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Old Aug 25, 2004, 2:52 PM   #11
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Kalypso wrote:
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Some people use histogram to determine exposure, but that is not practical, too much guess work involved.
Hogwash...if you understand how a histogram works, there is no guesswork involved!

Absolutely!!! everyone know how read the histogram, if they don't, don't bother to buy DSLR. Can you honestly tell me by looking at the historgram, you can tell exactly the exposure is under/over by exact 1/3 stop? 1/2 stop or 1 stop and so on?, or you just proceed and allow trial errors. What I means, the most simple way to determine the exposure for multi flash works is using the flash meter, there is no guess works involve, no confusing, no paranoid..a bs...



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Old Aug 25, 2004, 3:44 PM   #12
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KCan wrote:
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:idea:I am not 100% sure , but I suspect that if the 4 small pins of the canon hotshoe are isolated (just with a thin plastic sheet), the canon flash will burst in manual mode (full power, no preflash)

At your risk, of course, don't blame me if smoke gets in your eyes
... Thoses engineers do get creative do they? You're right, it will work too. As to controlling the flash output power, one can always re-use the same masking tape for isolating thoses rear pins... on the flash head!
:-):-):-)

Didn't we go through this before already in the old forum?
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 4:08 PM   #13
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Recently, I discovered an excellent light masking material: it's the black seal you have to remove from a laser printer cartridge before use. for the systemD's guys

(But a full flash burst can melt plastic, damage CDs etc… if too close)



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Old Aug 25, 2004, 4:25 PM   #14
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KCan


IMO a flashmeter is not really required in a studio setup... After all one is in a "controlled" environment:
1. You basically have your main strobes which can be set @ "fixed" power and your light modifiers, umbrella, diffusers, etc.
2. The distance of the lightstands to subject to play with
3. The aperture of the camera

You may use the flashmeter once initially, but most shoots afterward in the same studio is pretty the same, much more intuitive and all played by ratio: distance, f-stop, etc. I have a couple of Gossen flashmeters but didn't get to use them much lately... After all being able to review the shot (with the histogram) is of great help with digital!
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 5:18 PM   #15
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NHL,



I would agree with you if the condition 1, 2 and 3 are met and with single flash head, knowing the guide number of the flash head, the distant from subject to camera etc...but I totallly disagree if multi- flash heads are used, all you play without the flash meter is guess works, and if you have time to mess with that method, yes, you can achieve some good results. For what I know until today, no professional or advanced studio work photographer will do their work without the flash meter, indeed, 90% of outdoor commercial shots are with studio flashes and they're using flash meter. I can look at the histogram and know immediately what adjusment for the better next shot, but I won't, my flash meter will tell me exactly what I need to do, in case of fill in flash, it will also tell me what % of flash light and existing light and how I can modify the exposure to get the lithgting effects that I want. Digital photography will not eliminate the use of flash meters, in fact if you're serious about your work, you need to use it more often.



Just my .02 cents



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Old Aug 25, 2004, 6:13 PM   #16
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Like I said: "You may use the flashmeter once initially, but most shoots afterward in the same studio is pretty much the same".

It's much simpler than anyone thinks: http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1916.htm
Beside I rather shoot than taking flash measurements... It's much more fun! :-):-):-)
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 6:50 PM   #17
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Problem clearly defined

I called Ailen Bees Tech Support and they confirmed the pre-flash that goes of a few mili-seconds before the main flash is the problem. This small pre-flashis setting offthe Ailen Bees strobe a few mili-secondstoo early.During this pre-flash which measure existing light, the bees fire making the camera think there is plenty of available light. However, the Aileen Bees is not sensitive enough to notice there are actually two different flashes comming from the 420EX and doesn't fire again when the 420EX main flash goes off.When the main flash goes off on the 420EX it is reduced because it read the bright flash from the bees during its pre-flash thus the pictures are too dark. When I increased the power on the Bees my pictures got darker, again the pre-flash read more light so it reduced the 420EX flash even more. You can not turn off E-ttl on the 420EX it is full auto always.

Solutions?

I have purchased a PC hotshoe converter and this did help the situation. However, I would really like to be able to use the Alien Bee as my key light and the 420EX as a fill.I like the idea of masking off the extra pins on the420EX to make it dumd no pre-flash.

I would like it even more if I could get the 420EX off the camera and onto a tripod.I think I can buy a hot-shoe with a tripod hole and a pc cabel connector or some kind of a slave hotshoe. I would then use the PC to hotshoe converter on the camera attached to the B400.

New Delima

My next delima is flash meter vs histogram. I am one of those novice users who baught a DSLR, Adobe Photo Shop CS, I use Adobe RAW, and other programs but do not know how to read a histogram. :?

I would rather learn how to read the histogram than buy a flash meter (for now). I know as I get more Alien Bees I will eventually need a flash meter. I will also eventually get the Alien Bees wireless kit. In the mean time someone had a link to an in-expensive wireless system on Ebay that was only $49. This seems better than the PC sync cord because I sometime shoot with my 55-200 tele-lens for head shots maybe 15' away.
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 7:54 PM   #18
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minutephotos.com wrote:
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I like the idea of masking off the extra pins on the420EX to make it dumd no pre-flash.

I would like it even more if I could get the 420EX off the camera and onto a tripod.I think I can buy a hot-shoe with a tripod hole and a pc cabel connector or some kind of a slave hotshoe. I would then use the PC to hotshoe converter on the camera attached to the B400.
In this case, you don't have to worry anymore about masking the extra pins anyway, just get the generic (not Canon dedicated) hotshoe-PC-hotshoe combination extension which don't have any other electric connection except the ground and the center pin.

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Old Aug 25, 2004, 10:40 PM   #19
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This is the main reason why I recommended everyone to get the Sigma EF500DG Super over the 420EX!

Aren't you in much better shape in the 1st place with the Sigma? How are you going to control the 420EX as a fill ratio with no manual adjustment? One can increase/decrease the Alien Bee by keeping the 420EX constant, but then you are constrained to follow with the camera's aperture!
The Sigma will let you (1) control its output power, (2) sync directly with the B800 with no hot-shoe adapter or wireless system/extension cord to buy and (3) it can be slaved to any other strobe with its buit-in photo detector!

IMO Ebay the 420EX and get a Sigma, it's even more powerful for approximately the same cost! Right now you're just "Band-Aid"ing the 420EX to overcome its problems... Hold-on what about the recycle time on that poor flash at full blast (with the Sigma you can shoot as fast as you please @ fractional power)? :-):-):-)
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Old Aug 26, 2004, 3:30 AM   #20
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I am not real happy with my decision to buy the 420EX. It is why I got the Ailen Bee because it doesn't recycle fast enough to keep up with my camera. I don't regret not getting the 550EX, too expensive for what you get. I will keep the 420EX for mobile work even if I buy a Sigma I will just slave the 420EX off it.

My goal is to purchase the Ailen Bee B400 backdrop kit, and one more B800. I don't like the harsh shadows or red-eyecaused by on camera flash or batteries. I would prefer to use the bees with some kind of wireless kit and maybe a vagabond battery system.

Someone explained to me that when using a histogram as a light meter what you are looking for is whether the peak is to the left or right of center, Left means too dark right means over exposed and a nice mountain shape in the middle is good. Is this acurate Info?
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