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Archive 2012 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???
  
 
rickyknows
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p.1 #1 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


I have mostly done sports photography, but now I want to start doing some portraits. Looking to do some beach sunset portraits and sports portraits. I currently have a Canon 7D, Canon 580EX, Quantum Turbo 2x2, 3 Pocket Wizard Plus III, and a Sekonic light meter. Was looking for a nice & easy portable system that would work on the football field, beach, or where ever I go.

I was planning on adding a Canon 600EX-RT to go with my 580EX, but then another photographer suggested that since I already have a battery pack & some wizards that the Qflash T5dR would be a better way to go. I also have no Stands or Light Modifiers - and need suggestion there too.

So I would appreciate it very much for your input.



Dec 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


The Quantum is much more powerful than the Speedlite, so if you're mixing flash and bright sun that can be handy, and as you said, you already have the battery needed by the Quantum so the cost won't be as high as if you were starting from scratch.

On the other hand, Speedlites have the ability to do ETTL autoflash, which gives a lot of speed and ease-of-use when you're shooting on the move with constantly varying flash-to-subject distances.

Sorry to say that the choice is "it depends."

Lightstands are easier: I really like the Manfrotto 420B Combi stand, which combines a vertical-column stand and a boom stand in one light-weight package, and the price is right at around $150.

I have several different kinds of stands, and I like the Combi well enough that after using one for a year I bought another. (See the black stand in the first photo below.)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546705-REG/Manfrotto_420B_420B_Combi_Boom_Stand.html

For use on a beach, a beauty dish is a handy modifier. Not as easy to transport as a fold-up box or umbrella, but they give a good, crisp light that's still soft enough to look nice. You can get BD brackets from Kacey Enterprises to fit the Mola, Kacey, and many other BDs, or you can get the inexpensive ($140) RPS Studio BeautiDish (note the spelling) that comes with a Speedlite bracket. (See second photo below.)

http://www.canogacamera.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=12642












Dec 15, 2012 at 07:49 PM
rickyknows
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p.1 #3 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


Thanks BrianO appreciate the info. I am doing some more research before I decide and that why I want to see what others had to say. Happy Holidays.


Dec 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Jim Cowsert
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p.1 #4 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


Ricky...I'm a big fan of Quantum's and use them exclusively for all my portrait work. Since going Qflash 3 years ago, my 580EXII has been regulated to quick grabs and snaps.
They are great for location work, and serve well for small studio style shooting too.
You can drop a lot of money very quickly going with the Quantum's though...sometimes I think that if I had of went with PCB Einsteins and his modifiers and batteries I would have been better off, or saved some money for my location kit. But since I'm so heavily invested in Quantum gear ( 2 Trio's, a T5-dR, batteries, FreeXwire 7Q, Pilot and Co-Pilot, plus various modifiers) that I'll stick with what I have.

Don't get me wrong, the light quality and portability of the Quantum's are great and I really have no regrets, but sometimes it's not easy finding the right modifiers, etc...I've been looking everywhere for a beauty dish and grid for the Quantum and may have to try the one BrianO posted. (Thanks Brian!)
Like Brian said "it depends"...mainly how much you want to invest and what modifiers, etc..you're looking for.

For some examples of my work with the Quantum's all the portrait work on this link with the obvious exceptions of my sports shots were taken with my Quantums...
http://grapevinephoto.zenfolio.com/portfolio

BTW...the Quantums will work with ETTL..

Hope this helps with your choices.
Jim




Dec 16, 2012 at 03:34 AM
rickyknows
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p.1 #5 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


Jim Thanks for the info. I saw your examples from your portfolio and they look sharp! Great Work!
I always thought the speedlights and/or portable systems were always going to be cheaper than Studio lights, but I now just go with the reasoning that loving photography can be very expensive and good photography equipment can be a money pit no matter how you go. lol.

I just want to get something with quick setup, quality, and multi-purpose for anything/anywhere. I am going to do some more research and think about this awhile longer since once I start down one road it'll be hard to $witch.



Dec 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM
John Skinner
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p.1 #6 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


I run both systems here. The quantum's with the FreeXwire system, and the PCB E640's with CC and the Vagabond power units.

IMO, for the original ask as much as "beach sunset portraits" the PCB units will over power anytime of the day without causing distance light<>model issues every time. The quantum, albeit powerful for a speedlight type replacement, have issues over powering some light at times during the day.

