I have two SB600s and one SB800. I'd like to attach a small umbrella to one of these units for portraits and macro work. Is there a particular model that works well and what other hardware do I need to set up a 3 flash system using Nikons CLS. I'm also looking for two stands. Thanks for helping out a newbie!
#2. "RE: Umbrella for SB800/SB600" In response to Reply # 0
>I have two SB600s and one SB800. I'd like to attach a small >umbrella to one of these units for portraits and macro work. >Is there a particular model that works well and what other >hardware do I need to set up a 3 flash system using Nikons >CLS. I'm also looking for two stands. Thanks for helping out >a newbie!
#3. "RE: Umbrella for SB800/SB600" In response to Reply # 0
I don't know what your budget is, I would advise get the right stuff the first time. It is not super expensive, and you will like it.
Using an umbrella with a speedlight requires 3 basic items.
1) A light stand Impact makes the cheapest stand available, 6, tall at about $20, but I would go for the air-cushioned 8 footer for $35. This is a starter item, but it will get some future light duty use so it is not a throwaway. This stand is fine for indoors, but using it outdoors with any wind would be a challenge, even with adding weight.
If you continue with lighting, the typical use progression will lead you into wanting a boom arm on the stand (this stand above is really too light for that), so then you get a heavier light stand for the boom, and then you realize the limitations of that, and you end up where most of us do....with C-Stands. Heavy, industry standard in film, tons of accessories available, and a pleasure to use indoors or out. Matthews is the originator of the design and owns the name C-Stand, but Avenger (Manfrotto) is ggod as well...DO NOT get the Impact C-Stands...cheaper with LOUSY hardware.
While you can buy cheap umbrellas for less than $10, they will fall apart very quickly, and have only one function. I recommend a more durable brand, and one that can be used as either a regular reflector umbrella or a shoot through.
One of my very favorite modifiers, both cost, quality and versatility is the Photek Softlighter II. It is like a 5-in-1 product that rocks! It is basically an umbrella, with a white inside translucent reflective surface, and a black outer cover, but that is just the beginning. The black backing also comes off the umbrella, to allow you to use it as a shooththrough umbrella for a second softbox-like look. My favorite configuration is with the front cover attached. The light is softer than a softbox, because the flash is pointed away from the face of the unit. Used really close to the subject you can feel how soft the light is. It is available in 3 sizes, 3' 4' and 5'. Comes in a nice case, and includes with gold and silver internal panels to change the color of the reflected light.
First of all, the 36" model is about $50, but I assure you this will be one of the best values in a photo product. Go to their website http://www.photekusa.com/ and click on the Softlighter II in the lower left corner.
I have this one and the big 5' one. My fav portrait look with these is over and under Beauty lighting, with the big one on top. It is hard to tell the difference in the shot between this rig and my Elinchrom Octa, which is many times the price.
#4. "RE: Umbrella for SB800/SB600" In response to Reply # 0
Go to http://strobist.blogspot.com/ and take his Lighting 101 tutorial. Lots of good information on umbrella's, stands, etc. He recommends a Westcott umbrella that folds up quite small, and a Manfroto 3363 stand that also folds small. This makes it easy to carry them around. You can ignore the stuff about sync cords and pocketwizards since you have CLS.