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Archive 2013 · Flash advice needed
  
 
CRFTony
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Flash advice needed


I'm primarily an on location photographer (seniors mostly) and I also shoot alone so finding the right balance between ease of use/portability and the quality of light has always been a challenge. I started off using 2 Nikon speedlights on a bracket with an umbrella and I loved the quality of light. I triggered them with Radio Poppers which eventually stopped working. My problem with this was that I felt like I didn't have enough power to shoot in full sun and retain sky details.

When the RPs went belly up, I moved into Alien Bees outdoors. I had previously used them in studio and I like the lights, but it's a bear to move one of them around on location, on a C stand, powered by a vagabond mini. I triggered the AB with PWs. I liked the light, but honestly, I preferred the light I was getting from my speedlights.

So, as a new season approaches, I'm trying to decide what to do. I injured my shoulder last fall and carrying a lot of heavy equipment is really painful. I was hoping I could go back to speedlights, but had some questions/ideas. Could I get some of the Yongnuo flashes and use them with the new PW Flex triggers to, hopefully, surpass the 1/250 sync speed limit of my D800? I don't really want to invest in a bunch of new SBxxx speedlights so I was hoping the Yonguo's might work instead. Has anyone tried this and does it work? Second, are there any type of adapters to use 3 or 4 of the flashes at once that will also work with the PW Flex triggers?

I can use my AB set up again is necessary but it's going to be miserable with my injury and I'm trying to avoid it. Thanks in advance for any advice!



Feb 07, 2013 at 08:04 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Flash advice needed


One of the local "Seniors" photographers has a dedicated lighting rig with a Vagabond II & AB/SB clamped on a hand cart/dolly that he just pulls to the location and "Voila". Golf carts, strollers, etc. can be modded to suit as well rather than "shouldering" your gear, if that helps.


Feb 07, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Flash advice needed


Don't know about the Yongnuo flashes, but a single Qflash T5DR will give you about 150 watt seconds, and an Elinchrom Quadra will give you up to 400. Either one will enable you to shoot in full sun.


Feb 08, 2013 at 01:40 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Flash advice needed


If you can wait a few weeks...

http://flashhavoc.com/cheetah-cl-180-released/



Feb 08, 2013 at 05:26 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Flash advice needed


As far as power vs the sun Joe McNally uses multiple Speedlights per stand to tame it.


Feb 08, 2013 at 10:58 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Flash advice needed


You do the type of work Quantum created it's flashes for: location shooting with more power than speedlight but with similar logistics. The downside with them for wedding shooters using a bracket was the requirement to be an Olympic weight lifter, but they might work for you on stands.

But in terms of overall logistics it's the stands and sandbags outdoors which are the problem. I've often suggested what RustyBug already has, packing the gear in a rolling cart. One guy I worked for (had a rig like that for shooting new footage on 16mm film (in the days before video). It had a tripod head on top, slot for mount a stand next to the camera on the cart and compartments for the camera and lighting gear. It could be rolled in and set up in minutes with no lifting (was pushed into van on ramp) and attaching fill light to cart over camera eliminated the need for one of the free standing stands. Two free standing stands were used for the key and background/hair light when needed.




Feb 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM
 

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Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Flash advice needed


The Elinchrom Ranger Quadra would be perfect for you. Proven technology, super lightweight, powerful, wireless, and all the great Elinchrom light modifiers. I have multiple SB-910's and they work great with the Pocketwizard Flex series of triggers but they just can't compare to an Elinchrom head and modifier for quality of light. McNally does wonderful things with multiple Speedlights but he also has assistants to help him manage all of them. With a Quadra you can easily have the power of 4 Speedlights and handle it by yourself.


Feb 09, 2013 at 04:55 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Flash advice needed


cgardner wrote:
...The downside with [Quantum flashes] for wedding shooters using a bracket was the requirement to be an Olympic weight lifter...


A 580EX II or SB-910 weighs between 17 and 19 ounces (depending on the type of batteries installed); a Quantum T5DR weighs 26 ounces (because the battery is not in the flash itself), and a Trio weighs 20 ounces -- not that big a difference between the Quantums and a Speedlite/Speedlight.

I'll admit that at the end of a long shoot every ounce adds up, but still...I wouldn't let 9 ounces or less be the deciding factor in my lighting choices.




Feb 09, 2013 at 02:51 PM
ukphotographer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Flash advice needed


BrianO wrote:
A 580EX II or SB-910 weighs between 17 and 19 ounces (depending on the type of batteries installed); a Quantum T5DR weighs 26 ounces..


The X5d-R head weighs 23 oz. Ideal for on a bracket and on a light stand and with all the TTL, Manual and Auto bells and whistles you could ever wish for, even controlling them remotely.

With 400Ws - thats an extra 53Ws per ounce. Not even gold commands that sort of value.



Feb 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Flash advice needed


The OP never said anything about shooting weddings, he shoots seniors. I agree that the Quantum is a very nice product when you need more power but when I have 400 watts I want all my options to control it. And with seniors I'm sure the ladies would appreciate all the "soft" light they can get. So, with the Quadra you have a modeling light and all the Elinchrom modifiers available, plus a 2 head option. If you get the Lastolite Quadra Adapater now you can use all their hot shoes modifiers with the Quadra and your Speedlights.

The other option might be 2 or 3 SB-910's and the Pocketwizard Flex System. It works fantastic and with the high speed sync capability that's an extra bonus. Couple it with a Nikon SU-800 or the Pocketwizard AC3 and you have a night little, light weight, wireless studio. I love this system.



Feb 09, 2013 at 05:16 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Flash advice needed


Gregg Heckler wrote:
The OP never said anything about shooting weddings, he shoots seniors.


Who said otherwise?



Feb 09, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Flash advice needed


"The downside with them for wedding shooters using a bracket was the requirement to be an Olympic weight lifter, but they might work for you on stands."

Ii see now that this was just really a reference to weight.



Feb 09, 2013 at 06:23 PM





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