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Thread: Some basic questions!

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    Some basic questions!

    Afternoon

    I'm going on the premiss that there's no such thing as a daft question and hope not to prove that wrong!

    I have some really basic questions i'm sure, just need to get my head around off camera flash and I thought here would be a great place to ask.

    So, I've been watching a load of videos and I'm not sure i understand, people seem to set up lights, meter and then use the settings on their camera, I get that but does that mean the light dictates what you do in camera? I see videos where people meter at say f22 or f35 or something, what if I want to use a lens wide open on a portrait for example, is it just a case of lowering the power of the strobe? I'm wondering why people expose to the lights rather than setting the lights to match what they want from their lens or from the shot?

    Soft boxes, are the differences in shape only changing catchlights in the eyes or is there another reason for an octabox over a regular square or rectangular box?

    I keep hearing people talk about "soft wrapping light" what does this really mean as I'm sure light only goes in straight lines regardless of the source, what am I missing here?

    What advice would you experts give someone going in to flash photography for the first time? Any pearls of wisdom you wish you'd known before embarking on this journey?

    Many thanks in advance, hopefully these aren't really daft questions!

    Mat
    http://matrichardson.com/
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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Afternoon

    I'm going on the premiss that there's no such thing as a daft question and hope not to prove that wrong!

    I have some really basic questions i'm sure, just need to get my head around off camera flash and I thought here would be a great place to ask.

    So, I've been watching a load of videos and I'm not sure i understand, people seem to set up lights, meter and then use the settings on their camera, I get that but does that mean the light dictates what you do in camera? I see videos where people meter at say f22 or f35 or something, what if I want to use a lens wide open on a portrait for example, is it just a case of lowering the power of the strobe? I'm wondering why people expose to the lights rather than setting the lights to match what they want from their lens or from the shot?

    Soft boxes, are the differences in shape only changing catchlights in the eyes or is there another reason for an octabox over a regular square or rectangular box?

    I keep hearing people talk about "soft wrapping light" what does this really mean as I'm sure light only goes in straight lines regardless of the source, what am I missing here?

    What advice would you experts give someone going in to flash photography for the first time? Any pearls of wisdom you wish you'd known before embarking on this journey?

    Many thanks in advance, hopefully these aren't really daft questions!

    Mat
    Hi Mat, let me see if I can help you out a little.

    The basics of light are 1) Direction of Light, 2) Quantity of Light, and 3) Quality of Light. This applies to natural ambient light as well as artificial light. The difference being you control the "when, where, and how" with artificial lighting.


    1) Direction of Light is why you are interested in off-camera use of strobe lights. Rather than the flat head-on light provided by an on-camera speed-light, off-camera lighting allows you to alter the direction at will for creative reasons. Speed-lights do have their place, they can help fill deep shadow areas caused by harsh directional ambient lighting outdoors or indoors.


    2) Quantity of Light can be a function of whether you are using lights outdoors on a bright sunny day, or indoors in a dark studio. It takes more light to overcome the sun on a bright summer day with its' bright highlights and deep shadow areas, or back-lit scenarios. In studio, you have more control since you are creating all of the light.

    People may be metering at f/22 because the highest shutter speed you can sync a focal plane camera at usually ranges from from 1/180, 1/200 or 1/250. So, the only way of controlling bright ambient is to stop down, and then increase the amount of lighting on the subject. The objective of this exercise is "light balance" between the ambient background, and light falling on a closer subject. How well one masters "light balance" determines the natural feel of the image as opposed to that "over-flashed" look.

    Note: Leaf shutter cameras can sync from 1/500 (Hasselblad V), 1/800 (Hasselblad H), 1/1000 (Leica S2/CS lenses and some Rollie), and even higher with P1 DF+/CS lenses and accessories. This is why they are desirable for certain types of flash photography, especially outdoors.

