Leica X2 Yokohama Edition Announced, Only 30 Units Available

Leica X2 Yokohama Edition

As if Leica cameras weren’t expensive enough, it seems that the camera manufacturer has a new limited edition camera planned that will set you back ¥283,500 ($2,795). In conjunction with Leica opening their store in the SOGO departmental store in Yokohama, Japan, the company has decided to release a limited edition Leica X2 Yokohama Edition camera, and by limited we are talking about only 30 such units ever being made. The camera will not differ from the original X2 in terms of hardware, with the main difference being that in the case of the limited edition model, it will sport a lizard-style leather for its body, and will feature the same material for its shoulder strap and camera protector. The Leica store in SOGO is currently accepting pre-orders for the camera with a released slated for around July.

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Sources : ubergizmo

Leica Mini M Gets Pictured And Priced

Leica Mini M

Last week Leica teased a photo on its Facebook page in which the company hinted that a new Mini M camera would be revealed. Well according to the folks at Mirrorlessrumors, it seems that a photo of the new Leica Mini M has been revealed (pictured above) along with some of it specs. Considering that the official announcement has been pegged for the 11th of June, take it with a grain of salt for now, but for the sake of discussion, these specs are pretty believable.

So what are we looking at here? According to the specs, the Mini M is expected to come with a fixed zoom lens, a Leica Elmar 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 lens to be exact. It will also sport a 16.1MP APS-C sensor, an optional external electronic viewfinder, a full aluminum body, Full HD video recording capabilities, and is also said to come bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as well. As expected Leica’s offerings do not come cheap and its alleged price has been set at €2450. Ouch.

[compare q=”Leica Mini” gtm=”on” l=”3″ ct=”US” v=”list” ft=”fetchProducts” w=”auto”][/compare]

[code]Sources : http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/05/leica-mini-m-gets-pictured-and-priced/[/code]

Triple and quadruple main lights learning


Looking for a soft light with a lot of punch? You’ve come to the right chapter. But the triple main light technique is different in that each light is a parabolic aimed into a 36-inch white umbrella.

For this approach, I set the lights in a loose semicircle or with all three parallel to each other, with the center light on a boom so there is no stand to get in my way. This center light is placed higher than usual, roughly 3 feet over the subject’s head. The other lights are on regular stands and placed lower than my typically recommended height, 6 to 12 inches over the subject, and can slightly overlap the center umbrella or just be butted up to it. Placement like this guarantees nice, soft shadows (but with an “edge”), and the light on the boom means I can shoot through the tunnel from whatever distance is best for the lens I’m using. All three lights are angled down slightly but aimed straight ahead, not individually angled toward the subject, and are placed about 6 feet from where my model will be. See image 8.1.

Metering is a little tricky but not too difficult. Set up another light stand or some sort of target where your subject will be. Measure each light separately, with the others turned off, until all three are powered equally. Turn all three lights on and measure again. You’ll notice the three lights together are brighter than their individual readings because the effects of light are cumulative. If you must make an adjustment to get the total reading to a perfect whole, one-third, or two-thirds f-stop, power the two sidelights down equally or power the center light up. The adjustment will be minor, but you’ll need to be as accurate as possible.

When your subject is in place, the first thing you’ll notice is how nicely the subject’s features are modeled by the light. You might have thought this light would be flat, but the snappy specularity the umbrellas render does exactly the opposite, and the result is beautiful. See image 8.2.


Triple main lights




As you can imagine, the three lights create interesting catchlights in the eyes. These are easily retouched to a single point should you wish to disguise your lighting or want a more traditional look. Personally, I think retouching two of them out of each eye, disguising the technique, would be one more little thing that could set your work apart from that of your competition. (“I use one umbrella, just like you, but my shots aren’t even close.” Music to my ears.) See image 8.3.

An added benefit from this scenario is that your subject is free to move to either side without a need to reposition the lights. See image 8.4.

I’ve found the best place for the model is 5 to 8 feet from the lights. This gives each light enough distance to mix with the others and yet be separate enough to add contour. If the model is farther back, the lights tend to mix too much and flatten out a bit. It’s not necessarily a bad look, it’s just not as punchy. See diagram 8A.

