107 | TECH: Review of my light system

December 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
Yongnuo YN-560 Mark III - Not expensive but well working - no need of extra receivers

I use these flashes for some time now. They're cheap, manual and powerful - in reverse order. I've used them in combination with RF603 wireless transmitter on my Canon 5DmkIII and I've found this system better working than Canon 580EX II with infrared controller controlled via camera menu. This is definitely cheaper solution so you can upgrade power for the same money (with buying 4-5 flashes instead one) and distance or obstacles between camera and flash don't matter anymore. With IR transmitter you have to also wait a bit until IR transmitter is charged for a next shoot - with this system you don't. If you need TTL system - check this solution: Yongnuo YN-622C

What I really like is that I don't need additional receivers and annoying batteries in them (they are usually AAA size). With standard set (2pcs) of RF603 you can fire flashes from two cameras at the 'same' time - great for workshops or work with shooting assistant. As a wedding photographer I've used it this way. Now I have YN-560TX - read bellow.

I've heard a bit negative words about buid quality but it's easy=inexpensive to replace them, they are lightweight and power control is EXCELLENT... plus mine copies are two years old without the smallest problem.
Yongnuo YN560-TX Wireless Flash Controller - 5star remote to your YN-560 III

I've missed option to control output power remotely - but solution is here - and in the way I love. Plus it is as simple as using YN-560III flashes. Very intuitive and fast. You don't need to click many times to adjust power or turn dial wheel like on 580EXII - it was too slow for me.


It's a toy to set it, change any parameter and it never failed under any of my working conditions.
I had wireless trigger RF603 before - worked fine all it's life. Now they're updated by YN560TX.

Note: I didn't test firing flashes from two controllers with different settings but combination YN-560TX + RF603 works.

RoundFlash Dish Beauty Dish-Softbox 45 cm - Very very portable soft light but I like Firefly more.

Very very portable soft light but Firefly is better. Why? Check my review for Firefly II - 65cm version but in short 45cm diameter compare to 65cm is a big change.

Anyway it deserve 5 stars for portability and quality of produced light in a such small package. Design is too smart to be overlooked and price very reasonable.
Normally it pops up from it's yellow pocket, you zip the flash and it's done. Only improvement which I see is yellow pocket itself. If I can put my flash inside and hang it on my belt it'll be always with me. Maybe I have to search for another case because I can't fit it inside flash dedicated pouches and in my Thinktank lenschanger I have no more space left. I'm prime lenses shooter.

If you are for on the budget and looking for a small portable softlight source this is definitely one of the best options on the market nowadays.

Firefly II Beauty Box, silver, Ø 65 cm (FBO2 65) - Excellent small, portable soft light
In the title is everything about how I use this softbox. I'm wedding, editorial and lifestyle photographer and I need good soft light which is very portable. Size of light source is important for good quality of light, right? There are some compromises here as I can't walk on my assignments with 120cm octabox or something even bigger. I need very portable setup.

Fortunately Firefly II gives me similar 'octabox' results with it's smart design. Front diffuser has added a silver reflector from inside - against creating strong hot spot in the middle of softbox and this looks ideal to me as I don't need instal another diffusion layer. Generally it's very easy and fast to build it up.

I wish to add just a small pocket on its bag - for extra batteries. But it's big enough to I put inside complete firefly + 2x flashes YN-560 III + wireless controller YN-560TX + monopod as light holder/stand.

To anybody looking for well designed, well made, extremely portable soft light source - buy this one.
Jinbei M-1 Profi Aluminium light stand 132cm to 395cm - Superb 'C-stand'

I don't have a studio but I need some strong light-stand on a set from time to time. My criteria were solid build, usage as normal stativ, the best if it's compact - avoid problems with transport and bags. This isn't the lightweight solution but it's very very solid. I've found a bag long enough to fit it in, plus it came with some bags for additional weight.

So this is my winner and I'm very happy with this choice. I have also some manfrotto's but I love this one more.

Delamax 5in1 Faltreflektoren Set - 107cm Ø - gold, silber, schwarz, weiß und Diffusor - Briliant reflector.

I love this pieces of fabric. There are million ways of use a reflector for a photographer so if you are looking for one solid which can last you forever buy this one. Is well made, size is 'medium' = which I use the most for indoor and outdoor portraits. I have also a bigger 1x2m one but it's too big and heavier but smaller ones don't produce enough of light or the light quality is not as good as from this size. Simply they are too small.

That's all for today. Have a nice time,

Marian


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