Mixing Speedlights and Strobes

posted in: Blog, Portrait, Studio Work, Tech | 0

There are clearly things with my new camera I need to understand better.

I did a simple studio set up to test out the new backdrop. I decided to put my speedlight on a stand and use to illuminate the backdrop. Since the backdrop is more or less grey (more on that later) it lends itself well to the use of gels. I was planning to test some new gels.

I put the speedlight on wireless slave, manual mode to be triggered by the 70D.

I used a simple softbox on a studio strobe as the key light and I was planning to add either a reflector or a second light. I put the studio strobe as an optical slave. Bah!

My test pictures were completely off! Did the keylight not fire? I tested again with the beep on. It gave a clear beep-sound. I asked my subjects if it fired, and they claimed it did.

Was it a time issue? I tried to do a longer exposure time to see if it had an effect. It didn’t really. Well, I caught more of the ambient light for sure but the studio strobe did not fire at the right moment.

You know, google is your best friend in situations like these. Sure enough, the wireless function of the 70D fires a pre-flash strong enough to fire off the strobe by its cell slave. It was an issue of premature flash.

The only way to get away from this is not to use the wireless communication between the camera and the speedlight. Either mount the speedlight on the camera, wire the connection using a sync-cord or use a wireless triggering system which goes by radio instead. I’m opting for number three next time.

Flash issue (and yes, the backdrop needs ironing)

Leave a Reply