Portable Lighting Equipment Needed

santorinisantorini Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
edited January 26, 2015 in Accessories
Dear Experts, I need your help. I mainly do outdoor portraits. I already have an EX580 II and I want to shoot off camera.
I need a second cheap speedlight with comparable power (maybe more) to my EX580 II.
I am going to put them together at the same lightstand when I need more power.
I am living in Greece, so ebay is preferable but not the only way.
Please suggest
a) Which speedlight should I buy? E-TTL is optional. HSS is necessary. Can I trigger them simultaneously? In the past I had bad experiences with yongnuo. But if there are no other reliable speedlights I will buy again. Maybe Godox is ok? Instead of speedlight, is there any affordable yet portable strobe and combatible with the triggers?
b) Which triggers should I buy? (cheap – reliable)
c) I need a light and as stable as possible tripod / lightstand. (Ok I know that stability and lightweight cannot be combined easily)
d) What is the extra equipment If I want to put the speedlights together on the tripod?
e) How can I protect my speedlights in case of tripod falling? Is there anything to cover them as a protection or something?
Although I am on a tight budget, I do not mind to spend a few more $$ to buy more reliable equipment.
Please accept my apologies for the bad English and for posting so many questions.


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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,867 moderator
    edited December 28, 2014
    Another Canon 580EX II would give you a true backup, redundancy and nothing new to learn (unless you need to learn about master/slave setup). If you purchase an external high-voltage power supply it would also exchange between the two units.

    I believe that you can also mix and match between the previous Canon 580EX and 550EX.

    The canon units are built very well and they are pretty durable. They have the easiest user interface that I'm aware of too.

    I have 2 of the Canon 580EX units, and 4 - Sigma DG Super flashes (different models), and I use them together and separately. The Sigma units are not built as well (but still better than most other third-party flashes), they don't have quite as much power output, no port for an external power supply and the user interface is quite a bit different from the Canon units. Still, I use them, I like them and I recommend them.

    I don't use HSS off-camera except on an off-cord and with a rotating flash bracket. If needed, I suspect that I would try the Phottix Odin (Canon version), based on user reviews and DGrin user experiences.

    For light stands, I recommend an air-cushioned stand built taller than you feel you need. A taller stand also has a wider base, useful for extra stability. Aluminum stands really don't add too much weight.

    Multiple flashes on a single light stand, or a tripod used as a light stand, depends partly on the type of flash modifier you intend to use.

    If you don't use a flash modifier there are several options for multi-flash brackets (also search for dual and multi-shoe brackets), or you can even tape/rubber-band two flashes together, with one of the flashes providing the structural support for the other flash.

    Making your own dual-flash bracket can save money and you can design it however you want. For instance:


    It's better to prevent and protect your flashes from tipping and falling in the first place. I strongly suggest using people to hold light stands if necessary. Otherwise, at least use weights mounted low on any stand to help stabilize the stand.
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    JimKarczewskiJimKarczewski Registered Users Posts: 969 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2014

    Paired with the Cells II-C and the appropriate Neweer (or godox, which is the original mfg) only 1 each needed as a transmitter, long as the flash is set in HSS mode will give you the output of approximately 3x the light of a single 580EXII. It's 360W/s and I think the 580EXII's are just under 100. So it's not quite 3x, but say 2.75x maybe.
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    cmasoncmason Registered Users Posts: 2,506 Major grins
    edited December 29, 2014
    I recommend finding used 420EX or 430EX flashes, and use them off camera. alternatively you could purchase a ST-E2 plus a 420EX, but the 580EXII already provides the functions of a ST-E2.

    By using the Canon system, you get the ability to use manual, ETTL, HSS, etc...basically all the features of your camera and flash.

    You should be able to find used 420EX for $100 USD or less.

    Here is my set up that I use outdoors: ST-E2 on camera, 430EX and 420EX off camera: using one organic light stand, and one 'regular' light stand. Stands and umbrellas are Impact. Never had a speedlight or stand fall over, of course don't use the umbrellas in very windy conditions. In those cases, I use the bare speedlight and an on-flash diffuser. The organic light stand is holding a pop-up reflector.

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    KikopriceKikoprice Registered Users Posts: 153 Major grins
    edited December 31, 2014
    Dynalite has a new portable monolight, suppose to do TTL soon. $599 Baja B4
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    alaiosalaios Registered Users Posts: 668 Major grins
    edited January 16, 2015
    Hi guys,
    do you have recommendations for portable flash and reflectors stands? Something that would fit in a normal size luggage and would allow to mount a light softbox or umbrella.

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    divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited January 16, 2015
    And one of these. Cheetah stand do a similar version for a bit less.

    As I've mentioned to you before, strobist.com. All the info on traveling light, er, light.
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    santorinisantorini Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited January 26, 2015
    Thank you all for your answers and time guys!! :-) I will buy the NEEWER AD-360 and post a review somewhere here. :-)
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