Lit by two YN 460MKIIs, placed left of the camera with one the other side of me and triggered with built-in camera flash.
So you fancy getting into off camera flash. There are lots of options for this and in this post we will look at a number of items and different setup costs.
I already have the Lencarta Safari, this is 600Ws and can either run a studio type head with Bowens S-fit light modifyers and my first flashgun the Jessops 360AFD for Nikon. However I had managed to lose it while on Lanzarote a couple of weeks ago. At the moment a Jessops 360AFD costs £79.00 each. If you look online at the various auction sites you will find alternatives, some of which can be found much cheaper.
So I went with the Yongnuo 460MKII as it is widely used amongst those into off camera flash or ‘Strobist’ A term created by photographer David Hobby. A link to his blog will be at the bottom of this article.
The 460MKII has a higher guide number of 53 while the original 460 was around 33. Power adjustment is 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64
Overview on Youtube:
It can be set as manual, Slave 1 or Slave 2. Slave 1 is for use with a master flash in manual. Slave 2 can be used with the master set to TTL. Both the 460 and 460MKII have a power save function.
Build quality seems surprisingly good. Solid feeling to the plastics and to the head swivel. A bounce card and diffuser pull out of the head too. One other point is, that most flashguns zoom by moving the flash tube back and forth to control the spread of light at the same focal length as your lens choice. The 460 MKII does not have a zoom head.
The 460MKII is supplied with a desktop/tripod stand and a cloth bag to protect it. Available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Olympus cameras.
I paid £39.95 each and bought two, this can be used to light a background and help make one using coloured gels while the main light is coming from the Safari. I can also do interesting things with lighting just from these two flashguns.
Other models from Yongnuo include the 462, 465, 467, 468 and 560.
Of course you can light a person or foreground interest with one light, sometimes it makes for a more interesting image, soft light from the front, drop the ISO and aperture and increase the shutter to reduce the ambient light.
A shoot through umbrella would be a more portable option though, you would lose some control over the light as there will be some bounce from the diffuser. Reflective umbrellas come with a white, silver or gold lining or as a multi purpose umbrella with a removable outer cover to reveal a shoot through etc..
Folding soft boxes can also be bought for use with speed lights and offer more control.
You will need a cold shoe spigot with umbrella mount and lightstand to use modfiyers like these with any of the brands of flashgun.
With more money there are products from Nissin, Nikon, Sigma, Canon etc.
For example price wise the Nikon SB700 is around £280.00 with the SB-900 costing £329.00 and the Canon range from £100.00 to £385.00 each.
Here is a slideshow with images lit by the Lencarta safari, some may also include flashguns.
You can add radio triggers.
Starting at the popular Yongnuo RF-602 which can be purchased for around £80.00 with four receivers. You can also use a receiver and connect it as a wireless remote!
Pocket wizards are a lot more money for a set (two) are around £319.00 for the Plus 2s additional units are around the £183.00 mark!
Other brands are Seculine, Elinchrom, etc…
What ever your budget there are products for you. Right down to bargain basement online with a bit of browsing, though build quality and lifespan may not keep up with more expensive products.
Some interesting reading: