Sekonic L-758DR / Canon 1D-X / Canon 580 EX II

megmacmegmac Big grinsRegistered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
edited August 28, 2013 in Technique
Hi,

I own a Canon 1D-X and a Canon 580 EX II. I would like to buy the Sekonic L-758DR light meter but a bit confused what I need to make it work for my needs. Basically I want to move the flash to a stand and want the ability to trigger the flash with my camera and the light meter, can you point me in the right direction. Will I need a pocketwizard? I only plan on using one flash for now. Thanks

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited August 16, 2013
    Your can trigger your 580ex II wirelessly with another 580ex or 580ex II mounted on your 1Dx, and have control of ETTL .

    If you want to trigger an off camera 580exII, you can do that with a standard Pocket Wizard and a Sekonic L-358 with a radio transmitter accessory. Your flash will only work in Manual Mode with standard Pocket Wizards. The L-758DR will also trigger a PW receiver I believe.

    May I ask, what you think the L-758DR offers that you cannot photograph without it? My L-358 rarely gets used, but then I am not an active studio shooter, and if I were, it would be used significantly more.

    For simple manual off camera flash, you can use a simple manual strobe and and a PC cord, also. Simple, cheap, reliable.... What's not to like with that? If you want to go cordless, you can use a Canon ST-E2 wireless IR trigger to fire your 580ex II, and it will do it with ETTL in addition to manual flash mode.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • megmacmegmac Big grins Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 16, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    Your can trigger your 580ex II wirelessly with another 580ex or 580ex II mounted on your 1Dx, and have control of ETTL .

    If you want to trigger an off camera 580exII, you can do that with a standard Pocket Wizard and a Sekonic L-358 with a radio transmitter accessory. Your flash will only work in Manual Mode with standard Pocket Wizards. The L-758DR will also trigger a PW receiver I believe.

    May I ask, what you think the L-758DR offers that you cannot photograph without it? My L-358 rarely gets used, but then I am not an active studio shooter, and if I were, it would be used significantly more.

    For simple manual off camera flash, you can use a simple manual strobe and and a PC cord, also. Simple, cheap, reliable.... What's not to like with that? If you want to go cordless, you can use a Conon ST-E2 wireless IR trigger to fire your 580ex II, and it will do it with ETTL in addition to manual flash mode.

    Thanks for getting back, I guess what i am trying to achieve is less guess work when I shoot senior portraits with flash. Ive watched video on the internet, even purchased the speed-lighters handbook but still get a bit frustrated at times with the flash exposures I get. I mostly shoot in Av mode until it gets a bit dark
  • joshhuntnmjoshhuntnm Las Cruces, NM Las Cruces, NMRegistered Users Posts: 1,924 Major grins
    edited August 17, 2013
    i got some cheap radios from cowboy studio on amazon. not ttl but work flawlessly in manual
  • megmacmegmac Big grins Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 17, 2013
    joshhuntnm wrote: »
    i got some cheap radios from cowboy studio on amazon. not ttl but work flawlessly in manual

    Thank you!!
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited August 17, 2013
    My take is that if you can position your subject, AND the flash to subject distance never changes, set the flash in manual mode, set your camera in Manual Mode, take your reading with a flash meter if you have one, and then your are good to go. Your exposure should not change unless you change the power of your flash or its distance from the subject.

    IF you are shooting kids, critters, or anything else that is moving and you have no control over your flash to subject distance, then ETTL is your get outa jail free card. With ETTL your flash will alter its output to compensate for the variable flash to subject distance. Wowser!
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • megmacmegmac Big grins Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 18, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    My take is that if you can position your subject, AND the flash to subject distance never changes, set the flash in manual mode, set your camera in Manual Mode, take your reading with a flash meter if you have one, and then your are good to go. Your exposure should not change unless you change the power of your flash or its distance from the subject.

    IF you are shooting kids, critters, or anything else that is moving and you have no control over your flash to subject distance, then ETTL is your get outa jail free card. With ETTL your flash will alter its output to compensate for the variable flash to subject distance. Wowser!

    Thank you for the reply.
  • megmacmegmac Big grins Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 28, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    Your can trigger your 580ex II wirelessly with another 580ex or 580ex II mounted on your 1Dx, and have control of ETTL .

    If you want to trigger an off camera 580exII, you can do that with a standard Pocket Wizard and a Sekonic L-358 with a radio transmitter accessory. Your flash will only work in Manual Mode with standard Pocket Wizards. The L-758DR will also trigger a PW receiver I believe.

    May I ask, what you think the L-758DR offers that you cannot photograph without it? My L-358 rarely gets used, but then I am not an active studio shooter, and if I were, it would be used significantly more.

    For simple manual off camera flash, you can use a simple manual strobe and and a PC cord, also. Simple, cheap, reliable.... What's not to like with that? If you want to go cordless, you can use a Canon ST-E2 wireless IR trigger to fire your 580ex II, and it will do it with ETTL in addition to manual flash mode.

