>Your D7000 will do wireless remote, so I'd save both money >and a lot of aggravation by skipping the SC-29. Just put the >SB-700 in remote mode, pop up the built-in and use the >built-in as a commander. No wires to trip over, nothing to >forget and leave at home, and another thing removed from your >camera bag, so it weighs less. (And that SC-29, one of which >I own, by the way, is not so light.) And then of course you >can put the remote anywhere within IR range, rather than only >within the length of an SC-29.
I have been reading about the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) and how it works with Nikon Speedlights. I still would like to try the Nikon SC-29 as an option for off-camera lighting, either handheld or on a light stand, but I will keep your advice in mind. I am also considering PocketWizard and RadioPopper triggers, preferably the latter, at least for now, since the RadioPopper system extends the capabilities of the CLS.
>Light stands: these can be pretty subtle. My first stand was >an Impact. It was inexpensive, and rated fairly well at >B&H. It works, but for example I found that it doesn't >fold up very well. It takes up quite a bit more space. In >fact, it's consuming more space in my closet now than FOUR >Manfrotto 1052's! More importantly, it also consumes more >space in the car if I have to shoot somewhere else. You can >buy less expensive stands, but I don't think you'll find less >expensive air cushioned ones. These won't slam down on >your fingers when they're loosened. The Impact one I have is >a perfectly workable air cushioned stand, and it's only $38. >They don't come a lot less than that.
I also have been hearing about air-cushioned stands, so I will be checking B&H about the Manfrotto stands you mentioned. I like the portability you described since I do not have an assistant just yet. Although I volunteer my wife sometimes when I am in a pinch, hehe.
>The clamps are also kind of subtle too. I have some ProMaster >ones that I got locally, and they're meh. They aren't >designed too well, so while they are sturdy enough, for >example the knob that allows the flash cold shoe to rotate is >blocked if you have an umbrella mounted. I have to remove or >at least reposition the umbrella to change the position of the >flash. Why change the position of the flash? To allow the IR >sensor to point generally toward the commander, which is a >good idea almost every time you move the umbrella. I also >have some Photoflex clamps, and actually they cost me LESS. >But (a) they have a big lever instead of a small thumbscrew >for adjusting the umbrella or softbox, (b) all of the controls >are physically independent, so no fiddling with one to adjust >the others, and (c) I have noticed that they accommodate >noticeably larger umbrella shafts, too. Not that any of my >umbrellas fail to fit on either clamp, but one is clearly more >adaptable than the other. > >I've been through just enough of this equipment to appreciate >the additional value of the Manfrotto stands and Photoflex >clamps. In general I've found both of those brands to be good >quality stuff and not things that I sooner or later want/need >to replace. > >BTW, the Manfrotto stands also come with a brass >"nut" or adapter that screws onto the top of the >stand. It is capable of threading into the bottom of the >little plastic stand that comes with Nikon flash units, so in >a pinch you can even use just the stand without a clamp, as >long as you don't also need to use a light modifier such as a >softbox or umbrella.
Stephanie Zettl, author of the book "Nikon Speedlight Handbook," recommended the Frio as a better alternative to cold-shoe mounts. Has anyone here used the Frio?
>Finally, I have a couple of Promaster umbrellas, and again, >they're OK. But they're a bit delicate (all umbrellas are to >some degree but these are more so) - they're about to be >replaced with either Westcott or Photoflex umbrellas. I don't >particularly regret the Promaster items as I needed them RIGHT >THEN (as in I two hours notice) and had no opportunity to get >the stuff I'd have preferred, and moreover they did get the >job done. But if you can spend a little more, this is an area >I think that you'll save in the long run.
How do Westcott and Photoflex light modifiers stack up against Lastolite or Interfit, in a general sense? Any quality issues in particular?