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Thread: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

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    SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Hi all,

    I know to some flashes are Satan's work on a Rangefinder, but for those who need to use one at night where a steady hand and low f-stop won't suffice..

    I bought a SF24D a couple of months back to help with some fill flash and evening shots of friends. Whatever settings I tried it seemed to wash out the faces- The best I could do was dial down the exposure compensation to -3 as well as shoot manual flash settings, but still the light was ugly.

    I read on a website that these Lumiquest Mini Softboxes can fit on a SF24D with a bit of jiggery pokery. They do indeed! now my fill and low light shots are far softer and I'm happy with the results!

    I hope this helps others in a similar situation.

    Thanks
    Rich


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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Do you have any with/without samples you could post? Thanks!

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by bbodine9 View Post
    Do you have any with/without samples you could post? Thanks!
    I'll have a go this weekend.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Would love to see how you jiggered it, too. I've got an SF24D myself for those "rainy day" moments (which oddly, have yet to surface)... I don't care for the results either. Thought about modifying my existing Lumiquest system or trying an Omnibounce.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    I use my little SF20 off-camera with an old contax coiled flash cord off the hot shoe (one handed flash, camera left), but without any modifier. Yours looks nicely fitted and secure. Makes me think of a kinder, gentler Jacob Aue Sobol setup. Thanks for sharing - I'll look into it.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    To be honest it has just been trial and error in affixing the velcro! i'll get some pics of the back of it so you can see where the bits go.

    On target for uploading this weekend. If I get time I'll try tonight but if so the model might be a teddybear rather than a human!

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Thanks and if possible would really like to see how well this little diffuser works for portraits/skintones.

    Where in HK can I find this?

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    NO need to jigger anything ... just get an S-Fill

    Get your SFILL!


    Been using one for years now. Folds up flat for storage in bag. Whip it out when needed ... fits on in nano seconds.

    Here's another tip when using the non-tilt/bounce SF20/24 flashes on an M for fill when shooting in portrait orientation:

    Always place the flash to the opposite side of the prevailing ambient so it fills the shadow side of the subject. Works like a charm.

    Here's another tip ... learn to drag the shutter in low light. Subject movement is stopped by the flash duration not the shutter speed. This way you don't get that over-flashed subject with a black background that everyone despises.

    I'll be back after I try to find some examples ...

    -Marc

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Here are some pictures of the softbox/diffuser attached at the back!







    I'm going to take the flash out this evening but it's dark so it's not going to work well as a fill! I'll have more time this weekend.

    Hi Stephen,
    I bought this in a Tin Cheung camera shop for around 240HKD- I went to the CWB one as i live there, but generally the TST branch in K11 seems to have more gear..

    Thanks,
    Rich
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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    NO need to jigger anything ... just get an S-Fill

    Get your SFILL!


    Been using one for years now. Folds up flat for storage in bag. Whip it out when needed ... fits on in nano seconds.

    Here's another tip when using the non-tilt/bounce SF20/24 flashes on an M for fill when shooting in portrait orientation:

    Always place the flash to the opposite side of the prevailing ambient so it fills the shadow side of the subject. Works like a charm.

    Here's another tip ... learn to drag the shutter in low light. Subject movement is stopped by the flash duration not the shutter speed. This way you don't get that over-flashed subject with a black background that everyone despises.

    I'll be back after I try to find some examples ...

    -Marc
    Thanks for the tips Marc!

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Don't expect very much from on-camera flash Rich, especially in darker conditions. Even with a diffuser in place, the source is still very small and produces flat lighting with specular highlights. The M8/9 is no different from any other camera set-up in this regard. However, it is better than nothing if you HAVE to get the shot and you've run out of available light.

    Below is a wedding dancing shot in a very dark reception hall where even a Nocti was f/1 with ISO 800 and 1/4 sec shutter ... that would've produced nothing but blurred action. So I slapped on the FS24D flash and S-Fill ... then shot the M9 at 1/30th @ ISO 800 using a 50mm @ f/3.2 or so for DOF to cover focus error on a moving subject. The flash duration froze the subjects but the slower shutter and ISO 800 opened up the background (i.e., dragging the shutter).

    I rarely use on-camera with the M cameras ... mostly use off-camera radio triggered light source ... and am looking forward to the new M because it offers the new base accessory with a sync port so you can use on-camera TTL for fill while triggering a Key Light with a radio transmitter hooked up to the sync port.

    Another tip: when shooting back-lit subjects outdoors, lose the diffuser altogether. All it does is rob output when you need it the most. Second pic is an example of strong back-light using unmodified flash directly at the subject.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    another tip with flash is to consider the wb of the flash and the wb of the existing light- indoors I put full cto on the flash so that I can then drag the shutter as mark says and mix the two better. In bw obviously this doesn't really matter but in colour you might like having one wb for a shot instead of two. I would not put the camera wb at 3200 tho, I'd go higher to about 4000 so that the warmth of the interior is preserved. And off camera on a cord (hard to do with manual focus of leica., need another arm!) you can get some shape in a face if you get the light high or to the side like larry fink etc. IN that that case I'd just shoot f8-1/60 to cover focus and zone focus probably on a leica with a wide so that it really is point and shoot- the room detail is likely not as interesting as the action in front of you. A sharply defined moment like Weegee is the brilliance of flash on camera. I don't know why so many rangefinder users shun it.

