I’m getting started with lighting...

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by FirstAscent, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    Hello everyone!

    I’ve wanted to dive into the lighting world for quite some time and now I’m actually starting to do some research.

    I’ve never used flash before aside from built-in camera flash on previous Sony bodies.

    I’m not a pro and photography is not my job, however I do appreciate solid engineering and forward-thinking in companies. I’d rather pay a premium upfront and grow into it rather than finding the cheapest option to get started.

    So far in my research it seems that different manufacturers don’t play well together, which makes me assume I need to pick a brand I can grow and expand with for many years.

    Initially, my interests would be for photos of people as well as outdoor activities (Climbing, mountain biking, and snowboarding/mountaineering), all in a non-studio environment. I would love to expand in a studio environment as well as I have friends that teach different types of dance and yoga and would have a blast experimenting with that.

    Of course while researching brands I found Profoto which is really expensive. But I did like their setup and how their new a1 can be mounted in the hot shoe while being the master controller as well. Im sure other brands have similar options as well but just noting I liked that feature.
    I would also prefer radio communication as opposed to IR/line-of-sight.

    So as I mentioned earlier, I would want to start investing in a brand I can grow with over time that will allow me to be flexible in different environments.

    I know I have a lot to learn so I’m just gathering as much info as possible.
    Thanks for any info/suggestions you can provide

    p.s. TTL and HSS I would want as well, because why not use the technology available =)
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    My recommendation is to start out learning at Strobist

    This will help you understand the basics and help you figure out what it is you'll need.
    I know for a lot of people (me included) trying to figure out TTL and flash automation can make the process very frustrating. I generally recommend starting with manual flash and only go to TTL if/when you find that manual flash has a deficiency somewhere that only TTL can remedy.

    99% of what I shoot paid or otherwise when using flash is all manual setup. I only use TTL when I must have the flash on camera and everything is way too dynamic for manual controls to be feasible.

    For manual flashes, I recommend the newer Yongnuo flashes as well as the Lumopro 180's. They are a good, inexpensive start. If you can find them, old Nikon SB-24, SB-26 or SB-28 are great units.

    Brands would only matter for the most part in TTL/HSS flashes and I almost always recommend getting the same brand as your camera for maximum compatibility.
     
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  3. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    440
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Just me, but I've drunk the Godox kool-aid. For me, they're a poor man's Profoto. :) They are currently supporting TTL/HSS with micro four-thirds, and have speedlights, bare bulb flashes, and studio strobes all in the same triggering system. They pretty much have you covered.

    Longevity, we have no idea, since it is a Chinese company doing cheaper reverse-engineered gear. But so far, most of us shooting with the gear as hobbyists and semi-pros (and even some pros), are finding the gear to be good.

    Wow. Atypical to start with those types of subjects. Most of us just start out doing family portraits. :)

    You do want to learn about HSS (high-speed sync) and T.5/T.1 times (flash burst duration), if you're planning on using fill flash with sports shooting and freezing fast action in brighter ambient conditions, and you may be scaling up to bigger lights faster than the average. Also learn about recycle times (when the flash is fired, the capacitor that stores charge is emptied, and must be "refilled" by the power source. This takes time, and will limit how quickly you can fire off frames. Burst shooting typically cannot happen with flash unless you use a lower power setting).

    Godox has radio triggers built-in to all their lights. All the speedlights have transceivers built in, so they can be either slave or master in the system, but only the TTL ones (TT350, TT685, and V860II) can be TTL/HSS masters. [grin]. Just saying. :)

    TTL for you is probably a bit more optional, but I love having it, now that I've got a Godox XPro that can do TCM (TTL-convert-to-Manual; essentially a TTL lock which preserves the power level set in TTL when you switch to M mode).

    But HSS for you might not be optional, unless you're okay shooting action at 1/250s or slower shutter speeds.
     
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  4. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Or invest in a couple/few neutral density filters for shooting with flash in daylight where shutter speeds often want to exceed the flash sync speed of your camera.
     
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  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Which is okay if you have enough power and NDs, just rely on IGBT flash to freeze the action.
     
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  6. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    @gryphon1911@gryphon1911 Thanks I'll definitely check out Strobist, I know I have lots to learn and anything will be helpful at this point =) Interesting how you mentioned TTL and flash automation can make it frustrating. I thought it was supposed to make it easier haha. I'm sure I'll see what you mean the more I get involved in it.

    Yeah I fully realize my choice probably isn't the easiest starting point :) but those are the 3 activities I do the most and fairly often, so "access" to that will be super easy. Which is also a large reason I switched to m43, I just wasn't bring my camera gear with me anymore and now I do everywhere!
    I'll definitely be in brighter conditions/ambient light situations, freezing action will be easier for climbing scenarios but more difficult for snowsports and mtn biking. 1/250 doesn't seem like it would be quick enough for snowboarding and mtn biking, however I don't have the experience to know how much flash changes things yet, but I would think I still need a much faster shutter for freezing action in those areas.

    @PakkyT@PakkyT and @wjiang@wjiang - Ah yes filters as well, another area I'll need to learn a lot about. All I know is it seems everyone uses them in almost all situations so I'll have to play around with how that will affect the scene.

