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Re: Beginner with Studio Lights
What camera are you using? If you're using those APS DSLR, then use the pop-up flash to trigger your two studio ights (flashes). Because most cameras have no PC connection, just the hotshoe or pop-up flash. Set one flash has your main light and the second has a secondary light.
Which means: 1st Light set to get F11 2nd Light set to get F8 or 5.6
Most studio lights have flash sensor built into the unit. The sensor is located in the back of the unit. When the pop-up flash flashes, then those studio lights will flash.
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Is it fired using some type of wireless trigger such as Pocket Wizard and their ilk?
Have you tried manual mode? Doing so may give you an idea what is occurring.
Are you shooting in a studio or outside? If in a studio maybe the eTTL thinks it needs more power than what you think it does.
99.99% of my flash shooting manual, not eTTL. Why, eTTL is much to inconsistent.
If none of that helps you please call Canon:
1 (800) 652-2666
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 midnight. EST,
Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., excluding holidays
For additional support options: www.canontechsupport.com
Two main reasons flash is used over continuous lighting.
Power. Lighting a scene for minutes uses much more power than lighting it for a fraction of a second. You may have noticed that most continuous lights need to be plugged in to a power supply, while most flash units work with small batteries. It may not make much difference if you're shooting indoors in a studio, but if you're out in the field and have to move around, it can get difficult lugging all that gear around.
Duration. A flash unit provides a very brief flash of light while a continuous unit is, well, continuous. A flash can freeze action much better than just using the camera's shutter. Try it yourself sometime: turn on the lights in the bathroom (and/or bring in your continuous light units) and take some pictures of a dripping faucet. Now turn off the lights and take some flash pictures of the same thing. See the difference?
Yes you can but it won't TTL and you will need to fire it from or with a slave/light cell. This will make your system more like a studio set up. You will need to increase/decrease the light intensity using different modifiers for special effects. My portable/location set up uses 2 Vivitar 283's, a Canon 533G, Nikon SB 15 and a Canon 420 EX all fired from little flash slaves. here is an e-Bay reference link
Nikon hot shoe is rated up to 250V (canon's is rated up to 6V) so you can use almost any tipe of flash, except maybe for old studio flashes. Vivitar 283 (older versions) is ~200V rated, and much lower on newer versions. It should work.
If you are using Pocket wizard you attach a hotshoe to pocket wizard adapter to the unit that usually fits on your camera hotshoe and attach this unit as usual to the 76mz5. There are various brackets that can secure and tidy the whole thing but you can manage without them if you wish. I got the paramount hotshoe to pocket wizard mini jack to do this £35 each from TFC and the bracket to fit the 76 MZ5 to a stroboframe bracket from speedgraphics at £17 and a one to fit the TTL controller to the 76mz 5 keeping it all tidy in all it cost £67 but makes a neet little unit that can be mounted on a stand and if you want to spend another £25 you can even attach a brolly. Great as a studio flash unit
Buy a small slave unit that attatches to the flash bottom. Use the pop up flash on your camera set to the lowest power. The slave unit will detect your cameras flash and fire the flash with the slave unit at the same time. I am doing this with this same flash myself with fairly nice results.