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Subject: "Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000" Previous topic | Next topic
SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 03:08 PM
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"Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
Thu 14-Apr-11 03:13 PM by SnapSnapSnap

US
          

I have reduced my kit and now try to shoot only primes. I do event photography and I'm feeling the urge to pick up a second body soon.

Thought I'd share the experience (prior to the photos) in case any of you were fretting getting a good kit together with recent supply issues.

Last night I shot an event with just my 35/1.8G.

I have used the 50/1.8 D at the same event.

The setting is a mid sized two room restaurant with a full bar and dj/live band in the main room. I can also get guests on the way in or out in the hall/entry way of the resort where the "club" is but the lighting has a lot of yellow cast. The interior lights cycle from blue to red slowly and there is a great "dynamic" space from light to dark inside the mainroom.

These two lenses do different things for nightlife. The 50 makes a great bokeh if you place the person really close to your lens and a fair distance from a busy varied background (like the liquor shelves behind the bar).

The 35 stopped down to 3.2 never misses a shot (3.2 - 1/50 - 1600 - M) and I decided my hand holding technique without VR/OS is fine @ 1/50 with most motion stopped good as well.

I'm seeing 1/3 to 1/2 of the little graph on most photos, telling me that I am capturing a nice amount of light. I shoot with a sb700 usually set to -0.3 or -0.7 using the bounce card and flash head pointed 90 degrees.

I know it seems silly to shoot a paid event with a $200 prime lens only and have to punch up more flash and step back if I need to "zoom out".

And the number one piece of advice I have for a DSLR in a nightclub is don't shoot people with a mirror behind them!

Comments or tips welcome. recent event photos on http://facebook.com/nikonaddict

Thanks. (Note, the settings above NOT in all photos on FB... most were (1/125 - 800 to 3200 - S Mode).

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member
14th Apr 2011
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SnapSnapSnap
14th Apr 2011
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SnapSnapSnap
14th Apr 2011
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member
14th Apr 2011
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14th Apr 2011
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member
14th Apr 2011
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Captain Rich Silver Member
14th Apr 2011
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14th Apr 2011
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Captain Rich Silver Member
14th Apr 2011
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km6xz Moderator
14th Apr 2011
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15th Apr 2011
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15th Apr 2011
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15th Apr 2011
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17th Apr 2011
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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 04:34 PM
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#1. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 14-Apr-11 04:35 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

Scott,
You have done well with the challenging lighting.

I don't have a 50mm but have the 35.
I love 1.8 for the shallow DOF portraits, but find it is hard to nail focus in a party/ night club situation where there may be movement or more than 1 person in a different focus plane. 3.2 aperture sounds good to me.

I really like this lens in night clubs/ or party's.
For me, these are all non-paid events where I am a participant as opposed to being the photographer.
The nice thing about the prime in this scenario is that it is relatively durable.
I keep the hood on and an NC clear filter on. I keep the strap on shoulder and am able to drink, dance, converse and quickly grab a shot if I see one. In this scenario I will only use pop op flash.

The Halloween party below was shot in very poor lighting with disco balls and darkness, but the lens was able to nail focus most of the time. All were shot at 2.8.
https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677/PutrelloSHaloweenParty?authkey=Gv1sRgCOWRiqLXsMPijAE&feat=directlink

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 04:51 PM
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#2. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Thanks, due to the small size of the lens on a 7000 with a flash... i dont need a filter on the 35/G... it's recessed a bit and I'm never even touched the lens by mistake... unlike with my 77mm ended Sigma...

I've gotten ethereal quality DOF with the 50 and 35mm primes but you don't get bokeh with the 35 most of the time.

Nailing the focus should be easy if you keep an eye on what the camera has chosen or use center weighted... especially with a prime stopped down a few. What is tricky is nailing the metering in a dark environment like your halloween party. I'm still new at this, but I seem to always pick the highest dynamic range pictures as my keepers. That's what led me to full manual recently, even.

The zone method by Ansel Adams talks about how the setting changes affect exposure and dynamic range. Check it out on wikipedia. I'm just now finding this, but it really makes sense thinking back to changes I've made to my shooting.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 04:53 PM
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#3. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Oh and don't go buying that 50/1.8 D unless you have a d90, d7000 or one of the fully pro bodies. It uses motor driven focus from within the camera. D5000 doesn't support focus of 'D' lenses. Just in case...

