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  1. #1

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    Backpacker studio..

    Hey guys,

    I've noticing that the there has an increase in portable studio kits using standard flash and light wieght umbrellas. It has my interest in regards to the flexibilty of locations shoots using studio lighting. As I mentioned in the thread below.. I own Brown series Speedtron lighting kit with big power pack, so there is no way to do any tpe of remote location shooting with this. Has anyone or does any have Backpapker kit and tried it with film camera. And .. do you like the results? A simple kits is a fraction of the price on Amazon, meaning two stand,two flash adapter and umbrella's. Already have SB24 and sunpack with slave

    Todd

  2. #2
    MattKrull's Avatar
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    Lots of information on this style of shooting over at The Strobist.

    My biggest issue with the flash units is the lack of modelling lamp. I keep meaning to try making modelling lamps out of LED bicycle lights.

    Even a light travel strobe kit is huge when you add in battery packs compared to a pair of GN120 flashes with AA batteries. The real question is "Is GN120 enough for your project?" Since I'm usually doing portraits in a small area, the answer for me (even though it goes against my GAS want for studio strobes) is yes.

  3. #3
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    I used a few 285HV's in this manner. My experience with the cheap umbrellas that are included in the kit are pretty bad... I replaced them with the also cheap Wescott reflective Umbrellas from Adorama. Not sure why Strobist recommended the shoot-throughs.

    The stands are OK. A couple Nalgene bottles with some cord held the stands in place when it got breezy for me. When the power of my 285HV's wasn't enough in a 2 light setup, I doubled them up into one umbrella, which worked quite well.

    Depending on what flashes you're using, I recommend doing some kind of external battery pack, too, as they're less fiddly than changing AA's all the time. Even homemade ones out of NiMH cells in a small enclosure wired into dummy batteries will work well.

    I tried using my backpacking headlamp as a modeling lamp one, and the LED's definitely are not powerful enough in open shade. I think the output of my headlamp is around 200 Lumens, which is powerful than most of the affordable bike LED lights.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  4. #4
    MattKrull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretlessdavis View Post
    I used a few 285HV's in this manner. My experience with the cheap umbrellas that are included in the kit are pretty bad... I replaced them with the also cheap Wescott reflective Umbrellas from Adorama. Not sure why Strobist recommended the shoot-throughs.
    ...
    I tried using my backpacking headlamp as a modeling lamp one, and the LED's definitely are not powerful enough in open shade. I think the output of my headlamp is around 200 Lumens, which is powerful than most of the affordable bike LED lights.
    Strobist recommends shoot throughts because they cast a nice light for people who like big soft light sources, but want something small and fast to setup. I use shoot throughs and I'm happy enough with them, but I'm not the most demanding photographer.

    Good to know about the lights. I was hoping to use my 1-watt LED lights. I have a pair of 600 lumen mtb lights, I guess I'll need to try them instead.

  5. #5

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    I know the kit I'm looking at .. the umbrellas have a silver lining. So not the shoot through. I looked at that and to me it looked like it was inferior. I could also use the umbrellas that came with my Brown series , which were very good. Anyone Else?

    Todd

  6. #6

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    I looked at that and to me it looked like it was inferior.

    I meant to say .. How can they work outside to fill in?

    Todd

  7. #7
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    The shoot-through ones put less light on your subject, as they'll reflect about half the light backwards. This gave me a ton of problems indoors, but isn't as big of an issue outside... the lack of power is. Directional light from a big light source works for me... especially in a team of two. With the shoot-through ones being very close to my subject to compensate for the light loss, the falloff was evident across my subjects, and I had to back them up to get more even lighting. Nice shoot through ones might have solved this. I just got the reflective ones instead and adapted to the slightly harsher light.

    600 lumens may be enough... (definitely enough for night MTB'ing... I started out with a 200lm Niterider Halogen system... it's amazing how far the technology has come on these in the last decade)

    There are '1200' lumen rechargable systems on ebay for about $25 a pop... they're actual light output is around 800, but they're still powerful. They use a 10w Cree bulb. I haven't tried them with my umbrellas, but I'll do that this evening. Run time is pretty short, though.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  8. #8

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    I'm planning on running with a Nikon SB24 as I mentioned. It does have the capability dial up and down the entensity of light like standard studio flash head. what do you think? I should mention too. That I have a sunpack, that has the ability to fire with channel dial in from main flash. 1 to 2 ratio effect.

    Todd

  9. #9
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    SB24 is pretty powerful. If you're shooting 400 ASA, you'll likely have enough power. Doubtful that it'll be powerful enough to supplement/overpower direct sunlight.

    What camera are you using? If you're shooting MF, I hope you have some Leaf Shutter lenses... The slower sync speed of FP shutters on MF doesn't work too well with outdoor flash. My ETRS is a blast to use with flash though... 1/500 sync on every lens.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  10. #10

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    I got a Rolleiflex 3.5f and T model. Both have shutter sp of 500th.

    Todd

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