football with 3 speedlites
/forum/topic/1145216/0

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clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

I keep alternating back and forth between standard sync at 1/250" and HSS/hypersync at 1/800"-1/1000".

Standard sync is sharper as long as you can maintain about 2.5 stops above ambient. Any less and you get ghosting and motion blur, any more and you get nothing but a black cave for a background. Plus, this early in the year you get a huge change in ambient... nice sunset when the game starts, then a quarter of awkward light... too dim for shooting ambient and not dark enough for a speedlite to overpower ambient. And you really have to time your shot... the 2-3 second refresh cycle seems like forever as the play continues to develop.

So I keep going back to HSS. Well, hypersync with the PW flex/mini. It really does make a difference over regular HSS. You can get full power flash up to 1/500"-1/640" instead of standard x-sync of 1/200"-1/320". And when it does switch over to pulsing, PW hypersync gives more light output than Canon's HSS. FWIW, I use 550EXs instead of 580EXII's, which have had several reports of getting fried by hypersync.

When I use "L" (low speed continuous mode... ~3fps?), my flashes can keep up with a sequence of probably 6 six continuous shots. Worst case I start to lose flash power but since I'm shooting RAW at a decent high-ISO (between 1600 and 3200), so I've got enough to work with in PP if I need to.

I've used 2 speedlites, but last night I decided to clamp a 3rd 550EX on my monopod.

Worked out great. I probably took 700 shots. Ended up with 319 keepers. When I use standard xsync flash, I might typically take 200 shots and end up with 50 keepers... which is great for reducing post-processing time, but I always feel like I missed so many shots.

1D3 with 600/4L and 7D with 200/1.8L+1.4xTC...

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clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

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clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

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gschlact
Registered: Jun 04, 2011
Total Posts: 792
Country: United States

Clarence,
Nice tight crops and clarity.

Personally,I find 3, 9, 11, and 14 awkward eyes / body positioning. Love the pan on #5.

Guy



DennisC
Registered: Jan 08, 2008
Total Posts: 1545
Country: United States

Good work, Clarence.

I, too, go back and forth between standard sync and AutoFP (Nikon speak). I just can't seem to a look that I like when using standard sync.

But, I digress. When you're shooting PW Hypersync with the Flex, you're shooting manual flash, right? Do you adjust the flash power as action moves toward/away from you?

Good post and appreciate sharing your insight and results.



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

DennisC wrote:
When you're shooting PW Hypersync with the Flex, you're shooting manual flash, right? Do you adjust the flash power as action moves toward/away from you?


No, I just set the speedlites to ETTL... it seems to do a fine job 95% of the time exposing the subject. I've tried manual flash before, but I was constantly fiddling with it... either trying to adjust flash power or aperture as the action got closer.



Ralph Thompson
Registered: Jan 02, 2008
Total Posts: 1221
Country: United States

Clarence, good stuff! I have flash envy. With a 600, you may be over lensing your flash. We have a guy local that used a better beamer w/ a 500mm he got great results. I shoot with a 400 2.8 on a FF. I tried to shoot a 400 on a 1d3 but found I was not getting enough light (on my fields anyway) to avoid ghosting. I toyed with the idea of using a lumedyne strobe sytem... but then I woke up.



Matt OHarver
Registered: Sep 18, 2006
Total Posts: 4001
Country: United States

Clarence most of the set looks really good. But something about 5 bothers me. Not sure if it's motion blur, too much NR, or what but his face and arm just look good.


I'm at a field next week where I wish I could use flash. I'm going to be at 8000ISO or higher all night! And the lights cycle on and off something fierce. Uggh I'm not even looking forward to it!



tmalone893
Registered: Aug 27, 2009
Total Posts: 213
Country: United States

Clarence, really like your work! 319 keepers, wow. That has to be tough.



JimboCin
Registered: Aug 21, 2005
Total Posts: 1111
Country: United States

Clarence: These are really great shots. Thanks for sharing!

