Monday, March 3, 2008

A time to try out strobist

I decided here recently to jump on the Strobist bandwagon to see what I could do. I started by placing an order with B&H for more gear. Here's what I purchased during round 1: General Brand PRO GAFFER TAPE (2"x12-yd) BLACK - GBGT12B $4.50 Basically this is a special kind of duct tape that isn't super stick. Works well, but is probably cheaper to buy locally. I wanted to make sure I had the right thing before I did that though. Westcott 43" UMBRELLA (SOFT SILVER/BLK BACKING) - WEU43SS $19.60 Ordered this on 2/17/08 and as of 3/3/08 it hasn't shipped. I am wishing I would have bought it from mpex.com instead now. Canon SPEEDLITE 580EXII - CA580EX2 $359.95 Saved $50 here thanks to a rebate (last day - whew), but now I'm wishing I would have ordered two (drats). I had a 430EX before this and I love this new flash. It integrates with my 1D Mark III also, so that is pretty sweet. The 430EX is fine for normal on-camera work, but the 580 EX II shines for off-camera work. Savage BACKGRND PORT-A-STAND w/FREE 53" WHITE - SABGSPASQ $109.95 This was a pretty good deal I think because the stand is very stable, easy to assemble, and a pretty good value. No regrets. Bogen / Manfrotto 2905 - Swivel Umbrella Adapter (Lite-Tite) $28.95 This is a very nice one, but the LumoPro LP632 Umbrella Swivel w/ Hot Shoe Adapter recommended at mpex.com are just as good and cheaper. It doesn't include a hot shoe adapter. Bogen / Manfrotto 6' STAND w/RETRACT LEGS $54.95 This is a fantastic compact umbrella stand. I love it - no regrets. Westcott 43" UMBRELLA WHITE SATIN/REM COVER BLK - WEU43SBC $24.95 Works well and is fairly compact. I hate the fact that they have a cheap switch to open and close when a typical rain umbrella mechanism would work just as well. Canon ST-E2 wireless flash transmitter $209.95 Some people love these, others curse them. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or not, but thus far I really like it. It beats having to buy pocket wizards too! Pantone HUEY $79.95 Not really strobist related directly, but i got tired of having people tell me my exposures were off. Now were are on a level playing field so let's see what happens. Bogen / Manfrotto SUPER CLAMP w/STANDARD STUD $27.95 I wasted my money here as I don't really have a use for it. I only bought it because the strobist site said buy at least one. I may return this as the Gorilla Pod might be more practical and cheaper. Savage Muslin Styled, Paper Background Panels - 40x60" - Verona $39.95 If I had any art skill or lived closer to my sister who is a pro artist, I would say this is a rip-off. However, I don't so I love it. Smith-Victor 575 UNIVERSAL TO SHOE MOUNT ADAPTER - SM575 $9.95 What a piece of crap. Poorly bulit, but it does work. However, I discovered that I can live without it because the Canon flashes all come with a base and that base has a threaded socket on the bottom that can be screwed into an umbrella stand's pivoting head and it works just as well (actually better because the flash is exactly where it needs to be versus this one which puts it a little high). Overall, I've screwed up in my decision to go with the BM head because it cost me $40 and is no better than the LumoPro LP632 Umbrella Swivel w/ Hot Shoe Adapter for $16.99. The total cost, including $43.25 for shipping was $1,013.85. Wow, I thought this strobist stuff was going to be cheap! :-(

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