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Subject: "Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?" Previous topic | Next topic
emachuca Registered since 25th Sep 2002Wed 04-Jun-03 01:46 AM
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"Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"


Merida, MX
          

Hi,

I've been reading the posts and answers about multiple flash. I have an F80/SB-80DX/SC-17 sync cable and was wondering how to "replicate" studio ligthing with two SB-80DX flash heads.

If I understand correctly, if I place one flash on the F80 hotshoe, that will be the master flash, and the remote, a slave unit. But what if I want to have the master flash at 45 degress or away from the camera, and the fill flash on or next to the camera? (just like a normal lighting setup)

Say, should I use the SC-17 cable from the hotshoe to hook the main flash remotely (at 45 degress from the subject) and then send back a SC-18 cable from the main flash to the fill flash next to the camera? can I connect the SC-18 directly to the input of the fill flash or do I also need the AS-10? considering both flashes are SB-80DX.

Now the tricky question. With the above arrangement (if it works), if I use Matrix and Program mode, will the main flash behave as a main light and the slave flash as a fill light??? Or should I be worrying about manual setups for flash output and spot-metering?

For a studio portrait I don't mind about manual setups and using a flash meter as there's time; but in quicker situations such as weddings or photojournalism, will it work with Matrix/Program? My intention is to replicate Main/Fill lighting on the go.

Sorry for this lenghty message but I already read the SB80 manual several times and the messages on this forum and searched the web for info and can't still find my own answer.

Thanks a lot!



eMac

There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary code and those who don't.

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grmedhat1
04th Jun 2003
1
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jrp Administrator
04th Jun 2003
2
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emachuca
16th Jan 2008
28
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grmedhat1
04th Jun 2003
3
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jrp Administrator
05th Jun 2003
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05th Jun 2003
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zuiko
09th Jun 2003
6
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grmedhat1
09th Jun 2003
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zuiko
09th Jun 2003
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09th Jun 2003
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09th Jun 2003
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10th Jun 2003
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zuiko
10th Jun 2003
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10th Jun 2003
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11th Jun 2003
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11th Jun 2003
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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Wed 04-Jun-03 02:32 AM
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#1. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 0


CA
          

>Hi,
>
>I've been reading the posts and answers about multiple
>flash. I have an F80/SB-80DX/SC-17 sync cable and was
>wondering how to "replicate" studio ligthing with two
>SB-80DX flash heads.
>
>If I understand correctly, if I place one flash on the F80
>hotshoe, that will be the master flash, and the remote, a
>slave unit.
*Correct

But what if I want to have the master flash at
>45 degress or away from the camera, and the fill flash on or
>next to the camera? (just like a normal lighting setup)
>
>Say, should I use the SC-17 cable from the hotshoe to hook
>the main flash remotely (at 45 degress from the subject) and
>then send back a SC-18 cable from the main flash to the fill
>flash next to the camera?
*You can use the SC-18 or go wireless. It should be noted here that when TTL metering both will fire for the same duration.

can I connect the SC-18 directly
>to the input of the fill flash or do I also need the AS-10?
>considering both flashes are SB-80DX.
*They can be interconnected via the terminals on the side of the flash. No AS-10 is needed however it does have a tripod socket.


>Now the tricky question. With the above arrangement (if it
>works), if I use Matrix and Program mode, will the main
>flash behave as a main light and the slave flash as a fill
>light???
*Not really although that may be the effect.

Or should I be worrying about manual setups for
>flash output and spot-metering?
*Both flashes will fire an equal amount (in matrix) but you can vary their effect by having one or the other closer to your subject - a somewhat trial and error method. Another way, and easier, would be to go full manual and use a flash meter. All flashes vary their output by duration and not intensity. You can't have each firing for the same amount of time and one with less intensity to give you any kind of lighing ratio.

>For a studio portrait I don't mind about manual setups and
>using a flash meter as there's time; but in quicker
>situations such as weddings or photojournalism, will it work
>with Matrix/Program? My intention is to replicate Main/Fill
>lighting on the go.
*There again you'll have to do some experimenting ahead of time so you can get replicate your shots and get some predictable results. I'd use A mode before program as you may not get the aperture you wish in program mode.
>
>Sorry for this lenghty message but I already read the SB80
>manual several times and the messages on this forum and
>searched the web for info and can't still find my own
>answer.

To further answer you question about this set up, when using TTL metering (non manual) it's the camera determining how long the flash fires. It does not know, or care, which is the master or slave. It simply fires the master with slave and waits until enough light has reached the film and then stops firing the flash. In other words they start together and stop together. So to get any kind of lighting ratio its a mater of trial and error when one flash is not directly fired at the subject.

