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Photographer
ToddRock
Posts: 79
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Recently I got a set of lights with variable power on them, and can't believe how much time I spent in the past messing with gels and filters to stop down lights(Well in most cases the fixed lights offer a 1/2 power switch actually).  But after having a knob I want to change out some other lights now, but the hair light is still an issue because it is high up and requires something to step up on to get to it, or bring the light down, either way it is a chore to deal with.   I wondered if there was a remote control strobe so the power could be set at ground level.  The closest thing I can think of is the older style systems with the power controller that sits on the floor.  Any suggestions on this?
Apr 03 12 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gaze at Photography
Posts: 4,371
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, US


I'm a Nikon guy and enjoy the CLS controlling my remote speedlights from the camera.
Apr 03 12 06:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ToddRock
Posts: 79
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Thanks, that is the concept, I am not sure if the Nikon can work if it has a radio on the hot shoe already, but will check it out.  The basic idea is to be able to adjust the power by any means, I will not be sticking with the Nikon long so another option will have to be sorted out soon.
Apr 03 12 07:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,453
Orlando, Florida, US


An SB-800 or SB-900/910 is a controller and can adjust many other SB-600, 800, 900/910 flashes.

An alternate is the PCB line of strobes using the CyberCommand controller and the proper receivers on their strobes.
Apr 03 12 07:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ToddRock
Posts: 79
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Thanks for that additional info, so basically any camera can be used but control it via one of the units as the master.
Apr 03 12 07:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Azimuth Arts
Posts: 1,489
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Todd Rok wrote:
Recently I got a set of lights with variable power on them, and can't believe how much time I spent in the past messing with gels and filters to stop down lights(Well in most cases the fixed lights offer a 1/2 power switch actually).  But after having a knob I want to change out some other lights now, but the hair light is still an issue because it is high up and requires something to step up on to get to it, or bring the light down, either way it is a chore to deal with.   I wondered if there was a remote control strobe so the power could be set at ground level.  The closest thing I can think of is the older style systems with the power controller that sits on the floor.  Any suggestions on this?

If you want a studio strobe look at the Alien Bees:
http://paulcbuff.com/b800.php - They have a slider switch on the back for manual on the unit adjustment.

But add on the Cyber Commander on your hotshoe: http://paulcbuff.com/cc.php
plus one cyber receiver per light: http://paulcbuff.com/csrplus.php and you can control all the settings from your camera position.  In fact you don't even need to have the controller at camera position - the controller could be operated by someone else (i.e. an assistant) and a simple transmitter (http://paulcbuff.com/cst.php) on the camera.

This system works independently of the camera - so Nikon, Canon, basically anything that can fire the transmitter in the hotshoe.  All the logic and control is handled by the Cyber Commander.

I've only got one receiver at the moment, so I use it on the light which is most difficult to reach - but it sames having to climb a ladder, or lower the boom arm to make an adjustment.  I will be ordering more receivers soon.

Good luck.

Scott

Apr 03 12 07:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KFM Designs
Posts: 685
Flagstaff, Arizona, US


Paul C. Buff - Einstein E640 cyber commander

Elinchrom Sky port

Profoto Air

The latter two are pricey but the Paul Buff is pretty inexpensive

Cannon just released the ST-E2 Speedlite transmitter, this has a built in Radio that is good to about 30 meters.  The corresponding Flash also has a built in Radio, 5 zones and up to 15 flashes.

Just ordered one and I pick it up tomorrow.  The flash is still on back order.
Apr 03 12 07:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,881
Beverly Hills, California, US


The Nikon  SB series can drive you crazy fiddling with all the settings , menus etc.
I shoot with profoto D1 airs, it has a remote flash trigger you can adjust the D1(s) separately or in groups.  It   has 7 stop power adjustment in 1/10 increments.

I have sb-600 's and its a royal pain to configure the settings. I've done it using my D200  just too many menus' submenus  to deal with.
Apr 03 12 07:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KFM Designs
Posts: 685
Flagstaff, Arizona, US


Apr 03 12 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dcphotos
Posts: 284
Anaheim, California, US


I use the Radiopopper system and love it. They can control the power setting of both my speedlights and my Alien Bees right from the trigger on the camera. I can even mix and match. I'm not affiliated with them at all, just a really happy customer.

http://radiopopper.com/
Apr 03 12 07:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,301
Sacramento, California, US


Elinchrom Style RX system with either a EL-Skyport system or the Pocketwizard TT5/TT1 with the Power ST4
Apr 03 12 07:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Red Sky Photography
Posts: 3,305
Germantown, Maryland, US


Hensel Integra Pro system lights can be adjusted but buttons on the trigger, that's how I change my hairlight intensity from the camera.
Apr 03 12 07:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AKPhoto Denver
Posts: 195
Denver, Colorado, US


I use PocketWizards in combination with Canon 580exIIs, 430exIIs, and a mess of AlienBees. 

