Strobist: Power Options

Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
2,017
I just shelled out on the Starving Student Strobist Kit + an a la carte second set from Midwest Photo and wondering about power options.

Batteries are fine but something more reliable will be nice especially if not heavy.

I was thinking about Al Jacobs' stuff - either the Black Box or the Tux. The Tux is appealing due to protability and I wouldn't be needing that much juice.

Anyone got any experience with this or is it just beeter to stick with AA cells?

Thanks
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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33,092
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St. George, Utah
Al Jacobs make very high quality equipment. You couldn't go wrong if you decided to go that direction. For my self personally I like the rechargeable AA cells as this way I am not tethered to another piece of equipment. The joy of flash photography is the freedom it gives one to move around quickly and easily. If I had a studio I would for sure go with good studio equipment and use my flashes only when going on location.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
I just shelled out on the Starving Student Strobist Kit + an a la carte second set from Midwest Photo and wondering about power options.
You list your location as Bahrain, Dayo. Will the kit in time for the LIghting 102 class on June 4? And did you buy the complete kit with generic flash, or do you have a Nikon speedlight to use with the umbrella and stand?


Anyone got any experience with this or is it just beeter to stick with AA cells?
I've chosen to stick with NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. They're pretty inexpensive. I picked up a package of (20) 2500mAh rechargeables by Lenmar for $27 from Adorama to add to the ones I already owned. And I've rarely had to change batteries during an assignment, even when using an sb800 for hundreds of shots at weddings. But I keep a couple of alkaline AAs in the camera bag as backup, and the alkalines have no shelf life issues.
 
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
2,017
Al Jacobs make very high quality equipment. You couldn't go wrong if you decided to go that direction. For my self personally I like the rechargeable AA cells as this way I am not tethered to another piece of equipment. The joy of flash photography is the freedom it gives one to move around quickly and easily. If I had a studio I would for sure go with good studio equipment and use my flashes only when going on location.
I actually spoke to Al back in December but he didn't have some components for non US kit and there was the little problem of getting the leads drop shipped to him for modification since B&H will not drop ship on orders outside the US. He kindly offered to order them on my behalf subject to getting the other stuff. He has emailed me to let me know the stuff he was waiting on is ready so I have to decide whether to go for it or not.
 
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
2,017
You list your location as Bahrain, Dayo. Will the kit in time for the LIghting 102 class on June 4? And did you buy the complete kit with generic flash, or do you have a Nikon speedlight to use with the umbrella and stand?
Previous USPS orders from B&H in NY take about a week so it will be tight and not sure if the timing will be the same from Ohio.

I got the generic flash to go with my two SB800s. Figured I could use it as a third light.


I've chosen to stick with NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. They're pretty inexpensive. I picked up a package of (20) 2500mAh rechargeables by Lenmar for $27 from Adorama to add to the ones I already owned. And I've rarely had to change batteries during an assignment, even when using an sb800 for hundreds of shots at weddings. But I keep a couple of alkaline AAs in the camera bag as backup, and the alkalines have no shelf life issues.
Good to know the batteries last so long and I will be getting some new NiMHs from MPEX as well. Alkalines and NiMHs can be found easily here as well as with most places. It's just that I have had the SB800 standby issue too often when using them remotely lately. I figured it might be that my rechargeables need changing. I obviously don't shoot all the time and they seem to run out quite quickly even when not used.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
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2,410
Location
Houston, Texas
Starving Student kit

I as about to order one when I remmebered the Spiratone umbrellas, stands and clamps I had bought in the 1980s. I also had a Spiratone cold shoe that works, and Uncle Frank is sending me another. Now all I need is a 2nd SB-800.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
2,410
Location
Houston, Texas
Dayo

Good to hear from you. I assume you have totally left the KM camp? My 7D was working fine, but one day I got a wild hair and sold all my KM gear at Dyxum, and went with the D200. It is a learning curve, but I enjoy it.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
I as about to order one when I remmebered the Spiratone umbrellas, stands and clamps I had bought in the 1980s. I also had a Spiratone cold shoe that works, and Uncle Frank is sending me another.
I dropped it off at the post office this morning, Alan. You should get it by the weekend.

Now all I need is a 2nd SB-800.
Sorry, but I don't have a spare :rolleyes::wink::biggrin:.
 
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
2,017
Good to hear from you. I assume you have totally left the KM camp? My 7D was working fine, but one day I got a wild hair and sold all my KM gear at Dyxum, and went with the D200. It is a learning curve, but I enjoy it.
Hey! How are you doing? Another one bites the dust eh?

I sold off my KM lenses at the extreme ends of the range and kept the 35/2, Tamron 90 and the petite 100-300 APO as well as the 7D body. I suppose some might say I still have a full KM setup lol as these were my standard everyday lenses anyway.

To be honest with you even after over a year in the Nikon camp and hardly touching the 7D, I still don't find it as intuitive and still struggle with the control dials which go one way when in one mode and another way when not.

It's a minor thing and may be down to something I have missed in the manual but I am used to both dials changing my aperture in AP or Speed in SP on the 7D so that I just move whichever one is convenient but now I need to remember which one does what. I suppose it's because this was the way the Film 7 worked as well so I have just not had to memorise this for ages.

I also miss that there isn't an equivalent of the A2 from Nikon. It fit in so well with the 7D in that it uses the same batteries, cable release and flash and was the perfect backup. Actually if Sony was to put something decent out...like the mythical 7Di of KMSEA fame, I'll be seriously considering heading back.

Having said that, the D200 is a serious piece of kit and while the 7D was a joy to handle, it can't stand up to the features the D200 packs aand would probably be more suited to a "purist".

Look forward to reading from you here and you will enjoy the flash thingy.
 

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