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10-20-2016, 05:47 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
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.
My needs can be boiled down to 3 scenarios:
1. Normal indoor low light candid type shooting. The flashes I have cover this neatly for the most part, but occasionally I'm at a venue with a very high ceiling (and far to the walls), so bouncing requires lots of power. I usually max out at 1/8 power, so I can shoot faster

2. Indoor group photos with 50-100 people. I'm pretty much covered here as well. I use 6 flashes and bounce them all from the ceiling at around 1/8 power.

3. Outdoor photography (wedding). This could be under harsh light or during a gray and dull day. Under harsh light, a single flash will barely, if at all, be noticeable. Using 3 lights as one, helps a lot and that's what I recently tried.


QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
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.
Will the Witstro's not work well with third party modifiers?

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
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.
Thanks, I'll have a closer look. Upon the first look it seems SMDV only has brackets for a single flash and that's not going to cut it for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

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.
I've done quiet a bit of shooting in studio using strobes, just not ever bought my own "studio" gear.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
You can use FT-16 trigger to control the power of the flashes, but no HSS control.
And if I wanted to non-Godox gear, I suppose that's when to use X1 receivers?

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
That backpack weighs around 6kg. Both backpacks secure the light stands pretty well on a day without too much wind.
6KG when there's not too much wind :S How much would I need for, say a 120octa at some 2m height, to keep it from tipping over in some normal at-the-beach/coast windy conditions?

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
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.
But those numbers are not with a direct comparison. If the AD 360 was set to half power, hows the recycle then, and for how many shots would the batteries last?

What matters the most is, if I should get the 180 or 360 - my impression is, I should get the 360, if I went with any of these.

I've been hesitating about Witstro since I bought some Godox flashes, where the build quality is crap. I have to use tape to keep the batteries from falling out, and the click-locking mechanism used to lock the head in place when turned, is completely gone on one flash, after only few months.

10-20-2016, 10:33 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Upon the first look it seems SMDV only has brackets for a single flash and that's not going to cut it for me.
A single AD360 will be all you need for each light modifier. Using multiple flashes doesn't make the light stronger - it just spreads out the light out over a greater area. To increase illumination further, you will need more power.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
6KG when there's not too much wind :S How much would I need for, say a 120octa at some 2m height
To stabilize something like that in moderate to gusty winds you would need a very solid studio stand with about 20Kg of stabilizing weights. A 120cm octa has a large surface area for the wind to act upon.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
If the AD 360 was set to half power, hows the recycle then, and for how many shots would the batteries last?
Less than the AD180 at full power, as the capacitors in the AD360 still have to be able to get the bigger flash bulb past the activation energy required to generate the pulse of light.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
And if I wanted to non-Godox gear, I suppose that's when to use X1 receivers?
Correct. However, you would not be able to adjust flash power through the X-1 transmitter - you will have to use whatever proprietary wireless control systems the flash units you work with use, that or you would have to change power settings manually.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Will the Witstro's not work well with third party modifiers?
The Godox witstro bare bulb flash units are extremely versatile, there are brackets that allow you to use full sized Elinchrom and Bowens modifiers. And there are plenty of third party manufacturers that make light modifiers that suit either bayonet mounting system.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
I've been hesitating about Witstro since I bought some Godox flashes, where the build quality is crap.
The AD180 and AD360 both have construction quality that is very durable, they have build quality that is IMO just as good as the Nikon SB900. They are certainly up to the rigors of commercial work. The only thing you will have to be careful with is the flash bulb itself - they are quite exposed and do not come with appropriate travel covers.




You have to buy protection caps that fit over the bulbs like this:





Thankfully they are cheap and manage to do their job very well. The AD180 and AD360 do not have battery cover doors. They do however have a rather annoying screw in ring clamp on the flash shoe, which is why I have these on my flash stands:


Manfrotto Snap Tilt head, also known as the MLH1HS. These heads are expensive: but they are quick to use ,secure and solidly built.

The two sides of the cold shoe clamp down in the sides of the flash foot when you turn the black knurled ring around the shoe, the ring also moves up and serves as a collar preventing the flash unit itself from sliding out of the shoe.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-20-2016 at 11:49 PM.
10-20-2016, 11:22 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
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.
Partially true. I can always reduce the power of the AD360 flash to match the power of the AD180 flash and get 800-900 shots with one battery. If I have to choose now, I rather spend a few more $ and get AD360 rather than risking not to find shops where to buy bulbs.