Some FlexTT5s, some AC9s, and an AC3 zone controller, and you're good to go.  Just make sure it's the Nikon version.

http://www.pocketwizard.com/products/tr … 20adapter/
Apr 03 12 08:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,775
Atlanta, Georgia, US


The 'older style' with the power control on the floor is commonly called a pack and head system and is style most of the top end brands use.  You will find them on most professional shoots.  Just needed to point that out.

Many of these brands have their own wireless systems with power control, I use Elinchrom and it's part of their sky port system.  If you shoot Nikon their CLS system for speed lights is unmatched in it's control as another option.
Apr 03 12 09:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
joeyk
Posts: 14,697
Seminole, Florida, US


I use Photogenic 1250DR monolights, digital display, remote control just like the tv, control by 1/10 stops...
Apr 03 12 09:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nico Simon Princely
Posts: 1,793
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
An SB-800 or SB-900/910 is a controller and can adjust many other SB-600, 800, 900/910 flashes.

An alternate is the PCB line of strobes using the CyberCommand controller and the proper receivers on their strobes.

I have both if the Above almost I actually have a SB-900 and two SB700s and I control them from the built in flash on my D7000 . The Cyber Commander is very cool but make surf you read the manual.

Apr 03 12 09:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Brecht
Posts: 12,209
Colton, California, US


Apr 03 12 10:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DC Chavez
Posts: 351
Redondo Beach, California, US


http://www.profoto.com/air-sync-remote/ … 3vfj3huEZM

http://www.profoto.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/medium/air_remote.jpg

Works with AIR Equipped gear- i.e. D1 monolights, B3 AIR, Acute 1200 Air etc.

Amazing product.

DC
http://portfolio.dcchavez.com
Apr 03 12 10:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Lorrin
Posts: 6,983
Eugene, Oregon, US


Alienbees and Whitelightning also have a wired remote  L4GX.

99 dollars and will control up to 4 sets of lights up to 100 feet using simple telephone cords.  (has four outlets - more lights using splitters)

5 volt trigger voltage.
Apr 04 12 12:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JohnEnger
Posts: 774
Jessheim, Akershus, Norway


All new Elinchrome have this feature, as you can control the light from the trigger unit.

J.
Apr 04 12 12:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J M
Posts: 372
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


KFM Designs wrote:
Elinchrom Sky port

I bought the elinchrom sky port and it broke within a few usage, well just the on button I still have to send it in to rewire the button or whatever, but I bought some ebay triggers for way way less and have been way more reliable.
Someone told me the engineering is done in Sweden but their entry level lights and equipment manufacturing is now done in India though that shouldnt affect quality.
I've been a lot more happy with their modifiers then their receiver system, might buy pocket wizards one day or something.

Apr 04 12 12:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hikari Tech Photography
Posts: 791
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Gaze at Photography wrote:
I'm a Nikon guy and enjoy the CLS controlling my remote speedlights from the camera.

+1

There's no end to what you can do using the Nikon CLS for lighting your frame. Imagination and your wallet are the only two limiting factors.

I know it's not what you asked but look it up to see if it's worth going the route you have already started on or if it's better looking for another choice.

Apr 04 12 12:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hikari Tech Photography
Posts: 791
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Good Egg Productions wrote:
An SB-800 or SB-900/910 is a controller and can adjust many other SB-600, 800, 900/910 flashes.

An alternate is the PCB line of strobes using the CyberCommand controller and the proper receivers on their strobes.

If you're using the Nikon CLS then I find you're better off sticking a SU-800 controller on the camera's hotshoe and freeing up that SB-800 or SB-900/910 to do the lighting magic where it really needs to be.

Apr 04 12 12:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hikari Tech Photography
Posts: 791
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


the lonely photographer wrote:
The Nikon  SB series can drive you crazy fiddling with all the settings , menus etc.
I shoot with profoto D1 airs, it has a remote flash trigger you can adjust the D1(s) separately or in groups.  It   has 7 stop power adjustment in 1/10 increments.

I have sb-600 's and its a royal pain to configure the settings. I've done it using my D200  just too many menus' submenus  to deal with.