Since the background will be flooded with light that’s angled straight toward it, the only way you can control the brightness or darkness of the background is to vary the distance of the model to it, relative to the lights. For example, if the model is 6 feet from the background and 6 feet from you, and the background is too bright for your taste, double her distance from the background (i.e., move her 12 feet away from the background) but keep her 6 feet from you and the lights. This will reduce the light on the background by 2 stops, making it 1/4 its original strength.

This technique works beautifully with a black background as well, and, while it will work with any model, it can be very dramatic if the model has dark hair. In my case, my model’s hair was professionally colored to matte black and soaks up light like a black hole. I set a beauty bowl with a 25 degree grid on a boom above her and powered it up 1 full stop over the triple main light. It was placed very close to the top of her head, about 18 inches, because I wanted fast falloff and needed to control how much light would spill onto her shoulder. If too much light were to hit the shoulder, it would blow out to pure white and be a distraction. The light was metered at the top of the model’s head and allowed to fall off from there.

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After checking that all three lights were outputting the same amount of power, we started to shoot. The result is spectacular light that softly wraps around the subject. It shows all the qualities that make a triple umbrella main light so wonderful, but with a little less punch. Notice how well the light illuminates the fabric of her dress.

When a hair light is so close to the subject, there’s an element of danger in the setup. While the odds are against electrocution, it is quite possible that the model may move her head in such a way as to get hit by extra light. Since the effects of light are cumulative, she will be overexposed wherever the extra light lands.

When you get everything set, you might want to put a piece of tape on the floor, between the model’s feet, so she knows exactly where she needs to be centered. She won’t have a lot of room to move around, given the narrow constraints of the hair light.

You probably know by now that my favorite working question is, “What if . . . ?” So, what if the model were lit by softboxes in the same configuration?

I removed the umbrellas and substituted a 3×4-foot softbox for each of the sidelights, with a 2×3-foot softbox on the boom. The side boxes were angled slightly off the vertical to give me more room to shoot through them, while the softbox on the boom was set straight across. This is not carved in stone, you understand. I set the softboxes as I did for the space, but also because I thought I’d get more interesting catchlights in the model’s eyes.


I keep trying to find new ways to wrap light around my models. When it’s properly thought out and tested, light that wraps around a subject creates a different look, a look that’s both even and dimensional, unlike other methods.

For this portfolio shoot I wanted something different. I knew my model would look great if I used the triple main light scenario, but I wanted to push the envelope. I wondered if the approach could be improved with an additional strobe and umbrella. I began by setting up three lights on stands arranged in a semicircle. I attached the fourth to a boom. Putting the center light on a boom allows me to shoot through the umbrellas without having to deal with a stand right in the center of the group, but that’s only a matter of convenience. One could easily shoot around the stand if necessary.

The upper three lights were powered to the same f-stop by metering each light separately. The fourth light, also metered separately, was 11/3 stops less because I wanted it to act as fill. All four lights were then turned on and metered together to get the working f-stop.

The model was positioned about 6 feet from the lights. I’ve found 5 to 8 feet to be the optimum distance for a single model because the light will flatten out with more distance. Image 8.10 is what the setup looked like from the model’s perspective. Imagine the camera right in the center.

One of the beautiful features of this scenario is the multiple catchlights in the model’s eyes. Under other scenarios I’d personally not want to see more than one catchlight in each eye, but that “rule” may go out the window when the lights are placed symmetrically.

You may have noticed minimal shadowing in the shots made with the triple main light. The fourth light worked beautifully to eliminate that problem, filling what few shadows there were and adding an extra degree of dimensionality.When the model looked straight into the camera, the softness and depth of the light were spectacular. The extra catchlight is pretty cool, too.

It didn’t matter if my model moved left or right, as long as she stayed the correct distance from the light, giving her a great deal of freedom on the set. I found it interesting that, whenever she turned her head, slight shadowing occurred on the half of her face not hit by all four lights. Beautiful.