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 05:59 PM
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#4. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 2


New HArtford, US
          

Scott,
Thanks. I now mostly shoot manual with flash. I think at that party as a participant I may have had a couple drinks and let the camera take over a bit.

The thing that's nice about manual is your aperture, shutter and iso are set and you let the camera manage the flash output when using TTL. I'm not at a level where I could also use manual flash, maybe one day.

I went to this party before buying the D7000 so I shot it with my D5000. Post may not belong in this forum, sorry.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 06:17 PM
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#5. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I can't use manual flash, and wouldn't want to. I plan on getting the manfrotto bracket and using a ttl remote cord with it.

I love the new metering and sensor in the D7000 and the IQ and backwards (AI/AIS/D) compatibility is a cherry on top.

I wish I could see your same pix with the 7000 vs 5000 used. At 3200 ISO, those same pics would be so much brighter with about the same amount of noise.

I'm haunting KEH and adorama's used bins looking for pearls.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 06:52 PM
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#6. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 5
Thu 14-Apr-11 06:53 PM by JohnE Nikon

New HArtford, US
          

I agree. I went to party recently and used the D7000 but never posted on Picasa so I don't have access to them. If I get a chance I'll post a few.

I did just do a favor/ job for friend that was representing a local golf club. They wanted to get a couple pictures of their dining room and bar for an advertisement. I walked through shooting handheld with iso up to 2000. My intention was to then set up tripod and shoot a more optimal image after first quickly working the site. The client chose one of the early suboptimal images with iso 2000 for the ad.



https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677/RomeGolfClub?feat=directlink


JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Captain Rich Silver Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006Thu 14-Apr-11 09:21 PM
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#7. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 6
Thu 14-Apr-11 09:22 PM by Captain Rich

Savannah, US
          

John,

Something you might want to try if you use the pop-up flash is the Gary Fong Puffer. It fits right over the camera's flash and does a pretty good job of diffusing the flash output. Although it's a little fiddly, I think it's pretty cool for when you want to do pop-up flash rather than carrying a larger strobe unit. It costs you around a half stop of light, though. I always use it when I'm doing family gatherings and using my 18-200. Learned long ago that that lens (especially with the hood on) will give the dreaded "tombstone shadow" from the built-in flash. The Puffer will prevent that. The Pro Shop carries them for around $25.

Rich

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Thu 14-Apr-11 09:28 PM
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#8. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

I have the Gary Fong halfdome collapsable, but I found that bouncing off the ceiling with no diffuser and using the pop up card in SB700 gave great results.

I can't recommend against using a dedicated flash, but the pop up diffuser sounds like a win given the price.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Captain Rich Silver Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006Thu 14-Apr-11 10:40 PM
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#9. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 8


Savannah, US
          

Scott,

I agree with bounced flash. A buddy of mine uses the Gary Fong flying saucer or whatever it's called. It works great, but wow is that thing big! I use my sb600 with a diffuser or bounced when I'm willing to carry the weight along (although it isn't all that much). I also like to use the camera in Commander mode and place (or hold) the sb600 where it can bounce most effectively. I just got back from a family mini-reunion where I sat the sb600 on its stand on one side of the room on a fireplace mantle - pointed at the ceiling and with a diffuser - and just went around shooting away. Great lighting for that sort of event.

The little Puffer is nice for travel since it only weighs about an ounce. It's a little precarious, but works fine for its intended use. If you need quite a bit of light, you need something more powerful than the onboard flash anyway, and the Puffer takes part of that light. So for casual use - parties, family gatherings, etc. it's really handy. Not exactly a silver bullet, just another tool you might consider carrying along.