    Outdoors the wb issue is even more crucial in fill situations bc a blue strobe really sticks out. so warm it up a tad and as mark says keep it on axis where it tends to conceal itself more. Gregory Heisler was known to add a little plusgreen to his fill lights bc a perfectly neutral fill looks unnatural-

    think of it this way, in daylight, the fill usually off colour, either sky blue or grass green. or a mix of the two, its dirty. Heisler got it from painting- he said all the old masters put green in their shadows, or something, could be purple even, to make them sit down.

    Lr and the duotone option is handy bc you can put a small amount of colour into the shadows regularly and this takes away some of the pure neutral accuracy of digital and approximates the crossover inaccuracy of film. Unless you like dead neutral images of course.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Thank you so much for those responses. I'd never heard of dragging the shutter before (I'm pretty new to this). I took a few pictures last night but i feel rude uploading pictures of my friends without their consent, So attached is a picture of me engaging in a bad habit.

    This was on a roof terrace with a few outdoor lights and the diffused flash. The girl who took the shot had only been playing with my camera for 5 minutes and nailed the focus @ f2 which was a great effort!

    I haven't made any adjustments in Lightroom. This is in camera RAW converted to JPG by LR4.2 and cropped a bit. She was probably 10ft away. It is before I learnt about the dragging so it's @ f2 180/Sec. Shot with a Nokton 1.2 35mm v2.
    I assume Google+ takes a fair bit of the resolution away though.


    Thanks
    Rich

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    I actually prefer shooting my M9 with a sync coil cord instead of a remote trigger, as I can let the flash "hang" on the cord while I focus, then grab the flash to compose the shot. Obviously if I am working with an assistant who can hold the flash (with radio trigger attached) that is a better solution, but the flash has never fallen off the cord and this seems to work well when solo.

    Here's a recent portrait from the M9 with flash (Yongnuo YN460-II manual flash with diffuser cap and 0.5 meter sync cable)


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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    rich, i like that the light is reasonably soft, but imvho would benefit from some shaping (putting the flash a bit off-axis would help, like "fotografz* suggested when in portrait orientation).

    nice shot, stephen! shows clearly the benefit of getting the flash off-camera.

    fwiw, i screw in a wrist-strap to the bottom of my SF20 which is attached to my M9 with a coil cord (old contax one). i let the flash dangle from the strap/my wrist when not directing it with my left hand.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
    fwiw, i screw in a wrist-strap to the bottom of my SF20 which is attached to my M9 with a coil cord (old contax one). i let the flash dangle from the strap/my wrist when not directing it with my left hand.
    What a great idea!!! Thanks!!!

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Larry Fink used to use a golf glove or batting glove that he had modified to hold a Vivitar 283 on the back of his hand so he could focus the Mamiya 6 he used back in the day. The sensor was mounted on camera because you could do that with a vivitar so it always faced forwards. He then could use his left to send the light wherever he wanted, usually zoomed a little to vignette the edges on the 50mm. Same idea as the wrist strap but maybe faster even.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Thanks for the tips. I've been trying to work out how to get the flash off camera, I think I just need to rope in some friends as designated flash holders..!
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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by rich_ View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I've been trying to work out how to get the flash off camera, I think I just need to rope in some friends as designated flash holders..!
    Rich, you can buy the flash cables and inexpensive wireless triggers in Yau Ma Tei, as Tin Cheung doesn't carry them. As for an assistant to hold the flash mine has the prefix Mrs. in front of her name

    I'm going to Tin Cheung tomorrow morning to try and source one of these Lumiquest diffusers. I am very interested in the larger LTp model, as well as this one.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    I haven't checked that place out. New weekend place to explore! I also need to work in roping in one of these mystical wives that you all speak so highly of!

    If you find yourself anywhere near Mong Kong en route to Tin Cheung then check out C9.99 - Really nice people, tiny shop but stocks some nice Luigi stuff as well as occasionally weird and wonderful bespoke MS Optical lenses!

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    MCT and Stephen Patterson, can you post a pic or two of your set ups? Thanks.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikalWGrass View Post
    MCT and Stephen Patterson, can you post a pic or two of your set ups? Thanks.
    I will try and get a photo of my setup posted tomorrow. I purchased both the mini and the larger LTp models, as well as the rubber/velcro cinch strap for the flash. Very easy install, and I took it out this evening for some shots at a charity function. I'm quite pleased with the results.

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    Re: SF24D Softbox- Really helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikalWGrass View Post
    MCT and Stephen Patterson, can you post a pic or two of your set ups? Thanks.
    Here's my rig -
    Last edited by MCTuomey; 20th November 2012 at 14:02.

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