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10-18-2016, 02:29 AM   #16
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Thanks! I'll have a look.

Would you say using multiple flashes are OK, or would a smaller strobe be better?

10-18-2016, 02:49 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Would you say using multiple flashes are OK, or would a smaller strobe be better?
This is dependent entirely upon the subject matter, but the greater the number of lights you have will increase the range and styles of lighting you can create. I think three lights is a good place to start for basic strobist work: you can have two lights to light the subject with the third illuminating the background for some interest.

I personally have worked with just a single light all the way up to a 27 speedlight set up*. At the moment for basic outdoor work I have been using two Godox AD180s along with two AD360s. However I like to use large flash modifiers - it is harder to work with small modifiers as their quality of light is harder and their optimal working distance is shorter compared to larger modifiers. So if you work with inexperienced models they might find it intimidating or distracting having a 40cm soft box 60cm away from them**.

I have worked with Westcott modifiers [ zeppelin 90cm and 150cm] and I have students that use SMDV octoboxes with great success. They are suited for rapid set up and easy break-down, and the small modifiers are well suited for use on a hand held boom.

* I have also worked in ambient light studios, where the sun is the light source and skillfully placed reflectors and flags are used to manipulate the light and its quality..working like that is actually a lot of fun.

**Rule of the thumb for getting the softest light from a flash modifier is have the subject positioned at or near the diagonal area of the modifier [ diagonal of a 40cm softbox is 60cm] - at distances closer than that: the light gets too contrasty. But position the subject further than that, and the light becomes too hard.

---------- Post added 2016-10-18 at 08:30 PM ----------

Also, If you are working in small spaces, grids for light sources can be extremely useful for controlling stray light. Some photographers never think to put grids on their softboxes - but it is a useful technique when you are working in a small area and only need a small soft controlled pool of light.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-18-2016 at 05:25 PM.
10-18-2016, 12:46 PM   #18
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Thanks Digitalis, an interesting post, some helpful pointers. I do now want to look at getting a gridded softbox. Often it is so easy to get bogged down with the technicalities of flash triggering, compatibility and exposure controls that it is easy to neglect the most important part of it all .... The lighting quality and direction.
10-18-2016, 02:30 PM   #19
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Those WITSTRO flashes look pretty nice and would probably suit the kind of things I'd want to do with athletes outdoors.
Has anyone had luck making HSS work wirelessly with them? How about with two of them?

10-18-2016, 05:59 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
. I do now want to look at getting a gridded softbox.
Be warned: grids* can be expensive, and not all manufacturers provide grids with their light modifiers [Elinchrom,Bowens,Profoto are all guilty of this] - some are sold as an optional extra from the manufacturer which often command outrageous price. There is also the method of attachment of the grids, some are attached by velcro into a recessed hood of the softbox, some softboxes do not have a hood and therefore require the grid to be attached by elastic that fits around the front scrim on the softbox.

Personally I don't like the velcro attached grids, they tend to sag a lot [especially in the center] which doesn't look good and probably doesn't help with their light efficiency. The elastic ones hold their shape better and stay taut against the front scrim - but they have to be carefully made to fit the soft box in question. There is a third option, which I work with,** are grids from lighttools their grids are custom made with collapsible metal frames and fit perfectly. Lighttools make grids with different cell sizes to suit to just about every light modifier produced by a major manufacturer on the market, and they are built to last...but they are expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Those WITSTRO flashes look pretty nice and would probably suit the kind of things I'd want to do with athletes outdoors.
The set of Witstro flash units I have been working with have been excellent. I have only had minor issues with battery life, and the transmitter: which after a few quick e-mails to my supplier were remedied in less than a week.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Has anyone had luck making HSS work wirelessly with them? How about with two of them?
Canon and Nikon can use wireless HSS through the basic 433Mhz FT-16 transmitter, though for a lot of my outdoor portraiture I use the Leica S2 which doesn't need HSS***. To the best of my knowledge Pentax HSS with the Witstro flash units is effectively a no-go.

*also can be referred to as egg crates or honeycomb grids - they are all the same thing. They often come in a range of cell sizes ranging from 60 degrees to 30 and sometimes even as narrow as 5 degrees. Like all flash modifiers there can be a loss of light output when these are used.
** I thought I would mention this for the sake of disclosure. Before I was working commercially, I worked with cheaply made grids before..I hated it. When I started working full-time as a commercial photographer getting properly made grids was a priority. I have used Lighttools grids for about 10 years now. I still use the original ones I bought, but since then I have added more of them to my working set.
*** The basic FT-16 transmitter has difficulty with synchronizing at shutter speeds above 1/250th - so I use pocketwizards for their reliability, but I keep the FT-16 at hand when I want to change a flash units power level remotely.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-18-2016 at 06:13 PM.
10-18-2016, 11:47 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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I use Godox AD180 and AD360 flashes and I think they are the best value for money (I'm surprised by how well this flashes are build). When it comes to modifiers, I use large umbrelas (152cm) or deep octa 120cm, and sometimes only the small reflector that comes with the flash (see the images from below). The light from the bulb is different from the light of the speedlight when softboxes or octoboxes are used because of the bulb who spread the light evenly and not in the front as speedlights does.