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This lighting scenario has proved to be very versatile. For example, it’s not necessary to always power the bottom light less than the other three. When all are equal, the result is soft, even light with a great deal of “snap.” Look at the detail and color in this model’s hair and the even color of her skin.

Let’s make a couple of changes.I left the top and bottom lights evenly powered but turned the two sidelights down 1 stop each. It’s necessary to re-meter, of course, because the cumulative strength of the light has changed.

Notice how she appears to be outlined, slightly, by the areas of less density on the sides of her arms yet her entire front is perfectly lit.

I’ll take it a step further and turn the sidelights down an additional stop. The impression given by the lights would indicate the model’s being lit with a long softbox. Notice how the extra density on her arms increases as her arms recede from the camera. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any traditional softbox in use today that allows a camera to shoot through it.

I left the sidelights at –2 stops and turned the bottom light down 1 full stop. The shadow under her chin has increased and the light now falls off, vertically, across her body. Even though it doesn’t quite have the unique feel to it that it had in the previous images, the light is still beautiful.

Want to drive your competitors crazy?Most photographers will look at catchlights when trying to figure out how someone was lit. If a faceted reflection is seen, it’s a no-brainer that the photographer used an umbrella, so that’s what they’ll use to duplicate the look. Same goes for the rectangular shape of a softbox. I’d suggest that you retouch the multiple catchlights in a quad main light or triple main light shot and replace them with fake catchlights made in a shape that could never create this light, an ellipse, perhaps, or a point light source. It’s so much fun to mess with the competition.

By now you’ve seen some of what I would consider to be basic extensions of my train of thought, the “What if…?” scenario. You’ve seen what just a few combinations of lights can do if the application, the physics, and the end result are thought through before the “moment of truth” begins on the set. I’m certain that there are many combinations of lights, ratios, and modifiers that I’ve not covered or even thought of. I’m equally certain that you, if you’ve welcomed the investigative spirit that I’ve tried to impart, will find them. And more.

Always keep your customers amazed and your competition guessing. It helps justify your fee.

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Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera were leaked

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera

Just the added day added photos of the Olympus E-P5 mirrorless camera were leaked, and now acknowledgment to added leaks (via Mobile01 and 43Rumors), added blueprint of the camera accept aswell been revealed. So far what we do apperceive of the E-P5 is that it will be a 16MP with a angry LCD display. According to these new leaks, the 16MP sensor and the angry LCD accept been confirmed, with the angel sensor getting the aforementioned as the E-M5, and the LCD affectation featuring 1.04 actor dots. Added blueprint of the E-P5 includes the TruePic VI angel processing engine, an bigger autofocus arrangement which is said to be commensurable to the E-M5, bigger 5-axis stabilization, 5fps shooting, focus peaking, bang 1/8000 sec and as mentioned in the antecedent rumors, will appear with congenital WiFi for wireless appointment of photos and videos. Still no chat on if absolutely will the camera be clearly announced, but affront not as we will accumulate our eyes and aerial bald for added information.

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Samsung NX2000 camera, 20.3MP, NFC, WiFi and touchscreen

Samsung NX2000 camera

If you’ve been broken amid Samsung’s NX300 and NX1000 mirrorless cameras, you should apperceive the aggregation has clearly breach the aberration with its new NX2000. While it acceptable will not amplitude NEX-3N lovers abroad from Sony, the $650 NX2000 is alone a Benjamin added than Sammy’s lower-end NX1000 and packs the aforementioned 3D-capable DRIMe IV processor and NFC functionality as the pricier NX300. Of course, you still get the 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor apparent beyond the line. The appropriate agency from its ancestors is the Galaxy Camera-like 3.7-inch, 1,152k-dot touchscreen (fixed) on the back, rather than the accepted array of rear buttons. The 100 to 25,600 ISO ambit and best JPG access amount of 8 fps is just like the 300’s, admitting this is alone able of recording 1080p video at 60 fps. Unfortunately, the autofocus is alone contrast-detection, but Samsung claims that it’s one of the fastest to the draw.