Oddly, it's all those menus that give you so much control over the groups and channels that let you make those tiny little adjustments which make the world of difference in your final shot. I gel my Nikon SB-800 to mix and match with background lighting or push out the contrast between. The results are much harder to control with other systems for the same price and ease of transport not to mention power supply requirements. Oh and for the record, I have all the user manuals in mint, crisp condition as I figure things out straight out of the box. Rule of thumb, if you can't get the general idea of how it works within 15 minutes of fiddling around with it, it's either poorly laid out (bad UI) or it's more than you need so you should take it down a notch. smile

Apr 04 12 01:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,300
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Photogenic makes a controller (PLRC-2) that can control up to nine Solair strobes. I'm pretty sure they work with the current digital Powerlights too. Each flash to be controlled needs a PLDI-2 receiver. There's nothing like it when you've got a 33.5-inch Mola Euro dish on a boom above the model and 10 feet above floor level.
Apr 04 12 01:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ToddRock
Posts: 79
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Many thanks again for all these suggestions.  I had no idea it could get so involved trying to sort this out, a lot of good options to consider.  I did study each system posted, and have settled for the moment on going with an AB B400 for a hair light just to test out the concept, using the Cyber Commander on my Nikon.  I do intend to get a Canon this month, and wanted to be able to toggle between cameras easily without dedicated systems.   According to the sales at Buff just now, I was told that I can separately control the modeling lamp and strobe lamp power via the Cyber Commander, no need to go into the camera itself.  I like being able to set the model lamp separately, as it makes adjustments easier and there is no need to have the model having too much lights on at all times between shots, it can be a vibe killer.  So with separate control, make adjustments, then roll it off or down. If this concept doesn't seem correct from those that use the B400 and CC, a heads up would be welcome. 

After testing the  first strobe, then I will get some of the others.

I did like the handheld 4 channel version they sell with phone wires, but it does not control modeling lamps also. Also, I can imagine tripping on the wires soon, they would have to always be taped down and that is a lot of extra work for a shoot, especially to change a setup.  So full wireless is the only best solution imo.

Some of the other systems posted were really nice, but the strobes are very pricey.
Apr 05 12 07:52 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 35,833
San Francisco, California, US


Todd Rok wrote:
Many thanks again for all these suggestions.  I had no idea it could get so involved trying to sort this out, a lot of good options to consider.  I did study each system posted, and have settled for the moment on going with an AB B400 for a hair light just to test out the concept, using the Cyber Commander on my Nikon.  I do intend to get a Canon this month, and wanted to be able to toggle between cameras easily without dedicated systems.   According to the sales at Buff just now, I was told that I can separately control the modeling lamp and strobe lamp power via the Cyber Commander, no need to go into the camera itself.  I like being able to set the model lamp separately, as it makes adjustments easier and there is no need to have the model having too much lights on at all times between shots, it can be a vibe killer.  So with separate control, make adjustments, then roll it off or down. If this concept doesn't seem correct from those that use the B400 and CC, a heads up would be welcome. 

After testing the  first strobe, then I will get some of the others.

I did like the handheld 4 channel version they sell with phone wires, but it does not control modeling lamps also. Also, I can imagine tripping on the wires soon, they would have to always be taped down and that is a lot of extra work for a shoot, especially to change a setup.  So full wireless is the only best solution imo.

Some of the other systems posted were really nice, but the strobes are very pricey.

YOu ceratinaly made a reasonable choice for a starter system.

Apr 05 12 08:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andy Trundle
Posts: 46
Grays, England, United Kingdom


Not sure what these are like but not that expensive

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hobo-Lighting … 113wt_1185
Apr 05 12 08:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,428
Salem, Oregon, US


my hairlight is an ab400 and i can purchase a wired remote control for about $100 i believe. beats getting up on a ladder.
Apr 05 12 08:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


hartcons wrote:
my hairlight is an ab400 and i can purchase a wired remote control for about $100 i believe. beats getting up on a ladder.

my solution is to have 3 ghetto low power strobes on their low setting. I start with one.  If i need more light I plug more of them in.  no ladder required, but I do have to sometimes jump to adjust the barn doors on the outer ones.

Apr 05 12 09:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,881
Beverly Hills, California, US


DC Chavez wrote:
http://www.profoto.com/air-sync-remote/ … 3vfj3huEZM

http://www.profoto.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/medium/air_remote.jpg

Works with AIR Equipped gear- i.e. D1 monolights, B3 AIR, Acute 1200 Air etc.

Amazing product.

DC
http://portfolio.dcchavez.com

The D1 setup is really easy to use, balancing the  lighting ratios is  so easy. You'd get spoiled with the power range youcan fiddle with.  Makes getting the lighting perfect so much easier

Apr 05 12 10:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,881
Beverly Hills, California, US


de BUEN PHOTOGRAPHY wrote:

Oddly, it's all those menus that give you so much control over the groups and channels that let you make those tiny little adjustments which make the world of difference in your final shot. I gel my Nikon SB-800 to mix and match with background lighting or push out the contrast between. The results are much harder to control with other systems for the same price and ease of transport not to mention power supply requirements. Oh and for the record, I have all the user manuals in mint, crisp condition as I figure things out straight out of the box. Rule of thumb, if you can't get the general idea of how it works within 15 minutes of fiddling around with it, it's either poorly laid out (bad UI) or it's more than you need so you should take it down a notch. smile

well good for you  thatyou can figure things out out of the box,  the intellectually challenged lonelyphotographer did take it down a notch.  I bought a set of Profoto  D1  with  the AIR controller,
I don't have to screw around trying to remember which combinations of buttons I have to press to get  to  a  certain function. I prefer using this system, and I prefer you keep your thinly veiled insults to your self  it's not appreciated.