I also use backpacks as counterweights to secure the light stands when I'm on location. I never worry about running out of the batteries with these flashes. They last quite long. You can use FT-16 trigger to control the power of the flashes, but no HSS control. I use a ND filter instead of HSS and I still do that when I use Canon, despite that for Canon there is HSS control with X1-T trigger or with XT-32 trigger.






Last edited by Dan Rentea; 10-19-2016 at 01:16 AM.
10-19-2016, 01:44 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
The light from the bulb is different from the light of the speedlight when softboxes or octoboxes are used because of the bulb who spread the light evenly and not in the front as speedlights does.
I agree, there is actually a very clear difference between Bare-bulb and speedlight flash light.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
I also use backpacks as counterweights to secure the light stands when I'm on location.
I use refillable shot bags, my equipment bags often carry some pretty expensive lenses so using them as weight bags where there is a chance a heavy light stand could fall on them isn't a good idea.
10-19-2016, 05:01 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I use refillable shot bags, my equipment bags often carry some pretty expensive lenses so using them as weight bags where there is a chance a heavy light stand could fall on them isn't a good idea.
I know what you mean. Take a look at the first image (at the behind the scenes image). I have laid on the ground the Think Tank backpack where the expensive stuff is.

On the blue Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L backpack I have the tripod attached and it weighs 4-5kg. On the Pentax backpack which is attached to the other light stand I have accesories (removable batteries for AD360 and some other "non" important stuff). That backpack weighs around 6kg. Both backpacks secure the light stands pretty well on a day without too much wind.

10-19-2016, 09:22 AM   #24
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A good starter kit for location shooting

This is what I would recommend:
1) speedlite Metz 52-AF1
2) modifier Westcott Rapidbox 26" Octa with deflector plate
3) Flash trigger (2) Cactus V6 IIs

The Metz is a good unit that allows HSS. The modifier creates a beautiful, soft directional light for single person portraits. I would not use this without the cover diffuser- I and others have found it creates a donut- hole shaped lighting pattern. The Cactus triggers allow you to use off camera HSS flash to permit open aperture, out of focus background shots to give your shots that cinematic feel.

I feel this is a good one-light kit. So far, with all the location work I've done, I've only used one light. If you work by yourself, you rarely have the time to do a 2 or three light outdoor location shot.
10-19-2016, 11:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by dfp771 Quote
This is what I would recommend:
1) speedlite Metz 52-AF1
2) modifier Westcott Rapidbox 26" Octa with deflector plate
3) Flash trigger (2) Cactus V6 IIs

The Metz is a good unit that allows HSS. The modifier creates a beautiful, soft directional light for single person portraits. I would not use this without the cover diffuser- I and others have found it creates a donut- hole shaped lighting pattern. The Cactus triggers allow you to use off camera HSS flash to permit open aperture, out of focus background shots to give your shots that cinematic feel.

I feel this is a good one-light kit. So far, with all the location work I've done, I've only used one light. If you work by yourself, you rarely have the time to do a 2 or three light outdoor location shot.
If you read what the OP has in terms of flashes, you will find that he has:

1 x Metz AF-2 58
2 x Yungnuo YN 560
2 x Godox TT660II

but he wants something more powerfull.
10-20-2016, 12:54 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
he wants something more powerfull.
...The Godox Witstro AD180 and AD360s seem to fit the bill.
10-20-2016, 04:34 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
...The Godox Witstro AD180 and AD360s seem to fit the bill.
Yes. I'll also say that AD360 it's a better option than AD180 because:

- it has more power
- it seems that Godox has abandoned AD180 flashes since they didn't released the version 2 of that flash (I just bought another 2 spare bulbs for AD180 flashes, just in case)
10-20-2016, 05:50 AM   #28
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But there is also an advantage in having the AD 180s

-longer battery life 450 shots Vs 900 - the extra stop in power output comes at a cost.
-faster recycle times 2.6s vs 4.5s @ 1:1 power. Use the dual port adapter cable and those recycle times can be cut in half.
10-20-2016, 09:51 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Those WITSTRO flashes look pretty nice and would probably suit the kind of things I'd want to do with athletes outdoors.
Has anyone had luck making HSS work wirelessly with them?
The Cactus V6II supports HSS with Pentax and although most Wistro flashes do not support remote power control with the V6II, they do support manually engaging their HSS mode.

This means one can remote trigger such Wistro flashes with an on-camera V6II in HSS mode. The easiest receiver solution that also supports remote group control without an on-camera "trigger stack" is to use V6II receivers connected to the Wistro flashes.

An alternative is to use Godox radio receivers and putting the respective Godox transmitter on top of the on-camera V6II. This approach may not work with some of the Godox triggers; there are various reports on the Cactus community forum what works and what does not.
10-20-2016, 10:28 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The Cactus V6II supports HSS with Pentax and although most Wistro flashes do not support remote power control with the V6II, they do support manually engaging their HSS mode.

This means one can remote trigger such Wistro flashes with an on-camera V6II in HSS mode. The easiest receiver solution that also supports remote group control without an on-camera "trigger stack" is to use V6II receivers connected to the Wistro flashes.

An alternative is to use Godox radio receivers and putting the respective Godox transmitter on top of the on-camera V6II. This approach may not work with some of the Godox triggers; there are various reports on the Cactus community forum what works and what does not.
Thanks!

I have a pair of the Acon triggers, Have any of you tried the Acon + Wistro combination?
It seems like it should work but I'd love to hear if anyone has experience with them on our cameras.
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