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6d wrong choice for portrait work?

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor

Ok guys,

 

I was debating for quite some time whether to by the 6d or the 70d. Then I debated the 6d vs 5dIII. I went with the 6d based on many reviews, opinins and some great help on this forum. I haven't really had the chance to put it through it's paces yet. I really hate reading manuals, so I bought this short Creative Live class the John Greengo held on the 6d. He was saying that hardly anyone would use this camera in the studio since you have to run it at 1/100 to get a decent sync speed. This makes me nauseous. This was the main reason I bought this camera was for studio portraits. Does anyone have any encouraging words to make me feel like I made the wrong choice? I definitgely want a full frame, so if this isn't the one, I would have to spend twice as much on the 5dIII. 

22 REPLIES 22

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor
That is awesome, thanks again! So, if I understand what I read on the 560III, it has a receiver built in? And the 603II would control that. Would I be able to control that Canon 430exII with the 603II as well? A while back a bought a set of PBL softboxes. They are just fluorescent and I haven'[t had much luck with them. Wish I could convert them to use with speedlights. But, that package you put together is very affordable.

Skirball
Respected Contributor

@rswannabe wrote:
That is awesome, thanks again! So, if I understand what I read on the 560III, it has a receiver built in? And the 603II would control that. Would I be able to control that Canon 430exII with the 603II as well? A while back a bought a set of PBL softboxes. They are just fluorescent and I haven'[t had much luck with them. Wish I could convert them to use with speedlights. But, that package you put together is very affordable.

Yes, the 560III has the receiver built in, and it can communitcate directly with either a 603 (I or II) tranceiver or a 602 transmitter.  The Canon 430exII flash will need to have a receiver on it, which is why I recommended getting a pair of 603II tranceivers.  One goes on your camera as a transmitter to send out the signal, and the other goes on the 430exII to receive; the 560III will use their internal receiver.  So, you have (1) 430exII, (2) 560III, and a pair of RF-603II, and you can have 3 off-camera flashes.

 

If you already have those PBL softboxes then you shouldn't need stands and potentially softboxes & umbrella holders.  I can't see what mechanism it uses to hold the softbox, so I'd assume the light screws into the stand and the softbox on the light?  If that's the case, then getting proper rigging for speedlights will cost just about as much as getting umbrella holders and new boxes.  But I'm sure you could McGyver something to get it to work.  One note though, with speedlights those softboxes won't really function as a softbox, it would be more of a scrim.  Speedlights shoot straight forward, so it's just going to shoot into that white baffle.  Sure some of the light will reflect back, hit the walls of the softbox, and then back through the baffle again.  But the light isn't going to be as soft as a standard softbox, you'll probably have a hot spot in the center.  If you want to use those PBL softboxes with speedlights I would recommend getting a small piece of translucent white fabric and attaching it in the middle of the box, to all four spines.  That way the light has to go through at least two pieces of fabric before hitting your subject.

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor
Gotcha. I get what you're saying about the softboxes. But, you are only referring to my PBL's right? The shoot-through ones you talked about yesterday would perform as a traditional softbox? Well, at the very least I could save a little on stands : ). I can't thank you enough for all your guidance.

Skirball
Respected Contributor

Yes, in fact the second softbox I linked does exactly that. You can see on the first picture on Amazon, that it has an internal baffle in the middle of the box, then a second one (i guess it'd technically be a diffuser?) covering the rim of the softbox. 

 

The first softbox that I listed is an internal lit softbox.  The flash sits inside the softbox and faces backwards, shooting into the walls of the softbox then bouncing out, through the white baffle/diffuser on the rim.  In essence, this softbox is just a square shaped brolly box.

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor
Cool. Yeah, I liked the second one (a little more expensive one) the best. That one sounds like a better and easier solution. Well, thanks again for all your help. I won't bother you any more....for now : )

Skirball
Respected Contributor

The second one (Fotodiox) is far better, in terms of construction.  It's actually rather impressive considering the price.  And the price is pretty much the same for both options, since you don't need the umbrella holders for the Fotodiox.  Just keep in mind that disassembling and reassembling it is very time consuming.  I have never broken mine back down, it took long enough to put together.  The first one just unfolds like an umbrella, it's up and running in two seconds.

 

If you have studio space for two big softboxes, and don't plan on taking them 'on location' then absolutely get the Fotodiox boxes.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  I really like the 24x36 rectangle shape of my umbrella softbox.  If I was to get two Fotodiox boxes I'd probably get one rectangle and one square.  Actually, I'd probably get both rectangle.  Or maybe an Octa.  choices, choices...

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=Fotodiox+soft...

