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| p.1 #9 · Alternatives to Canon's 600EXRT flash heads |
MNPNW, gwaww, BigIronCruiser, wsheldon... you guys ROCK!
I feel like a coal miner who just struck a vein of like minded light seekers. I am so very glad I posed this question. I can't thank you guys enough for this discussion.
MNPNW, I am especially grateful for the details of your journey out of a full investment in 6x 600's... onto something else.
You guys have been so helpful, I should explain a bit more about what I already use, what I'd like to add or subtract in order to do a better job in my work.
I need lots of lights, but not a lot of light, if that makes any sense. And the lights must be light to carry (flying), and lightning quick to deploy and decoy (hiding in almost plain sight in my frame).
With the improved sensors nowadays, I don't need more power. If a job requires a lot of lighting power, I plug in. I have 4 x 1000w power supplies, each is wireless with built in PW's, 4 multimax transceivers, 8 Heads, and a grip truck full of modifiers, boxes, umbrellas, and stands... over 300 lbs in just sandbags alone. When I need lots of light, I can bring it on. But that's not what I need.
What I have been doing currently is using those multimaxes with a small squadron of 580ex2's, and before that a mix of 580s and 550s. While the multimax's are useful in SELECTIVE triggering when multiple flashes are deployed, I've been living with making the rounds resetting the lighting values of each head individually by hand. Vivitar 285s would have been a less expensive alternative, but without HSS... which has been useful in single flash usages with that 5 pin coil cord (forget what Canon names it, but I have a couple).
So that being said, I'm not unwilling to buy 5x 600's, take the rebates, sell off the 580ex2s to soften the blow, and enjoy not having to rubber band a PW to each flash, only to have to unwrap it all mid shoot just to swap the batteries (I use lithium AAs because of their light weight... it all adds up on the plane).
But as I was about to pull the trigger on a fleet of new 600's just for the built in radio, I kept thinking back to about 10 years ago, when I was upgrading the 550's, and thought about going with the Vivitars. In retrospect, I should have, because in all these years shooting I still don't quite understand how ETTL decides, so I can't predict how it will output from frame to frame for the look I want, so I crib back to what I know, which is manually setting power outputs.
I really want to be able to make and CHANGE those settings on the fly remotely, in a multihead flash package (lots of lights, not a lot of light) that I can set up and take down in minutes, flys well, can be hidden in frame, can be easily snooted, gelled, etc.
I haven't read those promising looking links yet... I just wanted to hop on here and thank you guys for the info so far. Please, keep it coming. I appreciate learning from you.