A question though: When you are 'on the go' with one flash at a 45 degree angle are you bouncing into a reflector or umbrella? Just curious as how you envision the setup.



Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberWed 04-Jun-03 04:49 AM
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#2. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 0


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

http://www.nikon-image.com/eng/magazines/developers/sb80dx/sb80dx_2.htm

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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emachuca Registered since 25th Sep 2002Wed 16-Jan-08 01:18 PM
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#28. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 0


Merida, MX
          

Thanks, JRP. That link complements very well the info on the manual.

Garry, I think your answer provided me with the missing concept: "It should be noted here that when TTL metering both will fire for the same duration".

That said, I can use a diffuser on the slave unit to physically lower the flash output (or bounde the slave with an umbrella). That way, I could "recreate" a lighting ratio for Main/Fill.

I wonder, if I lower the output on the slave(fill) flash by, say, 1-2 EVs, using the flash output compensation feature, will that provide the same effect as using a diffuser? Note: I mean with regards to flash output only as the diffuser, well, diffuses light to a broader area.

I'm attaching a small drawing with my intended setup. I could find or have someone else design a flash bracket to support both flashes and the camera and have a portable unit (I could use a SB-30 flash that weights less, for the slave/fill flash). I'm after creating tridimensionality without having to rely on bouncing on white walls or ceilings. For studio work, tripods is all that is needed (I guess).

Hope I'm not complicating my life a step too much!


eMac

There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary code and those who don't.

My Gallery


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Wed 04-Jun-03 11:51 PM
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#3. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 28


CA
          

"I wonder, if I lower the output on the slave(fill) flash by, say, 1-2 EVs, using the flash output compensation feature, will that provide the same effect as using a diffuser?"

If I am understanding you correctly you wouldn't be able to use compensation on one flash only - if using TTL metering. In manual you can do anything you like because the camera is no longer controlling the flash(s) output (ie duration). Really all you are doing when dialling in flash compensation is adjusting the ISO. (P. 56 SB80 manual)

But you can alter the light of any flash, either by redirecting, diffusers, distance change, etc. Also a different flash with a lower or higher GN will work too. You should be able to work out a usable TTL setup with your flash meter.

I have a similar set up to your drawing. The master SB80 is connected via SC17 to my F80 and the slave is a Sunpak 442D controlled by a SU4. The whole thing is mounted on a Manfrotto 330B bracket. Two Manfrotto hotshoe adaptors allow the SC17 and SU4 to mount to the bracket. For a diffuser I have a Lumiquest Softbox attached to the Sunpak. I have been fooling around with various setups and so far so good, but a flash meter would help immensely. A smaller powered slave would be of benefit too.

If you would like some pics of the setup send me an email with your return address.

Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 05-Jun-03 02:44 AM
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#4. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 28


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

are two completely different variables.
To soften the light, you have to diffuse it, not necessarily diminish it.
To create tri-dimensionality, you must have the light hit the subject from different angles. Another technique to accomplish this is to have a well lit and very sharp subject against a visibly out of focus background.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Thu 05-Jun-03 03:31 AM
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#5. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 4


CA
          

I agree. One problem I have having with my current setup is both the quality and quantity of light from the SB80. While the equipment is doing a good job of keeping exposure right, I am having difficulty finding a good fill light. Both flashes are quite similar in GN. I am getting nice illumination from the Sunpak/Lumiquest but too much and/or too harsh from the SB80. I've been trying various positions of the SB80 but it is still not quite right. This is where a smaller diffused fill flash would be of benefit and going manual with a flash meter. Having done that, once you find the correct equipment and positioning, you should be able to use it TTL with predictable results.

Keep in mind eMac, I am using this gear for shooting close up on small objects like garden flowers and bouquets. For shooting subjects farther away the light sources are too close together to have any appreciable modelling effect. As you move farther away the light source appears more singular. This may be something you need to keep in consideration.


Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Mon 09-Jun-03 04:49 PM
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#6. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 4


Maracaibo, VE
          

I was planning to do a portable studio with my speedlights and I'm lucky to find this thread just on time

I have a SB-80DX, a SB-50DX and a N80 camera. My idea is to use the combination diffused built-in plus bouncing SB-50DX as master and the SB-80DX as wireless slave with dome diffusor. In this way I'd have difussed light from all sources.

As I understand, if I set Auto "A" mode and wireless TTL Auto on all flashes, is that good enough or should I have to compensate exposure or use a flash meter?

My flashes setting would be similar to the drawing posted before.

Thanks!

j.a.

