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Can I borrow your PWs

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by mrsollars, May 12, 2007.

  1. Hi all,
    As alot of you know, Blake (bep207), is shooting my wedding on May 26th. We went and checked out the church today to see about lighting.
    Here is a picture at ISO3200 to show you the church

    We were able to get some GREAT shots with two SB-800s being held in the corners of the room. We were using CLS and bouncing the flashes off the ceiling. Excitingly we were able to even use ISO 100, even though it probably wasnt the most practical.

    Here is a picture that we got with this set up

    Now if we can get pictures like this for the wedding, then I would be extremely excited.

    The problem is that CLS didnt always fire the flash (Maybe 1/4 the time)
    So Pocket Wizards would be great, but we wouldnt use them beyond this shoot.

    Does anyone have any that they would be interested in loaning me? I would be willing to pay a small rental charge and would obviously pay shipping both ways. We could also work out some sort of collateral in case you were worried about that.

    Thanks for all of your help
  2. I don't have any PW's but I would like to ask you a couple of questions. What are you using as a comander (on board or SB800)? For the two SB800's in the corners, could you move them forward a bit to ensure that they can "see" the pre-flashes from the commander? Do you have both of the SB800's turned properly so that the "eye" can see the commander? If handled correctly this should work.
  3. bep207


    Nov 27, 2006
    Columbia, MO
    I tried both an SB800 and on-board flash for the commander. There was little to no difference in their fidelity.
    I had the flashes' sensor pointed in the right direction. The range was just too far I assume, and depending on where I was in the room the line of sight was not able to be preserved in every location.
    The range for CLS is only 66 feet. There were times when I was further than this away. This would explain why the flashes didnt flash ever time.

    I would also like to be able to have the flashes hidden. The most intense part of the light is right where it comes out of the flash. If that part of the flash is exposed to the people sitting in the sanctuary, it makes a very bright, distracting ball of flash at the source. If I can hide the actual flash unit, then the only light visible to the crowd is the light that gets thrown directly in the direction I am pointing the flash... much less distracting and much less annoying to the couple being married.

    Thanks for the input and suggestions though, I really wish that you would have been right... it would be a lot easier thats for sure.

  4. In addition to suggestions from Gordon it would be helpful if you could get your hands on a SU800 for the commander unit. It will most likely increase your range between camera and flash units considerably.

    Edit: After doing a little reserach I found the listed range of the SU800 to only be a few feet more then the SB800.
    The few additional feet may not be enough for you application but it would be interesting to know if the SU800 would work.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2007
  5. I have used the SU800 at 92 feet outside in sunlight and it worked fine. The posted limit is extreemly conservative much the same for the PW's which are listed at 500 ft but will work at 1500 ft or so.
  6. 92 feet is impressive Gordon, surely the SU800 would work for Matt's application in the church.
    Matt, a plus for using the SU800 is not losing CLS TTL control of the SB800s.

    EDIT: Matt I just took a closer look at the church photo. Is that an open casket up front?:eek:  Not that there is anything wrong with that.:Unsure:

    BTW: Congratulations on the upcoming marriage.
  7. Sure looks like it from here !
  8. Sounds like the SU-800 would be a good thing to go with.
    Anyone know of any good places to get one cheap?

    and yes it was a casket, there was a funeral later that day and they already had everything set up for it.... yeah it was creepy, i felt very irreverent, we were only in the church for 2 minutes.
  9. I don't think you can get an SU800 cheap. They just came out last year and and so there are not any old ones for sale. You might want to look on Ebay to see what they are going for. I have not seen any for sale here on the Cafe.
  10. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    For me, it boils down to...do you want a product that will work "most" of the time? Or do you want one that works "all" of the time? I needed the latter, and went with Pocket Wizards. YMMV...

    Strobist sponsor Midwest Photo Exchange is running a sale on PW's now. Add to your cart and get them for $169 ea. Not a bad deal at all.
  11. Most weddings I have ever experienced did not allow flash until the ceremony was over.

    As for getting your hands on some PW's, see if you can rent some from a local store.
  12. I am happy that your PW's work "all" of the time. I have found that my SU800's also work all of the time if I stay within their limits. With that I get the ease of adjusting my flashes remotely and taking advantage of the Nikon CLS. There are always tradeoffs with just about anything that we use. One of these days I will buy a couple of PW's to play around with but I doubt that I would ever give up my SU800.
  13. Hey, guys... as an alternative to PW's, lots of people on the strobist site have been saying they are getting great results with the e-bay brands of RF triggers, look for Gadget Infinity in particular. Most prefer the 16-channel ones, and they are a TON cheaper than PW's... supposedly not quite as reliable, but if you have all this time to set up and experiment, they might be just the ticket for a one time use... matter of fact, I am getting ready to buy a cheap beginner portable light kit, and those triggers are on my list. I remember someone writing they could get one transmitter and a couple of receivers for about $100... not a bad little investment!
  14. bep207


    Nov 27, 2006
    Columbia, MO
    As far as the wedding allowing flash, it is mrsollars' wedding so as long as his bride to be was fine with it, we were fine with it...

    We did some tests and it didnt seem too distracting

    I think I am going to give the SU-800 a shot.

  15. That's OK with me. Typically, the presiding clergy is the authority that forbids the use of flash. You will typically want to drag the shutter to allow ambient light into the shot, and if you're going to drag the shutter, you might as well go with all ambient light and forgo the distraction of flash.
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