Zafar Iqbal, Digitalis has already gave you a very good answer to your questions. If there is a windy day...you are better off with an assistant than using counterweights. For a waft from time to time, a sturdy light stand with 6 kg of counterweights it's more than enough.

Last edited by Dan Rentea; 10-20-2016 at 11:31 PM.
10-20-2016, 11:38 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
risking not to find shops where to buy bulbs.
and at the end of the day having easy access to spares is important.

10-21-2016, 04:31 AM   #35
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Thanks for the answers, I really appreciate it.

Few more for now related to light stands. Many seem to be flimsy unless, as with so much else, I spend some good money but are some stands better for outdoor usage than others (weight, size, cleaning, durability/stability)?

How about using a light boom? I've used a monopod as boom and it was so-so, mostly because of the size of the otcabox, which made it a bit tricky to handle. But I'm assuming a stand wont be that much different once it needs to be moved/carried.
10-21-2016, 08:03 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Many seem to be flimsy unless
For outdoor work I use the Manfrotto 1052 BAC strands, and they are excellent. Though I'd flatly refuse to work with anything smaller than those, even with light speedlights. The 1052 BAC stands stack together in a rather elegant way which makes transporting them easy.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
How about using a light boom? I've used a monopod as boom and it was so-so, mostly because of the size of the otcabox, which made it a bit tricky to handle.
I too have used a monopod as a Boom - A word of caution, never use a carbon fibre monopod they can snap rather easily as they are really only designed to support weight at the ends.

Small modifiers work well on booms.. anything under 40cm will be fine on a modest boom*, elinchrom makes a fantastic 44cm beauty dish that I use regularly on a boom for outdoor shoots. Useful tip - beauty dishes aren't as inclined to fly away and are impervious to being deformed by strong winds unlike umbrellas. Mola make some excellent beauty dishes as well..the Manttti 110cm beauty dish is a wonderful but utterly impractical for on-location work, but the Mola Rayo, Sollo and Demi are superb for on-location work. Unlike some beauty dish manufacturers Mola make grids for all their reflectors.

* studio booms are heavier and have hand cranks that allow for control of the angle of the light modifier at the end of it. Most transportable booms are simple things without such luxuries.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-21-2016 at 08:20 AM.
10-21-2016, 09:21 AM   #37
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Just got home from some early x-mas shopping Got me AD360, extra battery, Y-splitter, modifiers and whatnot. I'm all set for the two weddings over the next two days.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
For outdoor work I use the Manfrotto 1052 BAC strands, and they are excellent.
I have experience with Manfrotto stands (looks like it might be the same model even) from the studio I typically rent and everything else I've tried (always cheaper brands) have always been yuk in comparison.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I too have used a monopod as a Boom - A word of caution, never use a carbon fibre monopod they can snap rather easily as they are really only designed to support weight at the ends.
My gut feeling told me to go with a boom and after few words with the sales person, I stuck with it. The monopod I have is carbon fiber, but I bought a proper boom.

I'll buy a stand later if I realize I really need, rather than buying it now and end up never using it.

Now it's dinner time, and after that - unpacking, yey
10-24-2016, 12:22 PM   #38
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Got to use the AD360 at two weddings and I had issues with the trigger. I got lots of misfires and am not sure why, but think it's because of how the trigger sits on the camera hot shoe. I readjusted and tighten it a lot but I still kept getting misfires too frequently.

The trigger/receiver is XT16 2.4GHz.

Has anyone had issues like this?

10-24-2016, 03:33 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
The trigger/receiver is XT16 2.4GHz.
I've had issues with that trigger on my Nikon Cameras. I reviewed the XT16 and compared it to my pocketwizard, Elincrhom skyport and universal Godox FT16 triggers. In the course of the review my conclusion is that the The pocketwizard and Elinchrom triggers were more reliable than the Godox equivalents, which suffered from misfiring and HSS sync issues. I contacted Godox and they said it was due to to tolerances on the flash shoe set by Nikon with their newer bodies the DF and D750 - but I was using these triggers on a D3s and a D4s at the time.
10-24-2016, 11:25 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Got to use the AD360 at two weddings and I had issues with the trigger. I got lots of misfires and am not sure why, but think it's because of how the trigger sits on the camera hot shoe. I readjusted and tighten it a lot but I still kept getting misfires too frequently.

