August 17, 2017

November 19, 2016

Please reload

Recent Posts

[GEAR] - Domke F-5XB: my travel Strobist kit

April 19, 2016

I remember the first photo I took with off-camera flash - a whole new skill set had been unlocked and I was immediately hooked.  I began trying as many setups as I could, studying the DVDs and books put out by the likes of David Hobby (Strobist DVD sets), Zack Arias (Onelight DVD set), and Joe McNally (Painting With Light).  As a matter of fact, I even have a cameo on the Strobist: Lighting in Layers 7 DVD set, circa 2011.  I'll always think fondly of those early times and watching my ideas come to life on the rear LCD... or more often actually seeing just a total demoralizing failure, and making me re-think this whole venture.  Some of my earlier experiments with off-camera flash:


These days, my work with strobes is limited to pre-meditated shots, having a specific shot in mind.  My style of photography tends towards a more journalistic approach using dim light and shallow DOF, rather than intense OCF shots

My kit:

3x Paul C. Buff Cybersync CSRB receivers (link)

2x Paul C. Buff Cybersync CST transmitter (link - new model)

1x Nikon SB600 Speedlight with 3.5mm sync port mod

2x Nikon SB28 Speedlights

1x Nikon SB25 Speedlight

1x Nikon SB24 Speedlight

A few speedlight stands and a bag-o-cables (3.5mm, PC sync, and optical slaves)



These hand-held flashes are great for putting into hard-to-reach spots, and basically beating them up to get the shot you want.  I have all of the usual mounts and swivels for them but most of the time gaffer tape is my go-to option.  The older flashes can still be sourced for reasonable prices on the used market, but there's so much competition from vendors like Yongnuo, Neewer, and Altura that buying the Nikon/Canon variants almost seems silly unless you need/want the TTL option.  


The differences between all of my speedlights manifest themselves as the presence (or absence) of a sync port, the levels of manual output (1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 ...etc), head zoom levels, and the obvious option having the ability to optically trigger (as in the SB600).  Honestly though, all I care about is the levels of manual output - it's much easier to dial the flash down to 1/64 than it is to gaffer tape half of the output to cut the light down from 1/32 or stronger.


I'm able to fit three speedlights, the triggers, stands, and cables into the Domke F-5XB bag, and have two Nikon cases for the remaining two flashes.

Powering everything are my trusty Sanyo Eneloop batteries.  I made labels for the cases, and store the batteries with the (+) towards the label if they are charged, and opposite if they are not charged.  I couldn't recommend this method enough, and it's intuitive for both the AA and AAA batteries.

I hope this post was helpful!  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or get in touch with me directly. 


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Please reload