Apr 05 12 11:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ToddRock
Posts: 79
Atlanta, Georgia, US


lonely photog

I did study that system, it is really nice.  But at the moment the first effort is to get a set of hair lights, and other lights that will be up high and not easy to reach.  That cheapest D1 is the 250 I believe, and most places offer it at USD995!   The remote is 300. For the moment, this will just be on the wish list for the future.  Thanks for the links, hopefully one date I can explore it.
Apr 05 12 04:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


Paul C Buff Cyber Commander +
Apr 05 12 04:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Evocative Images
Posts: 508
Saint Paul, Minnesota, US


de BUEN PHOTOGRAPHY wrote:

If you're using the Nikon CLS then I find you're better off sticking a SU-800 controller on the camera's hotshoe and freeing up that SB-800 or SB-900/910 to do the lighting magic where it really needs to be.

I use CLS SB900s, 800s, SU800 for portability and Alien Bees in the studio. I have added Pocket Wizard equipment to the ABs and CLS gear to extend my control.

It all works great together.

Apr 05 12 04:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,881
Beverly Hills, California, US


Todd Rok wrote:
lonely photog

I did study that system, it is really nice.  But at the moment the first effort is to get a set of hair lights, and other lights that will be up high and not easy to reach.  That cheapest D1 is the 250 I believe, and most places offer it at USD995!   The remote is 300. For the moment, this will just be on the wish list for the future.  Thanks for the links, hopefully one date I can explore it.

I feel your pain, been almost a year since I got the D1's, had to pay it off overtime with a credit card. sometimes you can get 0% financing on photoequipment,
Theres a cost effective lighting packagethey sell in LAarea , Check  out JTL.  I had somehand me down JTL strobes, a bit weak for main lights  but good for hair lighting. Having goodlighting is almost on par  with getting good lenses. I hope you make your lighting choices based on using it for long term. settling for cheap lights  means you will spend money again when you out grow them. that D1 @ 995 bucks is an investment. I paid 2300 at tax free dayin LA it came with   2 500wt units, 2 umbrellas, 2lightstands.  and a carry case and the radio trigger... a bit more that a Canon 5D mk 2   less than  Nikon 800

I plan to make money doing commercial shoots with this equipment so I can rationalize this somewhat,  I also have a handmedown speedotron604 powe pak and some  mw 13 heads that re 20+ years old    still working!  the good stuff never goes out of style..

Apr 05 12 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
konstmodell
Posts: 24
Lund, Skåne, Sweden


The more you spend the better gear you get. It's a simple fact. If the value and convenience for you match the higher cost is a trade-off you have to make.

The Elinchrom BX-Ri products are affordable mid-range monoblocks with built in radio control.

For pack+head systems Profoto, Broncolor and others too, I suppose, have radio based control and triggering.
May 01 12 06:28 am  Link  Quote 
Model
konstmodell
Posts: 24
Lund, Skåne, Sweden


Jesse Mullins wrote:

Someone told me the engineering is done in Sweden but their entry level lights and equipment manufacturing is now done in India though that shouldnt affect quality.
I've been a lot more happy with their modifiers then their receiver system, might buy pocket wizards one day or something.

Oh, the classic mix up of Sweden and Switzerland. smile

May 01 12 06:36 am  Link  Quote 
Model
konstmodell
Posts: 24
Lund, Skåne, Sweden


the lonely photographer wrote:
I don't have to screw around trying to remember which combinations of buttons I have to press to get  to  a  certain function. I prefer using this system, and I prefer you keep your thinly veiled insults to your self  it's not appreciated.

From a usability perspective the Elinchrom BX-Ri suck badly suffering exactly from the kind of interaction you mention and I cannot get it how come that release a product in 2009-ish still based on a 2-digit element display, clumpsy combinations to press and a cryptic menu system to memorize.

The units work flawlessly but usability sucks.

May 01 12 06:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eros Studios
Posts: 690
Boston, Massachusetts, US


In studio, I use Alien Bees with the CyberSync system.  Can control the power of every strobe all from the transmitter unit on the hot shoe.  Love this, and going back to manual control would be a nightmare at this point.

For location shooting I use Canon EOS Speedlights and either their build in(non radio) line of site remote control or Radio Popper transmitters and receivers, which more or less give you the same control as the proprietary system, but with MUCH more reliable radio triggering.
May 01 12 11:51 am  Link  Quote 
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