I particularly liked #15 - what a wonderful capture.

Jim



greenshutter
Registered: Jul 08, 2012
Total Posts: 14
Country: Canada

Number 13 is my favourite! The facial expression of the guy in green (#52) is just priceless



onesickpuppy
Registered: Dec 28, 2003
Total Posts: 2018
Country: United States

Would LOVE to see what your "setup" is......



Paulthelefty
Registered: Feb 27, 2012
Total Posts: 575
Country: United States

onesickpuppy wrote:
Would LOVE to see what your "setup" is......


Likewise! How do you put all that together and not look like a mars landing unit?

Paul



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

The speedlites just clamp to the bottom of my monopod. I use pocketwizards, so everything's wireless.

I'll take a picture on Friday night.



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

Paulthelefty wrote:
How do you put all that together and not look like a mars landing unit?


I never claimed it was pretty, but here it is...





Here's the design of the bracket I made out of 1" x 1/8" steel from Home Depot...



The flashes are 5" apart because that gives me enough room to swap batteries. I had to cut notches for the hotshoe on the bottom of each FlexTT5.

The battery doors are all facing up because the battery compartment on the 550EXs have a tendency to open easily.

The controls and switch labels are all facing upwards so I can easily power them up and switch my presets from 1D3 to 5D3/7D.

I used a bungee on the bottom to make it easy to extend the height of my monopod as I change from standing, kneeling, sitting.

All of the weight is centered and at the bottom, so the rig is very stable even with a 1D3, gimbal, and 600/4L.



onesickpuppy
Registered: Dec 28, 2003
Total Posts: 2018
Country: United States

maybe one more shot.....from the back side showing how you attach and connections



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

onesickpuppy wrote:
maybe one more shot.....from the back side showing how you attach and connections


Not many connections to show... the super clamp holds it to the monopod so I can move the bracket as low to the ground as I want (to prevent redeye).

The steel bar bracket is attached to the super clamp with a 1/4x20 bolt. The pocketwizards are attached to the bracket with a standard 1/4x20 thumbscrew.



onesickpuppy
Registered: Dec 28, 2003
Total Posts: 2018
Country: United States

excellent work done here !!!



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

See the silver push button at the top of the super clamp? Push that button and the clamp releases the stud ( http://www.adorama.com/BG3113.html ) and the attached bracket from the monopod. Or I can just loosen the superclamp.

Everything (bracket with attached flashes and triggers) fits assembled in a backpack or small duffel bag (with spare batteries and clear bag in case of rain). PW ControlTL/hypersync (optimized HSS, whatever you want to call it) has been much more efficient than regular HSS...with the 1D3 I get about a stop of extra light output from each flash. And each flash is sharing the ETTL load. I can take 3 continuous shots and the ready light stays red. One set of eneloops lasted the entire game last week.

Prep for the game takes 10 seconds. MiniTT1 trigger attaches to camera hotshoe.

Disassembly after the game takes 10 seconds.



clarence3
Registered: Sep 28, 2008
Total Posts: 2204
Country: United States

Last week I shot Av, but this week I'm going to switch to M with SS=1/1000".

Away from midfield, Av was dropping my SS trying to maintain ambient exposure. But since TTL is handling ETTL on the subject, then I don't really care if the ambient background gets underexposed a half stop.

I'm also going to try the 5D3 at night football for the first time. PW released new TT1/TT5 firmware (beta v6.153) for the 5D3, so I'm really looking foward to putting the 5D3's excellent AF and high-ISO to the test.

Notice the blank space between the super clamp and the first flash? When I was updating my PW firmware, I noticed that the utility listed (4) TT5 serial numbers. I knew I had (4) 550EXs, but I forgot that I picked up a 4th TT5 on ebay a few months ago. I think 3 is overkill enough, so I won't mount #4 unless tomorrow night I find myself saying "gee, I wish I had a little more light".



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