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Unread 05-02-2011, 03:17 PM   #256
Eriol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyFromVegas View Post
A question to Con Photographers: Lighting.

What source of external light do you bring to the con?
What could one bring to a con that's portable, yet effective in providing effective lighting for a shot?

1) At the minimum, one speedlight on-camera. Find a bounce surface at the con. If the con is open area, bring your own bounce surface.

1a) Instead of the bounce surface, bring a small softbox that attaches to the speedlight head directly and take the speedlight off-camera. Trigger the off-camera speedlight with a sync cord or wireless transmitter.

2) At the maximum, 1-2 speedlights, 1-2 softboxes, and wireless triggers.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #257
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brucer007, thanks for your response. All of our weapons do have the orange tips on the ends, so I guess I need more information on how to get permission to shoot in a fairly public place, like a park or in the city. I don't want to panic people, do you find that the presence of the photographer is enough? It's not anyone with a professional setup, just a friend. How does one go about getting permission to use a location? Is there a best place to go to for public places, generally, like a particular office, or department?
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Unread 05-02-2011, 05:07 PM   #258
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Another question!
I'm trying to buy a new flash unit, and I want the wireless capabilities and all that.
I'm quite new at photography, so I just wanted to know.

The item I'm looking at is Sigma 530DG SUPER, and I was wondering if it's compatible on Pentax K-x camera.
I'm getting a bit dizzy at all the different E-TTL, P-TTL and all that jazz.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #259
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Freyja3120 You can still have problems about guns, even with a photographer with you. It happened to me when I photographed a man with a rifle, with a girl next to him. Someone called the police and they stopped us from continueing ( I did get the shots I needed). We were under a bridge with water and shrubs. Nobody else was nearby.

Regarding permission, I suggest you talk to the owners of the location. If it is a government building or property, then it could be much more complicated.

Last edited by brucer007 : 05-02-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freyja3120 View Post
brucer007, thanks for your response. All of our weapons do have the orange tips on the ends, so I guess I need more information on how to get permission to shoot in a fairly public place, like a park or in the city. I don't want to panic people, do you find that the presence of the photographer is enough? It's not anyone with a professional setup, just a friend. How does one go about getting permission to use a location? Is there a best place to go to for public places, generally, like a particular office, or department?
Depending on what type of weapons you have may I suggest you go down to your local police dept. tell them what you want to do and ask their advice also see if you can get a photo shoot pass and have your shoot read during the police squad meeting before units go out on patrol. I do allot of weapon shoots everything from Guns to Axes and Swords and always contact the local police and inform them what is going on when were and how long.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 12:29 AM   #261
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If you're doing a shoot outside of a con (in the immediate vicinity) during a con (and the con's been around for a while), local police usually know what's going on and as long as they see orange tips, they'll usually leave you alone (or I've been really lucky).
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Unread 05-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyFromVegas View Post
The item I'm looking at is Sigma 530DG SUPER, and I was wondering if it's compatible on Pentax K-x camera.
In terms of on-camera sync and firing, basically any hotshoe flash should be able to work on any camera hotshoe, though flashes older than 10-15 years may have a dangerously high trigger voltage that could damages your camera.

In terms of TTL compatibility, you just need to look at the specifications to see if it supports whatever proprietary TTL system your camera uses. I see a 530DG that's made to work with Pentax's P-TTL so make sure you get that as opposed to a unit made for a different system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyFromVegas View Post
I'm getting a bit dizzy at all the different E-TTL, P-TTL and all that jazz.
TTL is just a generic concept of sending out a preflash, measuring through the lens (hence the acronym) how it hits the scene, and calculating the final flash power based on those measurements. Most manufacturers have their own proprietary method of accomplishing this same concept, but they usually aren't compatible with one another, so an extra letter is added to indicate a particular manufacturer's TTL system. E-TTL and E-TTL II are Canon's. D-TTL and i-TTL are Nikon's. P-TTL is Pentax's.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 08:39 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyFromVegas View Post
Another question!
I'm trying to buy a new flash unit, and I want the wireless capabilities and all that.
I'm quite new at photography, so I just wanted to know.
The item I'm looking at is Sigma 530DG SUPER, and I was wondering if it's compatible on Pentax K-x camera.
I'm getting a bit dizzy at all the different E-TTL, P-TTL and all that jazz.
I have a Sigma 530 DG Super flash. It is discontinued now, but there is a replacement model available from Sigma. Overall it is alright. Powerful, but difficult for me to be consistent with it in a few of the various shooting modes. Right now I use the K-5's Sv mode for snapshots (the camera controls everything but ISO). The main thing I use the Sigma for is high speed sync/rear curtain sync when I need that capability. If you can find a used one cheap, it's not a bad option.

