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02-27-2021, 12:47 AM - 1 Like   #16

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I started with those poverty wizards, then Cactus PT-04, but the big improvement for me were YongNuo 560IV and their wireless controller.
Did not find a pressing need to move on from them though the market has improved even more with Godox transmitters and Flash (which are RF wireless, PTTL and HSS)
I can't even be bothered juggling with the inconsistencies of PTTL nor the antiquated 'wireless' on the Pentax flashes which are IR based, and left them unused.

On the low budget side, just get x2 YN560IV an a transmitter. The work on manual flash power, but its really easy to learn them and very consistent.
Each YN560IV flash has a built in wireless Rx and Tx. (so no need for external receivers)
The dedicated transmitter allows even more controls to group the flashes and set the power, zoom, spread of the flashes.

For more up to date stuff, it will be Godox (still inexpensive ). But I am not familiar with their models to comment further. I do have friends that have moved on to them with very good satisfaction.

Other stuff will be light modifier (IMHO, a bounce umbrella will be a good start, then move on from there when you learn more and know what else you want)
Key thing will be learning the many tutorials on Youtube.

Good luck.

Last edited by pinholecam; 02-27-2021 at 12:54 AM.
03-11-2021, 03:03 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Thanks, tuggie76. The 540 already had a few test-runs off-camera. And I already started a wish list and I have been browsing some sales columns here and online. And I am in no rush. But I am not ready for a studio kit just yet. But thanks for mentioning Henry's, maybe they have something matching my pocketbook.
Finally catching up on K-3 threads...

Yep. If you have the original K-3 with built-in flash and the 540, you are a long way forward on lighting already. Use the built-in flash for fill with the 540 fired off-camera wirelessly via P-TTL. Or use the built-in flash strictly as a controller for the off-camera 540.

The Pentax version of the Sigma 610 DG Super is less expensive, and more feature rich than the 540, but keep the manual close at hand because configuration is not as intuitive. I just acquired a 2nd Sigma flash and planning to mount the pair to inexpensive umbrellas & light-stands. Just like many pros do - calibrate them for set locations and distances and carry a tape measure. Setup on location is fast, exposure will be dead-on every time. Pick a lens appropriate for your working distance and subject.
03-12-2021, 05:16 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Great news, Detlef!

If you're doing studio photography, it is very similar to landscape. You're stopping down to f8, f11 so whatever lenses you're using will be fine.
I think this is something to always remember. I know the OP said that his portraits might be both indoors and outdoors but aside from a true wide-angle lens whatever you already have works perfectly fine inside in a studio-type set-up. I used the kit lens for quite some time when I was starting....
03-16-2021, 04:21 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Waffles Quote
I think this is something to always remember. I know the OP said that his portraits might be both indoors and outdoors but aside from a true wide-angle lens whatever you already have works perfectly fine inside in a studio-type set-up. I used the kit lens for quite some time when I was starting....
Yes, that's right. A studio really is a great evener. The kit lens photographs will likely be indistinguishable from more expensive ones.

03-17-2021, 04:04 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Hey guys and gals
I need your help with lens and flash questions.
I own a Pentax K-3 and a AF-540FGZ flash. I have only shot landscapes in the past but would like to venture into portrait/group photography.
My thought is to use both, the AF-540 and another, yet to be determined flash off-camera.
Without breaking the bank, which portrait lens would be suitable?
Which flash would be recommended and which and how many triggers are needed and recommended?
I was looking into Cactus triggers but found out that they are discontinued and, here in Canada, rare to find and expensive.
What do you suggest?
In my opinion you can use for indoor shooting 2 small softboxes which will give you more control of the light rather than umbrellas, especially if the space is small. This kind of softbox (see the link below) has also the Bowens mount flash bracket included and it's foldable. Having the bracket means that you can use later any Bowens mount modifier you want. It's a sturdy bracket and I use it even with 120cm deep octa.

Godox S-Type Bowens Mount Flash Bracket with Softbox Kit

When comes to flashes, my suggestion is to look for Godox flashes, mostly because they have a very reliable radio system and lots of flashes to choose from, all of them having transmitter and receiver built in. They are cheap also considering what they offer...

An alternative for flashes when comes to indoor shootings would be to use normal bulb lights inside the softboxes by using such cable. The advantage is that it's cheaper than buying flashes, you don't have to use a radio trigger or an optical trigger and you can see the light on the model face and how it will look like each time you adjust the position of the softbox. You can stick 1-2 bulb lights inside a softbox and you can have decent power to work with. It's how I learned to control light when I first started to add artificial light to my shootings.

For outdoor portrait photography, it doesn't worth "killing" a small flash that doesn't have enough power... The optical triggering outdoor may also be less reliable... If you really want to use a small flash outdoor, use an ND filter on the lens in order to avoid using HSS on the flash. Or, a better solution would be reflector.

When comes to lenses, I find suitable a 50mm lens for indoor small "studio" shootings (35mm in your case given that you shoot with APS-C) or an 85mm lens for outdoor (50-60mm in your case for K-3) or even for indoor if the space allows. The reason I suggest these 2 focal lenghts is that it allows you to have a proper distance between you and the model (not too far and not to close). I love the look of an 100mm or of an 135mm lens for portraits, but on city streets may cause some inconveniences...

I wouldn't worry too much about optical performance of the lenses when shooting indoor with flashes because you won't shoot at fast aperture and you will benefit from the quality of artificial light. Outdoor it depends... chromatic aberrations and how fast a lens focus can have an impact. I remember for example that when I was shooting Pentax I opted for DA 70mm f2.4 instead of FA 77mm f1.8 because the later had slower af and more chromatic aberrations.

Last edited by Dan Rentea; 03-17-2021 at 04:09 AM.

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