Studio Questions


sebas77

Link Posted 31/03/2018 - 22:11
Hello,

long time I don't write here, it's because I moved house, it took a while to settle down, but finally I can work on my studio. So I started the first experiments and I already know it will take a while to master everything. I am not sure if the difficulties I currently have are related to some of the cheap stuff I use or it's just because I have to work out how everything work together.

I have several questions and quite random, I hope you can help. First a look at the studio:


IMGP9329.jpg by sebafoto, on Flickr


unnamed by sebafoto, on Flickr

I am using a 2m wide gray vinyl. I am pretty pleased by how the backdrop works, I will write an article about how to setup a studio once I finish.

I don't make money out of photography, therefore I have no intention to pay big money, just the bare minimum essential to have good results without swearing. I have give lights. 2 old godox slaves that I use to lit up the backdrop, 2 manual flashes and 1 metz. (actually the metz are 2, but 1 is broken and can be used only in manual, therefore it's manual).

I use also the cactus trigger together with aputure triggers if I need to use more than one light. I will start keeping everything simple of course.

Random questions:

- I have some troubles in making the backdrop white, because of the falloff of the light, it's never pure white on the border, even when I use both the slaves. I am not sure if it's normal or I can make it better. I tried with the slaves behind the subject or on the sides. Behind the subject is obviously better, but I have seen some setups with the light on the sides, not sure how it works for large backdrops. Advices?

- I would like to use the metz with TTL. Just because it's inside a softbox every time is a pain to open the panel to adjust the settings manually. However if I use the metz with TTL the slaves do not fire!!!! Super annoying because I can't figure out why, any suggestion?

- do you suggest something for me in general to buy that is not too expensive? Light modifiers, different lighting system (I Would like to buy a beauty dish but they are quite expensive). I use also reflectors, I will need to buy a grid for the softbox. I will experiment with a bit of everything, but I wonder if there is something I should not absolutely miss.

- working with the speed lights may be a bit of a pain. I am used of shooting outdoor without flashes and waiting for the recharging time will modify my shooting styles, thoughts?

- I need more batteries, I always bought eneloops and powerex, but I see now there are more brands around...are they any good? Specifically I am talking about the EBL, but I am not sure if there are other brands

- I need a charger like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SMI622M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A304E6... is it a good investment?

- this sounds silly, but a cheap wind machine? I know there are fans, but I am not sure if they are powerful enough

RobL

Link Posted 31/03/2018 - 22:44
I am wondering about painting the walls and ceiling but donít know what to recommend. White would reflect and diffuse the light which would be useful for bounce flash but black would be more dramatic with greater control of direct light.

sebas77

Link Posted 31/03/2018 - 22:56
I see, but I would never do that , beside I don't think I should rely on bouncing light in a studio, it would mean totally loose control on the final result.
Last Edited by sebas77 on 31/03/2018 - 22:57

stub

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 00:10
For the Backdrop light move the lights as far back as you can away from the backdrop without it affecting your subject. Check out Inverse square law.. Or the use of flags...
Think I advised you some months ago not to go with the umbrella type softbox. Unless you have remote controlled flash. As they are a real pain. Either change the softbox to one with a mounting bracket and then use the Godox "S" bracket,,, Or a remote flash and controller, like the Yongnuo YN560Iv and TX560 sender.
Examples... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yongnuo-YN-560TX-Wireless-Flash-Controller-Flash-Spee... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Godox-S-type-Bracket-Bowens-S-Mount-Holder-for-T-L-Sp...

When you say the Metz flash dosnt trigger the slave flashes. Do you mean they are triggered by the first TTL flash and not recorded on the final image ?