Check this website out for information about flash units that work on Pentax DSLRs:
http://pttl.mattdm.org/

Just recently I bought a used Pentax AF-280T from keh.com. It is an older flash from the 80's or something, but it has a nice Thyristor Auto mode that works well at allowing me to get consistent results (it has TTL, but the last TTL capable Pentax DSLR was the *ist DS2). So when using the 280T in Tv or P, I can get spot-on well lit images without much effort. The negative would be no P-TTL, high speed sync, or rear curtain sync.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...ed-af280t.html

If I had the cash, I'd like to try out one of the Metz units. They appear to be the best well-rounded options for Pentax at the moment. You should consider one like the Metz 50 AF-1 along with the Sigma.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 10:18 PM   #264
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Thanks guys. I think I'm leaning towards Sigma 530DG SUPER.
$150 seems like a perfect for my budget.
Of course, I could save a $100 more for Metz, but...I think that $100 will be better spent on my next lens?
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Unread 05-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parv View Post
This year to Kawaii Kon I took with me a LumoPro LP605 (from MPEX) light stand (bit longer than Manfrotto Nano; folds to about 20 in), a 16 x 22 in softbox (Photoflex), and a 42 in 5-in-1 reflector. Reflector I did not use as it is impractical to use while working solo without (camera) tripod and/or another light stand and reflector clamp+bar.

Besides the point that I need to get used to softbox, this softbox may not be large enough for more than two persons. (Dis)Connecting softbox (from)to mounting hardware (Photolex "basic softbox speedring" & Manfrotto camera platform) was easy. I would assemble as needed (somebody has to attend those panels & watch some anime). The folded softbox fits in a 20 in long bag (meets carry-on requirement) and slightly smaller than the above mentioned light stand.

Ah, do get a rolling bag of some sort, else you would tired shoulder within a day, especially when there is 12-minute walk between the hotel & the venue (or spend extra USD 10/night for 3 nights for 5-6 minute walk).
Honestly I'd say a 16x22 really isn't meant for more than one person. Get it far enough back to cover two, and you could probably get the same light quality out of a sto-fen type "diffusion dome", since light gets harder as you get the flash farther away. I'd do some tests and see if there's even a worthwhile difference in light with the softbox at that distance.

I try to keep my 24x24 box at a distance where it's basically only lighting from the thigh or waist up, and let the falloff below be a feature of the pics. (With extra flashes involved for key lighting and to provide a little extra down below so the falloff isn't so harsh.)
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Unread 05-06-2011, 01:14 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_Archer View Post
Honestly I'd say a 16x22 really isn't meant for more than one person.
...
I try to keep my 24x24 box at a distance where it's basically only lighting from the thigh or waist up, and let the falloff below be a feature of the pics.
Well the model that I listed is a compromise of ...

- small size when folded (<20 in) to fit in carry-on bag (~21 in long);
- a bit of lip to restrict the spill (i.e. not flush front face);
- cost not too much;
- and, something that would last for some time.

It also happens to accept grid which was not actually a consideration for me but is a welcome feature nonetheless. I do agree with you about the use of the softbox.