    Soooo much to look into! which is a good thing, options are good :) and it's just simply exciting. Now if only I could buy it all now... ;)
     
  7. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    @inkista@inkista Also, Godox at a quick glance looks like a good option. and after browsing the Profoto website, everything from Godox seems like pocket change hahaha. way more affordable



    and, Oh my Oh my, I just found Broncolor, wow. I so want a reason to need just one of their monolights! What an amazing piece of engineering, it's beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  8. comment23

    comment23 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    315
    Aug 26, 2016
    Hampshire, UK
    Simon
    +1 on the Strobist and Godox recommendations
     
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  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    TTL is another brain much like exposure determination in camera, bit on the flash side. You are basically turning the flash engineers vision on what is right onto your scene, and the frustrating part is that it does not always make the same decision you would. Often, you'll need to course correct the flash exposure much like you'd need to correct for matrix exposure meter reading. That's were it gets tough - deciphering what the flash is going to do!

    With manual flash, you know from pop to pop exactly what the flash is going to do.
     
  10. RyanM

    RyanM Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Jun 16, 2017
    In the realm of all-manual flashes, what do people here think of the Neewer TT560? Seems like a decent system, given it costs only ~$30, but I don't really know what I'm looking for (looking to get started with lighting, but without any specific subject material in mind)
     
  11. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I would also recommend the Strobist’s lighting 101, 102, and 103 reads from his website. And Godox, particularly the Li-ion battery ones like the V860-o and ad200. AA batteries are annoying in the amounts you need to keep on hand for ocf.

    Profoto use to be the industry standard, but now they’re falling behind on price vs performance scale. I would expect to see the top 3 (broncolor, Profoto, and Elinchrom) either drop their prices drastically, come out with something really innovative, or fade away in a few years.
     
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  12. MPrince

    MPrince Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Dec 2, 2017
    West Virginia
    Matt Prince
    The Neewer TT560s are very nice, reliable flashguns. I believe they are rebranded Godox flashes. I have two of them and they have been great, whether triggered by radio or optically. I've recently switched to Godox, and have replaced the Neewers with a pair of Godox TT600s which have built in receivers. If my Neewers don't sell on ebay I'll happily continue using them triggered optically if I need additional lights beyond my Godox gear (AD200, TT350O, and 2 TT600s).
     
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  13. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    Yeah the more I read it's all making more sense. I can still see TTL being a great feature to have but for those creative shots where only you know how you want the final product to be, manual is the only way to go.

    Already read through Lighting101 last night! A lot of great knowledge in there. I'll go through it again once i actually have some lighting equipment but really helped give me a good base of understanding. and yes, I'm a big fan of Li-ion batteries. I don't want to have to keep buying and replacing AA, and/or carrying extra's with me. Definitely looking at the V860 for that reason.
     
  14. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    440
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    With an ND filter, you're still shooting with a slower shutter speed. Remember, to get the flash to freeze the action with a longer shutter speed, you're going to have to kill the ambient. Easy to do in a studio, harder to do on a sunlight snowy ski slope.

    Yup. Just understand you're giving up rentability, resale value, and customer support for the low-low price tags. :)

    Still reasons to go with Broncolor, Elinchrom, and yes, even Protofo. :) Godox is the cheap'n'cheerful alternative. But if you need to throw your gear into luggage holds all the time, and/or have a super-heavy pro usage pattern, it may be worthwhile to look at some hardier stuff with actual customer support.

    There's also something going on between Broncolor and Godox, btw. Broncolor's RFS2.2 triggers are actually modified Godox X1Ts. And a lot of folks are noting that the newly announced AD600Pro has very similar body styling to a Siros. :D

    One other thing, as you are a sports shooter, Godox and Broncolor gear both have an ALT function. This lets you cycle firing between multiple lights, to speed up recycle times. The Godox AD200 and AD600 can both do it, as can the Broncolor Siros. Here's a Youtube video demonstrating its use for sports shooting with the Siros:

     
  15. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    Of course there are always pro's and con's to high end gear and the perks you get with it. I did notice while browsing around that it doesn't seem Broncolor makes triggers for Olympus bodies yet. They did just release their new RFS 2.2 for Fuji so maybe Oly/Pan will come some day for use with the Siros. I know Profoto works with Oly now though.
    The ALT mode from the video you shared is pretty awesome, that could be fun to work with. Now I just need multiple strobes haha

    With that being said, given the Godox price point, I just ordered the V860ii since I had an Amazon gift card so out-of-pocket was minimal. This will be perfect to start expanding my lighting knowledge, I'm definitely a hands-on learner
     
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  16. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    992
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    I'm assuming you bought the V860II-O for olympus/panasonic cameras right? To make full use of the flash off-camera you're also going to need a X1T-O, or you can wait until the XPro-O becomes available.
     
  17. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    Yes I did get the -O Olympus version, but thanks for making sure! =) I'm still indecisive on whether I'm going to get the X1T-O or wait until the XPro-O is released, and it'll only be a little more expensive which I'm OK with. All depends on how long it ends up being.
     
  18. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    992
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    The Sony version is supposedly being released at the end of the month, so I suspect it'll be sometime in March at the earliest before you can get ur hands on the XPro-O. So that's over 2 months u won't be able to take your flash off-camera. It's $49 , I'd say get it over with. the XPro is nice , but the X1T has gotten the job done quite well up till now.
     
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  19. FirstAscent

    FirstAscent Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Nov 7, 2017
    Alaska/Oregon
    This is true. $49 is definitely worth it rather than waiting a couple months
     
  20. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Or just buy a 2nd v860 to use on camera as a master... then you’ll have 2 lights when the trigger comes out.
     
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