    So, let's say we are shooting outdoors and at base ISO 100, lens set to f/2 for a portrait, and you are forced to a max sync shutter speed of 1/200th you may already be near over-exposure and adding light will guarantee it. Now that is an extreme example, but one I have run up against on beaches for example. However, most strobes have very low output settings which will allow you to place light on the subject in less extreme ambient using a wider aperture. This is measured in W/s which is referencing the energy released at that setting. For example the Profoto B1 moonlight offers settings from 2W/s to 500W/s. At 2W/s the light is essentially acting as mild shadow fill in a bright ambient scenario. For reference, a typical top end speed-light delivers about 80W/s at max energy settings.

    Quantity of light may also be effected by a need for DOF oddly, in studio doing closer shots requires a lot more light than you'd imagine because you have to stop down so much to retain DOF front-to-back on any given object.

    Lastly, Quantity of Light is effected by distance to subject to see how this works look up "The Inverse Square Law of lighting".


    Quality of Light is the fun, creative part of lighting strobes have a zillion different ways of modifying the raw light output. The primary thing to understand about lighting is how the size of the source affects the quality of light. Generally, small sources create a more specular quality of light, and bigger ones a more gentle quality of light.

    So, terms like "wrap around lighting" are usually referencing a larger source like a big soft box that is placed closer to the subject in effect it is like placing a subject near a large picture window with shear drapes. As you move that same light/modifier further away from the subject, the smaller it becomes and the more specular it can get. Think of the difference between the pin-point sun at noon and at big ball sunset noon is harsh and specular, sunset is softer and more gentle. The amount of Earth's atmosphere the light travels through is why this happens.

    Octa or square soft-boxes are variations on a theme Octas have more facets inside to "shape the light" differently than a soft box with its' four sides. Octas also come in "deep" versions which can "magnify" the amount of light being thrown forward providing more light to subject than a less deep modifier.

    The other aspect of different modifiers is controlling where the light falls and doesn't fall. An umbrella offers less control compared to a soft box which can also use internal diffusion baffles and masking grids to be more exacting in light placement. For example, a gridded soft box can light the subject but not fall on the background which is harder to do with an umbrella alone.

    There is a lot more to it, which is why is so much fun working with lighting, but that's the fundamentals to begin with.

    I'll try to dig up a few examples to demonstrate the above.

    - Marc
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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Some demo images using strobes and various techniques and modifiers.

    The "blue" outdoor shot of a wedding party on the dock is an example of over-powering the sun I used a 600 W/s strobe at full output, and a 39"wide, deep silver lined octa-box without any diffuser to magnify the light at that distance in such harsh back-lit ambient conditions. (In reality I needed 1200 W/s). Without such a powerful strobe, either the background would have been completely blown out, or the subjects would have been totally silhouetted. (This was shot with a Leica S2 and Hasselblad 100/2.2 leaf shutter lens @ 1/750 sync).

    The Bride with flower girls is also an example of light balance using 1/750 sync, and less light to keep the subjects somewhat back lit and natural looking against the background. Without the lighting, some of the background and Bride's veil would have been blown out.

    These two wedding examples happened because at a wedding you rarely have control over when you may be shooting a particular image. Strobes make it easier to deal with extreme ambient conditions.

    The two color images of the body builder and blonde figure competitor are studio examples of using the "direction of the light" to emphasize the body definition. The man was lit by a single 4" wide strip light above him, and the woman was a 2 light solution using a giant highly polished Mola beauty dish camera right as a specular key light, and a kicker light camera left.

    The "angry man" and BW profile shot of a personal trainer are other studio examples of using "direction of light" for creative effect.

    The little boy mimicking "Home Alone" face slap used a smaller beauty dish with diffusion sock located up high camera right with a large bounce surface camera left for fill. This is an example of using less strobe lighting so I could set a wider open aperture with less DOF to separate him from the background chair. It is also an example of a smaller source as evidenced by the smaller eye reflections but little kids can take more specular lighting because their skin is so smooth.

