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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
skyywriting
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Correct off camera flash cord?

I am looking for an easy and cheap system to take my hotshoe flash off my camera and use it at different angles. I'm using an Canon 60D and my flash is not a canon speedlight, so I've had trouble finding the correct system. Can someone suggest to me the correct cord that will attach a Canon 60D to a Yongnuo YN-560 II simply to make it go off? Preferably a long length so I can leave the flash on my tripod and put it a distance away.

Sorry for bringing this here but I don't have any photographers in my area I can ask.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #2
Av4rice
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The 60D has a hotshoe but no PC sync terminal, so you need a male hotshoe connector on one end of the cable. The YN-560 II has a hotshoe and a PC sync terminal, so the other end of the cable can either have a female hotshoe connector or a male PC connector. Since this will be manual sync, any standard cable (non-Sony/Minolta) should work. A hotshoe-to-hotshoe cable may also have the option for TTL, and that should work (since it still uses the same central firing pin), but the 560 II doesn't support TTL anyway so it's not necessary. Flash Zebra would be a good place to pick up a cheap cable.

Alternatively, for close to the same price, you could use a Yong Nuo RF-603 radio set for really long range and no cords to trip over.

Or you could set the 560 II to S2 optical slave mode and trigger it with the 60D's pop-up flash.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
nathancarter
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I haven't used a cable, but you've got a couple of other options:

Radio triggers. There are some relatively inexpensive Yongnuo ones (the RF-622? I'm not sure of the exact model numbers). They won't do ETTL, but the YN-560 doesn't do ETTL anyway. I use the Cactus V5, which accomplish the same thing.

-OR-

Put the YN560 into optical slave mode. Press the Mode button on the back to change it from M to S1 or S2. Then use the pop-up flash on the 60D to trigger it - put the pop-up flash into manual mode and turn the power way down (I think it'll go down to 1/64?), OR leave it on moderate power (1/32-1/16 depending on subject distance) to get a little bit of fill light.

In optical slave mode, the YN560 will "watch" for any other flash, and fire at the same time... well, not exactly the same time, but faster than your shutter speed.

My usual three-light setup is to put my radio trigger on the camera, my radio receiver on my 430EXII off-camera, and put my two YN560s on optical slave mode.

Warning, optical slave mode will not be a good option if there are other photographers with flash in the same vicinity - your YN560 will respond to ANYONE'S flash, not just your own.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
skyywriting
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Thank you both very much! This is exactly what I was looking for. =)

I had researched Pocket wizard in the way of Radio Triggers but they were more expensive than I was expecting. So those Yong radio triggers sound like they would be perfect. I wasn't looking forward to wrestling with the cord in the first place, but it seemed to be my most cost effective option.

Thanks for your advice on slave mode as well. I have used that before but the side lighting effect is what I'm looking for specifically.

Thank you again for the advice, this was just what I'm looking for and answered all my questions!
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Unread 01-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
nathancarter
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If you put your pop-up flash in manual mode (not ETTL) and turn it allll the way down, it won't contribute any meaningful exposure to your photo, and you can still use it as an optical trigger. Unless you're standing very close to your subject, I guess.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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Ok, I'll try that was well then. I'm still new to flash photography so I'm still learning all the tricks. =)

Thanks again!
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Unread 01-09-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
nathancarter
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Some very basic concepts to get you started:

"Soft" light is generally more desirable for portraits. Soft light comes from a light source that is large in relation to the subject, such as a softbox, or light that's bounced off the ceiling. It causes gradual, soft-edged shadows.

"Hard" light will give sharp, crisp, defined shadows. This is caused by a light source that is small in relation to the subject. Generally this is not what you want for portraits, though it can be if you are going for certain types of dramatic portraits.

For photographic purposes, a light source will get dimmer as you move it farther from the subject. A light that is very close will cast bright light on your subject; a light that is far away will cast dim light on your subject.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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Thank you for the advice. The softbox effect is defiantly what I am working towards with my usual pictures, but I hope to play with more dramatic lighting with the right subject.

The one effect I've been trying to experiment with, and maybe you can help me with this, is the background darkened with the subject properly exposed. Which is what I would like to do doing my next convention. (To clean up the background and really single out the cosplayer)

But I'm not sure how to achieve this because I know my flash is a beginner one and might not be fast enough to work the effect in place with good lighting. I'm thinking if I bump up the aperture it would help, but I'm not really sure what the proper settings would be for a manual flash like that. And I don't have a conventional hall like building/hotel in my area where I can take the time to test out different settings. But I'd like to get an idea for the settings before I get to my next con. I can try to find a picture if your not sure what I mean.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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When you're doing flash photography, work with a mindset that you're doing two exposures at once: one exposure from the ambient light, one exposure from your flash.

For what you're describing:
First you'll set up your camera settings WITHOUT flash, to underexpose and get a darkened background. Take a test shot or two, make sure it looks right.
Then you'll set up your flash, and without changing your camera settings, set your flash location/power to expose the subject how you want.

The potential complexity is that you're limited to a maximum shutter speed of 1/200 (or 1/160 to play it safe) when using a flash. This is your "sync speed" - any faster than that, and the mechanical rolling shutter of the camera will obscure part of the flash exposure - this will show up as a black bar along one of the edges of the image. Once you run into this limitation, you'll further kill ambient by reducing your ISO, closing down your aperture, and maybe even using a neutral density filter (ND).

This is usually no problem when indoors, or outdoors at night. When outdoors during the day, you'll almost certainly need a ND filter.

The YN-560 will be fine for this. I'll post some examples when I get home.


...LATER...

Okay, some examples. These are all with two YN-560s.

Here's indoor in a moderately dark room. 1/10, f/2.8, ISO200. I used a slow shutter speed to allow some of the ambient background into the shot. One YN-560 in an umbrella to camera left, one YN-560 bare at rear camera right, for a little edge light. I got more flare than I wanted here, oh well.

DragonCon_20120901_3006.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr

Same location, shutter speed up to 1/30 and aperture closed down to f/3.2. You can see the ambient is starting to go away.

DragonCon_20120901_3010.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr

Same location, shutter sped up to 1/200. Ambient is all but gone after upping the shutter speed, though I'm getting some flash reflection in the tile wall.

DragonCon_20120901_3016.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr

Same location, aperture closed down to f/4 - more importantly, the flashes are moved so they don't reflect off the tile. Ambient is gone.

DragonCon_20120901_3035.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr

Different location.
Middle of the day in a parking garage - so it's moderately bright in here. 1/200, f/4, ISO400, and a 3-stop ND on the lens. This essentially kills all the ambient - although in retrospect, I could have brought down the ISO and closed the aperture a stop, and not needed the ND filter. Dunno why I was using ISO400 and the ND at the same time... (actually I do know, it was because I was tired and hot and thirsty and a little flustered)

Two bare YN-560s in the back of the scene, shining down and toward the camera. A little bit of background cleanup, not much.

I don't know if I would call this "properly exposed" - it's exactly the look I was going for, though.

DragonCon_20120902_3153.jpg by nathancarter, on Flickr
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Last edited by nathancarter : 01-09-2013 at 06:31 PM.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:54 PM   #10
skyywriting
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Thank you for the advice! And the examples are perfect! The third and second to last photo are defiantly what I'm going for, so its great to see a step by step guide to how you achieved the effect. Thank you again so much for your help! And spending all this time answering my questions. =D

The last photo is amazing as well, the possibility of a parking garage are endless. =3
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