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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


This weekend I pulled out some more inexpensive gear and had some fun.

Neewer TT520 - cheapest flashes I could find on amazon, $29.95 - I have used them in the past, and passed them off cause I was looking at them wrong.

120cm (pretty damn big) grided octobox - $75ish after shipping.

With my favorite budget flashes (the YN460II) rising in price - currently about $50, they were $40 in the past - I wanted to see what else was out there that I might be able to recommend, and wanted a excuse to test out the new large gridded speedlite softbox.

For $30 they're alright. I'd still recommend the YN460II for a basic budget flash, but if you want to stretch your dollars more, they're quite acceptable. I tossed three in the softbox (but could have used one and shot at ISO400) at moderate power (f/4ish) at reasonable distances, and had two successful shoots this weekend.

Gridded softbox was quite nice (have a similar one for my FPII strobes) and even in my tiny living room, I was able to get some decent shadows.

-----------T2i - 50mm 1.4 - ISO100 - f/4 (top) f/3.5 (bottom) -------------
http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/meg_04561.jpg

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/monique_2.jpg

***please forgive the stretched background, I like the way horizontal images look in forums, they're normally portrait.***
Jan 13 13 11:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ren Murray
Posts: 542
Salem, Oregon, US


Brilliant! Thank you for sharing and showing very clearly that great results aren't determined by the money spent on equipment.
Jan 13 13 11:57 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Golden Era Photography wrote:
Brilliant! Thank you for sharing and showing very clearly that great results aren't determined by the money spent on equipment.

Thanks. I pick up inexpensive gear to test out (then sell back to local photographers at or close to cost) so I usually have a bunch of stuff lying around to play with. It took me years to take "the next step" (whatever that may have been) because it was "too expensive" - if that next step is learning... learning can be done cheaply.

And I had two lovely agency models over, might as well try some new things.

Jan 14 13 12:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ren Murray
Posts: 542
Salem, Oregon, US


I think that's great! Too many people (myself included to an extent) get hung up on getting the hot new camera, or trendy new gizmo and think that's going to improve their work.

I have equipment I still can't utilize to its maximum potential, and I could probably learn from doing what you do.

Looks like you enjoy it, too!
Jan 14 13 12:08 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Golden Era Photography wrote:
I have equipment I still can't utilize to its maximum potential

that's the key I try and dwell upon... use the gear you have (or can afford) and PUSH it... find out what it can do, and what it cannot do... if it cannot do what you want, find out why, and WHAT can.

I (personal opinion) think that this struggle has made me a better photographer. Had I bought a 5D, L lenses when I started, with profoto lights (rather than starting with an XT, 50mm, and vivitar flashes) I don't think I would have pushed myself like I do.

Jan 14 13 12:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


-JAY- wrote:

that's the key I try and dwell upon... use the gear you have (or can afford) and PUSH it... find out what it can do, and what it cannot do... if it cannot do what you want, find out why, and WHAT can.

I (personal opinion) think that this struggle has made me a better photographer. Had I bought a 5D, L lenses when I started, with profoto lights (rather than starting with an XT, 50mm, and vivitar flashes) I don't think I would have pushed myself like I do.

Well said and well done for still having fun with low-budget gear ... I personally like it better if I manage to produce great results with cheap and sometimes home-made stuff ... keep it up :-)

Jan 14 13 12:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Sellberg
Posts: 139
Bloomington, Illinois, US


I found a studio strobe set for about $600 on ebay and bought it. The distributor is actually the original importer. The company is Square Perfect, it came with 3-200w strobes, 2 light stands, 1 boom, bag, and included 3 softboxes, a portable table, and product softbox with mini backgrounds... Works great, the company has been great to work with(one strobe blew the capacitor the day I got it, shipped it back, got a new one a few days later, totally free) it isn't a high priced name brand version but so far I am incredibly happy with it. It is a great beginners set. I'm ready to move up, just can't swing it yet.
Jan 14 13 12:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrickth
Posts: 10,311
Bellingham, Washington, US


I have a boiler room in my basement.  Any kind of flash is almost always too much for it.  I bought several old on camera movie lights from the 50's and 60's and aim them at white boards.  Don't think I ever paid more than $8 for a 4 position one.