Next larger size is 24 x 32 in (of Photoflex softbox) which apparently is 26-some in long when closed (from a Google search); that would be too big to transport for my carry-on bag. At that length I may as well take 46 in umbrella-with-translucent-cover (Softlighter ii; 24 in when folded) instead that I had acquired previously. I was actually debating between a 30 in umbrella (shoot through or another smaller Softlighter ii) and a softbox around 20 in. (The Lastolite Ezybox -- 24 x 24 in without the flash mount kit or 21 x 21 in with flash mount kit -- is too expensive for me.)

So Max, which softbox (24 x 24 in) do you use? How is it working out in terms of build, quality, etc?
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Unread 05-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #267
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I use a Lastolite 24x24 softbox, and it can light up two people that are close to each other. So, this arrangement is doable, but it also depends if you want the light to fall off as an artistic gesture or not, like Max said.
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Unread 05-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriol View Post
I use a Lastolite 24x24 softbox, and it can light up two people that are close to each other. So, this arrangement is doable, but it also depends if you want the light to fall off as an artistic gesture or not, like Max said.
(Ah, the 16 x 22 in softbox can be used horizontally as easily as it can be vertically. Only significant difference (from above Lastolite softbox) is that in horizontal position light fall-off would be more drastic (on lower portion) which can be used for artistic purpose if one cares. ;-})

How long is the Ezybox when folded? Uncertainty about that and certainly the larger price tag had dissuaded me (of Ezybox).

Last edited by parv : 05-06-2011 at 03:07 PM. Reason: addendum
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Unread 05-06-2011, 04:06 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parv View Post
How long is the Ezybox when folded? Uncertainty about that and certainly the larger price tag had dissuaded me (of Ezybox).
Lastolite (manufacturer) used to ship the Ezybox in a small circular bag. You basically twist the Ezybox like shown in this video:
http://www.lastoliteschoolofphotogra...ing-the-ezybox

However, more recent Ezybox packages now are shaped like a "pie wedge." So, you just collapse and fold the Ezybox once. You can still twist it into a circular mass like the video, but you need a bag that will contain the shape (or it will unravel).

Lastolite Ezybox is relatively expensive, so you might be able to find a cheaper softbox from another competitor. Keep in mind, I have seen softboxes even more expensive than Lastolite, so it makes Lastolite a "middle of the road" product.
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Last edited by Eriol : 05-06-2011 at 07:55 PM.
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Unread 05-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parv View Post
Well the model that I listed is a compromise of ...

- small size when folded (<20 in) to fit in carry-on bag (~21 in long);
- a bit of lip to restrict the spill (i.e. not flush front face);
- cost not too much;
- and, something that would last for some time.

It also happens to accept grid which was not actually a consideration for me but is a welcome feature nonetheless. I do agree with you about the use of the softbox.

Next larger size is 24 x 32 in (of Photoflex softbox) which apparently is 26-some in long when closed (from a Google search); that would be too big to transport for my carry-on bag. At that length I may as well take 46 in umbrella-with-translucent-cover (Softlighter ii; 24 in when folded) instead that I had acquired previously. I was actually debating between a 30 in umbrella (shoot through or another smaller Softlighter ii) and a softbox around 20 in. (The Lastolite Ezybox -- 24 x 24 in without the flash mount kit or 21 x 21 in with flash mount kit -- is too expensive for me.)

So Max, which softbox (24 x 24 in) do you use? How is it working out in terms of build, quality, etc?

I'm using the Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe kit. Actually, I'm not sure what size it is now, I would've sworn it was a 24", but I think it's actually the 30", 'cause I don't see a 24" and it's way too big to be a 21". It's excellent, but you've already mentioned that it's above your budget. I really like it, the only complaint I have is that the silver inside makes the light a teensy bit harder than I'd like, but it's still softer than anything else in the same range. Lastolite just released a "Joe McNally Edition" Ezybox that's white inside, I'll probably get one eventually.

Have you checked out the CheetahBox? It's an almost identical clone of the EzyBox, but comes with a detachable grid, and the reports I've heard is that the quality is pretty good. It seems to be the best of the EzyBox clones.
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