    I went ahead and purchased a sekonic L-478dr, pocketwizard minitt1 and flextt5. I have 30 days to return if things don't pan out for me. Should I have got the Canon ST-e2 instead of the minitt1? Im also second guessing the need for the light meter because I shoot a lot outdoors with shallow depth of field usually F2.8 or F4. I imagine in good light even at 100 Iso the shutter speed is going to be faster than the cameras sync speed of 1/250 . The only way to use the setting the flash meter will give will be to shoot at more depth of field and I don't want to do this. If I have to use a semi-automatic mode like AV this will defeat the purpose of the flash meter because the camera will choose the setting and Ill need high speed sync. Any suggestion to clarify my needs and purchases? Thanks in advance
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited August 28, 2013
    The PWs win hands down.

    The miniTT1 and the flexTT5 are radio based devices, whereas the ST-E2 is a line of sight optical device. No comparison, for reliability, and range. They do cost more as well, and are more complex to learn to fully utilize. They do support ETTL, but most folks using PWs are probably shooting in Manual Mode most of the time. I just listened to Scott Kelby last week in Indianapolis say the Joe McNally says that ETTL will always work some of the time, but never work when you really are depending on it. Pws with Manual mode will never let you down.

    The PWs will also let you use higher than stated native flash synch shutter speeds as well, but you will need to read the manuals carefully and make sure the TTs have the latest firmware from Pocket Wizard.

    If you need to use wide apertures for bokeh with flash, you can always add neutral density filters to keep your shutter speed down into the native synch of 1/250th or slower also.

    As I said in my previous post, if you can tell your subject where to stand AND they will stay there while you shoot, learn to use Manual mode flash and manual mode camera. If you are shooting kids running around and playing, or wildlife wandering around, where the flash to subject distance is not within your control, then, ETTL really is your friend and will control your exposure while the flash to subject distance meanders around.

    I use both tools, as circumstances dictate. I love ETTL with bounce flash off a wall at a party, but for a studio type shoot, manual flash is the way to go. FlexTTs will do both just fine.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • megmacmegmac Big grins Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 28, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    The PWs win hands down.

    The miniTT1 and the flexTT5 are radio based devices, whereas the ST-E2 is a line of sight optical device. No comparison, for reliability, and range. They do cost more as well, and are more complex to learn to fully utilize. They do support ETTL, but most folks using PWs are probably shooting in Manual Mode most of the time. I just listened to Scott Kelby last week in Indianapolis say the Joe McNally says that ETTL will always work some of the time, but never work when you really are depending on it. Pws with Manual mode will never let you down.

    The PWs will also let you use higher than stated native flash synch shutter speeds as well, but you will need to read the manuals carefully and make sure the TTs have the latest firmware from Pocket Wizard.

    If you need to use wide apertures for bokeh with flash, you can always add neutral density filters to keep your shutter speed down into the native synch of 1/250th or slower also.

    As I said in my previous post, if you can tell your subject where to stand AND they will stay there while you shoot, learn to use Manual mode flash and manual mode camera. If you are shooting kids running around and playing, or wildlife wandering around, where the flash to subject distance is not within your control, then, ETTL really is your friend and will control your exposure while the flash to subject distance meanders around.

    I use both tools, as circumstances dictate. I love ETTL with bounce flash off a wall at a party, but for a studio type shoot, manual flash is the way to go. FlexTTs will do both just fine.

    Hi, thanks for the reply, this clears things up a bit. I had just got off the phone with a Sekonic specialist because I could not figure how to control the flash power with the meter. He told me to use ETTL always but I understand what you say in Manual you know what you get. I had to change a setting on the PW's to make sure only the meter controls the flash power but maybe I should re-think this. I mostly shoot outdoors with one canon 580 EX II speedlight and had started shooting more senior portraits. I've been using the flash on the camera and wanted to step it up and shoot off camera. I do like having the flash distance constant by putting the light on a stand. It will probably slow me down a bit at first but the quality of the shots should increase. I'm a little nervous with a shoot coming up soon and only playing with the new set up a day. Thanks for the tip about the filter, it did not occur to me to try this route, any suggestions what ones to get?
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited August 28, 2013
    For neutral density filters, I like the screw in type - since there is no gradient, just a constant density, screwing it in and shooting through it it easy. You can find them in 2 or 3 stops of density or more. It will get hard to see through more than 2 or 3 stops of density. I would recommend shooting a grey card with the filter on to set up a custom white balance, as they can sometimes alter color just a bit.

    As to brand I favor B&W, but Hoya makes good filters too. I prefer brass threads, rather than aluminum, as they are less likely to bind... The downside is that B&W ( brass ) are not inexpensive. If you take care of them, they should last almost forever.

    For gradient neutral density filters, I strongly prefer 4 inch square plastic or glass plate external filers that fit in a filter holder like the Lee, since one needs to be able to raise and lower them to line up the gradient with the horizon.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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