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Old Jul 6, 2006, 5:38 PM   #1
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Hello there,

I'm having a crash-course on photography here! I own a mail-order business and need to decide on a new camera & lighting set-up. We photograph clothing on dress forms. I have extremely minimal experience in this stuff (even though we've been in business nine years - and with amateur lights,terrible I know). We're planning to buy the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR 8-MP Camera w/Canon 18-55mm AF Lens.

My quandary is regardingthe lighting. I wanted to eliminate the heat of continuous lights, so I thought I must buy a strobe kit.

My sister (who is a professional photog) says strobes are too much trouble for our purposes. Instead she says I could use the on-camera flash, plus two other slave flashes (like the 580 Speedlites) set nearby on stands. She says I will not need any other equipment, becausethe Speedlites will sense when the master flash goes off... all I need to do is set the slaves to "slave" (apparently there's a switch on them).

I have read about a Speedlite Transmitter though... that would attach to the hotshoe of the camera I guess, and send signals to the 580s to flash when we need them to. Would thisset-up work without the Transmitter? That's my primary question. And my secondary one - is there a better solution to this?

I have a budget of $2,000 for both the camera & lights. The camera is about $800 including accessories, so $1200 left for lights. Any recommendations?
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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My recommendation is to listen to your sister (she's a Pro after all).And yes, Speedlite Transmitter (ST-E2) will fire the 580's, as will your cameras flash. Other things you will probably need to have are light stands and adapters to hold the Speedlights (the adapters also have umbrella holders, something else you may want to invest in).
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 12:42 PM   #3
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Hi Kalypso,

Thanks for your note! So the camera's flash would set off the speedlites... and the transmitter would too?! Please excuse my ignorance, but why buy the transmitter then? My sis guessed it might be necessary if the camera is a good distance away from the external flashes.

My sister is indeed a pro, but not at in-studio stuff. She covers photos for the Atlanta Journal and does freelance weddings (day-of-event stuff, not sittings). She is learning a bit along with me.

On the stands... I guess any stand would work? And you mention I need adapters... to fit the stand to the flash?



Thanks again!
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 5:39 PM   #4
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vvixen wrote:
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Hi Kalypso,

Thanks for your note! So the camera's flash would set off the speedlites... and the transmitter would too?! Please excuse my ignorance, but why buy the transmitter then? My sis guessed it might be necessary if the camera is a good distance away from the external flashes.

My sister is indeed a pro, but not at in-studio stuff. She covers photos for the Atlanta Journal and does freelance weddings (day-of-event stuff, not sittings). She is learning a bit along with me.

On the stands... I guess any stand would work? And you mention I need adapters... to fit the stand to the flash?



Thanks again!
The on-camera flash will trigger the Speedlights if they are set to be slaves (unless the area is very brightly lit, it may not). So will the external trigger but you won't have to fire your cameras flash & it may have a greater range (don't know why you would need that though...shooting merchandise is not that complicated). Take a look at the very 1st post in this Forum, lot's of good studio info there.

You need an adapter that will allow you to mount a standard flash on top of the light stand...like this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Any light stand should work fine.


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Old Jul 7, 2006, 5:50 PM   #5
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I really appreciate the advice... was worried I'd over-do or under-do thischoice of equipment. I will be ordering my set-up to ship Monday, thanks to your help.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 5:52 PM   #6
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Sure...we aim to please
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 1:20 PM   #7
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Kalypso wrote:

The on-camera flash will trigger the Speedlights if they are set to be slaves (unless the area is very brightly lit, it may not). So will the external trigger but you won't have to fire your cameras flash & it may have a greater range (don't know why you would need that though...shooting merchandise is not that complicated).

K - Could you clarify? I'm a bit confused by this...I bought a speedlite thinking I could useit as a slave but it does not have a photosensitive trigger. After reading the manualseveral times it seems to me that speedlites can "talk" to each other with some sort of radio signal, but my on-camera 20d flash cannot communicate with the 580ex. Orcan it??? This flash is so complicated when you take it out of "P" mode off camera LOL
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 1:29 PM   #8
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Well.....I don't use a Nikon so I don't know the particulars for their flash system. My Konica Minolta 7D let's me mount my flash on the camera turn both on & set my camera to control the flash off camera. Look in your cameras manual for the flash info...it should tell you there.
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 11:38 AM   #9
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Urbanaries, you are correct.

Like you, I have not been able to get my 30D (or 20D) to fire the 580ex as a slave using only the camera's on-board flash (in other words, sense the IR light). I also have not tried to hard to trip with IR, either, because their normal method is so very good. Perhaps vvixen's Rebel can communicate, but I doubt it.

However, the 580ex (part of Canon's flash SYSTEM) mounted on the camera (or using their transmitter unit) can remotely and automatically set and fire several CANON speedlights (430, etc.).

While you CAN buyflashes that do work as remotely fired IR slaves to the built in flash ... and I have, many times over the past 30 years (when "lascars" first became available and I made my own IR remotes), done just that or similar, my 580ex will not trip as an IR slave ... or am I missing something? (I will double check this evening)

When used as part of the Canon fully automatic flash system with the appropriate speedlights (580, 430, etc.) the canontransmitter can allow you to use the camera with NO flash, yet trip your remote flashes, and use your 580ex off-camera. Or, if you have several system flashes (and deep pockets as those flashes are not cheap), you can actually turn OFF the flash of the580ex but continue to use it as a "transmitter".

Hope this helps ... and that is one reason why those Canon flashes are not inexpensive!
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 3:04 PM   #10
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Over the past several years, I've used a Vivitar 285HV & a wein peanut as a slave flash (much cheaper than the branded models). You can trigger it (or any brand flash) with your on-camera flash or a $40.00 Interfit infrared trigger (which is what I would do...you get the same results for way less $$$).

Minolta (now Sony) is the only camera maker to allow for off camera flash without needing to have one of their flash units mounted on-camera (hgernhardtjr is correct about needing 2 Canon flashes to do the same thing). It looks like you need a master SB-800 in order to remotely fire your Nikon branded speedlights. Heck, for the cost of all those speedlights, you might as well get some Alien Bees studio strobes (they have a built in optical flash synch).
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