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Using more than one Speedlite

woosterwooster Member
edited August 2013 in home
Hi

I have used Speedlites fora little while both on and off camera ( thanks Neil for your excellent site and books on the subject ) I am now looking to use the set up Neil uses in his simple lighting scheme for formals. This invovles using two speedlites together and shooting through a brolly. It looks like this set up is pretty straightforward and would work in a variety of settings.

I now own two 600 EX RTs and an ST E3 but haven't used more than one flash to do the main lighting before. I assume they don't need any connection between the two and that simply sticking them on a double hotshoe type thing would allow me to shoot ETTL and the flashes would take care of exposure on their own, allowing me to make exposure adjustments as if I was only using one flash. Alternatively If I use these in manual I would adjust accordingly.

Am I right that it is so simple as sticking them on something to hold them behind an umbrella and adjusting as mentioned above. In other words is there nothing more complex to this than if I was using one speedlite?

Thanks for your help

Comments

  • edited August 2013
    "I assume they don't need any connection between the two and that simply sticking them on a double hotshoe type thing would allow me to shoot ETTL"
    -Yes, no connection is needed.

    "...allow me to shoot ETTL and the flashes would take care of exposure on their own..."
    -Yes, E-TTL will take care of the flash exposure.

    "Alternatively If I use these in manual I would adjust accordingly."
    -Yes again. Keep in mind that making a setting change (ISO and f stop) would then change the amount of light the camera would register from the flash. These are global changes and would impact both flash and ambient lighting. Shutter speed change will only change the ambient as long as you do not exceed maximum flash sync speed.

    "Am I right that it is so simple as sticking them on something to hold them behind an umbrella and adjusting as mentioned above. In other words is there nothing more complex to this than if I was using one speedlite?"

    -And yes again. If shooting manual flash, make sure you have BOTH flashes on when deciding on the power level. If you use one flash to determine output and then set the other flash to the same setting and turn it on, you will have one stop too much light.

    Rudy

  • Thanks Rudy. I hoped it would be that simple. Good to know it is. Thanks for the confirmation :)
  • Hey Wooster, I have exactly the same set up and I am constantly amazed at how simple it is. Rudy has answered your questions but just to add my 5c worth, I always set mine as a 'Group' and not "All" that way you have may more freedom in Manual to adjust accordingly and very quickly from the TX (ST-E3-RT).

    I have labelled my speedlites A and B. I use A as the main light and B as the back light/hair light/fill light, whatever.

    That way on the TX you know that when you change Group A (which for now is only one light) it is your main light. Once you know your way around the settings it is - as I suggeted - surprisingly simple and I often scoff at the radio-Popper set ups! OK - more expensive (waaay more) but in the end the flexibility just wins out.

    PM me if you want to chat more about it - I'm sure I haven't nailed everything! Funny thing is too - that my most recent shoot I took both and only used one... go figure!

    Oh and by the way - invest in battery packs! I bought two of the Yongnuo CP-E4 equivalent at a fraction of the cost of the Canon. ($45 AU) http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Flash-Battery-Pack-SF-18-for-Yongnuo-Flash-Speedlite-YN-560-YN-565-EX-/150759273978?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item2319f3f5fa&_uhb=1
  • Hi Jon and thanks for your additional information. Sorry I wasn't ignoring you but I've been away for a bit and only looked in again tonight. Thanks also for your offer of further help. I appreciate it. I was really only wondering about using the two on the same stand shooting through the same brolly in the same direction as per Neil's set up I mentioned but I will certainly use the advice you give about setting up for two light directions in the future. Thanks again
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I think that's the strange part about all of this - the sheer simplicity.

    If you shoot formals, (ie, light-stand in one specific place, with people in another specific place), then use manual flash for consistency.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited August 2013
    I have 3 600's and an STE3. I previously had a mixed bag of flashes/triggers and sold it all to go Canon RT.

    As Niel stated if you shoot formals and have the time then manual is the way to go. Far easier in my opinion and far more consistent. Manual is not subject to environmental changes like ETTL can be.

    If you are shooting in ETTL Ratios can be helpful. This will offset the flash duration between the two flashes and give your subject more depth. I don't know how to use ratios because at this point I go to manual but I know it is popular.

    If you are starting in manual aways work on one flash at a time. Start with the key flash and shut the fill off. I have a Sekonic flash meter so I use that for exposures. Once I get the key right which takes seconds I shut that off and set my fill to 1 to 2 stops less than the key or depending on the look I'm after. If you get into trouble start over from the beginning working on one flash at a time.

    If you don't have a flash meter you put something white in the frame for your key exposure and use the histogram. Then set the second flash to a few stops less power.

    Histogram examples.

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/using-the-histogram-to-determine-exposure/

    White towel method

    http://super.nova.org/DPR/Histogram/

    Many years ago I used to wonder how they did the santa shots in the malls. All the person did was press a shutter release. How did they know the exposure was good? Once you get the right exposure in manual you can put your feet up and shoot all day.
  • Just an example of a simple 3 light system. I normally have my back or rim light off to the side, outside the frame and I like to set my two front lights towards the subject. Not closer but more in line with the shoulders.

    http://tubetape.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/3-point-lighting-setup/
  • I came across this a few days ago and really like it.

  • Thanks for the link Zenon. Much appreciated. Good site.
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