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Lightweight lighting solutions

Magnum164

US
106 posts

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Magnum164 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2011
Sat 10-Nov-12 07:34 PM

I want to move more towards portrait and other type photography that would require of camera lights and flashes. I have been asked to take pictures for my sister-in-laws wedding (both couples previously divorced so they were not keen on hiring a pro and do with snapshots). and yes, I understand the pitfalls of wedding photography, but the couple has seen my photos and they actually asked me to shoot, knowing I have never done a wedding.

I have a SB-910 for my D800 and plan to get a flash stand for it.

For me, I have had a few neck surgeries and I have not seen many of the monolights to tell how heavy they are. I want to be able to use external lighting but torn between getting a couple light weight monolights or just buying more speedlights and setting a couple up on an umbrella adapter.

I have plenty of time to decide and get them in, and over thanksgiving have a friends daughters who will be modeling for me to practice ahead of time.

Any suggestions on the benefits of bulky larger flash systems verses multiple speedlights.

I am not convinced on LEDs yet, but open to ideas. I have considered the Flashpoint system and if I do find I need more I could just buy a roller case to make it easier when I need to use them.

Hopefully I have given enough info to get ideas.


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mklass

Tacoma, US
6717 posts

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#1. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Sat 10-Nov-12 09:51 PM

You can do quite a bit with speedlights, stands, umbrellas and other modifiers. For portability and light weight, they can't be beat.

If you are planning to be in a studio setting, strobes of some sort are more versatile and useful. But taking those on the road means you need to be sure of your power source or have a fairly hefty and heavy battery.

I'd start with a speedlight based system. The lightstands and umbrellas (and maybe some modifiers) will still be usable if you later go to studio strobes.

You also need to think about how you will control the lights. With speedlights, you can use teh Nikon CLS system very effectively indoors, and in some situations outdoors. Your D800 has teh commander mode built in so you ready to go. WIth studio lights or in many outdoor situations, you will need either cables or a radio control system. This is another expense to keep in mind.

By the way, I have both. I use speedlights for a lot of portable work, and have a good Alien Bee set-up with Cyber Commanders and a batery pack for studio work or for bigger jobs.


Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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Magnum164

US
106 posts

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#3. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 2

Magnum164 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2011
Sun 11-Nov-12 12:18 AM

Mick,

Thanks for the feedback. I should have mentioned for control I already do have Pocket Wizard III's electing to go manual with the flashes as opposed to TTL. I find I can control the light better, when I try to use TTL everything is over exposed anyway.


I think for now I will agree with you and look at a speedlight based system as I do prefer natural light, and just add flash when needed or in this case for portrait work.

If you don't mind me asking what system you use for your speedlights? I have looked at the Strobies by Interfit and at first glance seems cheap and rugged enough to withstand what I would need and I could splurge on that 50mm prime lens I have had my eye o

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mklass

Tacoma, US
6717 posts

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#4. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 3

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Sun 11-Nov-12 02:07 AM | edited Sun 11-Nov-12 11:09 PM by mklass

I have a mix of things:

Honl attachments - very versatile, easy to pack, effective
A Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere with a few accessories - great for wedding and event photography
Lumiquest Softbox type diffusers, great for portable portrait photography
Flashpoint Q accessories, to play with in a studio setting.

I have 2 Sb 900s, an SB700 abd the R1C1 system with a 3rd SB200. The SU-800 is worth it's weight in gold.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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Magnum164

US
106 posts

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#5. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 4

Magnum164 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2011
Sun 11-Nov-12 02:53 AM

Thanks for the info. I have a Gary Fong puffer and completely forgot his other products and using them for weddings. Thanks for getting me started...

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hujiie

US
571 posts

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#6. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 0

hujiie Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2009
Sun 11-Nov-12 01:30 PM

I agree with Mick and Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere is a big plus..
My wedding is always fast pace and I primarily use on camera SB900 with Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere. Many times no time to set additional lighting settings.

If you bring light stand / umbrella system to on-site, for a portability, you can take strobist approach to get Manfrotto 5001B 6' Retractable 5 Section Lightstand and shooting through umbrellas (42"). This light stand will fold to be short and easy to carry but you need to put extra attention because it is not stable as regular stand.

www.hitoshiujiie.com/photography.html

Magnum164

US
106 posts

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#7. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 6

Magnum164 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2011
Sun 11-Nov-12 10:33 PM

Thanks hujiie.. I have Gary Fong items in route and I elected to go with the flashpoint stand since I could get two for the cost of one Manfrotto, although all my tripods are Manfrotto:)



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ctadin

St Louis, US
1169 posts

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#8. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 7

ctadin Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008
Sun 11-Nov-12 11:36 PM

Can your budget afford another flash? If not, how about renting one? And, also I would bring along an extra camera body which can also be rented.

Cheryl

Magnum164

US
106 posts

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#9. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 8

Magnum164 Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jun 2011
Mon 12-Nov-12 12:10 AM

Yes I have two flashes SB-910 and a Sigma 610DG which I don't like that much since I can't adjust the power much but can still be used. I will probably by another speedlight but probably not a SB-910, since I am not using TTL I just need something that can direct a burst of light at my subject There are good cheap flashes out there that even when adding the cost of a PW III is still cheaper than a SB-910.

I have a D7000 for a backup, very good camera for the money even though it is DX while the D800 is FX. I generally keep my 70-200 on the D7000 since it is not as picky as the D800, and use the D7000 as my backup/2nd camera.

This has actually been good as I am finding using speedlights may be something I would prefer/use more than the larger lights.

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mel_klim

Los Angeles, US
859 posts

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#10. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 4

mel_klim Silver Member Charter Member
Tue 13-Nov-12 02:17 PM

I also use GF for on camera flash. Does this also work well off- camera and to one's side for shadow effect?

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mklass

Tacoma, US
6717 posts

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#11. "RE: Lightweight lighting solutions" | In response to Reply # 10

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 13-Nov-12 02:44 PM

Depending on how much you are using it to bounce instead of direct. You can get shadows with the lightsphere.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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