    The portrait of the woman holding my S2 was a commissioned portrait (she is another local photographer). It was done with a H4D/60 @ 1/160 shutter using a HC210 @ f/4 to separate her from the background. I used a giant 8' Hensel white umbrella just to the right of me and a gridded 4' soft box camera left to rim light her shoulder and hair the lighting camera right was from the ambient. It would have been better if I had moved the big light more camera right to give a bit more shape to her face. Actually, she was in shade which made balancing it all much easier and allowed me to use a wide open aperture.

    Lastly, is the B&W of a groom dancing with his mother at a wedding reception. Again, an example of dramatic direction of light. This is an example of a very simple mobile lighting set-up where a strobe acts as key directional lighting and an on camera TTL speed-light acts as fill. It was about 320W/s of strobe with the speed-light set to -2 TTL output to keep it dramatic looking but slightly fill the shadows.

    Open for questions which I'll answer if I am able.

    - Marc

    Just click to enlarge:

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Marc

    Superb, I was hoping you'd answer! Really good information, thanks.

    I get a lot of the principles, how light drops off, large and small light sources and now I understand that stopping down may be necessary in order to balance the light. I am looking to develop my photography and this seems like a natural progression, I'm gaining paid work steadily and I want to produce the best results I'm capable of.

    Here's a typical example of what I'm being asked to shoot, this is a corporate portrait job a few weeks back and an ideal example of the issues I face here in the North of Sweden with location portraits where I'm forced to use ambient light.



    There's very little light in the winter and light all the time in the summer, On this day I had 25 people to shoot, it was -25 and I had to try and gain consistency, in the end by compromising the light on every shot rather than having a couple that were really nice and the rest not so nice. Whilst I love the background, he's flat with the sun acting as a sort of rim light being the only real save.

    Can I ask how you'd have shot something like this with strobes? Would I be able to do these sorts of jobs with a single light with a beauty dish or something and then a handheld reflector or would I need more lights? I get asked to do quite a few of these types of shots and I'm currently "too busy" because i don't want to turn up unable to get it right.

    Starting off is expensive and I don't want to spend lots of money but I also want to be able to do what I want! I have almost finished a small studio at home for more controlled lighting and have been watching videos on single light portraits so I'm tempted to buy one, some reflectors to deal with fill and see how I get on, is this a sensible way of doing it or am I better to just go for it and buy a kit if some sort? I'm tempted by this B1, not because of ttl but because we're surrounded by forest and nature here and there are so many great locations, I really want portability and ease of use.

    Thanks again for your help, much appreciated.

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    That's a nice portrait Mat good expression on the subject but I get what you are trying to accomplish by adding some lighting option(s).

    Yes, you most certainly can use just one light out of practicality I have to work with one strobe light all the time when shooting weddings because we are so mobile moving from location to location to location often each one being a different ambient lighting scenario from the last. Even trying to use reflectors is unpractical, and too much to fuss with.

    The classic way to pull this off is one strobe as key, and a TTL speed-light in the hot shoe for controlled fill (TTL controlled by riding the compensation buttons).

    This presents the technical problem of where to put the radio transmitter for the strobe. My solution is to mount the camera on a Kirk Action Grip with a general purpose "cold shoe" on the grip to mount the radio transmitter on (which you connect to the camera with a PC cord):

    Kirk AG-2L Left Handle Action Grip for DSLR Cameras AG-2L B&H

    Stroboframe Shoe - General Purpose 300-405 B&H Photo Video

    Rather than a 20" or 22" Beauty Dish, the light modifier I would suggest is the Elinchrom 27" Rotalux Deep Octa which provides the light quality, control, and versatility of a soft-box, but is very mobile and easily folds down like an umbrella for transport. Elinchrom now makes the mounting speed rings for most any brand of strobe including Profoto (see 2nd link below).

