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08-13-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
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Off camera flash setup.

Hey everyone.
I was just wondering what would be the best setup for an off camera flash.
My main usage is really experimenting with indoor photography, wedding photography and general still-life.
I would think the setup would include something like this: An AF540 or AF360 flash, A hotshoe adapter and an extension cord.
Correct me if I'm mistaken and any other advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Bertie

08-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
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It would help to know which camera body you will be using. If it's capable of using its on board flash as a wireless master or controller, you will only need either of the two flashes you mention if you keep them within about 4 metres of the body. If the body is not wireless capable, you'll need two flashes, one on the hot shoe to act as wireless master/controller, and one as a wireless slave.

Otherwise I'd advise a radio trigger solution. Either Cactus V5's, Seculine Twinlink, or, if you have a serious amount of money to spend, Pocket Wizards.
08-13-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by guppy350 Quote
I would think the setup would include something like this: An AF540 or AF360 flash, A hotshoe adapter and an extension cord.
For off-camera flash the AF 360 should do (unless you need more power). For on-camera operation I wouldn't recommend it as it lacks the ability to swivel.

Rather than an extension cord, I'd use radio triggers such as the Cactus V4 (lower range) or the Cactus V5 (bit more expensive). You'll be much more flexible with triggers like these.

Once you are using non-TTL triggers, though, you cannot use automatic exposure anymore, you will have to use manual settings on the flash(es). Many strobists prefer that mode. It means that you can buy flashes that are much, much cheaper than the Pentax models. You need the latter for automatic exposure on camera or with an extension cord.
08-13-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mannesty Quote
It would help to know which camera body you will be using. If it's capable of using its on board flash as a wireless master or controller, you will only need either of the two flashes you mention if you keep them within about 4 metres of the body. If the body is not wireless capable, you'll need two flashes, one on the hot shoe to act as wireless master/controller, and one as a wireless slave.

Otherwise I'd advise a radio trigger solution. Either Cactus V5's, Seculine Twinlink, or, if you have a serious amount of money to spend, Pocket Wizards.
I've got a pentax k5. And really my budget would be as far below 700/$1200 as possible.

08-13-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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The K5 onboard flash can work as a wireless master or controller so an AF360FGZ or AF540FGZ would allow you to work with the hot shoe flash off-camera up to around 4 metres from the camera in wireless mode using no other accessories except perhaps a diffuser.

If you only want to use an external flash off-camera, and want to place it greater than 4 metres away from the camera where wireless control might be erratic or unusable, there are much cheaper flashes available.

In this case, you can use just about any old manual flash that has almost no automation, because you'll be using it in manual mode with radio triggers. None of the flashes P-TTL/TTL functions will work, but if the flash has an auto exposure mode (the AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ both do), this will still work.

I often use my AF500FTZ flash (TTL & manual settings, but no auto exposure) with my Seculine Twinlink radio trigger/receiver.

A set of 1 x Seculine Twinlink Tx and 1 x Rx (works up to about 100 metres) costs just over 100.00, an AF540FGZ should cost no more than 300.00 (an AF500FTZ should cost less than 100.00), so well inside your budget. I would also recommend some kind of diffuser for the flash. I use either a Sto-Fen Omnibounce or a Lumiquest Softbox. You can also use a stand, bracket to hold the flash, and a shoot through umbrella or softbox.

Cactus V4 or V5 triggers are cheaper, but the Seculine product has never misfired on me, primarily because it sends both IR and radio signals to maximise the chance of triggering the flash properly.
08-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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Thankyou very much for the advice.I will have a good think about it, and do some bargain hunting!
08-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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the setup for these shots cost under 400 and it works great, an umbrella, light stand, two flashes *yn560* and 3 triggers from gadget infinity, google them and you'll see what i'm talking about. for weddings i bring the same setup and you can see some of the shots that i took with a similar set up here
08-15-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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I use V4's (50-1xTransmit&2xRecieve)... Vivitar 285hv (70) ... Yongnuo YN560 (50)... Giottos lightstand (50)... Manfrotto umbrella holder (17) and a Westcott 43" umbrella (12ebay bargin) with no issues... (although I'd love more power...)

CTO (colour-temp-orange) gels, (infact a whole pack of different gels including CTB/CTG and assorted funky colours) and a roll of velco (duel-sided) is also worth being in your bag...

08-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mannesty Quote
Cactus V4 or V5 triggers are cheaper, but the Seculine product has never misfired on me, primarily because it sends both IR and radio signals to maximise the chance of triggering the flash properly.
The Cactus V5 have never misfired for me either.
Cactus V4, yes, because you can easily can get out of range. The range was ~15m for me (should have been closer to 30m) and that gets less if there are obstacles in the way,.

The Cactus V5, however, have such range that they have never misfired. I find the price for the Seculine Twinlink much too high unless it supports full TTL and remote flash power control.
08-16-2011, 05:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The Cactus V5 have never misfired for me either.
Cactus V4, yes, because you can easily can get out of range. The range was ~15m for me (should have been closer to 30m) and that gets less if there are obstacles in the way,.

The Cactus V5, however, have such range that they have never misfired. I find the price for the Seculine Twinlink much too high unless it supports full TTL and remote flash power control.
I would probably have bought the Cactus V5's as well, if they'd been available at the time I needed them. As always, once you have invested in a particular solution, it rarely makes sense to change.
08-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #11
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If you are using wireless triggers, I wouldn't recommend the AF360 for off-camera flash. Unless you have a trigger that will always keep the flash on, the 360 will hibernate and go into sleep mode when not in use (about 3mins?). There is no way to disable this on the flash itself and is a pain to deal with. From what I've heard, you can disable this on the AF540 and all the Metz flashes.
08-16-2011, 04:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
If you are using wireless triggers, I wouldn't recommend the AF360 for off-camera flash.
Agreed... Vivitar 285hv (Cactus now do a clone of this via GadgetInfinity) is my 'go to' for off camera flash and you can get a couple and change for the price of an AF360 giving you more options to work with...
08-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #13
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There is really no point to having a fancy p-TTL flash if you're just going to be using wireless triggers, save some money and get something manual. You could pick up 3 Yongnuo YN560s for the price of one AF360fgz and have money left over. You'd also have better manual controls, a lot more power and a head that can swivel.

I ordered my first Yongnuo last week, I've run 4 sets of Eneloops through it and it has not skipped a beat. There were QC issues with the early ones, but the latest revision seems to be great. I'm planning to pick up another one in the near future.

I also went with Yongnuo 602 triggers, which I've had for quite a while, never had a problem with them either.
08-17-2011, 06:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I also went with Yongnuo 602 triggers, which I've had for quite a while, never had a problem with them either.
Are you using them with a Pentax camera?

These triggers cannot sync at 1/180 with a Pentax camera without causing banding. The Cactus triggers (and others) can.

Another Yongnue 602 issue are the batteries. I just came across this very good comparison between the Cactus V4, Cactus V5, Yongnuo RF602 and Yongnuo RF603.

Last edited by Class A; 08-17-2011 at 07:01 AM.
08-17-2011, 06:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
These triggers cannot sync at 1/180 with a Pentax camera without causing banding
Unless you mod them as per the thread
(Just sayin....)
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