Rich

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 14-Apr-11 11:12 PM
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#10. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

Since you are doing these as paid event photographer I had a few suggestions.
Shooting people, particularly women in a social situation, if a wide angle is used, try to have the axis of the lens perpendicular to the mid point of the scene to avoid the unfortunate distortion that, when shooting down, even only a few degrees adds a distortion that in not flattering. a 35 is not very wide so distortion is not a problem if shot from level.
On many of the shots it appears that too much light was coming from the small source bounce card and not enough bounce, so there are hot spots on faces and the rest of the body is a number of the shots are in deep shadow. Rely more on the room filling bounce capability and if you want to add a bit of catch light, a tiny portion of a card could supply that without the harsher direct light from a small bounce card.
Skin tone looks quite good on a lot of the images despite the mix of light temperatures. If there is a dominate light temp, gel the flash to match, it makes PP much simpler. These images were in a club with more ambient light than usual clubs so working with a mixture of ambient and flash, if gelled, can simplify your lighting considerations.
The ISO was run up pretty high, giving less room for pp. It is not needed to be that high given a moderate amount of ambient plus the flash.
Unless getting closer, I usually shoot tighter, to control the need for wide dispersion of the light, plus limits the frame ruining clutter or undesired addition people in the scene. A few shots had a lot of ugly stained floor as the foreground, another disadvantage of of wide in a crowded place. This venue was not too crowded however, in normal night clubs, dance clubs the density of people would be 2-5 times higher meaning tighter shots rule. It means getting up closer because the working distance is dictated by the crowd rather than the optimum preference. A 24mm is closer to the optimum FL for close in group shots or the posing shots.
Depth of field was a problem on many of the shots, one person in a couple was in focus but their posing partner was not. If blur is an advantage it is when the blurred subjects in the frame are not subject, but background. When using a wide open of moderately open lens I find that tighter shots work out better so there is less blurred area but it is more intense...85 at 1.4 to 2.8 or a 24-70 at the top of its range at 2.8. For blur isolation, I prefer over 100mm, and shoot a lot with a 70-200vr 2.8 wide open.
When shooting wide, getting uniform light is really hard, unless closer where there is less to cover. But for ambient shots, to get the party feel and general environment, 35 is no wide enough, 24 might be but if going wider pay very close attention to any people at the edges of the frame, the distortion really adds the appearance of weight, or be prepared to do heavy cropping to less that effect.
By slowing the shutter and using rear screen, you can get the ambient that negates the spottiness of flash, when using wide angle. Club shooters often drag the shutter at 1/2 to 1/15 sec depending on light, and almost always shoot in manual. It is easier and more consistent in changing lighting situations. It allows you to make your choices for DOF and ambient contribution, letting the super smart Nikon speedlights worry about exposure. To prevent the high ISO, shooting fixed ISO has some advantages in these conditions.
You commented on the mirror. A club shooter would love to have mirrors, they make great bounce targets, just take a few steps to your side so you are more in the middle between the mirror and the subjects. The girls in those shots would have turned to pose for you no matter what, without instructions. When I find a club with a mirror high or even a glass covered poster, I often prop up a SB900 in slave mode near it, pointed at it, it makes a great overall light source, while I can walk around and be sure of getting pretty full coverage of whatever scene I am shooting.
Club shooting is a strange subject matter, the people in the club scene have integrated photography into the experience, they expect and want posed shots...that is a problem, they usually look so phony. Some of the forces smiles of the girls in those shots were uncomfortable to see. Although I take the scene shots they expect, most of mine are when they do not expect it, using tighter framing, and more relaxed faces and muscle tone. It turns out that often those shot are the ones the want prints of. To get some distance so as to be less noticed, I am usually shooting those candids at 200mm in a club.

I could not help but notice that many of the people had really poor choices of clothing, that was unflattering to their body types. If they do not know the difference, you can do a little help for them by framing with the intent of the most flattering crop or framing.

These are just a just thoughts off the top of my head.


Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 15-Apr-11 02:21 AM
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#11. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 10


New HArtford, US
          

Stan,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A lot of words of wisdom here.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Fri 15-Apr-11 01:26 PM
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#12. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Wow. I have to read this a few times to soak it all in, but it's wonderful to have a detailed critique like this. I am trying to figure a better manual formula for the event. Tonight, I will try to increase the DOF and lower the ISO a bit... perhaps the GF will go back on to increase the size of my light source.

I should have my Manfrotto flash bracket for tonight's event... and that might help improve some of the lighting issues.

