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Archive 2013 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

Well, picked up a strobist kit from amazon today. Going manual and would really like to learn what im doing.

Picked up the following:
Neewer TT560 - is this the cheapest flash one can buy? Concern - is it powerful enough.. oh and is it gonna be a lemon.

Yongnuo 603 triggers

Random umbrella kit - hopefully not too flimsy...

Going to be using this on d600. No studio use, just want to learn the most i can while shooting in the field or asking friends/family to be my subjects.

Questions - everything is compatible.. right...
As i work on acquiring a second flash, can i get away with a slave mode on another manual flash that will be used to fill basically or should i get another pair of triggers. Also, should i continue investing in more powerful, budget manual flashes or really save up for sb800. I do want to dabble in event photography so on the fly flash would be nice, however maybe i can become proficient enough with manual flash to get by anyway?

Anyway, would appreciate any input!

Jan 22, 2013 at 02:10 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

Flashes look fine from the specs, it has manual power adjustment which is important. Looks like it should all work together.

If you want to do event photography you'll appreciate iTTL so you're going to want an SB600, 800 or similar at some point. There are also older cheaper Nikon flashes that work fine. On camera bounce flash is very useful.

Jan 22, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

Get Syl arenas book the Speedliters handbook. I know it mainly about Canon gear but with a little effort the same can be done with Nikon the principles are the same.

Jan 22, 2013 at 09:21 AM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

With one flash as "key" and no fill you'll need to use strategies that create a lot of "spill fill" off ceiling and walls: bouncing, shoot-through white umbrella, etc. It's possible to get very pleasing lighting, but controlling the look at will is more difficult than with two flashes.

When a separate fill source with independent power control is placed near the camera to create an even "foundation" of open shadow under the highlights the key light it is possible to "dial in the mood" of the lighting with the fill. More fill = lighter core shadows = lighter implied mood. Less fill = darker core shadow = darker/more serious implied mood.

The advantage of a iTTL system flash system vs. the manual route you are heading down is convenience in setting the ratio "on the fly" at an event or PJ assignment shot-to-shot without needing to walk around changing power on the lights an hand metering. With system flash you start by setting the ratio (implied shadow tone mood) and the metering takes care of setting the power needed to create it automatically regardless of light placement, bouncing, etc. The overall exposure is monitored / controlled via the clipping warning and the FEC (flash exposure compensation) if the metering doesn't guess right.

The iTTL system can also be used in Manual mode providing all the advantages of a dedicated manual flash with the convenience of being able to remotely control the power of each flash from the camera.

What a iTTL flash can do a manual can't is High Speed Sync. Outdoors in the sun flash sync limits shutter speed (1/200 - 1/250 on most cameras. That in turn limits aperture to around f/11 @ ISO100 to prevent blown highlights. HSS pulses the flash allowing higher shutter speeds with in turn allows using wide apertures to blur distracting backgrounds. That's the feature that convinced me to switch to a pair of Canon's 580ex flashes in 2004 after 30 years of using a pair of Vivitars manually.

Starting with a system flash is more expensive, and limits "creative" options, but there's something to be said for learning how to use a single flash on a camera bracket to maximum advantage first before starting to move the flash off to the side on a stand. You'll find there a many situations where only one flash is logistically feasible and that in some cases, like outdoor people shots in backlight, a single flash on a bracket fill provide more flattering results than an unfilled off axis light.

When you do get the second flash and move it off axis the one on the bracket you started with is nearly ideally placed to provide the even foundation of fill that controls the mood in a Key-over-Fill lighting scenario. You might think of fill being placed on the opposite side from the key but where you need it places is where from the POV of the camera it is shadowless. If the fill source creates shadows it's not doing it's job and there will be dark void in the lighting pattern where it is missing. See my tutorials for examples of what can be done with that strategy: http://photo.nova.org

Jan 22, 2013 at 01:12 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

unravel wrote:
...Neewer TT560 ...Concern - is it powerful enough.

The model number might make one think it's almost as powerful as a Canon 580EX (GN 58), but it has a guide number of 38 (metres), which makes it less powerful than a Canon 430EX but more poweful than a 270EX. GN 38 is also less power than a Nikon SB800 (GN 53).

It'll be an improvement over the built-in flash on a camera, and the ability to get it off the camera makes it much better than a pop-up. Your next flash, though, should probably be something with more power and probably with through-the-lens (TTL) automation dedicated to you camera brand.

Jan 22, 2013 at 07:57 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Starter Strobist Kit for $100 - what am i missing?

I would spend a bit more and get a Yonougo flash. That one is at least known to work well and is in the $70.00 range. It will also allow plug in of a battery pack which I feel is required for events. At least the kind I shoot don't allow for slow flash recovery. After you master manual flash you may not want to use ETTL for events. I would want as much power as I could get . You may be back quite far and it would come in handy. For close up you just dial it down.

Jan 22, 2013 at 08:50 PM

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