Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Tools

Recently a few people have asked me what gear I use, especially for the lighting part. Today I was organizing all my gear and I thought why not take pictures of them(okay, I was tempted to take pictures of them :D). So this is a gear post :). Click on the images to view large on flickr.

White Lighting Kit - Recently I ordered some stuff from PC Buff. I was happy with my small flash kit. But I wasn't getting enough power at times and I hate to pump up the ISO. So I got the big lights, since I don't have a studio, I ordered a vegabond battery too. May be I need one more battery, so that each flash head gets dedicated battery... although a single battery can support up to 6 heads (WL tech spec :)). I also got Large Octobox and Beauty dish with grid and soft cover. I love the light output by WLs, when mounted on Octobox. Shadow areas are very soft and overall pleasing look. Then I have the 20deg grid which sort of gives a funky look. I am yet to put some color gels on flash heads and yet to use it on location. (May be next weekend).

White Lightning Kit

Small Flash Kit - This is really flexible kit. I hate carrying stuff.... so compact flash kit fulfills most requirements except power. Also it's a big pain keep track of all the AA batteries (Last I counted I had 40 of rechargeable ones, which is not much but I lose these easily) and to know which ones are charged and good to shoot. I will still use these but I intend to minimize their usage. Flash heads include of course Oly's FL50R, Nikon SB-28, Vivitar 285HVs, OM T20 and Yashica. Different brands and different syncs. T20 is a tiny flash which really helps at times, because a person can handhold one of these, covered. That gives some funky looks like this and   this . FL50R has been most reliable and easily gives more than 400 shots per battery set. Also this will work on wireless TTL mode when used with E-3, faster recycle time. SB28 is okay too.

Small Flash Kit

Sync - It's an important step. I am terrified to connect any flash directly to my cameras. I can never be sure what's the safe sync voltage, as I use many different brands. This is the reason I never use direct PC sync. I rarely use Optical syncs... mostly FL50R acts up in optical slave mode. White Lightnings too can be optical slaves. I had Cactus triggers. I didn't have any problems with those. But Pocket Wizards are very versatile. They even can trigger my E-3, using cable release and since I have the Sekonic PW transmitter, I don't need a separate PW to trigger the camera. L-358 can measure light in totally remote mode. So I guess Pocket Wizards purchase is justified.

Sync Kit

Camera and Lenses - As I was already shooting lights, I thought I will take a picture of cameras and lenses. 3 of my lenses are missing from the picture. My favorites are ZD7-14, PL25, Hexanon 57mm (both) and Carl Zeiss 120mm. I shoot with E-3 mostly these days, but E-510 goes everywhere with me. Most of these comfortably fit in Tamaron and Lowepro bags. Film cameras have their own individual bags. (I was tired so I didn't shoot bags :D.) I will soon have to get Think Tank Modular waist pouches. I can't carry all the gear in backpack and my shoulders and back cry for help.

Camera Bodies and Lenses

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