Entry leveling lighting suggestions (based on my current gear)

jjb930jjb930 Posts: 80Member
edited June 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hi all,

I know there are discussions from the forum on lighting suggestions, but I want some expert advice on the best next steps for my current gear. I know many of the experienced members of this forum will have an opinion based on their own experience. I have a Nikon D800 and SB 700 speed light. I recently picked up a 85mm 1.8G and have been dabbling in some portraits and I find it really enjoyable. Although the SB 700 mounted on camera is working well, I also want some creative flexibility with my lighting options. I have been reading strobist.blogspot.ca and have been inspired to start taking my lighting to the next level

1) I am considering the basic light stand + shoot through or reflective umbrella kits for starters. There are many kits available. Does anyone have a kit they would highly recommend (preferably via B&H)?

2) Also The site suggests using a PC sync cord, but the SB700 doesn't have one. I have been testing the SB 700 off camera using the pop-up flash (on the camera body) to trigger it, but I am realizing that I am going to be running into all sorts of line of sight issues. How do people overcome this? I have been looking into wireless triggers & receivers, but I don't know much about it. I have also read I can get another SB 700 and use it as commander. Is that better?

TLDR:
1) Please recommend a good shoot-through umbrella compact kit (preferably through B&H)
2) Best way to trigger off-camera flash? Wireless trigger/receiver? A second SB 700?

Post edited by jjb930 on
Nikon D800 | Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro | Tamron 150-600mm f/ 5-6.3 | Nikon SB700 | Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set | Cactus V6 Transceiver Set | SDMV Speedbox 60 Diffuser | FotoPro T83-C CF Tripod | FotoPro NGC-75 CF Monopod

Comments

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    1) At B&H: Impact Digital Flash Umbrella Mount Kit

    2) Start with what you have (pop-up flash + SB700)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,353Moderator
    IMHO if you are using one SB700 remotely and the pop-up as the commander, you would be better off with a brollybox on the stand as they are less wasteful with the smaller amount of light from a speed light than a shoot through or reflector is. As most brollyboxes are made for a studio light, you can make or buy a double bracket and put a second SB in the same box to increase the light output if you need it (outside). Using the brollybox for the fill and the sun as the key is good too.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    If budget constraints are an issue, you can make a simple white reflector out of some foam poster board which will be less than $20 for a 40" x 60" piece. By cutting and gluing or using Duct tape, one can fashion a very nice reflector, used with a simple stand, and the cost is minimal.

    If B & H is your store, simply searching and reading the reviews can be helpful.

    If you do have a budget, this would be nice so you do not have recommendations for $5,000 in flash equipment and a new RRS tripod…. :D
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2014
    @jjb930: This topic by PitchBlack is worth looking at.

    Phottix Mitros/Mitros+ ... My Experience
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited June 2014
    Have a look at this article for flashes with build-in triggers:

    http://www.lightingrumours.com/yongnuo-yn560tx-5872#.U56UCvl45s4

    I have an old Yongnuo manual flash YN-560 for a couple of years, works good.
    This year I bought 2 Yongnuo-YN622N triggers and last month the YN-622N-TX as controler (the YN560-TX was not announced at that time, cheap and good.
    Last week I got the YN565EX flash, was only available for Canon (the C model ($99.-), does everything on my D600 like the SB-800, only easier.

    With the trigger set I can set this last one with the YN-622N-TX on the camera only when it is in in TTL mode.

    If I want to buy a starter set now, I would go for the Godox Ving 850, there are starter kids on Ebay for less then $ 300.-, you get 2 flashes, 2 triggers, a commander and a lot of power.

    The problem with triggers always is, different brands don't speak with each other, therefor if you choose you are stuck with that system.