As you’d expect, this ballista appearance WiFi (single band) for abutting through AllShare or the Smart Camera app, additional there’s a microSD aperture for appointment files physically. Sure, it’s not the a lot of agitative amend to Samsung’s camera line, but it’s acutely a big bound up from the NX1000 — on paper, anyway. The NX2000 will be accessible anon in your best of white, atramentous or pink, and it comes arranged with Adobe Lightroom 4, a 20-50mm lens and a hotshoe-powered flash. Grab added looks in the arcade beneath and hit the columnist absolution afterwards the breach for all the abstruse details.

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Camera inspired 180 degrees, infinite depth of field

Camera inspired 180 degrees

Technologists accept been cartoon afflatus from the insect apple for a continued time. And association alive on robotics absolutely assume to adulation their creepy-crawlies and active arthropods. Advisers at the University of Illinois are searching to our eight-legged planet mates, not for advancement lessons, but as a advertence for a new camera design. The arrangement mimics the eyes of bees and mantises by accumulation assorted lenses on a bisected hemisphere to accommodate a 180-degree appearance with a about absolute abyss of field. The eyes themselves are declared as “soft, rubbery” and anniversary alone microlens is commutual with its own photodiode. The plan gets us a heck of a lot afterpiece to the dream of a agenda fly eye than antecedent efforts, admitting we’re acceptable still absolutely a while from seeing applications alfresco of the lab. DARPA allotment suggests the bogus admixture eyes may accept a approaching in surveillance, admitting the advisers aswell see uses for it in medicine.



V System cameras, Hasselblad stops production

V System cameras

Update: Just to clear the air, the 503CW has been in production for 17 years — the V System in any form has been active since 1957, since before digital was even a twinkle in Hasselblad’s eye.

Almost by definition, Hasselblad is a company steeped in tradition — it’s hard to be ultra-trendy when your camera systems cost as much as a new car. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the company is only just getting around to halting production on its last V System camera, the 503CW, 17 years after the first models rolled off the assembly line. Interest has simply dropped off quickly in the past five years, the company says. Support will continue, and accessories will sell while they last, but the emphasis from now on will be squarely on digital-first H System cameras like the H5D. Whether or not you’re mourning the loss, there’s no question that the V System has survived a lot during its lifetime, including the transition to digital shooting and new management. We’d say it’s worth pouring one out for a true veteran of medium format photography.

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Source :  engadget

Canon 5D Mark III firmware update, Fix improved AF, HDMI output

Canon 5D Mark III firmware update

If your camera arsenal includes a 5D Mark III, prepare to get your download on. Earlier today, Canon released a major firmware update for the hit DSLR — version 1.2.1 enables clean, uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous LCD display and recording to CF or SD cards, along with cross-type autofocus for apertures as small as f/8, bringing that aspect of AF capability in line with the EOS-1D X. You’ll be able to take advantage of improved autofocus performance even when using an f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender, or an f/4 lens with a 2x extender. On the video front, version 1.2.1 will let you boot an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 feed to an external recorder, enabling your pick of codecs and frame rates, while also eliminating arbitrary limits on record time. The free download, available for recent versions of Mac OS and Windows, Canon 5D Mark III firmware

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Source : engadget

The Double Main Light

It’s both possible and practical to use more than one light and modifier, together, to create a main light that will give your images a look that’s beautiful and unusual. Yes, it does take a little more time because you’ll need to correctly meter the situation, but it’s worth it. You’re reading this because you want to learn some tricks that will outsmart your competition. If an extra few minutes does that, it’s time well spent. If your competition never buys this book, well, that’s even better (for you, not for me).

I’ve created my test setup with one light fitted with a medium softbox and a second with a basic parabolic reflector and 10 degree gridspot. I first set the light with the softbox in place, using the modeling lamp to get the correct angle for a good shadow. When I was satisfied my model’s face would be nicely rendered, I placed the second light at exactly the same angle, directly in front of the softbox and butted up straight ahead of the first light. See image 7.1.