I don't use flash in the studio too much as I have strobe units. But I have a similar battery charger to the one you list and it works perfectly with a rapid charge of the batteries. Cant comment on wind machines as I don't own one. Usually just use a large fan...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

Algernon

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 08:19
This charger is absolutely brilliant for AA & AAA's

http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp

The batteries you use are fine.
--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 01/04/2018 - 08:22

McGregNi

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 08:39
sebas77 wrote:
..... I would like to use the metz with TTL. Just because it's inside a softbox every time is a pain to open the panel to adjust the settings manually. However if I use the metz with TTL the slaves do not fire!!!! Super annoying because I can't figure out why, any suggestion? ....

Are you using the Cactus V6II system in P-TTL mode with the Metz as a slave? If so, then the flash emits a pre-flash for metering purposes, and this is preventing correctly synced triggering of your basic manual slaves. Some Manual flashes have a specific slave setting to ignore pre-flashes, but pre-flashes can vary depending on camera system and flash type, so theres no guarantee.

In any case, you have remote control over manual power settings as well, so you shouldn't need TTL. However, I understand P-TTL slaves with the Cactus V6II system will always emit a pre-flash, even when used in Manual mode, so you may have to look to either a different radio trigger or different basic slaves that can ignore that pre-flash.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 01/04/2018 - 08:43

K10D

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 08:45
Algernon wrote:
This charger is absolutely brilliant for AA & AAA's

http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp

They are probably the best but why pay 34.95 for it when the same charger can be bought for 18.99 link you can spend the difference on rechargeable batteries.

Best regards
cameradextrous _ Motorcycles etc. link

Algernon

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:10
K10D wrote:
Algernon wrote:
This charger is absolutely brilliant for AA & AAA's

http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp

They are probably the best but why pay 34.95 for it when the same charger can be bought for 18.99 link you can spend the difference on rechargeable batteries.

Best regards

Cheap knock-off!!! Read what it says on the Batterylogic site....

** It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery and
although often copied the BL700N is never equaled **

Please be aware that there are now many clones of the BL700 based on older firmware which lack the refinement and safety features found on the Technoline BL700N. These low quality copies have no association with Technoline whatsoever.

There have been problems with clones bursting into flames. 700mA max seems as high as these chargers can go and remain safe. 700mA is too high for most AA's the bateries do get quite hot. Cool at either 200mA or 500mA... 200mA gets the most power in the batteries and prolongs their life. 200mA is also the recommended rate for 2000mA batteries.

This is one similar charger that gives problems...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd7rUdTkIq0

The latest version will charge 0V batteries (completely flat). Mine is the earlier version and although it's rare to have a 0V battery I have to start them off in a cheap bog standard no-brain charger to get the voltage up to about 0.1V and then transfer them over.

I bought mine from Amazon 7 years ago. Still going strong.
-
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 01/04/2018 - 09:25

Chrism8

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:13
sebas77 wrote:
I have some troubles in making the backdrop white, because of the falloff of the light, it's never pure white on the border, even when I use both the slaves. I am not sure if it's normal or I can make it better. I tried with the slaves behind the subject or on the sides. Behind the subject is obviously better, but I have seen some setups with the light on the sides, not sure how it works for large backdrops. Advices?

You may have been better to go for a White BG to start with then by reducing the light or removing it altogether, moving from white through to grey and eventually a black bg. just a thought it would be easier to reduce the light rather than blasting it to get an overall white bg.
Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

-------------------------------------------------------------
K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

sebas77

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:35
stub wrote:
For the Backdrop light move the lights as far back as you can away from the backdrop without it affecting your subject. Check out Inverse square law.. Or the use of flags...
Think I advised you some months ago not to go with the umbrella type softbox. Unless you have remote controlled flash. As they are a real pain. Either change the softbox to one with a mounting bracket and then use the Godox "S" bracket,,, Or a remote flash and controller, like the Yongnuo YN560Iv and TX560 sender.
Examples... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yongnuo-YN-560TX-Wireless-Flash-Controller-Flash-Spee... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Godox-S-type-Bracket-Bowens-S-Mount-Holder-for-T-L-Sp...

When you say the Metz flash dosnt trigger the slave flashes. Do you mean they are triggered by the first TTL flash and not recorded on the final image ?