    You can get a lot of information on lighting rumours site: www.lightingrumours.com

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • jjb930jjb930 Posts: 80Member
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! They were all very helpful. I'll look into the suggestions and see what I come up with. I'll keep you all posted over the next several weeks.
    Nikon D800 | Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro | Tamron 150-600mm f/ 5-6.3 | Nikon SB700 | Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set | Cactus V6 Transceiver Set | SDMV Speedbox 60 Diffuser | FotoPro T83-C CF Tripod | FotoPro NGC-75 CF Monopod
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    I got this Phottix Mitros+ Scott Kelby kit, you might want to consider it:
    http://www.adorama.com/PH80378.html

    It seemed like a good deal for what you get. I haven't had time to play with it yet, but the Phottix Mitros and Mitros+ flashes get great reviews, here and elsewhere.


  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Kits = cheap crap that is ok but you will fight with and will want to replace in a year. Well, most of them on the low end. Lighting tools are one thing that never really gets updated. If you go with a good set, you will be using it 10-20 years from now - and it doesn't cost that more to do it. Go cheap, and you will spend twice as much replacing items.

    Here is a base kit that is well made, doesn't break the bank, will hold almost anything, can grow with and last a long time. I picked the items that will pack easily in a backpack.
    Manfrotto 026 Swivel Umbrella Adapter $40 (This is the one item never to skimp on. Manfrotto is what everyone else tries to copy.)
    Enlight photo Frio Universal Locking Cold Shoe V2 $15 (Love these little guys, they just work.)
    Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stand - 6.2' (1.9m) $50
    Westcott Umbrella - Soft Silver, Collapsible Compact - 43" $21
    Westcott Umbrella - Collapsible, Optical White Satin - 43" $21
    Total: $147
    2) Also The site suggests using a PC sync cord, but the SB700 doesn't have one. I have been testing the SB 700 off camera using the pop-up flash (on the camera body) to trigger it, but I am realizing that I am going to be running into all sorts of line of sight issues. How do people overcome this? I have been looking into wireless triggers & receivers, but I don't know much about it. I have also read I can get another SB 700 and use it as commander. Is that better?
    This is where things get interesting and much more complex depending on how you want to use your lights.
    Decision time - Do you want to shoot with the flash in Auto (iTTL) or Manual mode.
    Auto (iTTL) options: (order of cost)
    Use your on camera flash. Drawback: line of site only.
    Nikon SC-28 TTL Remote Cord - Coiled 3-9'. $64 Coiled cords have uses but tripping on stuff, yanking stands over, etc. is a pain.
    Hear comes the ouch time
    -Radio transmitter/receivers. For full Auto iTTL use, Pocket Wizard or Phottix Odin are the most popular and allow for the full use of Auto iTTL. Phottix Odin's are cheaper but work just as good.
    -Commander Flash. Other option is another flash. I would strongly suggest against another SB-700 and get a SB-900/910 type of flash. Phottix Mitros (non-radio) works just as good as a SB-910 for the price of a SB-700.
    (note if you go with any of the above, it will also do manual stuff as well.)

    Manual Flash Options:
    This is where you don't use iTTL and change the flash output at the flash it's self.
    Personally I would just use a cheap radio trigger system like Phottix Ares Wireless Flash Trigger Set or Phottix Strato II. Draw backs: No high speed sync (sync at speeds of 1/250)

    Other products/ terms to search for.
    Phottix Strato TTL Flash Trigger Transmitter and Receiver for Nikon (only on Amazon). THis is the new Strato series and allows HSS and iTTL. I have not use them, but they should be quite good.
    Phottix Mitros TTL Flash for Nikon Cameras
    A new option that is getting good reviews: Manfrotto Snap Tilthead with Shoe Mount.
    Westcott 43" Collapsible Umbrella Flash Kit with Stand $72
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • jjb930jjb930 Posts: 80Member
    Thanks for the very helpful feedback Tao. I went with the exact items you priced out (i.e., Manfrotto light stand & swivel, the universal locking shoe, and the Westcott umbrellas. The items should arrive sometime next week. I'll play around with the setup and then determine my needs for the flash trigger.

    I really appreciate the feedback from all of the pro's and super users on this forum. I'll keep you posted!
    Nikon D800 | Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro | Tamron 150-600mm f/ 5-6.3 | Nikon SB700 | Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set | Cactus V6 Transceiver Set | SDMV Speedbox 60 Diffuser | FotoPro T83-C CF Tripod | FotoPro NGC-75 CF Monopod
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