I do hate shooting the full length shots because the floor looks bad... but girls insist due to their love of shoes. I like girls in boots, so a few are my choice too. haha.

Thanks a ton, after work I am going to run through this one more time to make sure I make a few modifications based on your advice. I have the luxury of being only moderately paid, so I have "artistic license".

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JohnE Nikon Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jun 2010Fri 15-Apr-11 03:09 PM
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#13. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 12


New HArtford, US
          

After the event would be great to see how you did. Please post.

JohnE Nikon
https://plus.google.com/photos/104310967428146619677/albums?hl=en

https://picasaweb.google.com/104310967428146619677


"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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SnapSnapSnap Registered since 08th Nov 2010Sun 17-Apr-11 02:20 PM
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#14. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

New pics are up on my facebook gallery... although I had a drink or two mid-way through the night... so I'm not sure how many tips I followed.

I think I got quite a few nice ones. Shot through both Nikon 35/1.8 G and Sigma 17-50 HSM OS DC EX/2.8

http://www.facebook.com/nikonaddict

S.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 17-Apr-11 03:20 PM
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#15. "RE: Small Lens Kit / Two Go-To Primes for D7000"
In response to Reply # 12


St Petersburg, RU
          

Floors can be a problem but shoes can be highlighted by getting low, shooting at a flatter angle, which will have much faster light fall off so the cruddy floors won't be so prominent. Also, shoes can look best if the girl is sitting, as to get them into the air instead of planted on an ugly floor, so they are on about the same focal plane, which makes them look less exaggerated compared to shooting down, to include them or shooting up to feature them at the cost of distorting the upper body. The best shoe and boot shots I get in clubs are a little posed, leaning against a wall or pillar and raising a shoe by flexing the knee, with head back. That brings the shoe up, gives a great line to the rest of her figure and gives some sense of playfulness. Some angles are very flattering, find them and move to them, instead of directing them since you can see what they are but the girl can't. A good tick to guess on perspective and depth. the camera sees in monocular vision so depth is something that can't be assumed to be captured. Visual clues have to be in the frame to trick the brain into assuming depth that we actually see with binocular vision. Spot good shot perspectives while walking around the room with one eye closed. Everything appears much flatter so when you turn slightly or move to a side to has a slight angle difference you can see when it would add to the apparent depth in an image.
Good natural poses occur 20 times a second....somewhere in the club but they are always where you aren't it seems. That is one reason I use a telephoto so often. The key is to be a party goer, interacting with the subjects instead of just being a paid promotion photographer who is often paid by the cub for 50 shots or so, them moves on to the next club. I take 400-1000 a night in one place, so there is a lot of demand for the personal collection of each person. Print some cards and hand them out to each person and if they would like to have all of theirs you can send them or post them on a FTP site for downloading. You can charge, going rate is $10 each for small numbers and about $3.50 each for larger numbers. I do not charge and I turn down requests to shoot for clubs, I go where I have the most fun and when and if I want to, not required to go. It is a hobby, and I am likely there anyway just to dance and socialize with my friends.
Here, at least, I only shoot women without an invitation but men when they ask because a lot of men are not happy that their activities might be seen my wives or GFs when they were reported working late at the office or with the sick mother. That is OK, the girls are the whole center of the club scene, and the love the atmosphere, attention and glamor. Here, girls in clubs outnumber guys about 1.5:1 late in the morning and 2-3:1 until about 3am or so when guys start showing up more than girls. The girls are usually with their girlfriends, not boyfriends anyway. I do not go out to many clubs in the US, it is not a relaxed light hearted atmosphere I like so much as here, where there would never a fight or confrontation, just fun and positive socializing with unusually attractive young people.

Yes, try out manual, with settings that allow the amount of ambient you want contribution. If you use the Fong, dial it back a bit with EC so there are no hot spots. I find it is pretty effective by having the entire room the light source. People are divided about them, those who hate them often have not used it enough to see how effective it can be, and object to how dumb they look sticking so far up in the air. If there is any effective scattering surfaces...not just bounce but high degrees of diffusion, indirect room excitation as I call it, getting a bunch of light out there not directed at the subject, I use that, otherwise the Fong 1/2 Cloud which actually cuts flash power requirements. They are pretty efficient.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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