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off camera lighting supplies help

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    off camera lighting supplies help

    Summary at the bottom

    Ok, I am gearing up to get a large group photo of Indiana's Lawyer-Legislators in the State Capitol Building. The lighting inside is pretty minimal, as it's a 100+ year old building.

    This is the current setup I have (I am not a photographer, by the way. My graphic design setup is much more impressive )

    Nikon D40
    18-55mm standard Nikon AF lens
    55-200mm standard Nikon AF lens
    Nikon SB-600
    Cactus transmitter and receiver (one of each)
    Two (2) basic panning tripods


    Now, I know I'll need another receiver, probably by Cactus to keep things consistent. I know they suck, but I also know that they can be modded to have a better range and reliability. I was looking at some Vivitar 285 flashes on eBay, as well as some cheap umbrella/stand combos. My work is fitting the bill, but I can only get this stuff it it's under $250.


    SUMMARY:
    Can anyone point me in the right direction for moderate pricing on the following:

    a receiver that will work with Cactus products from Gadget Infinity
    Umbrella/stand combos with two (2) umbrellas and stands
    a flash or two that are compatible with Nikons
    anything else you may think might help


    Thanks!

    #2
    PRIORITY- Buy a long sync cord, if those cactus go tits up youre going to be left red faced. Have a backup.

    -http://www.zarias.com/gpp-group-shot-pressure-that-can-make-diamonds/ Something you might find interesting.

    - Ebay would be my port of call for those items aswell

    Comment


      #3
      quick note on the SB600. to my knowledge only hot shoe ittl syncs will work, it does not have a traditional PC input like the 900/800/28
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/roygblivious/

      http://vimeo.com/6496156

      Comment


        #4
        B&H has a two-stand/two-umbrella/two-swivelbrackets combo pack for around $100-$109, and it should be a bit better quality than ebay stuff. Plus you'll have options for returning it, warranty issues, etc.

        There have been a lot of different GI/"ebay" triggers in even the few years I've been shooting; I would email GI, let them know which model you have, and order the receiver directly from them.

        A 285HV is a solid choice, I would either go new, though, or get a used one ASAP so you can check it out and make sure it works ok.

        If your GI triggers have a PC port, you can go with a Vivitar-to-PC cord for syncing, which are all over ebay. Your other option is to replace the stock plastic shoe/foot with a metal foot, those are also all over ebay and will give you a PC port. Then you just use a PC-to-PC cord.

        Your SB600 does not have a dedicated sync port AFAIK: you will have to get a shoe adapter, which are tempermental from what I've heard but will give you a PC or 1/8" sync jack.

        Ideally, though, get rid of those GI pieces of shit and upgrade to Cybersyncs or Skyports, it will help you stay sane.

        Comment


          #5
          Oh, and you asked for a flash that was "compatible with Nikons."

          Any flash will be compatible with Nikons when shooting manually off-camera (i.e. with the Cactus triggers). All radio triggers (well, this class of radio triggers) do is tell the flash to fire: they do not control the power, zoom, etc.

          If you want a "smart" flash, that will work with your camera's meter/computer to determine exposure automatically.... you're going to be spending at least $250 on the flash alone.

          Comment


            #6
            sweet, thanks! Al, if I was to get a Elinchrom EL-Skyport RX Dedicated Radio Slave System, is it dependent on some kind of super expensive power supply? I can't find any plain language, and everything I see infers that a $1,000+ power supply called an RX Ranger battery pack is needed.

            Can't they be used like the Cactus ones? oh, if life was easy...

            Comment


              #7
              nevermind, I called a distributor and i'm out of luck.

              Comment


                #8
                when is the shoot?

                Comment


                  #9
                  it's the first week of March. But now I am getting the feeling that were just going to hire someone to come out and do it, instead of buying gear. Easy solution for my work, bad news for me. I was looking forward to using that shit for skating, and I always tell my boss when I need to "test" new gear.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The Skyport RX system is not what you want... well, the transmitter is but not the receivers. You want the Skyport Universal kit:

                    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...dio_Slave.html

                    extra receivers:

                    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Receiver.html

                    or the Paul C Buff Cybersyncs, model CST and CSRB (bottom of the page):

                    http://www.alienbees.com/cybersyncplus.html

                    Neither can be used with Cactus/ebay units, thank god.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was asking because I will be in Indy the 4th-7th to shoot a wedding on the 6th and I might be available to help you out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        GIs have a built in hotshoe, so no adapter needed there. actually if you wanted to you could use a GI receiver as an adapter if you have a flash without a PC plug on it. I am ordering three pocket wizards on payday, but right now I have been using my GIs with the flash mounted on the hotshoe of the receiver AND plugging in the sync cables (I have a few 285HVs)

                        you can mod them but I honestly dont think its worth it. they work good with one receiver but when you get two or more it starts turning into a 50/50 chance whether or not its going to work or not. half the time its the batteries and the rest of the time it may fire but it will fire late.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by fast eddie View Post
                          sweet, thanks! Al, if I was to get a Elinchrom EL-Skyport RX Dedicated Radio Slave System, is it dependent on some kind of super expensive power supply? I can't find any plain language, and everything I see infers that a $1,000+ power supply called an RX Ranger battery pack is needed.

                          Can't they be used like the Cactus ones? oh, if life was easy...
                          For your transmitter/receivers the Paul C bluff "cybercyncs" are both inexpensive and really reliable. Like everyone else is saying you'll need a hotshoe adapter with a PC sync plug on it to run it with your Sb600 since it doesnt have an optical SU-4 slave option like the Sb800 or a Sync plug built into it.

                          Comment

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