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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #933
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Subject: "SB 28 + umbrella reflector or big soft box ?" Previous topic | Next topic
gewe21 Basic MemberMon 11-Feb-02 03:21 PM
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"SB 28 + umbrella reflector or big soft box ?"


Milwaukee, US
          

Hi fellow Nikonians,
Does anyone in this forum ever use this technique ? My favourite subject is people + portait. I'd like to get a big bright catch light on the subject eyes using a large reflector, because using flash alone would only create small dots/ hot spots on the subject's eyes.

I read this link http://www.lanset.com/rcochran/flash/ , and am interested in trying this method. However, I'm not sure about a couple of things:
1. I will use my speedlight (SB-28, and Metz 54) instead of a real studio lighting as the light source. Is it better to use umbrella type reflector, or a large soft box ?
2. What color of umbrella should I pick, or how should I decide ? Should it be silver, white, or translucent, or the combo (translucent + black cover) ?
3. How big should the umbrella / softbox be ? I like to get not only head and shoulder shots, but also full body shots.
4. I would need an SC-17 sync cord, right ?
5. The link above shows the setup for an umbrella. Does anybody know how to do it with a softbox ? The setup / hookups, clamps, etc ?

All inputs are greatly appreciated, Thanks.

George Oei

George Oei
Madison, WI
"Dude, you're getting a Nikkor !!!"

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
jnscbl
11th Feb 2002
1
Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
gewe21
12th Feb 2002
2
     Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
Obregon Moderator
12th Feb 2002
3
     Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
lstavast
12th Feb 2002
4
     Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
jnscbl
16th Jan 2008
6
          Reply message RE: SB 28 + umbrella ...
jrp Administrator
13th Feb 2002
5

jnscbl Basic MemberMon 11-Feb-02 09:10 PM
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#1. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

George,



That's the same article that inspired me. I have two umbrellas, a 26" and a 41". Both are white inside/black outside. I have plenty of utility grade tripods, so I passed on the light stand. Yes, you will need an SC17. And just between you and me, you are about to find out why the better Nikon speedlights have the -7º tilt.

I use the big umbrella for portraits. I mainly got the small one for objects. I haven't used a softbox, and don't intend to. Softboxes come in a million sizes because they are supposed to be placed right up against the subject (or object) for even, shadowless illumination. You can always take the black cover off the umbrella and shoot through it for a softbox effect, which I haven't tried yet, but this reminds me about it again. That's supposed to rob a lot of light, I hear.

A Speedlight is pretty powerful, as far as battery flashes are concerned, but bounced into an umbrella, several feet away for a full length portrait, is going to be pushing it. Try to keep the umbrella as close as possible to the subject for the best lighting, and you and the camera can be as far away as your lens requires. Be sure and keep an eye on the "flash OK" indicator light on the flash or in the viewfinder--otherwise you will be wondering why all your shots are underexposed.
-scott

--scott

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso

  

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gewe21 Basic MemberTue 12-Feb-02 02:52 AM
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#2. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 1


Milwaukee, US
          

Thanks for your reply, Scott... anyway, can you elaborate more on the -7 degree tilt ?
How many umbrellas (hence, speedlights also) do you usually use concurrently for your shots ? How do you set the zoom on the flash head (automatic zoom, or widest settings, or ...) ?

I have one more question regarding Nikon speedlight, for you Scott, and just any Nikonians who know the answer. I just started reading a book by Bob Krist. Probably an old book, because he was using Nikon N8008 and SB24 flash. My question is, why did he always set the speedlight on -1 EV compensation setting in order to balance the flash and the ambient light ? Because I thought, according to Bill Durence (Nikon Photo School), the 3D multisensor balance fill-flash would already take that into account, i.e. take exposure reading of the ambient, and then adjust the output of the flash slightly lower than that exposure reading, hence you get a "balanced" exposure of your subject. Or maybe Nikon N8008 did not include this feature ? I personally feel, even without the additional -1 EV compensation, my subject is underexposed especially when the shot is taken outdoor, under direct sunlight, at noon.

Thanks again.

Georg Oei

George Oei
Madison, WI
"Dude, you're getting a Nikkor !!!"

  

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Obregon Moderator Charter MemberTue 12-Feb-02 01:59 PM
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#3. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 2


New York City, US
          

I think you will find that many people find the 3d fill flash just a little too bright, so that you know fill flash has been used. Galen Rowell and Thom Hogan (who wrote the book on Nikon Speedlights) both favor a minus 1.7 flash compensation (not an EV compensation). It gives a gentler fill.

  

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lstavast Awarded for his contributions to the Resources Registered since 01st Jan 2003Tue 12-Feb-02 02:12 PM
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#4. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 3


Allen, US
          

Is this -1.7 that they favor just on people shots or on all shots using the matrix fill ?

I generally find the fill shots about right without flash compensation - of course I use a sto-fen diffuser too, maybe that spreads the light enough that the harshness effect is mitigated ?

Regards,
Lyle Stavast



Lyle

  

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jnscbl Basic MemberWed 16-Jan-08 01:18 PM
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#6. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

George,
when the flash is mounted on the umbrella bracket, the head is parallel with the umbrella shaft; the light hits above the center. When you tilt the head down 7º, it hits the center. I haven't gotten critical enough to test the effects of different zoom settings. Wide is probably best, now that you mention it.

Your question about flash compensation relates to autoexposure and TTL. I think most of the time umbrellas are used when flash is the primary light source. If you are just using the flash as fill, and are going to knock it down nearly two stops, you probably don't need to fool with the umbrella anyway.

I have found that using two umbrellas creates a flat, uninteresting "free 8x10" look. Shadows are not a bad thing. They are only bad when they are hard edge and black, or criss-cross. Shadow elimination seems to be a test of skill for some--hence the popularity of the Stroboframe and similar brackets. Not only do they eliminate shadows on the wall behind the subject (get away from the wall) but eliminate any modeling in the subjects face.

The 8008 supports flash compensation, but you must set it on a compatible flash, not on the body. That seems to be standard for the top couple of models.
-scott


--scott

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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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 13-Feb-02 12:08 AM
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#5. "RE: SB 28 + umbrella ..."
In response to Reply # 6


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Aha! So now we know why you like basketball!

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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