October 10th, 2008
When looking to have a portable, lightweight standalone solution for artificial lighting a minimum working example in a portrait, the flashgun is self-evident.
This allows you to walk around with a mobile mini studio in his camera bag, the goal is obviously not replace a real studio but to provide a solution for specific needs, the benefits are many:
- It is relatively inexpensive (there is a very good opportunity to flash cobra 50 euros)
- It's very "portable" small, light and especially independent
Of course there are disadvantages:
- Compared with studio flash not playing in the same league in terms of power and recycle time (time needed to "recharge" between two trips)
- Accessories are less developed (light box, honeycomb, snoot etc ...)
And there are ways to mitigate these disadvantages:
- To reduce the time of recycling: We invest in quality batteries (GP 2700 for example), there are AC adapters for some flash, you can also mount sensitivity, approaching the light source about it, etc. ..
- In terms of accessories, professionals are currently developing various accessories (snoot, ringflash adapter) but nothing prevents you to do yours! Need a snoot placed three quarters to highlight your hair style? The leaves are cut with a box of spaghetti and puts it on top of your flash! site Strobist and Diyphotography references are real in terms of crafts and ideas.
Some manufacturers have realized the need for portability of a class of professionals and began to develop specific products for photographers "nomads".
I will discuss in this article an accessory that seems to me very useful in the context of a portrait: the small light box with Tristar (There are other brands making this type of product)
So I ordered two boxes of light at Tristar Missnumérique on the site , they are sold 55 euros each.
Everything is delivered in pizza boxes that have obviously suffered during transport.
It fits like a traditional light box, we just scratch the veil then spreading to the front of the box.
The advantage of this type of diffuser is to increase the surface of the flash and create a softer light with shadows less marked.
The support box has a conventional shoe to secure the flash on the box, can then adjust the height of the box with respect to the flash head.
Important thing the box is mounted on a tripod in studio effect thread pitch for a conventional tripod, if you want to mount your camera tripod it will be essential to find an adapter.
Once the flash is installed it looks like this:
To trigger remote flash there are a lot of solutions which all have advantages and disadvantages, everything is to know your needs (cables, no son, conservation automation, ect ...) and your budget to determine that the solution will be able to satisfy you.
The wireless system with nikon:
If you have a case with a Nikon flash driver or flash drive to the other flash (eg SB800) and a recent flash (SB600, 800, 900) you can initially do without accessories.
If you have a "pro" box it does not have built-in flash, it will turn to be a controller type SU800 or flash to the flash drive other
- Advantages: Nothing to buy, it works pretty well in the best of circumstances, we work in "remote control" the metering is preserved
- Disadvantage: The limp and the flash must "see" (information is sent IR), the pre-flash (used for measuring flash light) can be annoying, the system works poorly in daylight.
The trigger cell Hama
A small accessory € 15 which is fixed on the flash shoe and fires based on a flash
- Advantages: It works with any flash any case capable of emitting a flash (so even a compact ...), the price!
- Disadvantage: It really works with a flash, the cell must perceive the flash (full sun is barely lost) if you're not the only one to flash it quickly becomes tedious. The metering is manual.
The sync cable:
A non-proprietary cable does not cost a lot of money on ebay, the case and the flash must have an outlet, note that there are also cables that connect to the flash shoe.
- Advantages: Cheap, the flash is provided.
- Cons: Cable length, loss of automation in most cases.
The wireless system from other manufacturers:
Pocket Wizard is the Rolls in terms of robustness, its scope is huge, working on several channels. PW currently dominates this market.
Note that the challenger " Radiopopper "said store automation of each brand, we should take advantage of in PW (and cheaper!) coupled to automation-specific brand systems to follow a very promising product!
There are also radio cells available on ebay at very attractive prices but returns in terms of reliability are quite negative.
- Advantages: Robust, lightning is provided, the range is huge.
- Cons: Very expensive! and does not preserve the automatic (except in Radiopopper)
There is no system to date perfect (I'm waiting to test Radiopoppers), each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so you have to choose a solution based on the type of photos to achieve eg:
For the indoor sports: Pocket Wizard to the scope, strength, the ability to use multiple channels. If a basketball game is covered and that we see the flash sitting on the sidelines is not enough power it will take to run the flash to set. (Good in practice for this kind of coverage is rather working with large flash attached to the stands, but basically you get the idea).
Posed for the portrait indoors: The system of multiflash in nikon can do remote flash settings directly on the main flash. ect ...
The ultimate would be a radio trigger with several channels that retains the ability to make adjustments directly on the master flash is what provides Radiopopper, so I can not wait to try these new accessories.
I had the opportunity to test these boxes during a wedding to cover the evening, outside of traditional photos captured moments I have proposed to set up a mini studio to make more eccentric more festive images, to close the album.
Those present have played the game beyond my expectations, I worked with the same kind of angle and the same exposure that has allowed me to focus my attention on the direction of the people present in the image.
Here are some pictures of this mini studio improvised late night.