These examples  are one light aimed at white board,
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100422/09/4bd0779ea30b6_m.jpg


This is  light on medium wattage

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120729/10/5015786213ce1_m.jpg

Here is a typical ebay listing for same:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-Camera- … 3cce103397
Jan 14 13 09:11 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Quite cheap! Power-wise, how different are they from a couple CFL bulbs?
Jan 14 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrickth
Posts: 10,311
Bellingham, Washington, US


-JAY- wrote:
Quite cheap! Power-wise, how different are they from a couple CFL bulbs?

Usually if you watch auctions, the bulbs are included, including photo flood (color and BW.)

I haven't needed to buy a bulb in ages. (5 years or so).

Jan 14 13 03:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kenny Goldberg
Posts: 236
Costa Mesa, California, US


I have 2 yn560's, 2 sb600's & 1 sb800 & I sue the yn560's more than the sb600's...

I aso use inexpensive shoot through umbrellas often & the light is wonderful.
Jan 16 13 01:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Valenten Photography
Posts: 247
Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia


Nice results smile !

When shooting outside what do you use to diffuse your YN flash light ? smile
Jan 16 13 04:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


Valenten Photography wrote:
Nice results smile !

When shooting outside what do you use to diffuse your YN flash light ? smile

.... white umbrellas always work fine with mine yn460II pair of strobes .... as long there's no wind :-)

Jan 16 13 04:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Valenten Photography
Posts: 247
Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia


Foto Priganica wrote:

.... white umbrellas always work fine with mine yn460II pair of strobes .... as long there's no wind :-)

You kinda guessed my problem. Actually I recently bought a YN flash, but the little diffuser cap to be placed on the flash is not be "strong" enough in terms of diffusion.

As I rarely have an assistant with me, I guess umbrellas would become a big problem if there's wind... so i'm not sure what to do...

Jan 16 13 05:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Valenten Photography wrote:

You kinda guessed my problem. Actually I recently bought a YN flash, but the little diffuser cap to be placed on the flash is not be "strong" enough in terms of diffusion.

As I rarely have an assistant with me, I guess umbrellas would become a big problem if there's wind... so i'm not sure what to do...

I use either cheap sandbags or my camera bag as a stand in "sandbag" w/ a D ring and hang it off the center support ... it works, but I stay close and sometimes put a foot on the stand just in case ...

Jan 16 13 05:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LcD
Posts: 27
Astoria, New York, US


great info!

can you start a blog? ( :
Jan 16 13 06:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


Yep, sandbags are OK for me as well and I live close to the beach so there's no shortage of sand here but the wind can be to strong at the times even for that (and I like wind cause it makes models hair more interesting) ... so far the wind broke 3 umbrellas and 0 strobes :-) ... I wonder if they make wind-proof umbrellas for strobes - something like golfers use??
Jan 16 13 06:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,071
New York, New York, US


Foto Priganica wrote:
Yep, sandbags are OK for me as well and I live close to the beach so there's no shortage of sand here but the wind can be to strong at the times even for that (and I like wind cause it makes models hair more interesting) ... so far the wind broke 3 umbrellas and 0 strobes :-) ... I wonder if they make wind-proof umbrellas for strobes - something like golfers use??

If shooting at the beach, bring empty plastic bags, fill them with sand and use them.  At the end of the shoot, open bags, dump, take plastic with you.
As the age-old saying goes - "don't bring sand to the beach"

Jan 16 13 07:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Foto Priganica wrote:
... I wonder if they make wind-proof umbrellas for strobes - something like golfers use??

that's what umbrella type softboxes are for wink

Jan 16 13 07:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


Hero Foto wrote:

that's what umbrella type softboxes are for wink

...tried that ... you should see it falling - it's flat sail if the wind catch the front ;-)

Jan 16 13 07:30 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Valenten Photography wrote:
Nice results smile !