I don't use flash in the studio too much as I have strobe units. But I have a similar battery charger to the one you list and it works perfectly with a rapid charge of the batteries. Cant comment on wind machines as I don't own one. Usually just use a large fan...

Thanks for the reply! I actually want to achieve a white background not black. For the TTL, Does the cactus ttl work with a pre flash? I always forget but I think it's all radio based, it must be. I guess all the strobe units are quite expensive?

sebas77

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:37
McGregNi wrote:
sebas77 wrote:
..... I would like to use the metz with TTL. Just because it's inside a softbox every time is a pain to open the panel to adjust the settings manually. However if I use the metz with TTL the slaves do not fire!!!! Super annoying because I can't figure out why, any suggestion? ....

Are you using the Cactus V6II system in P-TTL mode with the Metz as a slave? If so, then the flash emits a pre-flash for metering purposes, and this is preventing correctly synced triggering of your basic manual slaves. Some Manual flashes have a specific slave setting to ignore pre-flashes, but pre-flashes can vary depending on camera system and flash type, so theres no guarantee.

In any case, you have remote control over manual power settings as well, so you shouldn't need TTL. However, I understand P-TTL slaves with the Cactus V6II system will always emit a pre-flash, even when used in Manual mode, so you may have to look to either a different radio trigger or different basic slaves that can ignore that pre-flash.

oh dang, I was hoping from the solution from you. So there is a pre flash, I think I read about it but always get confused. However what is the pre-flash for? The metz is not properly set in slave, it's set in master, but it's on the remote cactus.

BTW you are right, I didn't mean TTL, I meant that I want Manual but sending the settings remotely.
Last Edited by sebas77 on 01/04/2018 - 09:41

sebas77

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:38
Chrism8 wrote:
sebas77 wrote:
I have some troubles in making the backdrop white, because of the falloff of the light, it's never pure white on the border, even when I use both the slaves. I am not sure if it's normal or I can make it better. I tried with the slaves behind the subject or on the sides. Behind the subject is obviously better, but I have seen some setups with the light on the sides, not sure how it works for large backdrops. Advices?

You may have been better to go for a White BG to start with then by reducing the light or removing it altogether, moving from white through to grey and eventually a black bg. just a thought it would be easier to reduce the light rather than blasting it to get an overall white bg.

the backdrop is double faced with a white version too, I thought gray was easy to manage tho.

McGregNi

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:44
The wireless settings on the Metz (Master / Control etc) have no relevance to working with the Cactus triggers. Don't set the Metz to any wireless mode (these modes are for Optical wireless working). It should be set to P-TTL mode, and then things are controlled from the V6II on the camera.

One thing that was discovered early on when the V6II came out was that it caused a pre-flash from P-TTL flashes even when using Manual flash mode. This is something to do with the way it communicates using the P-TTL protocol in order to activate HSS .... its an unfortunate side effect, and they said it could not be changed. I don't think it affects their own RF60x flashes (but check on their Community Forum), so that might be another good choice for a new flash or two (also no receiver needed for those, which saves money).
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 01/04/2018 - 09:45

Algernon

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 09:46
One of the better charger manufactures did a recall about 8 years ago...

http://www.shawnlam.ca/2009/battery-charger-meltdown/

That charger was supposed to be an upgrade fixing problems with the previous model

So you need to be careful about what you buy.

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 01/04/2018 - 09:49

Helpful

McBrian

Link Posted 01/04/2018 - 10:18
With such a small studio you are going to struggle to control the light falloff and bounce even with your flat grey walls.

I would paint them and the roof matt black and make a lot off flags, I would also have smallish soft boxes fitted with grids, umbrella light is very hard to control in a small spaces, do you have a beauty dish?

To get soft light you need to position the light source close to the subject, the further the light is from the subject the harsher the shadows get, its also harder to control without grids or flags .
Cheers
Brian.
LBA is good for you, a Lens a day helps you work, rest and play.
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