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Thread: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

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    Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    I work overseas and am right now doing environmental portraits (people in forest or jungle settings). I am using two Ranger RX kits, and was planning on getting one more Ranger kit for a background wash or accent-lighting some features in the background.

    Then it occured to me a better - and cheaper - solution might be to get a whole bunch of them Vivitar flashes. More of them, more specific accents I can lay down, with different gels.

    Has anyone worked this way? Say I have 4 of them working the back while the Ranger works the front...what's the best solution for sync-ing them with my strobes? Wein slaves? But then trees/ brush might block the photocells?

    just pondering...thanks for any input...

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    Re: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    Well, Elinchrom has the Universal Receiver - but 4 receivers and 4 Vivitars? Hmmm... I would not believe that photocells will work outdoors on sunny days.
    What's about a Ranger Q? Nice little box, works on the radio with power control - and one head will have more power than 4 Vivitars... Of course the small flashes can be used more freely - but the Q with 2 heads might work too? At least much cheaper and also less weight than the big Ranger...

    Andreas

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    Re: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    I mix and match as needed speedlights and strobes for my work. I generally only use the strobes for heavy lifting, ie overpowering ambient. The most reliable method would be to have individual skyport receivers for each speedlight. You can try optical but outdoors in direct sunlight it can be a challenge.

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    Re: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    Thanks all for the inputs. I still want to stick with cheap flash units, and I did think of skyport kits, but how would they interact with flash sync sockets on the flash units? Don't they have dedicated 8-pin plugs for the ranger kits? More research...

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    Re: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocarlo View Post
    Thanks all for the inputs. I still want to stick with cheap flash units, and I did think of skyport kits, but how would they interact with flash sync sockets on the flash units? Don't they have dedicated 8-pin plugs for the ranger kits? More research...
    You can fire anything with the Skyport radio units. The transmitter can fire using the camera hot shoe ... or ... it also has a mini-microphone jack to sync with any camera with a PC port using the supplied sync cord. The Skyport Universal Receiver also has a mini jack, and the kit comes with just about every kind of sync cord or sync cord adapter you'll ever need.

    To use a speed-light or set of speed-lights, you would need 1) a Universal Receiver for each light ... OR ... 2) special split Y sync cord that will fire two speed-lights from one radio receiver ... almost anything you can think of can be made by Paramount Cords www.paramountcords.com.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of using speed-lights for this type of application ... it's like sending a boy to do a man's job . It also requires a lot of little pieces hooked together which is begging for a malfunction. However, being able to independently place speed-lights anywhere you want without power cords has its appeal sometimes.

    I use a pair of Elinchrom Quadras for environmental portrait work in concert with an on-camera TTL speed-light for fill. The Skyport transmitter allows you to adjust the lights from the cameras ... so you can alter the ratio of the background lights to the main lights at will ... and without going to each speed-light and changing the settings.

    FYI, modern Infrared slaves like the Wein SSRE-Jr Pro-Sync Open Channel System can be used outdoors ... they have built-in filters to block ambient interference, and work regardless of obstacles in the way ... the Wein unit I mentioned here is the most sensitive in the world, and claims a 3000' (914m) range, (which is hard to believe).

    Hope this helps.

    -Marc

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    Re: Environmental Portrait: Elinchrom and Vivitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocarlo View Post
    I work overseas and am right now doing environmental portraits (people in forest or jungle settings). I am using two Ranger RX kits, and was planning on getting one more Ranger kit for a background wash or accent-lighting some features in the background.

    Then it occured to me a better - and cheaper - solution might be to get a whole bunch of them Vivitar flashes. More of them, more specific accents I can lay down, with different gels.

    Has anyone worked this way? Say I have 4 of them working the back while the Ranger works the front...what's the best solution for sync-ing them with my strobes? Wein slaves? But then trees/ brush might block the photocells?

    just pondering...thanks for any input...
    I work like that quite a lot. Mixing "big" ones with "little" ones.
    Your best bet is to do radio triggering of course, b/c then you dont need to worry about visibility issues and you can use grids and gobos without second though. Skyport recievers are readily available. New ones will come with quite a set of adapting cords, but. but. without hot shoe. So you will need to get either hotshoe to pc sync or to mini-jack (they are regular mini jack, not traditional sub-mini that Elinca using on trigger). There is wee adapter in kit for pc-sync female to jack male that will sort this out for you.

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