When shooting outside what do you use to diffuse your YN flash light ? smile

Usually the same 40ish inch softbox umbrella. Sometimes an 86" PLM or a 22" speedlite beauty dish - depends on the look.

Jan 16 13 07:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


JBerman Photography wrote:

If shooting at the beach, bring empty plastic bags, fill them with sand and use them.  At the end of the shoot, open bags, dump, take plastic with you.
As the age-old saying goes - "don't bring sand to the beach"

mmmm...that's exactly how I'm doing it, did you think I bring my sand from home with me??? ;-)

Jan 16 13 07:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,071
New York, New York, US


Foto Priganica wrote:

mmmm...that's exactly how I'm doing it, did you think I bring my sand from home with me??? ;-)

No, I didn't suggest that you brought sand from home, but you would be surprised how many photographers I have seen at the beach with sandbags (real sandbags)that they have brought with them.
My comment was just advice in general.

Jan 16 13 07:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Foto Priganica
Posts: 50
Gandia, Valencia, Spain


JBerman Photography wrote:

No, I didn't suggest that you brought sand from home, but you would be surprised how many photographers I have seen at the beach with sandbags (real sandbags)that they have brought with them.
My comment was just advice in general.

...I know what you meant smile , just joking but I witnessed that myself few times ... really like your work btw

Jan 16 13 07:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Foto Priganica wrote:

...tried that ... you should see it falling - it's flat sail if the wind catch the front ;-)

yup ... flat sail ... it happens ...

possible solutions: LEAD bags, fat chic on the beach, assistant, or "escort" are the other options, well maybe concrete, on camera flash or shoot ambient ... wink

Jan 16 13 08:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
pacman829
Posts: 287
Boston, Massachusetts, US


@JAY , which brackets are you using for your speedlights to use three at a time ? , and are you using one trigger with some cables leading to the other two or just setting the other two to slave mode?

Since I picked up my 5d mkII I tend to just use one yn460II and bump my ISO and find some shade if outdoors, but I'm thinking of experimenting with some new things

Also... the wide diffusers on the 460's kinda suck ... I dont use them and yet they still manage to break on the two I own ... sad

I have an AB800 , but usually am more prone to pick up the speedlights instead  ...

Shot this today with 1 460II thru a 43" brolly box
http://i47.tinypic.com/xghdlt.jpg
Jan 17 13 09:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GM Photography
Posts: 6,003
Olympia, Washington, US


That octobox looks like a pretty nifty modifier.  How's the build quality?
Jan 18 13 06:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


pacman829 wrote:
@JAY , which brackets are you using for your speedlights to use three at a time ? , and are you using one trigger with some cables leading to the other two or just setting the other two to slave mode?

I know your question was for Jay -

I own and use this bracket quite a bit:
http://www.amazon.com/DSLRKIT-Dual-Trip … B0076GK4A2

I did modify it by adding these:

Giottos Mini Ball Head Camera Mount - http://amzn.com/B000L47AHG

Jan 18 13 06:53 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


GM Photography wrote:
That octobox looks like a pretty nifty modifier.  How's the build quality?

Fairly nice... Though im sure there will be a little 'hit and miss' - mines great, very very fast setup.

Jan 18 13 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 5,830
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Hero Foto wrote:

I know your question was for Jay -

I own and use this bracket quite a bit:
http://www.amazon.com/DSLRKIT-Dual-Trip … B0076GK4A2

I did modify it by adding these:

Giottos Mini Ball Head Camera Mount - http://amzn.com/B000L47AHG

i use a similar one. Locking feet cause I use at least one with a transciever without a lock. And these kind are easiest (imo) to center each light to the umbrella.

Jan 18 13 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
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