The trigger/receiver is XT16 2.4GHz.

Has anyone had issues like this?
Sorry to hear that. Mine works flawlessly. I know there were some problems with the X1-T triggers and also with the XTR-16 receivers (especially on Nikon cameras), but I thought it were solved with the "new" models. The first batch had some problems...

Your X1-T trigger has a white dot on the screen or a triangle? The ones with triangle are the new ones, with some improvements on the hot shoe. Make sure also that you have the latest firmware on the trigger. A lot of problems were solved with the latest firmware updates.

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10-24-2016, 11:34 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
Your X1-T trigger has a white dot on the screen or a triangle?
Unless i'm mistaken, Zafar is working with the XT16 2.4GHz, not the X1-T 2.4ghz trigger.



I have the older FT16 which transmits on the 4.33Mhz frequency. I haven't really had any show stopping issues with the FT16, there was some bad soldering on the battery compartment which would cause the unit to intermittently turn off. This issue has been fixed and I haven't had an issue with the transmitter itself, and it has proven itself to be quite reliable. The Pocketwizards I work with use the same frequency, though my Elinchrom skyports use the newer 2.4ghz transmission frequencies - I haven't had any issues with those either.
10-24-2016, 11:51 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Unless i'm mistaken, Zafar is working with the XT16 2.4GHz, not the X1-T 2.4ghz trigger.

I have the older FT16 which transmits on the 4.33Mhz frequency. I haven't really had any show stopping issues with the FT16, there was some bad soldering on the battery compartment which would cause the unit to intermittently turn off. This issue has been fixed and I haven't had an issue with the transmitter itself, and it has proven itself to be quite reliable. The Pocketwizards I work with use the same frequency, though my Elinchrom skyports use the newer 2.4ghz transmission frequencies - I haven't had any issues with those either.
Ah, sorry... I think you are right. I also have FT16 (which transmits on the 433Mhz frequency) and they are also reliable. The only reason I bought X1-T transmiter and not XT16 transmiter is because of the larger screen of the X1-T.

Now I wait for XT-32 transmiter to arrive because I like the looks. I know it doesn't support TTL, but I don't need it, nor the hot shoe for a flash to mount on the transmiter (I have TT685 if I want a flash on my camera with TTL and built in radio).
10-25-2016, 12:00 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
Now I wait for XT-32 transmiter to arrive because I like the looks. I know it doesn't support TTL
I agree, it does look good. But we both know pentax has a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting TTL or HSS support from a third party manufacturer. I have corresponded with people that are in fairly high up positions within Elinchrom that they are looking into the feasibility of making triggers natively capable of working with P-TTL. Elinchrom has recognized that the 645Z has certainly increased the demand for such a thing - it is just a question on whether Ricoh/Pentax will give a trigger manufacturer help with the protocol, and perhaps find ways to improve upon it.
10-25-2016, 01:06 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I agree, it does look good. But we both know pentax has a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting TTL or HSS support from a third party manufacturer. I have corresponded with people that are in fairly high up positions within Elinchrom that they are looking into the feasibility of making triggers natively capable of working with P-TTL. Elinchrom has recognized that the 645Z has certainly increased the demand for such a thing - it is just a question on whether Ricoh/Pentax will give a trigger manufacturer help with the protocol, and perhaps find ways to improve upon it.
There is on the way a Godox trigger for Pentax, at least I think so, based on what I saw on Adorama.

Flashpoint R2 TTL Transmitter for Pentax FP-RR-R2-T-PN
10-25-2016, 07:11 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I've had issues with that trigger on my Nikon Cameras
So it's not just me then. Meh

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Unless i'm mistaken, Zafar is working with the XT16 2.4GHz, not the X1-T 2.4ghz trigger.
Yeah, these are the ones I have.

I have other triggers which I could use, but I'll lose the ability to set power. It's still better than having the shooting flow being interrupted by the trigger suddenly not communicating right though.
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