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06-05-2019, 02:23 AM   #1
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Advice needed for lighting options

Hi there fellow Pentaxians,

I decided to create a new thread and ask for advice since my experience with flashes and lighting is quite limited. Here's the problem. This Saturday I am supposed to have a photo shooting with two models, they want to pose together and they sent me some pictures for inspiration so I can have an idea about the lighting setup needed. Few examples from what they sent me below. Those are not my pictures but I don't have any copyright information regarding the authors otherwise I would have posted it. In addition to those, we have several other concepts involving full body shots for both models together.

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Here is a picture of the location. It's quite a large hall and we plan to combine natural light with artificial light.

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I will be using the K-1 with the following lenses: FA 77mm, FA 43mm, DFA 24-70mm, Helios 58mm f2 and maybe Sigma 35mm Art. Regarding the lighting, I have several options and this is where I need you advice:

Option 1)
Use the Yongnuo YN560-III flash (which I already have) with a trigger (which I also have) and just buy a large shoot-through umbrella. I was thinking of this particular one:

Photix Premio 120cm (47")
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I can also buy a softbox-like umbrella (80cm) or a bigger shoot-through umbrella (180cm), or reflective umbrellas.
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This way I will have only one light source available to complement natural light from the windows.

Option 2)
Rent a lighting system. The only option that I have available locally is this one:
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It consists of 2 x Elinchrom D-Lite RX4 400W with 66x66cm softboxes. This way I would have 2 lighting sources, but I'm not sure if the softboxes are big enough. This is the cheapest option. Maybe I can go for this and buy (not rent) a larger octobox or something to use it with one the flashes.

Option 3)
Postpone the shooting session and buy the Godox AD400 Pro, the Godox Xpro-P flash trigger and a large softbox. This is more of a long-term solution, I am planning to get the AD400 Pro and the Xpro-P trigger anyway, but they are not available in stock until Saturday.

What would you do for best results? Thanks a lot in advance.

---------- Post added 5th Jun 2019 at 13:15 ----------

Basically my concerns are:

If I go for option 1, will the YN-560III be powerful enough to light a large diffuser?


If I go for option 2, are the diffusers big enough for full body shots?

06-05-2019, 03:49 AM   #2
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If you had sufficient time, I would suggest one of the Photek large umbrellas with diffuser for whole body shots. But maybe laying out white sheets on the ground and as curtains might keep some of your flash power where it is needed.

While one's lighting set up can be limited only by one's imagination, common practice documented in innumerable books and pamphlets related to portraits suggests at least three lighting sources (of one or more strobes), four under some conditions, except where deliberate shadowing is desired. In the latter case, some daylight plus a flash with a snoot may be sufficient. I would think that flash rental in addition to using your own flash may be needed, and that having or renting a flash meter will be essential to setting the light levels of each. This isn't my profession, but I would also guess that some (a lot of) set up and experimentation may be called for in your remaining time before the models arrive. Best of luck.
06-05-2019, 05:21 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
but I would also guess that some (a lot of) set up and experimentation may be called for in your remaining time before the models arrive.
Not really my area of expertise either but I would wholeheartedly endorse this ^^^^^^. Hopefully you have prior access to the location and will spend some time there tuning your setup before the models arrive. I would want at least a full day. The light will change depending on time of day so you need to match your testing with the time of the actual shoot. And with that much window area the weather is going to have an impact depending on if it is sunny or cloudy or whatever.
That is a very challenging location. You will have changing light and you will be trying to balance light of different temperatures so getting the WB correct will be a puzzle.

What will you use for a background? Do you have backdrops and supports? You will need (possibly) to light that separately.
06-05-2019, 05:50 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
What will you use for a background? Do you have backdrops and supports? You will need (possibly) to light that separately.
Just a thought on backgrounds. If you intend to shoot against a black background a gridded softbox may be better than an umbrella as the light is more directional and wont turn your black background into dark grey. Given your "studio" however as long as you keep plenty of distance between the subjects and the background this shouldn't present a problem with either modifier.

06-05-2019, 06:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Just a thought on backgrounds. If you intend to shoot against a black background a gridded softbox may be better than an umbrella as the light is more directional and wont turn your black background into dark grey. Given your "studio" however as long as you keep plenty of distance between the subjects and the background this shouldn't present a problem with either modifier.
How about a 120cm parabolic softbox? I can buy one until Saturday and I can also get the Godox AD600. But not the Xpro-P trigger. Is there some other way I can trigger the AD600 from my K-1? I don't think I need HSS for this session, and later I can get the trigger also.