    Elinchrom 27.5" Rotalux Deep Octa EL 26187 B&H Photo Video

    Speed rings for Elinchrom Rotalux Deep octal | B&H Photo Video

    Mat, you didn't mention whether you are working with an assistant, but if I ever accepted a job with 25 portrait subjects, I would. That way you can mount the strobe on a handheld Boom Arm so you are totally mobile and able to vary the location or direction of light at will, and work very quickly when necessary. NO running over to adjust the height of the light for different height people, no adjusting anything for different people, locations, or backgrounds, the assistant does that at your command. All you carry is the camera set-up and focus on interaction with the subjects, and how you want the light to hit them.

    Elinchrom EL Handheld Boom Arm (25-61") EL 31049 B&H Photo

    In your example above, I probably would have used a Strobe & 27" Octa with front diffuser mounted located camera left, slightly higher up and close to the subject on a 45 ish angle to provide some defining shape to his face, and set the strobe output to balance with the ambient rim light already there. The amount should have a subtile shaping effect, so not much power would be needed in this case. If the background were more of a summer level of brightness, more light would be needed to balance it.

    In effect, the strobe becomes the sun and prevailing ambient can act as the accent light except you can place the sun anywhere you want and pick any background you wish. When in more contrasty light, the TTL speed-light can act as fill to soften any shadows created by the "surrogate sun" strobe. How much fill is creatively up to you.

    For studio, you may wish to consider a two light kit to start, then add to that as you progress primarily because you are creating all of the light and don't have any ambient to work with.

    A second "location" strobe back in the vehicle is handy as back-up to assure consistency anyway just in case something happens to the main strobe on subject number 16 of the 25 you are shooting

    Profoto isn't the only brand to consider, just the best one right now with the advent of the B1. The Elinchrome Quadra kit is very good also and is quite small and easy to transport.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 6th March 2014 at 01:31.

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    I'd like to thank you Marc, my bank manager less so!

    Great information, thanks for taking the time, I appreciate it.

    Am I right in thinking that the B1 and D1's are compatible, as in I buy the B1 and then supplement with a D1 kit in the studio? I presume the air remote will fire everything if I'm using a mixture of the 2?

    I have ordered the B1 now, should be here early next week with luck, looking forward to playing around with it! I have bought a single stand to start with but I have asked my dealer to look in to the boom arm you suggest, I don't often have an assistant, with natural light jobs like the one above it was very simple, file people out to stand on a mark, focus and done! Took a couple of mins for each person. I can see things changing with having strobes though so a big benefit having an assistant to move as required and get me coffee!

    I'm sure after next week i'll have some more questions, i hope you don't mind me coming back to you for more advice.

    Thanks again.

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Not at all. Sorting through all the options and learning by trial and error until you find something that works is certainly something worth sharing after all the effort.

    Yes, the D1 and B1 are compatible in terms of modifiers, radio transmitter, and accessories. The B1 offers more functionality with TTL and more comprehensive control at the camera when its' transmitter is used but the original AIR remote also works in case you want a back-up.

    Later on, you can add an inverter to power the D1 on location if you find you want to use two lights.

    You may want to add the Profoto glass dome option for the lights. It works better when using a soft-box.

    Profoto Glass Dome for D1 Monolight - Frosted 101561 B&H Photo

    - Marc

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Hi Matt, great portrait.

    I love lighting and now I rarely, even on the most mundane of jobs, don't use some sort of light modifier. I'm no lighting guru but I do love the discovery of it all. I think once you realise its the lighting that usually makes the image rather than how expensive the camera is you're photography greatly improves. What is nice about lighting is that none of it needs to be measured or be a specific number, just a feeling/look.

    First off, I would recommend before you get too complicated with your lighting is to purchase a really excellent reflector. Not the crappy collapsable types but a good rigid one like a Lastolite Skylite (I use) or California Sunbounce. Preferably a metallic efficient one (silver/warm silver) as just using this as a fill in your portrait would have added a bit of punch and most importantly a catchlight in the eyes. Even firing a speed light at the reflector could have worked well also. Eyes look so much brighter, glossy and healthy with a catchlight. Also buying a Skylite kit for example will also give you a diffuser screen and white reflector to allow you to modify the available light further for different looks.