With only the softbox light turned on, I metered her face and made note of the exposure strength. This is important only because, even though the next light will determine the actual value of the light, I always try to power this first light to a perfect whole stop or perfect third. Adjustments will be more readily accomplished if I don’t have to make more than minor (e.g., 1/10- or 2/10-stop) changes. This first image was made at what would be –2 stops from my final target aperture. Note that it doesn’t matter what your target exposure is— f/5.6, f/8, or whatever—that’s up to you and depends on the limitations of your system or what you want to portray.

Next, I turned the softbox off and powered up the parabolic to 2 stops brighter than the reading from the softbox. A parabolic reflector is a strong source, throwing relatively hard shadows that really need to be softened for most images. When a softbox is used as an additional modifier, it will negate some of the hard look associated with a basic reflector while adding light to the periphery generated by that first light. See image 7.2.

Finally, I turned the softbox back on and metered the two lights together. Because the effects of light are cumulative, the resulting light meter reading was brighter than either light alone. I adjusted the softbox down, until I got to a perfect reading on the model’s face. The light from the softbox is not as important as the light from the parabolic, but the final, working f-stop must be perfect to guarantee a correct exposure. See image 7.3.

So little light falls on the background that “tonal merger” is evident almost everywhere. Tonal merger occurs when the exposure value on the subject is the same as the value seen in the background. It primarily occurs when shadows merge with unlit backgrounds but can also be seen in high key photos, when light on the edges of the subject blows out to pure white and blends with a white background. Unless tonal merger is a planned part of the composition, it should be avoided.

I set a strip light off to camera left, behind the subject and aimed at the background, feathering the light across the surface rather than aiming it directly at the wall. When feathered, a light will evenly light a larger portion of the background. In order to keep the background light subtle, it was powered 1/3 stop less than the combined exposure of the two main lights. See image 7.4.

My model’s hair is quite dark and still shows areas that could be considered too dark, even though the shape of her head and body are visibly separated from the background. The lighting scenario was completed by the addition of a hair light, in this case a beauty bowl with a 25 degree grid, powered 1/3 stop over the double main light. The final sample (image 7.5) is a very interesting mix of highlights, subdued highlights, and shadow.

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The use of the hair light presents additional options. Because of its angle and because it was positioned almost directly over the model, the light spread. Turning the model into the light spilling over her shoulder creates even more highlights and definition, without diminishing the overall effect of the double main light. See image 7.6 and diagram 7A.

You’re not limited to standard parabolic reflectors when creating this scenario, nor are you bound to place the light close to the softbox.

My second scenario used a beauty bowl as the brighter of the two lights. It throws light in a broader arc than a standard reflector, so it was moved into the model’s space until I saw an effect I liked, about 3 feet away. The model was standing only 5 feet from the background, a position I chose because I wanted enough light to hit the background to illuminate it enough so as to not need a hair light. See image 7.7.

I used a large softbox, set 3 feet farther back, or about 6 feet from the subject. As you know, a large softbox placed so close to the model will produce very soft light. Image 7.8, lit by the softbox alone, is quite lovely.

I followed the same lighting and metering regimen as in the previous example and, as before, the difference between the two lights was 2 stops. Even though the final light, at first blush, looks much like the first example with the beauty bowl, closer examination reveals softer shadows and less harsh highlights on the model’s hair along with a snappier light on her face that’s softer than that of the beauty bowl by itself. See image 7.9 and diagram 7B.

Of course, you’re not tied down to a 2-stop difference between the lights. Depending on how bright your subject’s clothing is, and the ultimate effect you want to see, you could power the softbox as high as a 1-stop difference or as low as 4 stops, if you want the least detail possible while still being able to see “something” in the shadow areas that face into the light.

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I set two strip lights in front of the camera, one on each side, separated by about 6 inches.My model stood about 5 feet in front of the two lights while I shot from between them. Both lights were powered equally and set vertically. I also set the height of the lights lower than usual because I wanted to see multiple catchlights that ran fully over the curve of her eyes. Shooting from between the two lights guaranteed a catchlight on each side of her pupils. See image 7.10.

When setting lights like this, the only problem that I can see is the creation of a double nose shadow if the subject is looking straight into the camera. As soon as she turns her head in either direction the problem is solved, and a single shadow is created from the two lights. See image 7.11.

