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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Christina Sandberg

member since: 9/10/2006
 

Lighting Equipment for Weddings


I am a part-time wedding photographer ... generally shooting about 15 events a year. I currently use a Canon 5D as well as several L series lenses. I have been looking into adding some new lighting equipement, such as to use during the reception, first dance, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to get? Thank you.

7/16/2007 9:47:24 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Christina,
One thing about shooting weddings, time is critical. With most jobs, if I take an extra 15 minutes on a shot, no one has a problem, but this wonít fly at a wedding. (This is one reason I no longer shoot weddings.) Regardless, the best thing is to stick with equipment that will work with the TTL system in your camera. The best strobe for this is probably the Canon 580, I think it is now the 580 EX 2. Check out the Quantum Turbo battery pack - youíll be able to recycle in about a second. If the 580 isnít enough power for you, look at the Quantum Qflash TTL X5DR, more power and still a TTL strobe. One of the great things about the TTL strobes is that they do flash fill automatically. Flash fill can look great, and these systems keep it simple and easy.
Good Luck, John Siskin

7/16/2007 12:35:23 PM

 
Christina Sandberg

member since: 9/10/2006
  What about using strobes that I could trigger remotely?

7/17/2007 7:04:18 AM

 
Erin  Johnson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/16/2007
  Hi Christina,

Get yourself a pocket wizard system, a battery pack and canon rechargeables for the 580's.

As you get better you will realize, the less you have to carry, the more time you have to capture the day.

My gear went from 40 pounds w/laptop, to 20.

I now carry :

MarkII
5D
24-70
70-200
16-35
2-580's
Turbo battery pack
canon rechargeables
20g lexar cards
epson 4000
tripod
lens cloth
dust swabs
dust blower
bottle water
energy bars
tylenol (not for me/ usually the bride)
swis army knife
maglite

7/17/2007 7:41:01 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 11/16/2004
  Is you have Canon's old 420 EX or can find them, it can be used as a slave for the new 580EX, and would have more power than the pocket slaves. The 420EX or similarly compatible slaves can be attached to curtain rods with clamp brackets.

7/17/2007 8:36:16 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Christina,
A couple of thoughts, first the canon battery pack will help with speedy recycling, but it is still a 6 volt system. Because of the voltage you can expect a 2-3 second recycle time from a full power flash, not bad, but the high voltage stuff like the Quantum is more than twice as fast. Regarding another strobe a 430 would work well, since it can be run by the meter of your camera. Canon has a device called a ST-E2 Transmitter, this will trigger your second strobe and control the exposure. If you were shooting anything but weddings I would recommend other equipment, more powerful and cheaper. This set up is fast and accurate, good for weddings.
Thanks, John Siskin

7/17/2007 3:11:48 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 11/16/2004
  John,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but after I bought the ET-E2, I was told that my 580EX would trigger other compatible Canon flashes and that I did not need the ET-E2.

I hope that's in-correct, because now it's too late for me to return it.

Bunny Snow

7/17/2007 5:33:42 PM

 
Suzanne Colson
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 7/31/2006
  Technically you don't need the ST-E2 because the 580EX will trigger other Speedlites, but I still use my ST-E2. I don't like the results all the time that an on camera flash (unless I have something to bounce off of) gives so I put both my strobes on umbrella stands with umbrellas and trigger them with the ST-E2. When I have something good to bounce off of (ceiling or wall) I will use one of my 580's on camera and trigger my other 580.

7/17/2007 7:18:56 PM

 
Suzanne Colson
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 7/31/2006
  I went looking for this link... This has some awesome info about strobes... Made all the difference in some of my flash shots...

http://strobist.blogspot.com/

7/17/2007 7:42:54 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/16/2004
  Christina, I shoot corporate events and a lot of Step & Repeats (Red Carpets). I set up at least 2 usually 3/4 strobes for the S&R's and use my Pocket Wizards to trigger them. The Alien Bees are lightweight and great for this, I use the step up or White Lightning X3200's. When I shoot the party I cruise around with a 580EX & Quantum Turbo on my belt. It's GREAT and I've even used it at fashion shows with a 4 model runway so you NEED the speedy recycle time. You could use strobes around the Head Table if you could place the tripods in a place out of traffic or around the wedding cake but I think your better off shooting some with the 580EX flash then turning the flash off and shooting on M or AV mode...

7/17/2007 8:18:58 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 11/16/2004
  Thanks, Suzanne, for your reply. Using the flash off camera has been a preference for me in years past, and that was in my brain for purchasing the ST-E2 initially. I later became confused when I was told to use the 580EX to trigger the other lights.

Using the flash off the camera enables the photographer to create directional lighting rather than flat red-eye producing light. (True, removing red eye is easy in PS, but why go through the extra time, when it could be avoided in the first place.)

Thanks again.

7/18/2007 5:10:47 AM

 

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