 

 

Here's the spectral highlight that the Fotodiox (square) makes.  You can see that even with the double baffle there's still a bit of a hotspot in the center.  Not enough to bother most, and you can just photoshop it if it bothers you.  But just so you can see a real world example:

 

Fotodiox Spectral Highlight

 

 

And here's the highlight from the 24x36" umbrella box I listed (first one).  It's not really a fair comparison, but I didn't have a closeup of the rectangle box handy.  Still, you can see that the spectral highlight is more consistent, less hot spots.  I also like the rectangle shape for eyes - not to mention I think it's a better shape for lighting people (even little ones).

 

Crop.jpg

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor
I see what you mean about the shape and I agree. I was looking at the different shapes Photdiox has to offer. I put the 48" octobox in my wish list. I was also looking at this strip light. What do you think? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008CBDOXO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AG1FKBNAQKSKJ

Another thing I wanted to ask you about.....Most decent strobes come with a modeling light. How do you compensate for that using speedlights?

Your twins? Cute. Blue eyes and brown eyes. Very cool.

Skirball
Respected Contributor

@rswannabe wrote:
I see what you mean about the shape and I agree. I was looking at the different shapes Photdiox has to offer. I put the 48" octobox in my wish list. I was also looking at this strip light. What do you think? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008CBDOXO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AG1FKBNAQKSKJ

Another thing I wanted to ask you about.....Most decent strobes come with a modeling light. How do you compensate for that using speedlights?

Your twins? Cute. Blue eyes and brown eyes. Very cool.

I can't speak to the strip light from experience; never used one.  Space is a premium where I live, so I mostly use collapsible modifiers – with the exception of my one Fotodiox 24” box that stays assembled. If I had more space, I would absolutely have that strip box, and probably the Octa too. Who am I kidding, I’d have a room full of softboxes (including one of those 72” monsters!) if I had the space. That said, even a 48” box is sizeable, and I would recommend having a smaller box or two just for normal stuff.

 

The one thing that would give me pause with lighting a strip bank with a speed light, is the quality of the diffused light. I would think that a speedlight would struggle to light that wide of a space evenly. At 56” I would be surprised if the ends had 1/4 the power of the center. But who knows, with a decent inner baffle I guess the light could bounce around enough.  Even the 48” Octa will probably be hotter in the center, but for that one I’d probably just put two speedlights in it and let ‘er rip.


As for modeling lights: I’ve never had studio strobes, so I never got used to using modeling lights. Probably one of those things that I don’t miss because I’ve never experienced how helpful it is. I set up one light at a time, testing both the power level and the falloff by taking a photo and looking at it (I usually use a tethered laptop for this purpose); I try to build the lighting, leaving lights I've already adjusted on and setting a new one so I can see how they interact.  But for complicated lighting I usually have to turn all other off to fine tune a single light's falloff.  Then a final fine tune with all on. I've gotten quite quick at it, using a remote shutter release and usually either myself or a stuffed animal for my kids as a test subject.    I have a lot of terrible photos of myself and stuffed animals, but they're easily deleted.  Even with modeling lights you still need to rattle off some test shots to adjust your levels, so I just look at falloff at the same time. It may not be as precise as modeling lights, but models never sit perfectly still anyway, so I never saw the need to fine tune it to that level.

rswannabe
Occasional Contributor
I can see what you're saying about a hotspot in a larger softbox. I'm curious about how you would add more that one light to a softbox though. Don't they just have one port for a speedlight? As far as the modeling light goes...I guess you just try to keep ambient light to a minimum? Just enough to focus?

Skirball
Respected Contributor

@rswannabe wrote:
I can see what you're saying about a hotspot in a larger softbox. I'm curious about how you would add more that one light to a softbox though. Don't they just have one port for a speedlight? As far as the modeling light goes...I guess you just try to keep ambient light to a minimum? Just enough to focus?

They make hotshoe adapters to put multiple speedlights on a stand.   There's a ton of different types, like rails:

 

cv

 

Or multi-adapters:

 

d

 

They're also easy to make if you have cold shoes.  But me personally, I don't need anything fancy, I just strap a second light onto the first with a bungee cord, kinda like this, only the first one is on the bracket, and the second just strapped to it:

 

df

 

 

On the internal softbox, the Brolly, any of the options work.  But on the Fotodiox boxes where the flash sits at the rear you have less space.  The ring is big enough to fit two speedlights in it, but only if they're strapped close together, long sides next to each other.  That's why I've never bothered buying a rig, it's easy enough to just MacGuyver it.  Also, there's a diminishing returns with multiple speedlights.  A second light gets you an extra stop, but it takes two more to get a second stop, and a total of eight for the third, etc.  If you need more than two speedlights, then you need a studio light.

 

As far as modeling lights and ambient.  With flash you don't have to worry about ambient, unless you're doing really wide aperture stuff.  At ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/160 ambient doesn't have much effect except on glossy reflections.  If I want a pure black background sometimes I'll turn down the lights a bit, because the 6D dynamic range can pull detaiil out of the darkest of shadows.  But really you can just fix it in post by checking your levels.