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05-31-2011, 08:51 AM   #16
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Greg, thank you for the advice of not going for the FA43LTD. It would be too close in FL to my other lenses, plus I love my FA50, so it wouldn't get used to its fullest.

Twitch, I have heard only great things about the FA77. Since I recently ordered a used Pentax SLR, so I can try out film as well as not being limited by crop factor, I will be able to get an idea of how my lenses perform on film to see if I like any certain lengths. It might be I fall in love with the 77mm length (through my Viv zoom) and make me want the FA77 even more. Also, thank you for the advice about seeing the tripod in the store. Which store did you see it at? The only store in my area that carries tripods, without going to a specialty shop, is Fry's, but they don't carry any of the big names like Manfrotto.

Edgar, I absolutely love the recommendation about strobes. How would I use them? Would I need triggers or slaves or would they work like a normal flash? I love the examples you have provided and can easily think of the multitude of applications I could use them for, not just portraits. I love illuminating subjects, be it an inanimate object or a living subject, and could really have a lot of fun with strobes.

05-31-2011, 09:14 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mr.b.snowden Quote
Since I recently ordered a used Pentax SLR, so I can try out film as well
Pentax DA 21/35/70 Limited Lens on 35mm film SLR

DA 70 works fine on 35mm film.
05-31-2011, 10:01 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Oh dear, if I can use the DA line of lens on film, then I think I might seriously have some serious LBA and confusion of what I want, hitting sooner than later. With the P30T coming in a day or two, I don't know if I want to increase my lens collection to have one particular lens dedicated to the film camera or not (like my Helios 44M-4 w/ adapter). This will be too much fun, other than buying/developing film.
05-31-2011, 12:24 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mr.b.snowden Quote
Edgar, I absolutely love the recommendation about strobes. How would I use them? Would I need triggers or slaves or would they work like a normal flash?
I was in your same position when I bought my first strobe, and wasn't even completely sure how to trigger it. It's actually pretty simple though.

Strobes can generally be triggered two ways.

1) They have a "sync" socket. It can also be called a "PC" socket. (I believe this term is from film days before PC generally stood for personal computers.) On the strobe, it looks like a 1/4" headphone jack. On the camera, it looks like a small metal snap. So you would run a wire from the camera to the strobe and trigger it that way. These days, only professional digital cameras still have the PC socket. Entry level DSLRs never have it.

2) Most strobes have a flash "slave" built in. The slave is basically a light sensor. It can detect when another flash goes off, and in that same instant it will set the strobe off. In theory, it sounds like that would cause a delay, but in practice the whole process is so fast that the flashes all go off seemingly simultaneously.

It's possible to use the flash on your camera to set off strobes, but then you run into problems with your camera flash interfering with lighting. You can still get that deer-in-the-headlights look complete with red-eye.

These days, most people use radio triggers to set off their strobes. Generally, the trigger set consists of the transmitter, which slides into the hotshoe of the camera, and the receiver, which plugs into the sync socket on the strobe. Whenever you take a picture, the hotshoe radio transmitter sends a signal to the radio receiver on the strobe, and the receiver sets off the strobe.

You can get expensive, professional radio triggers, such as PocketWizards, that will set you back a few hundred bucks. But for hobbyists/amateurs who don't have a lot to spend, there are inexpensive Chinese radio triggers available for under $50. They don't have the range or the same reliability as the pro models, but for most people they are fine.

Here's a set similar to mine on eBay for $14.39 shipped:

T1F Radio Remote Flash Trigger f Studio Flash 4 channel | eBay

I often use up to four strobes when shooting portraits, but I only have a single receiver. The other strobes are triggered by their slaves. If there were greater distances between the strobes involved or a lot of ambient light then my slaves might have trouble registering the flash, in which case I would probably need receivers for each strobe. But in my home studio the slaves work great.

QuoteOriginally posted by mr.b.snowden Quote
I love the examples you have provided and can easily think of the multitude of applications I could use them for, not just portraits. I love illuminating subjects, be it an inanimate object or a living subject, and could really have a lot of fun with strobes.
You're right, the strobes have all kinds of potential uses beyond portrait photography. I buy and sell things on eBay and Craigslist in order to help fund my photography and home theater hobbies, so I use my lighting to take a lot of product shots for the items I sell. I have found that having large, good-looking photos often helps my item sell for more than other identical items. Sometimes my items sell for much more than they have any right to!

Here are some examples from items I have sold recently:









And sometimes I use the modelling lights of my strobes (the constant, incandescent light that most strobes have) in order to light the scene, essentially using them as hot-lights. Although I'm not using the flash-function of the strobes in these cases, I am still able to take advantage of the light modifiers such as soft-boxes and umbrellas.

I usually do this when I'm shooting products that feature LED lights or some kind of LCD screen that I want to show up in the picture. If I were to fire the strobes, the much dimmer LEDs or LCD screens of the products would be completely overpowered and would not be lit up in the picture. Using the strobes in this manner requires much longer shutter speeds (sometimes in excess of 1 or 2 seconds, depending on the aperture I'm using), and this is when I use a tripod. When I'm firing the strobes, I don't bother with a tripod.

Here are some examples of pictures I took using the strobes as hot-lights with very slow shutter-speeds:





And on this last picture, I was using the stobes as hot lights with a slow shutter speed, and at the same time I was using a regular MAG light flashlight to "paint" the recessed lettering on the side of the mixer, causing the lettering to pop. By "painting", I mean I was shinning the flash light on the side of the mixer, waving it back and forth, essentially "painting" it with light. This is one advantage to using a tripod and a slow shutter speed:



So yes, using strobes opens up all kinds of useful and creative photographic possibilities. Just let me know if you have any more questions!


Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 05-31-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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