put up the sign?

Meanwhile, they wanted pre-wedding pics of the groomsmen, bridesmaids, bride getting ready, etc. but some of the party were late--a detail they didn't mention until after we had taken those pictures and then found we needed to do most of them over again when the tardy participants arrived.

We were there with our 20D and RXT and had worked out our spots during the rehearsal. Their original plan to have disposable cameras out on the tables during the reception (same room as the ceremony) was implemented by putting the cameras out before the wedding, unknown to us, so there were guests during the ceremony popping off flash pictures from every direction, standing in the background behind the bridesmaids, behind the bride and groom--generally assuring that none of the pictures we took would be clear of guest clutter. The layout of everything pretty much precluded any chanceof using shallow DOF to keep the clutter out of focus.

We had instructed the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the bride and groom about walking more slowly and pausing at a set location for a picture. Most forgot, and the rest had guests with disposable cameras in the background. My wife was shooting the main pictures of the wedding party walking up the isle. The minister was OK with flash, so she had a Lumiquest Softbox on a Stroboframe Press-T bracket. Partway though the walking up the aisle by the bridesmaids, her 580EX stopped working, so she called me over to finish that part of the ceremony with my RXT and 420EX on top (no good for portrait orientation). [Note. I found the 20D problem a few minutes later--she had not screwed the flash down securely to the Canon Off-camera shoe cord, and it had lost its connection.]

After ceremony posed pictures. We had our list, but the only place to shoot was a corner of the ceremony/reception room, so everyone was mingling, and it was a major project to get the right people in the right place. This shooting took twice as long as it should have. The limited space made it impossible to get light behind the people. Oh, and let's not forget that one of the DJ's speakers was blaring in our ears all the while. Our pre-ceremony testing (during that extra hour) showed the best results--minimized shadows--were with the 580EX/Softbox on the Stroboframe with the 420EX/Minisoftbox slave on a light stand about 18" to the left and front of the main light and pointed up at about 75 degrees.

In spite of our pleading, "Don't do anything without calling one of us first!" only luck put us in position for cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet and garter, and toasting each other. Instead of under the nicely lighted hotel entrance, their limo was parked off to the side in the dark, making flash the only light on the car or wedding couple.

Next add the six hours I've spent reviewing, culling, editing, fixing facial blemishes, cleaning up marred walls in the group shots, and then uploading to Ofoto, and the thing I got most out of this endeavor is even more respect for professional wedding photographers. I wonder how many weddings end up being directed by the photographer who is the only one who knows what to do. I'll bet it's many, if not most.

My absolute reply to the next time I'm asked to shoot a wedding for "poor people", who can't afford a professional photographer (but seem to be able to afford a hotel ballroom, DJ, limo, and caterer) is, "No, wedding pictures are too important to be trusted to amateurs. Save money somewhere else...not on the photography!" My advice to anyone asked to shoot a wedding? Just say no!

Oh yes. I almost forgot. The 420EX as a slave for the 580EX was not bad. I just had to make sure I had a fairly unobstructed path for the infrared signal. If were doing a lot of this, I might invest in radio control. There is a nice feature built in to the 580EX for testing the slave communication, though. If you press the test button on the back of the 580EX, it fires the 580EX, and then about a second later, it fires the slave. That delay makes it easier to be sure the slave is firing. Since the 420EX does not have FEC built in, it is a little more difficult to get the lighting just right--it takes more moving around and diffusion techniques on the slave to avoid excessive light. A pair of 580EXs would probably be much better.
wburychka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 2005, 9:57 PM   #9
Member
 
Vlad the Impaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 59
Default

:OWow....

My father used to shoot weddings and he said he hated it. Yikes! Well, I already committed myself to this one and I am getting paid pretty well for it, so I'll give it my best. From the sounds of it though, it may be my last.

Would it be too much to ask you to share your shot list? I've never done this before and want to make sure I don't miss anything important.
Vlad the Impaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 28, 2005, 1:11 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 91
Default

We shot our first wedding last weekend and I have to agree with wburychka. We got a measely $200 for about 12 hours of on-site work. I am basically doing no post processing at that price. I am doing a few prints for people because they like my stuff on Epson's Velvet Fine Art paper.

I too will say no in the future unless I get more practice with my own children and can charge a lot more money. Now I see why the pros charge so much.

dboarder is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:46 PM.