A&P Stick with my SB-900 or move up to an AB setup?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Idyfohu, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Ok, I've tried searching all over and am looking for some input.

    I suck with strobes and just need to shoot to get the hang of it and get comfortable.

    My current setup is a SB-900 and SB-600 and I want to do some portrait style work and then also on-location typical stuff (bridals, engagements, occasional wedding).

    I know the difference between monostrobes and speedlights and the pros vs cons.

    If I had a job right now (FML), having the ABs as a second setup wouldn't be a question. So I'm curious if anyone has had any luck with a fairly successful setup with speedlights and more specifically a good and fairly economical solution to pair my SB-900 w/ a Softbox or Octobox and then I'd use my SB-600 for hair/background/whatever light.

    This is probably the main question, what options do I have with a SB-900 and a softbox and octobox that you'd recommend?

    Right now I have two Manfrotto light stands w/ 1 30" Convertible White Umbrella.

    I know this is vague, but considering my setup, what would you recommend?

    Also, I need to look into poppers as I'm only used CLS the few times I've messed with my flashes.

    Thanks for putting up with the newbness of this post. :wavey:
     
  2. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    I do all my location shoots w/ my only working flash... the SB900. Buy some reflectors, its a great (cheap) alternative. :big grin:

    I'd say keep the flash and use them more often... I can't tell you the last time I used my AB1600.
     
  3. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    lots of people are successful with speedlights:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/pool/

    look into the westcott apollo softbox (comes in 28" and 50")
    it folds up like an umbrella, and you dont need to get speedrings to mount the flash onto it
    also, you can mount a monobloc in there later if you want to

    also, make sure you get a good quality flash/umbrella/softbox holder
     
  4. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    and based on what he said... also watch the OneLight DVD. It'll change your mind.
     
  5. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    :werd:

    onelight is awesome
     
  6. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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  7. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    definitely the sophie moone one
     
  8. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

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    Like the other guys have said, Onelight DVD ftw. Watch and be prepared to have mind blown.
     
  9. SkiMax

    SkiMax OT Supporter

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    another plug for onelight. changed how I shoot pretty much...
     
  10. HighTachPres

    HighTachPres New Member

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    :werd:
     
  11. s14brent

    s14brent Active Member

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    yeah, my vote is to keep the sb900, way more useful and versatile
     
  12. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

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    if you sell your sb900 i want first dibs :naughty:
     
  13. johan

    johan Active Member

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    For the work you mentioned, I'd def. build up some more speedlights, and some umbrellas or small softboxes.

    I rarely use my Ab1600's or ringlights unless the event specifically needs them. Like 250+ guests, or big groups etc.

    for weddings/engagements, etc usually we're out on-location and walking around. Don't stay at any one location for more than an hour, and for portraiture we try and hit several different spots. Can't imagine dragging a bunch of AB's plus Vagabonds around, when it's totally unnecessary.

    You can do a LOT with speedlights. Esp. weddings/portraits/engagements, these are usually 2, maybe 3-4. Perfect for small flash work.
     
  14. djlogik

    djlogik New Member

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    Stick with your speedlights and really learn to use them off camera. Once you realize you can no longer do what you want with them (ex:fight the sun, faster recycle, light up a huge area) then upgrade. I setup a small studio in my basement with all hotshoes flases, umbrellas, wescott 28" softbox and a bunch of homemade modifiers. I don't see a need for me to upgrade yet.

    +1 for onelight, also look for the Nikon:A Hands-On Guide to Creative Lighting video.
     
  15. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    God, I love you bitches. Downloaded...eerrr...purchased the One Light DVD last night and gonna watch it today. I hope there's some intense money shots and snowballing at the end.

    I'm really digging the Westcott 28" Apollo Softbox. I'm getting in over my head, but any of you guys own one and what are your thoughts? Reviews and pictures (on Flickr) look to be great, with the main downside being lack of tilt and mobility once it's mounted. Also, if I want to use modifiers, is this possible in conjunction with the Apollo?

    Thanks sincerely everyone...I'm used to Nikonians for feedback and that place sucks balls.
     
  16. pantheR

    pantheR New Member

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  17. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    i love the apollo, but yes, it doesnt have a great deal of tilt motion when its mounted
    you can however slide it further down the main mounting point, and that will let you tilt it further

    there are no grids made for the 28", and westcott say they have no plans to make one either
    what other modifiers would you want to use?
     
  18. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Thanks to everyone and their advice. Started watching OneLight DVD today and based on advice/reviews/photos (Flickr) I ordered the 28" Westcott Apollo today from Adorama (cheapest I could find was $119). Looking forward to it and I'll post pictures when I get it.

    Bob, I found the thread about the grid, kinda lame, but oh well. There wasn't any modifiers I was looking for, just curious about upgradeability down the road.

    Are you using Poppers with yours? I plan on using CLS for now and people are saying it works with it.
     
  19. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    yeah, there's nothing much else you can do with a softbox, other than put a grid on it
    you can obviously use gels though, because those mount directly onto the flash

    i use cactus v4's

    i dont think you can use CLS because its optically triggered(?) and im not sure how well that works when the flash is inside the softbox
     
  20. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    I'm hoping I can use CLS, but I know eventually I'll make the jump to PWs down the road...

    How do you like your Cactus setup?
     
  21. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    they are great so far, especially for how much they cost
    i can shoot at my cameras fastest sync speed and still get full coverage

    when i first bought them, i had a dodgy receiver, but i got that one replaced and now they fire every time (provided the flashes are charged :p)

    i have 4 now, but the most ive ever used at once was 3... it's just nice to have a backup reciever and backup flash just in case one breaks or doesn't work
     
  22. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Mind me asking you how much they ran you?

    What are you shooting with BTW (irrelevant, but just curious)?
     
  23. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    $150aud for the trigger and 4 recievers
    i use a canon 5d mk2
     
  24. wrong1

    wrong1 Member

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    I havent had any problems with CLS and my ghetto rigged softboxes.
     
  25. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    does CLS require line of sight?
     

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