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Mon 09-Jun-03 05:45 PM
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#7. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 6


CA
          

If using the SB50 as your master it has to be in TTL mode and the SB80 must be in slave mode. Any 'auto' mode on the camera will work but 'A' is preferred as you can control the aperture used. The 'preflash' also needs to be off (check your manuals on ways to do this). You can't do any compensation on the SB80 in the slave mode. You can reduce/increase it's effect by diffusers, bouncing, distance, etc., but it will still fire in sync with the master SB50. The slave flash only reads the master, turning on when it does and then waits to turn off when the master does. The 'on' duration is determined by the camera. It should also be noted the the SB50/built-in combo is considered a single master for all intents and purposes. The SB80 is your single slave.

I don't have a flash meter but I assume you could use it to get some kind of lighting ratio just by changing the positions of the slave.



Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Mon 09-Jun-03 06:25 PM
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#8. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 7


Maracaibo, VE
          

Actually setting the SB-50DX as wireless master flash will turn preflashes off on my N80. Anyway I will do many shots changing exposure values and writing all the settings.

I'm still a little afraid to work with speedlights but today, after I revisited the Teddy Bear test it seems that I can do a lot of good things without the need of many expensive gear. Algo it gave me the idea to buy a SC-17 in order to simulate studio lighting using both of my speedlights in a easy way and without a flash meter.

Today I will try and then I will advise the results. Thanks for your help.

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Mon 09-Jun-03 10:52 PM
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#9. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 8


CA
          

Taking notes as you go is an excellent way to achieve repeatable results. Theres no such thing as a bad shot if you learn from them.

While you are experimenting with your flashes try using the SB50 as a second slave along with the SB80. The built-in can be used as the master to fire both your SB80 and SB50.

I also want to say I took a peek at your photos on photopoints. Very well done. I am most impressed. If I had half your talent as a photographer I'd be satisfied. Good job.


Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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NIKONARTIST Registered since 12th May 2003Mon 09-Jun-03 11:14 PM
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#10. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 9



          

why not just use a hand held flash meter and set the flash units on manual. then set one light about 1 stop lower in power. that way u can get a 2:1 ratio

never trust a Niconartist

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Tue 10-Jun-03 01:23 AM
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#11. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 10


CA
          

As mentioned the goal here is to get a portable setup without going manual and metering. The shooting situation is weddings and photojournalism type shots where you don't have time to do calculations and yet get predictable studio-like results.

Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Tue 10-Jun-03 09:22 AM
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#12. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 10


Maracaibo, VE
          

As Garry already said, I'd like to set a portable studio with my available gear. A flash meter is located at the last position in my wish list


j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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NIKONARTIST Registered since 12th May 2003Tue 10-Jun-03 12:44 PM
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#13. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 12



          

oh ok, i see. well i use the above technique with a minolta hand held meter and works just like my alien bee monolights(when i dont want the bulk). good luck in a workable solution.

never trust a Niconartist

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 01:27 PM
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#14. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 13


Maracaibo, VE
          

Guys...

Last night I received my first pics made with all the tips discussed here. I was surprised and also impressed with the results. I'm happy to have my little wonders called SB-80DX and SB-50DX. Just bounced both, TTL, and nothing else and pictures were as if I would used very expensive flash units.

You can see one of them called "Mother and son" at my Photopoints page: http://jpacheco.photopoints.com Any suggestion will be gladly received.

Thanks so much for your help although I adopted this thread as mine when it really was started by emachuca.

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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NIKONARTIST Registered since 12th May 2003Wed 11-Jun-03 02:50 PM
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#15. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 14



          

the "mother and son" is a very nice pic. tell us exactly how u placed the lights.

never trust a Niconartist

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 03:35 PM
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#16. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 15


Maracaibo, VE
          

Location was as a cave, I mean, a closed space with low white ceiling and walls. This one was easy, only on camera SB-80DX, bounced to the ceiling at 75º with bounce card out. Flash on TTL and camera in A auto mode.

I have some other not posted yet, location was more open and then I used my SB-50DX on camera with flash head at 50º up and SB-80DX wireless at my right at 45º and flash head up at 60º, some with dome diffuser, others with bounce card (best results). Also TTL and A mode.

It sounds too easy to be true, but it worked great. That's the magic of the good features of my speedlights.

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 05:44 PM
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#17. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 14


CA
          

I am so glad it's working out for you and the 'Mother and Son' is a great photograph. Your skills are very impressive. If you don't mind, may I ask you from time to time for some technical pointers?

While the equipment does have some limitations it also has some great potential. It's one imagination that's most limiting.


Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 07:04 PM
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#18. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 17


Maracaibo, VE
          

Garry

I'll be glad to help anytime.

You can also get great help from Photopoints fellows, why don't you join us

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberWed 11-Jun-03 07:13 PM
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#19. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 14


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Well done!
Now you know why we say the Nikon flash system is the best in the world.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 07:37 PM
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#20. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 19


Maracaibo, VE
          

I have heard that before and I was happy with the results of my SB-80DX, more than my SB-50DX, but after trying both at the same time, I'm simply amazed. Of course, before buying an Elinchrome or Dynalite kit, I will buy another SB-80DX, it's just what I need.

Btw... any experience using SB-80DX with umbrellas or softboxes? just in case to find a location with a non-white ceiling.

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Wed 11-Jun-03 10:56 PM
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#21. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 20


CA
          

. I haven't used it a whole lot yet, but so far I'm pleased with the results.

I sent a picture of the set up to Eduardo (#4 above). If you like message me your email address and I'll send you a couple as well.

You might also what to check this out. Richard has some good examples near the end.

Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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JimP Registered since 24th Apr 2002Thu 12-Jun-03 05:06 PM
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#22. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 21


Southlake, US
          

I also use the Lumiquest Softbox for closeups on one SB-28. You can create a "sunlight" effect for closeups on flowers with one flash directly on the subject and the Softbox on the other flash used as fill. In addition, I bought a sheet of Rosco #2, Bastard Amber, acetate, cut it to fit the lens of the SB-28 and attached it directly with double-sided clear tape. This warms the SB-28 enough to appear as afternoon sun. The warming effect of the acetate also helps with skintones.
Jim

  

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emachuca Registered since 25th Sep 2002Thu 12-Jun-03 09:26 PM
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#23. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 4


Merida, MX
          

I've been thinking about JRP's comment with regards to Quantity and Quality of light and I think a possible solution could be to install a Lumiquest Pocket Bouncer on the Main SB-80 flash and Lumiquest's Ultrasoft for the Slave/Fill SB-80 flash. Assuming TTL (no manual mode here... no flash meter either).

The Pocket bouncer has a light loss of 1 1/3 stops and for the Ultrasoft it is 2 1/3 stops. Thus, I can achieve a 1 stop difference that translates into a 2:1 lighting ratio.

With this arrangement, I think it would be feasible to meet both quantity (2:1 ratio) and quality (bounced light for the main flash and diffused light for the slave/fill flash) of light. Am I going in the right direction or should I hold my horses?

THX


eMac

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Fri 13-Jun-03 12:46 AM
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#24. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 23


CA
          

To me it sounds like you should get some pleasing results. To keep a one stop difference both flashes should have the same flash-to-subject distance. But even if you don't get the 2:1 ratio you are looking for, there certainly isn't any rule that says you can't reduce or increase the effect by moving one closer or farther away either.

This is new to me too but I can't foresee any problems with the setup. Let the horses go!


Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberFri 13-Jun-03 06:44 AM
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#25. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 23


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Machuca:
Stop wondering. Just do it. Of course you are on the right track.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
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Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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zuiko Registered since 06th Jun 2002Fri 13-Jun-03 09:04 AM
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#26. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 25


Maracaibo, VE
          

I'm also going to think about it. Until now I'm getting great results bouncing to white walls and ceilings but these are not available everywhere. I need an alternative and I've seen the umbrellas set that Garry suggested me, anyway, the Lumiquest solution is more portable. Another SB-80DX will be included in my wish list.

BTW is there so much difference between using a softbox or an umbrella?

Other question: I've suggested to use my SB-50DX & SB-80DX wireless and activated by my N80 built-in speedlight, therefore I would have to use my camera in Manual mode to cancel preflashes. Am I still going to have TTL?? What speed & diaphragm settings should I have to use?

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

j.a.
http://jpacheco.photopoints.com

  

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grmedhat1 Registered since 24th Mar 2002Fri 13-Jun-03 11:56 AM
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#27. "RE: Portable studio with Two SB-80DX's?"
In response to Reply # 26


CA
          

The whole idea of using softboxes or umbrellas is to widen the light source to emulate natural light with it's nice soft shadows. The wider the better. But there's always a trade off, wider light sources need more power and/or a shorter flash-to-subject distances and/or wider apertures. Umbrellas give a better quality light. Softboxes give greater portability.

To answer your second question you don't need to go full manual. To cancel the preflash turn your metering mode on the camera to spot. Choose the aperture you want to use and shoot. The camera will do the rest. Going full manual with multiple flash is a chore (gives me a headache thinking about it).


Happy Shooting
Garry

Happy Shooting
Garry

  

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