Angling the two lights into an inverted V creates the same look but produces a different, angled catchlight pattern. See image 7.12.

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Accessory Flash Diffusion

Even if you have only one flash unit at your disposal, you can create stunning imagery if you plan your attack in a logical fashion.

We know, of course, that large, broad light sources will deliver an even spread of soft light. These sources are almost always large softboxes or umbrellas and, while there is definite value in having studio equipment available, here are a couple of ways to approach beauty and glamour photography with minimal equipment.

You will need to have an accessory flash with some power behind it. To be as accurate as possible, you’ll also need a flash meter. The flash will need to be set to manual mode; when it’s in auto or TTL mode and is aimed at something other than your model, it will limit the strength of the flash for either what bounces back from the subject to the camera or the amount of light that falls upon the subject. If you introduce diffusion or reflective material and aim the strobe at it, the strobe will read the light as it affects the material, not your model. The inevitable result is underexposure. Using the flash at full power in manual mode ensures consistent and measurable power output.

I keep an older, column-style Metz flash around for those moments when I need a small but powerful source. My model is the CT-2, expensive when it was purchased (and a real workhorse) but quite inexpensive now on eBay or through dealers that specialize in used

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equipment. If you decide to buy one of these units, inspect it first. You’ll want as clear (nonyellowed) a flashtube as possible. These units can be refurbished by the manufacturer, but it will add expense—and you’ll almost certainly have to buy a new battery too.

Of course, you can use a single studio strobe, even your camera manufacturer’s accessory flash unit (if it has enough power), in exactly the same fashion, as I’ll demonstrate with my old Metz unit.

First, and to demonstrate the difference between modified and unmodified light, I’ve set the Metz on a stand and aimed it at the model. I’d painted the wall behind her with a semigloss latex enamel to get a bounce-back reflection from the light. In manual mode, I metered the flash output, measured at her chin with the meter’s dome aimed at the camera, and set the aperture accordingly.

It’s not bad light. The only potential problem is the contrast of the flash, especially the nose shadow. I’d engaged a professional makeup artist for my model, so the amount of specularity on her skin from the flash is minimal. You may not be so lucky when your subjects do their own makeup, so you’ll have to take a close look at an enlarged LCD image (knowing that the LCD is not the final arbiter of exposure and contrast) and make a decision whether or not to send the client back to the dressing room for more powder. See image 6.1.

For my second setup, the flash was placed on a stand and positioned behind the camera, about 3 feet behind and aimed at the center of a 52-inch white Photoflex diffusion disc (see diagram 6A). Depending on the flash you use, you’ll have to do a little testing to find the optimum flash-to-diffuser distance. You’ll need to have the flash far enough from the diffuser to cover the material but not so far as to spill light on the subject or the background, at least within the image frame.

There’s a tremendous difference in “feel” between the two images I created. The first shot (image 6.1), nice as it is, is not nearly as soft as the second (image 6.2). The second still shows the bounce-back reflection, but the overall look of the light is more glamorous.

I wrote about accessory flash diffusion techniques more extensively in Christopher Grey’s Advanced Lighting Techniques, and I’d encourage you to check them out. If you typically work with a minimal gear set, you’ll want to try some of them. The results are terrific. Though accessory flash is inexpensive, working with it presents a unique set of problems. If you’re serious about shooting, you and your clients will be well served by your purchase of better gear.

Over the past few years, many manufacturers have made significant progress in creating modifiers for accessory flash units.While I still believe that no accessory flash (or any series of flash units slaved together) can take the place of studio strobes, I will admit that, when properly planned and understood, small units can do a good job within their limits. If you can live with long recycle times, lower power, and the difficulties and expense of trying to make them perform like something they’re not, well, bang away. Personally, I think your best bet is to buy a set of studio strobes, even of entrylevel quality. I think you’ll be much happier in the long run, even if your entry-level strobes are slightly inconsistent from flash to flash (which they almost certainly will be).

They say it’s a poor carpenter who blames the tools. I say a good carpenter avoids poor tools.

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