    When it comes to strobe the Profoto B1 you've ordered is a cracker. I know Marc recommends the domes but I tested them and unless you're using a huge modifier you'll just loose around 1/3 to stop exposure and most "standard" soft boxes won't benefit that much as the flash tube on the B1/D1 is still recessed. The fashionable octa modifiers only real benefit over regular soft boxes other than the oval catchlights they produce is their greater efficiency due to their construction. Apart from that I don't get them....... sorry octa lovers!

    I personally think a hard light fired through a scrim (Syklight again) can give many more lighting options than a fixed soft box. You can even get the light to fall off over the surface of the scrim/reflector to great effect on the subject. As you might tell, I've fallen out of love with soft boxes and prefer a more specular light source and a good old fashioned silver brolly is a great modifier as long as spill is not a problem like in your exterior portrait. The Profoto ones allow you to add a diffuser if needed. As you mention, the beauty dish is a nice modifier especially for portraits as its a nice direct but diffused source that gives great shape to faces. Then at the top end the Broncolor Para 88 is a beauty that I'm looking at adding to my kit. A directional or diffused modifier depending on zoom position that can have diffusion screens added or further focused with egg crate attachments.

    Let us know when the B1 arrives and your thoughts on it.

    Gareth
    Last edited by gazwas; 9th March 2014 at 00:02.
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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Gereth, did you test the dome while moving the modifier along the body of the head?

    When the head protrudes into the modifier the standard flat glass and built-in 71 reflector is then less effective at using the whole modifier design which was a chief complaint when the D1s first appeared. The domes work better than the flat glass, but less so compared to the standard Profoto strobe heads with no recessed tube.

    "Other than the oval catch lights and greater efficiency of (deep) Octas" pretty much sums it up two major advantages.

    The scrims advice is excellent I like working with various ones to feather the light on a subject.

    However, I took it that Matt was looking for a simple, versatile set-up that'll work in most or all situations where scrims, bounce reflectors and umbrellas are more restrictive and conditional besides I hate the "spider web" eye reflections from umbrellas. Creepy.

    IMO, Soft or specular isn't something where one is to be favored over the other they are simply quality of light decisions one makes creatively. I used more specular/directional light for the body builder shot for a reason where I wouldn't dare use it on portrait commission for a 55 year old business woman preferring a 7' Plume Wafer with graded baffle and front diffuser.


    Anyway Mat, lots of fun stuff to explore but with a simple set-up using a B1 and versatile modifier that you can slide along the B1's body to alter the angle/intensity or use one or two diffusing baffles to control diffusion and in the case of the Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa, a reflector plate that mimics the effect of a beauty Dish it all gives you plenty of options to start with.

    Best of luck.

    - Marc

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Gereth, did you test the dome while moving the modifier along the body of the head?

    When the head protrudes into the modifier the standard flat glass and built-in 71 reflector is then less effective at using the whole modifier design which was a chief complaint when the D1s first appeared. The domes work better than the flat glass, but less so compared to the standard Profoto strobe heads with no recessed tube.
    I did but felt the difference was minimal. The only thing that gave the wider spread of light was the frosted coating of the dome as the flash tube is still recessed. If a modifier requires a exposed tube (in the dome) then it's best to use such a head rather than one that mimics one.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    "Other than the oval catch lights and greater efficiency of (deep) Octas" pretty much sums it up two major advantages.
    But the disadvantages are they're usually a more comlplex design taking longer to set up and the efficiency can sometimes (as in the OP's case) go against you if you require larger apertures for shallow DOF.

    BUT.... yes, that is what makes lighting fun as we all do it differently and no one way is correct but just an interpretation.

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Thanks for the added information gents, much appreciated.

