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Old Sep 8, 2004, 7:44 AM   #11
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minutephotos.com wrote:
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How would you trigger 550EX flash to meter the light?
Most flashmeter will have 2 modes: cord and non-cord. In non-cord mode you would hit the measure button on the meter and then fire your flash manually (which you can do with the test button on the 550EX or AEL button on the camera)... You can then control their power with the ratio button as described above



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I really like being able to have my light come from a different direction than my camera location.
You can get any hot-shoe to hot-shoe extender cords, B&H or Adorama carry them in all kind of lenghts



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By the time you purchase a tripod, umbrella, sync cabels, etc. you will have spent more money and still won't have the power, diffuser capabilities or control of a studio strobe.
Wouldn't you have to spend this money anyway regardless of which way you go! If DanTheCanonMan already has two 550EX wouldn't this option be cheaper?
http://www.lumiquest.com/


BTW if you use the 550EX as they are intended to work, then it should be hassle free all through E-TTL with nothing to meter or cords to hook up, and still adjust their ratio (or exposure compensation) by groups from a single source: the camera. "Also, a modeling flash can be fired so you can see the flash lighting effects before taking the picture."
http://eosseries.ifrance.com/eosseri...ork_ssfil.html
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Old Sep 8, 2004, 3:58 PM   #12
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Hey NHL,don't take me wrong I agree with what you are saying.But, when I tried a simular configuration with a Sigma 500 DG Super and my 420 EX using the wireless Master/ Slave features and all E-ttl (no meter). Iwas not satisfied with the results. Maybe this will work better for DantheCanonMan, since he is using all Canon flashes and better flashes the 550EX.

But, I test the lighting with my meter at the location of the model. If the camera is on a tripod with the 550EX flash attached on top (no sync cable from flash to meter). How would one hold the meter in front of the model and simutaneously press the flash button at the camera? Maybe I just don't know all of the features of my flash meter yet but it seems to me like two totally different worlds. E-TTL Flashes vs Studio Strobes. Auto vs Manual. I know the 550EX and Sigma can both do manual, where the 420EX is auto only.

Ilooked intogoing with an E-ttl system until I learned "through this web site" that Studio Strobes can also be wireless with Pocket Wizzards. The Sekonic has a pocket wizzard attachment that can wirelessly trigger each strobe individually from the model location.Alian bees even has a portable powere system(Vagabond) so you can take the whole thing on the road bringingyour own power.

So, as you can see I have made my choice I will keep my portable flash, but for an in home studio I would definately recommend strobes. "1 to 2 monolights rated @ 160 to 320 w/s with 2 umbrellas is perfect start. The Nikon AS-15 PC/hotshoe works great on Canon Digital Rebel".
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Old Sep 9, 2004, 8:55 AM   #13
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IMO we agree. It's two different beasts, Manual vs Automatic, but the same principle should apply to both.

Manual:
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If the camera is on a tripod with the 550EX flash attached on top (no sync cable from flash to meter). How would one hold the meter in front of the model and simutaneously press the flash button at the camera?
Can the model hold it for you?
On most flashmeters when you hit the measure button the meter will wait for the flash. On the Gossen, the flash trigger is a separate button, but I believe you can disconnect the sync cord on yours... you can then fire the flash from the camera. That's also how the "cumulative" function work and how a meter will accumulate up the flash bursts as you fire away from each location!


Automatic:
No flashmeter required, just shoot... but there's a caveat -> You still have to understand how the camera's metering work. With your Drebel the flash metering "bounced" around the various AF focusing points as the camera picked where it decided to focus. If an AF point lands on a white shirt, it'll tend to underexpose. If the AF system decides to pick a shadow areas like dark hair instead then it will overexpose.
The trick is to use the AEL lock which forces the metering to the 9% center area of the viewing screen or flip the DRebel to the manual mode (the flashes are still in automatic E-TTL however) which forces the camera to use center metering mode instead:
http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#digital :idea:


Automatic vs Manual:
There's a reason as to why they call Studio strobes: They belong in the Studio. You may think it's portable with a DC supply, but you still need a case for each head, bags for the stands, umbrella/reflectors, and the power cord/Vagabond to carry around in a minivan. It also takes time to set-up (and tear down).

Three 550EX/500DG with their Lumiquest diffusers fit nicely in the same camera bag (and they come with built-in stand)! Granted the Alien Bees will have more power, but does it matter if you are shooting one/two persons in a small room or away from the studio?

You can still be creative since both system will do ratio, but much more convenient and easier with wireless E-TTL though. You may have wireless feature with the Pocket Wizard, but don't you need to re-compute manually? What happen when you change a stand location (or the composition)?
With E-TTL you just move the secondary head (or heads) and the camera will meter correctly for the new position, or you can vary their ratio all from the camera (and watching the strobing modeling lamps) :?

Do both, I did...
BTW did we forgot about the cheapest and easiest 3rd alternative: Halogen "hot" lamps, which are excellent for warmer rendition?
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Old Sep 9, 2004, 3:23 PM   #14
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The trick is to use the AEL lock which forces the metering to the 9% center area of the viewing screen or flip the DRebel to the manual mode (the flashes are still in automatic E-TTL however) which forces the camera to use center metering mode instead: http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#digital
Great articleit is one of the best I readso far. Someone else had commented on masking the pins on the 420ex to disable the preflash.If I could get that darn flash to work the way I need it to I wouldn't be so against it. I will try the steps outlinedin the article and get back to you with my outcomes.

I've had times when auto / E-ttl has failed me on important shots, probably because of failing to use FEL. I can't think of all of these things while shooting or remember how to get to these features without whipping out the manual. Now I understand why people pay so much for pro cameras. That jog dial on the 10D makes getting to theses features while shooting much easier than on the Drebel. I was nervous simply turning my camera off the little green box to manual which I had to do to shoot RAW.

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Three 550EX/500DG with their Lumiquest diffusers fit nicely in the same camera bag (and they come with built-in stand)! Granted the Alien Bees will have more power, but does it matter if you are shooting one/two persons in a small room or away from the studio?
Sure I would like a smaller, portable, faster to set up wirelesspackage. If theSigma's could give me simular results to the strobes I would love that. I would not mind at all doingthis with the Sigma products because of their low price, andcomparable features to 550EX. The question is does it really work and is it reliable?
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Do both, I did... BTW did we forgot about the cheapest and easiest 3rd alternative: Halogen "hot" lamps, which are excellent for warmer rendition?
I will probably eventually end up doing both. But the AB's come with carry bags for the strobes and I purchase a lightstand carry bag which will hold three stands and my umbrellas. I purchased b800's for enough power to shoot outdoors.

I have a set of Smith Victor hotlamps, (not halogen), they're O.K... But not nearly as bright as the AB's. I have to use slower shutter speeds and wide aperture. With the strobes I like to be around an F8 for sharp detail and DOF.

My main interest is to learn photography and lighting and to invest in equipment that will grow with me over the years even if I switch from Canon to Nikon or digital to film. I am focused on really learning the basics first by starting off with everything in manual.
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