Last edited by Hattifnatt; 06-05-2019 at 07:16 AM.
06-05-2019, 07:37 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
How about a 120cm parabolic softbox? I can buy one until Saturday and I can also get the Godox AD600. But not the Xpro-P trigger. Is there some other way I can trigger the AD600 from my K-1? I don't think I need HSS for this session, and later I can get the trigger also.
Personal opinion but two AD200's would be the more adaptable lighting kit, key and kicker as needed and single light when you don't, and if you think you might sometimes need more power get the twin head adapter which is more than ample for even overpowering the sun. That kit would cost less (I think) than the AD600TTL, be far more useful in more situations, and let you travel lighter and more compactly.

Surprisingly the light output ot the twin head 200 is really close to the single 600 so not losing anything on that end.

Just a thought.

Last edited by gatorguy; 06-05-2019 at 05:38 PM.
06-05-2019, 08:35 AM   #7
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But regardless of what I get, AD600 Pro or AD200: if I want to use them in manual mode, no HSS, no TTL, is it possible to trigger them with the trigger for YN (RF-603 II N3) ? as a temporary solution until I get a Xpro-P trigger.
06-05-2019, 08:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
But regardless of what I get, AD600 Pro or AD200: if I want to use them in manual mode, no HSS, no TTL, is it possible to trigger them with the trigger for YN (RF-603 II N3) ? as a temporary solution until I get a Xpro-P trigger.
Nearly certain you can but best to wait for a member here who has done so to comment.

Curious if you're using Pentaxforums partner Adorama for your Godox trigger and lights? They are rebadged as Flashpoint but 100% identical to the Godox AD200 and with the bonus of a US warranty. AFAIK both are in stock ready to ship. Use the link at the top of the buy/sell page and the forums get a tiny bit of shared income from your purchase.

EDIT: Nevermind about the Adorama mention since you appear to be in Romania. Sorry!


Last edited by gatorguy; 06-05-2019 at 08:51 AM.
06-05-2019, 09:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
But regardless of what I get, AD600 Pro or AD200: if I want to use them in manual mode, no HSS, no TTL, is it possible to trigger them with the trigger for YN (RF-603 II N3) ? as a temporary solution until I get a Xpro-P trigger.
There are two methods I have used in my minimalist rate of photo generation over the years. In one method, a flash on the camera is used to trigger other flash detecting speed lights or to trigger small devices that can be purchased that generate a switch closure upon seeing a flash. The switch closure is wired to studio light type flash lamps.

In the second method, the camera is wired to flashes designed to work with the camera wired connection. In this context, I'm referring to Pentax flashes and the 5P cable system. For film cameras using TTL, all the flashes can be quenched at the same time providing the desired TTL light level as well as proportionate output determined by flash settings, gobos, and distances. For P-TTL, it is not clear that this can be done, and the 645Z manual does not address multiple flashes except via using Pentax' optical communication system among flashes. However, Cactus V6II and RF60X combinations (and some others I forget) operate by RF and can be made to do multi-light P-TTL or multi-light manual flash.

These schemes require either compatible flashes, or not so compatible flashes and supporting equipment, mostly cables and flash detectors. Your camera store should be able to advise you.

res secundae
06-05-2019, 09:44 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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Scrim the windows and shoot through the diffused layer with radio linked flash(es) on high stand outside. Would give a controlled outside light appearance. Then bounce some light back with large reflector - silver, probably to give a contrasty look with young skin, rather than white. Or DIY/building store for large white building boarding as cheap reflector. Then snoot/grid to create the detail and realistic catch. Maybe an uplift light or a triflector to work a little light from below.

Hope it goes well and don't forget to report back ...
06-05-2019, 01:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Scrim the windows and shoot through the diffused layer with radio linked flash(es) on high stand outside. Would give a controlled outside light appearance. Then bounce some light back with large reflector - silver, probably to give a contrasty look with young skin, rather than white. Or DIY/building store for large white building boarding as cheap reflector. Then snoot/grid to create the detail and realistic catch. Maybe an uplift light or a triflector to work a little light from below.

Hope it goes well and don't forget to report back ...
Creative suggestion! I'll file that away for myself even if the OP doesn't use it.
06-05-2019, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
But regardless of what I get, AD600 Pro or AD200: if I want to use them in manual mode, no HSS, no TTL, is it possible to trigger them with the trigger for YN (RF-603 II N3) ? as a temporary solution until I get a Xpro-P trigger.
No, unless you've got YN receivers as well and the sync-cables to connect the YN receivers to the strobes.