    Good advice Gareth, I am looking at a 2 sided reflector, white/silver as an addition to the B1, ideally to reflect a bit of light back for fill but also to aid shots like above, where a reflector may have been enough to reflect the low sun back enough to add a little light to the face.

    All good fun, i'm really looking forward to playing, I decided that i could sell everything and get a basic Leica S2 kit but ultimately, I find the D800 brilliant and ended up buying light and another D800E body, I'm happy with that!

    Cheers, enjoy your Sunday

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I did but felt the difference was minimal. The only thing that gave the wider spread of light was the frosted coating of the dome as the flash tube is still recessed. If a modifier requires a exposed tube (in the dome) then it's best to use such a head rather than one that mimics one.



    But the disadvantages are they're usually a more comlplex design taking longer to set up and the efficiency can sometimes (as in the OP's case) go against you if you require larger apertures for shallow DOF.

    BUT.... yes, that is what makes lighting fun as we all do it differently and no one way is correct but just an interpretation.

    The D1/B1 domes do a good enough job of using more of the modifiers design, and you still can use the B1 with flat glass with the very convenient slip on grids Matt's just getting one light so having the option of another head for a specific use doesn't make sense.


    The Elinchrom Rotalux deep octa I mentioned sets up in a blink and folds down even faster so you get the delicious light and control, with nearly the ease of an umbrella.

    but no use quibbling doesn't serve Matt to argue hair splitting details.

    - Marc

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    .… but no use quibbling … doesn't serve Matt to argue hair splitting details.
    Exactly, not being argumentative, just up for a discussion. All I'm saying is you need nothing more than a B1, and a brolly to transform your portraits. I personally love brollies. Much more exotic and expensive modifiers are available but until you know why you need them why start off so complicated.

    I've got soft boxes I have rarely used, some unopened from new that in hindsight I need not have bought but I thought soft boxes were essential when I first started with serious lighting...... Thery're not.
    Last edited by gazwas; 9th March 2014 at 10:47.

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    I would like to add another Basic Question here: what's a good light meter for starting out? Thanks

    Glen

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Gaz, I read that broncolor do an adapter for profoto, have you thought about the B1 in the para 88? I don't know how much heavier the B1 is to a normal head without a power pack but have seen loads of videos on the para and it does look incredible. It's something I would love to try once I understand what I'm doing and have got practical knowledge on how lighting works. Definitely overkill for my level but good to aim high in the future!

    Marc, I have asked my dealer to get a Rotalux deep for me to try, the reviews are good.

    Cheers

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenC View Post
    I would like to add another Basic Question here: what's a good light meter for starting out? Thanks

    Glen
    A sekonic would do as would anything else capable of an incident reading.
    I use the sekonic L-758DR since it can trigger my lights and also has spot meter capabilities. I have to admit that I use the spot meter only with film and usually outdoors.
    -bob
    www.getdpi.com
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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Thanks for the info Bob, I wasn't aware that light meters could trigger the lights, seems like a very useful function.

    Glen

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenC View Post
    I would like to add another Basic Question here: what's a good light meter for starting out? Thanks

    Glen
    You don't actually need a light meter but they do help with setting up ratios quicker.

    I use a Sekonic 758 also but it's unnecessary though and much cheaper flash meters will do just a good a job. The issue I have with Sekonic is as they are very much in bed with Pocket Wizard and unless you use Pocket Wizard slaves then you have no option for built in radio triggering. The flash sync module approach to the Sekonic meters is brilliant, its just they don't (and won't now) make modules for other brands. 3rd party modules are being developed but still nothing mainstream available yet so don't be sold on that feature alone.

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Gaz, I read that broncolor do an adapter for profoto, have you thought about the B1 in the para 88? I don't know how much heavier the B1 is to a normal head without a power pack but have seen loads of videos on the para and it does look incredible.
    Hi Mat, yes indeed have seen the adapters for the Bron Para's and I'm sure the B1 would work very well with them but in my search for said adapters at a recent photo show in the UK I've unintentionally discovered the Bron Move 1200 so all Profoto purchases are on hold as this may be my ultimate location flash pack!