This is not even mentioning the issues with (if needed) service on the lights themselves. Quantum is severely overpriced and expensive to have service done. While ANYTHING serviced at PCB tops out at about $60.00 off warranty and they're customer service is second to none. Never an issue.

I always tackle this issue of service because after 25+ years of owning just about every body+speedlight combination, and studio light systems at one time or another, my current kit consisting of 8a airs, Quantum and PCB E640's is about as cost effective for the power/needs/resale value/price per repair I have found.. The Profoto's notwithstanding.



Dec 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM
 

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ukphotographer
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p.1 #7 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


Since the 600EX-RT will only be able to be used with the Canon radio system, your Wizards are a little misplaced there and the remote functions will be rather limited.

I use Quantums. All of the Trio's, T5d-R's and X5d-R's at 80Ws, 160Ws, 200Ws and 400Ws. They work in TTL or even remote manual control, right throughout the range and their radio system is something special.

It used to be important to link these in with my Speedlights/Speedlites with their optical systems - which they will by using Qnexus, but Quantum have added a radio remote system to add Speedlights to THEIR system, so the Qnexus system is not so important any more. You can STILL use iTTL/eTTL optical to control remote Quantums (if you want).

Speedlights are not so important anymore. I barely use them. I have monolight systems and studio pack systems, but they barely leave the studio. For location work its always the Quantums which get taken, (I have additional Lumedynes as well if I need beyond 7-8 units), and having the scaleability of output from hotshoe (Speedlight) output to studio strobe output is something unmatched by any other system and you're never messing around with modifier fittings, swivels or mounts as they're all the same.

I wouldn't suggest mixing Quantums in with your 'Wizards'. Maybe at first, but ultimately to benefit from the system fully you should just change to the FreeXwire system if you decide on Quantum. It triggers TTL or Manual remotely, will trigger Speedlights/Speedlites in TTL as well as Studio strobes in Manual timed with the TTL. Add in Relaying, Sequencing, Groups, camera triggering, useable high sync speed to 1/8000s etc. etc. and it makes a great SYSTEM.

I just needed a couple of replacement parts.. Quantum sent them for free. Upgraded a radio, $30. Few manufacturers even provide an upgrade service. I don't ever intend selling mine, they work and I don't ever expect them to die, so resale value is of no consequence. They don't get cosseted, by the time they come to being sold they would have earned their keep in being used. Thats what they're there for.



Dec 18, 2012 at 08:48 PM
lewismayfield
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p.1 #8 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


This year we are going in a different direction, leaning more on video.
I have 3 Quantum T5dr flashes 3 Turbo 2x2 batteries TONS of radio gear including qnexus and freewire transmitters/receivers. About every light modifier quantum offers. All is for sale. I would make someone a great package deal. I LOVE the Quantum stuff it is powerful, reliable, and predictable.



Dec 26, 2012 at 03:28 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


lewismayfield wrote:
...TONS of radio gear including qnexus...


Just to be clear, in case any readers don't know, the QNexus isn't radio, it's optical. It's a neat system that with a simple press of a button can switch between receiving Canon or Nikon codes, so it works with either system's Master/Commander Speedlites/Speedlights, including those cameras that can use the built-in flash as a transmitter.



Dec 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Tom Boucher
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p.1 #10 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


BrianO wrote:
On the other hand, Speedlites have the ability to do ETTL autoflash, which gives a lot of speed and ease-of-use when you're shooting on the move with constantly varying flash-to-subject distances.


I may be misinterpreting this, but I can do E-TTL just fine with my T5DR. Mainly because I bought the ETTL adapter for the camera. If you meant out of the box, yeah, you can't, but if you meant 'at all' the answer is more 'if you pay them to' the DW23 will work great.

Typically I put that attached to the freewire transmitter on my camera, and then the T5DR with it's receiver on the side works really well in E-TTL mode if you want to do that. My favorite 'indoor non-posed' method is to put the qtm on a stand in a corner up high and bounce it off the corner of the room and light the shots.

Otherwise I put a photoflex XS soft box on it.

My current dilemma is to Trio or to 600EX. My poor old 550 EX is wearing out, it doesn't stay in it's locked in mode any more and rotates without needing to push the button in and while the QTM on a bracket works, it's really heavy after a while.



Jan 02, 2013 at 03:14 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #11 · Canon 600EX-RT or Qflash T5dR or ???


Tom Boucher wrote:
...I may be misinterpreting [what BrianO wrote], but I can do E-TTL just fine with my T5DR.


Yeah, I didn't word that very well.



Jan 02, 2013 at 07:33 PM





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