Regarding your options, I would not attempt to tackle this with a single speedlight. You'll be starved for power (after diffusion) and even if you can get by, you'll have to work slowly and may still run into enforced overheating-induced cool down periods.

I agree that the Elinchrome modifiers are on the small side. You can still light full body length with them, but the light will be harsher compared to a bigger modifier. Two Elinchromes should match one bigger modifier, though. In combination with natural light, you shouldn't have any problems recreating the lighting in the sample images.
06-05-2019, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
Option 1)
Use the Yongnuo YN560-III flash (which I already have) with a trigger (which I also have) and just buy a large shoot-through umbrella. I was thinking of this particular one:
If it were me, I would go with option one. It is lighter and easier to move around. I am assuming you are shooting by yourself and do not have an assistant? So a single light would make your life a lot easier.

From the sample photos, I gather that the images are going to be close ups for most part. You do not need massive lighting to fill a small are like it is shown in the sample images. The last sample image is shot with a wider aperture, so you can get away with less powerful lights. Last but not least, remember that this is the mighty K1, I have shot and continue to shoot with high ISO settings (1600, 3200, even 6400) without hesitation. Again with high ISO capable cameras you can get away with less powerful lights, just dial up the ISO until you get the right amount of light. I am sure you will try the different lenses you have. But for me the 77 is it. Given the subject and the sample images, the 77 is going to deliver stunning images. The trick is to position the subjects such that you get the benefit of the natural light with the flash providing the necessary fill light. Good luck. Would love to see what you come up with.
06-05-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Scrim the windows and shoot through the diffused layer with radio linked flash(es) on high stand outside. Would give a controlled outside light appearance. Then bounce some light back with large reflector - silver, probably to give a contrasty look with young skin, rather than white. Or DIY/building store for large white building boarding as cheap reflector. Then snoot/grid to create the detail and realistic catch. Maybe an uplift light or a triflector to work a little light from below.
What do you mean on high stand outside? not sure if I can do that, those windows are at 2nd floor.

QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
If it were me, I would go with option one. It is lighter and easier to move around. I am assuming you are shooting by yourself and do not have an assistant? So a single light would make your life a lot easier.
I will be shooting alone with no assistant so yeah, I like the idea of playing with just a single light source. I have used the YN 560 III in the past with shoot-through umbrellas but didn't like the results so much. Now I suspect this was because I was positioning the umbrella too far away from the subject.

I like the idea of AD600 Pro used as a single light with 120cm parabolic softbox. I have seen some examples with this setup on the internet and I liked the results a lot, and the AD600 Pro is available on stock at a local store (but not the AD200, the AD400 and most important no Xpro-P trigger).

Maybe I should just try to postpone the session and order the AD400 Pro and the trigger, should be able to get them in 1-2 weeks.

Or... how about using my YN 560 III and try to bounce of the ceiling for the full body shots, and shoot-through umbrella for the rest? ceiling is not that high...

Last edited by Hattifnatt; 06-05-2019 at 03:01 PM.
06-05-2019, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
Maybe I should just try to postpone the session and order the AD400 Pro and the trigger, should be able to get them in 1-2 weeks.
That is not a bad option if you have the flexibility of postponing the session.

While you are waiting for the gear to arrive, and if you have access to the location, you can probably do some tests.

I have a friend (Sony and Canon shooter) who owns two AD600 units along with bunch of on camera flashes. He bought an AD200 (second one on the way) recently and he loves it so much, he is thinking about selling the AD600 as he is not using them that much anymore. I was talking to him about the change. His point is that with high ISO capable cameras, he can get away with less powerful units. I assisted him on a shoot and those AD600's are huge compared to the AD200. I can see why he prefers the AD200. I am sold on the AD200 units too. I am going to start my collection soon.

---------- Post added 06-05-19 at 03:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
Or... how about using my YN 560 III and try to bounce of the ceiling for the full body shots, and shoot-through umbrella for the rest? ceiling is not that high...
Sounds like a good idea. I would test if you have access to the location. You can also use the shoot through umbrella for the full body shots. I would say. Test, test, test. You have the gear already why not ask a friend to be your model and do plenty of testing in advance. You will learn how the system responds and even get all your ratios and light setting dialed in by the time the actual assignment shoot happens. This way you do not have to sweat over settings at the actual shoot. The only difference with the AD600 vs the YN would be that the AD is a more powerful light source. Who knows, you may like the results of the YN and not use the AD at all!!

Last edited by btnapa; 06-05-2019 at 03:37 PM.
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