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Light meters can trigger the flash IF it has a radio module in it.

    Otherwise, you set the meter to ready mode, which reads a flash when it is fired, and you fire it with a transmitter in hand.

    - Marc

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Woohoo! Received the B1 yesterday and been playing with it today, first foray in to flash and finding the experience great!

    I was concerned about backdrops as I have a plain white studio but have found that angling the light and using the grid on the beauty dish I can go from a full white background to a fading grey to a black, all with the one light, brilliant!

    Anyway, I persuaded my neighbours daughter to help me out last night and sit for me and liking the results but as I play today i can see that it's possible to do so much more.

    The light from the beauty dish is lovely and the grid makes a huge amount of difference. The flash head isn't as heavy as I thought it would be, the fan runs all the time with the modelling light on but it's silent when just using the flash alone. Battery life seems great although obviously the modelling light has a significant effect as I found out last night when the battery died mid shoot.

    All in all really impressed with the B1 but can see me buying a few extras to get the most from it.

    Thanks to all who offered advice, much appreciated!

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Here's a first attempt, obviously I have a lot to learn but I'm blown away by the detail when using a strobe. I had dismissed this Nikkor 85 f1.8 as a total piece of crap because in daylight the reflections are just horrific but have found in controlled lighting it really works.

    Anyway..



    This is my neighbours daughter, never modelled before but I think she looks great. I think I will benefit from a reflector on the left and some way of bringing the light in to her hair but as a first attempt as a dramatic/low key look I like it.

    Any tips or tricks, let me know!

    Cheers

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Mat, how is using the B1 going and had any more shoots like in your original post?

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Hey Gaz

    All going great thanks, it's a fairly steep learning curve but I'm really enjoying using the B1, I'd be buying your last one if I had the money but alas no serious offers on my lens.

    As this is my first step in to off camera lighting, I don't really have anything to judge it against, what I find absolutely brilliant is how easy it is to set up and control, I'm shooting Nikon so only using the air remote and the B1 on manual but it's so easy! I don't have enough experience yet to instinctively know what power I need in a given situation and maybe my only complaint is I can raise and lower the power from the camera but I don't know what I'm raising it or lowering it too so it's hard to replicate without going over and having a look. Obviously it doesn't matter in most situations but when learning, I'd like to be able to see what power setting I'm on.

    I haven't had issues with weight so far, not got any really big modifiers yet so will cross that bridge when I come to it. Using an assistant is easy, it's light enough to have them hand hold and move about with it.

    Overall, I'm really enjoying it, I have done a couple of small commercial shoots but avoiding taking on anything bigger until I really understand what I'm doing, I don't want to be experimenting with a client.

    Now the important thing, have you got the Bron yet???

    Mat

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Now the important thing, have you got the Bron yet???
    Ha, thanks for asking but no not yet.

    Sold the B1 today so thats all of my Profoto gear (bar some Air Syncs) gone making it all systems go. The Move packs are 2-3 weeks delivery so I'm in a state of limbo at the moment but have decided what I want. The only problem is I'm now forced back to cables on location again which is a major PITA when you're used to battery.

    Glad you are enjoying the B1 and hopefully you get a second one soon. As much as I know the B1 is a real advancement in battery strobes and its an amazing bit of kit I don't think I'll miss them where as I missed the Acutes as soon as I packaged them up for posting.

    I just hope the Moves live up to my expectations.

    Keep us updated with your progress - the lighting forum is not the most active.

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    Re: Some basic questions!

    Good stuff, at least you know what you're getting. I'm terrible when it comes to waiting, if I buy it then I want it, now! Hopefully it won't take too long to get to you.

    I'm actually liking the idea of the B1 inside the para 133 or something, best of both worlds! Need to earn some money first.

    Good luck with it when it arrives, all good fun!

    Mat

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