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08-08-2017, 02:14 PM - 11 Likes   #1
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Radio HSS - THIS is What Its All About!

Pentax K7 : D FA28-105 (at 105mm) : ISO100 : F6.7 : 1/500th .... Cactus V6II Tx (on Camera) : Cactus RF60x (1/2 Power, Auto-HSS) in 60x60cm Softbox

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This is my first proper shoot with the new V6II / RF60x combination, and using radio HSS in conditions where it really shines as a technical approach A family holiday in open countryside with a wide open field in front of me, plus an unusually co-operative Daughter in good mood, a bit of time to set up and it was good to go .

These were taken in bright sunshine, and I placed her with her back to the sun (over one shoulder). Once the exposure settings were made to underexpose the background by around 0.7 stop (f6.7 / ISO100 / between 1/500th and 1/1000th) this had the advantage of giving me a 'free' rim/hair light from behind ..... thanks sun!

The softbox was kept close to the subject (approx. 2-3ft) and I zoomed in to keep it out of the frame. No worries about line of sight now for optical triggering, I enjoyed being free to move around and change angles at will.

Great fun, and very satisfying to shoot with such control and reliability .... this is something I will be doing a lot more of for sure! Here's a few more from the session .....


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Thanks for looking and for any comments / feedback etc .... Nigel

08-08-2017, 02:25 PM   #2
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I really like the shot and the vibe of the scene, nice setup Nigel. Seems very natural and flattering to me. Lens did a good job by the way !
08-08-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks! Yes, the new 28-105 has quickly become my main lens for portraits (I don't have any Limiteds) and it does great service for close ups, flowers etc as well as general wider shots. The K7 seems to like it too !

I should have mentioned before that the flash in the softbox is gelled with a 1/4 CTO .... This allowed me to use a coolish Daylight setting which suited the background but gives a warmer tone to the subject.
08-08-2017, 03:09 PM   #4
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Very nicely done!

08-08-2017, 03:19 PM   #5
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I'm really pleased you saw them Mark
08-08-2017, 03:41 PM   #6
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Minor quibble: Shots 1 and 3, possibly also 2, are too dark from behind the eye/cheek to just in front of the ear. This has been corrected in shots 4 to 6.

On the other hand, the foreground-background separation with 3D pop effect is just mind-blowing. The background seems almost impressionistically blurred. Please don't take it as an insult when I say that she almost looks photoshopped-in!

I can't tell because of the low-res nature of the shots, but that 28-105 looks like something really special - but who ever heard of a kit telezoom lens with pixie dust before? We have one now!
08-08-2017, 03:46 PM   #7
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Superb pictures !
So, this HSS really works wonders when you have the skills to put it all together !
I am going to keep this old K7 of mine ... seems like it still can do the job (in proper hands, that is).
08-08-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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Very nice! I've never understood the need for HSS outside but these images do more to explain it than all the words I've read before.

I have the Cactus v6 I assume I need the V6II to make this work? (no firmware update?)
What type / brand of softbox? And was it on a stand I guess?

08-08-2017, 04:02 PM   #9
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Very impressive indeed.
08-08-2017, 04:34 PM   #10
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Three thumbs!!!


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08-08-2017, 04:43 PM   #11
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Pathdoc, I'm always glad to see critical points about my photos, thanks .... Ideally I would have wanted a fill light as well (usually I use a white reflective umbrella just above and behind the camera for this), but I only took the one RF60 on the trip and didn't want a direct on-camera flash ruining the shape of the sun and main light across the face (I could have used my AF-540FGZII in TTL-Passthrough). But this was actually a fairly casual and quick photo session, but I am really looking forward to trying more but with a fill light as well.

The blurred backgrounds are entirely the optical work of the lens. ....I reduced some colour noise but this did not change the amount of blur. This aspect is very strong with the D FA28-105. I was happy with the relatively small aperture (f6.7) because I was nervous about missing focus and wanted the whole subject in focus. Wider apertures would have hit my flash power due to the even shorter exposure times necessary.

The high separation and 3D effect I think is the result of the large distance between subject and background, the distinct lighting on both plus the outlining of the subject by the sun rim light.

Thanks also jzpk ....K7 is still going strong! I don't see any point in shooting HSS at any ISO other than 100, and the K7 likes ISO 100! So it's still a great camera for these purposes.

---------- Post added 08-08-17 at 23:54 ----------

Jatrax, you need the V6II for the on-camera transmitter. That's all I need because I've got an RF60 and RF60x .... They work in Manual HSS mode controlled by the V6II. For other flash types you need additional V6II units attached to each flash.

The softbox is a fairly budget one from Amazon....Fotga is the brand, and yes it is on a light stand. It is liberating not having to worry about the fkash optical sensor any more!

---------- Post added 08-08-17 at 23:56 ----------

Thanks also E-man and Steve, I'm glad that you saw them, and like them!
08-08-2017, 05:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Minor quibble: Shots 1 and 3, possibly also 2, are too dark from behind the eye/cheek to just in front of the ear. This has been corrected in shots 4 to 6.

On the other hand, the foreground-background separation with 3D pop effect is just mind-blowing. The background seems almost impressionistically blurred. Please don't take it as an insult when I say that she almost looks photoshopped-in!

I can't tell because of the low-res nature of the shots, but that 28-105 looks like something really special - but who ever heard of a kit telezoom lens with pixie dust before? We have one now!
I agree Shots 4-6 bring the softness of a Childs Skin back and in addition shots 4 & 6 eliminates the bags under her eyes. The 3D effect that the lens and settings gives turning the background into a virtual studio drop cloth is awesome.
08-08-2017, 05:51 PM   #13
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Very nice!

A Cactus trigger and a couple speedlights are on the very top of my list. The flexibility HSS gives is amazing.
08-08-2017, 06:35 PM   #14
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hardcore photographer! bringing a 60x60 softbox on a family holiday.ü

kidding aside, its great that we finally have a radio wireless hss option. Excellent photos.
08-08-2017, 07:37 PM   #15
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Nice set. Well done.

Just my opinion, but #2 subtracts from the set because of focus. Her fingers and her face look slightly blurred. It's minor but in comparison to the other photos it stood out to me.
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