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Archive 2012 · From scratch: non-TTL setup
  
 
corposant
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


I was a Nikon shooter for a while and had a basic eTTL setup with Nikon's CLS. When I sold my DSLR, I (maybe stupidly) sold all my lighting as well, since I didn't think I would want to keep a proprietary lighting system without the matching camera to trigger and control it.

Fast forward several years, I'd like to build up another lighting system, however I am using a couple digital systems (mirrorless) and I still enjoy shooting film as well. So I am looking for suggestions on a "generic" system that can work across multiple platforms.

I am pondering just getting the modern version of Nikon's speedlights, since I am familiar with their usage and they have automatic distance scales. However, I kept my Sekonic meter, so I can meter a manual flash scene as well. I don't have a dedicated studio, so some portability would be nice. I know Alienbees (with a powerpack) are a good solution and not terribly pricey. I was a little surprised to see how much Nikon charges for their SB-900 (I have been out of it for a while, I guess).

Usage: portraiture/creative scene lighting, mostly diffused

Any suggestions?



Jul 29, 2012 at 07:51 PM
corposant
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


Also, I was considering picking up an AB and a SB and try to mix and match and see how they work together - craziness or no?


Jul 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


If you plan on hauling and setting up lights on stands with big diffusers there isn't much difference logistically between speedlights and ABs with Vagabond packs except a few more pounds of gear to haul.

The ABs will beat the speedlights in all aspects of use in that application: power, recycling time, abilty to shoot continuously (speedlights overhead), modeling lights, more modification options with simpler mounting, etc.

Speedlights have the edge for candid shooting portability and light weight are the highest priority. I learned flash photography shooting weddings with one flash over the camera on a bracket and another on a rolling stand and still use that configuraton for "run and gun" PJ-style candids and casual portraits.




Jul 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM
 

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unknown_photog
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


I love my Nikon SB-80DX speedlights, if you don't mind buying used that's what I would go for, if you can find it under $200.00.

Any camera system will work with them as long as you're shooting in Manual Mode and with a triggering system.

If you want to buy new, the Yongnuo's are pretty good, especially for the price!

Don't waste your money on the AB's, get the Paul C. Buff Einsteins instead. Only a few hundred bucks more and those really do offer all of the versatility that speedlights do, including the Speed and the ability to power down to 1/256th. So for that reason alone, they are worth the extra bucks over the regular AB's.

Andy



Jul 29, 2012 at 09:23 PM
corposant
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


unknown_photog wrote:
Don't waste your money on the AB's, get the Paul C. Buff Einsteins instead. Only a few hundred bucks more and those really do offer all of the versatility that speedlights do, including the Speed and the ability to power down to 1/256th. So for that reason alone, they are worth the extra bucks over the regular AB's.


Hmm, they do have a nice interface - I was thinking about triggering with PW Plus IIIs, but I guess with a CyberSync I can control an Einstein remotely. So much to consider.

I am starting to scout for people who just want to sell their lighting setups completely (probably a nice way to get stands and softboxes at the same time).



Jul 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
unknown_photog
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · From scratch: non-TTL setup


You can get that cyber commander for a few bucks and it controls everything from the camera.

Definitely get used if you can, but I think the Einsteins are a hard thing to find used but you never know, you might get lucky!

Andy



Jul 29, 2012 at 11:11 PM





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