580exII + Wireless flash questions

Started Sep 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
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andyroo770 Regular Member • Posts: 163
580exII + Wireless flash questions

Hello all,

I'm just getting into wireless off camera flash having purchased a 580EX II, two pocket wizards, light stand and shoot through umbrella plus a photoflex umbrella-cum-softbox thing. I'm saving for a 2nd flash but that's to come.

I seem to be having trouble getting decent flash output with the softbox umbrella attached to the flash.

I take meter readings with a light meter from the subject (me!) and get say f/8 @ 250th/sec, ISO 100 with full power and flash set to manual but then when the shot is taken, the flash does not seem to make much difference over the ambient (I am underexposing ambient one stop with the aforementioned settings).

ie; I can barely tell the flash has gone off from the resulting picture and I know it has as I can see it. The ambient only shot looks much the same bar a little and I mean a little fill.

So, if I increase the ISO, I also increase the ambient so the result would be much the same, no?

I am firing at max sync speed so I cannot underexpose the ambient any further, I can shoot wider apertures but again this increases the ambient exposure which I want to keep down and it also reduces my depth of field which I need.

If I upped the ISO to 200 which increased the ambient by a stop, kept the flash at full BUT used a 1 stop ND filter on my lens, would this maintain the flash power or would it also be reduced by a stop (answer seems fairly obvious but i'm confused so please feel free to patronise!).

I know moving the light source closer would result in increased power but it is already about 2 feet away and would start to get into the shot if any closer.

I wanted to use this setup for skateboarding action shots but it seems the bounce+diffusion of the softbox umbrella is not going to give me adequate range unless i'm missing something?

Help please!


Andy Hart

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