Strobe Lighting Help

Strobe Lighting Help

22 posts
10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman
 
I was practising with my strobe lighting kit using a soft box and an umbrella over the weekend, when I noticed that the lighting head with the umbrella was not always flashing when it was supposed to. In fact it failed to go off quite a number of times. Does anyone know what the problem may be? Why the strobe lighting head with the Sox box works perfectly fine but the 2nd one containing my umbrella more often than not fails to go off?
 
Posted 10 March 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
How were you triggering them? (cable, radio transmitter, optical slave etc.)

If using the optical slave or IR slave then are you sure the umbrella isn't blocking the view of the slave from the transmitter on the camera?


Posted 10 March 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Maybe it hadn't had time to recycle itself?

Slow down your shooting a bit to give it time. It could also be the battery on your trigger is on the way out.

Posted 10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman
RedChecker

How were you triggering them? (cable, radio transmitter, optical slave etc.) If using the optical slave or IR slave then are you sure the umbrella isn't blocking the view of the slave from the transmitter on the camera?


I use a radio transmitter. All the channels correspond. From what I can remember on Saturday there was nothing in the way that would have obstructed the signal. 

I am using a shoots through umbrella and standing well back when I take my images.
 
Posted 10 March 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
So for clarity, BOTH flash heads had wireless triggers attached to them? Just a thought... if you've got any mobile or wireless devices in the room (mobile phones, cordless phones, wifi devices etc.), move them out of the way as these can interfere with triggers.
Posted 10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman
RedChecker

So for clarity, BOTH flash heads had wireless triggers attached to them? Just a thought... if you've got any mobile or wireless devices in the room (mobile phones, cordless phones, wifi devices etc.), move them out of the way as these can interfere with triggers.


I think this is the part where I feel quite silly and start going red. I have my trigger on my camera and a receiver on one of the flash heads. I suppose this is where you tell me I need a receiver on the 2nd flash head?
Posted 10 March 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
There you go... the second flash (without the trigger) hasn't got good line of sight as it's 'trapped' inside the umbrella.

Posted 10 March 2014
Edited by RedChecker 10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman
RedChecker

There you go... the second flash (without the trigger) hasn't got good line of sight as it's 'trapped' inside the umbrella.


Yes I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't suppose I've helped myself by having the receiver on my soft box light head at a 45° angle to the umbrella light head, which was also at a 45° angle.
 
Strobe lighting is new to me. In the past I've always used continuous lighting.
Posted 10 March 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
Ladiesman

I have my trigger on my camera and a receiver on one of the flash heads. I suppose this is where you tell me I need a receiver on the 2nd flash head?


Many studio flash units (strobes) have a built-in slave cell (which might need to be turned on by flicking a switch).  What this means is that it accepts a signal from the unit with the receiver, so that they both fire at the same time.  You don't necessarily need to have a receiver plugged into both units if one will slave off the other.

You could perhaps check to see if your lights have slave built-in / turned on.

As RedChecker says it might also be that the 'line of sight' between the units is being obstructed in some way.  I have seen this in the past with infra-red triggers.  I suppose you could test it by taking the umbrella down and seeing if that is causing it.

What make / model are your strobes?

Best regards
Paul







Posted 10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman

PIXAPRO® LUMI 400 flash.

Yes the strobe's do have a built-in slave mode. At the moment they are both switched on, even the one with the receiver....

When it comes to strobe lighting I am very naive then do not fully understand what the slave mode actually does. Although after reading what you have written, I can deduce that it allows each unit to receive the signal from the trigger?

Posted 10 March 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
Ladiesman

PIXAPRO® LUMI 400 flash. Yes the strobe's do have a built-in slave mode. At the moment they are both switched on, even the one with the receiver.... When it comes to strobe lighting I am very naive then do not fully understand what the slave mode actually does. Although after reading what you have written, I can deduce that it allows each unit to receive the signal from the trigger?


Yes.  When one unit fires the other unit slaves off it and also fires.

There is a manual for your lights here  -  http://www.yangwuonline.com/Website%20PDF/A-010701%20PDF/LUMI%20studio%20flash%20User%20Manual.pdf

Just a thought but it seems the unit has a blue one-fire slave mode and a red anti-preflash slave mode.  Is your slave set to glow blue or red?

Best regards
Paul


Posted 10 March 2014
Edited by Paul_Jones 10 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman

Thank you very much for the link to the manual.

I think my slave is set to red at the moment. I'm sure I would have noticed if it had been on blue. From what I can remember, you press the button once to switch the slave mode on and then again for off. This is something I will investigate on Wednesday.

Posted 10 March 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
Ladiesman

I think my slave is set to red at the moment. I'm sure I would have noticed if it had been on blue.


That might be the problem.  Try setting it to Blue and report back.  cheeky



Posted 11 March 2014
Ladiesman
Photographer
Ladiesman
Paul_Jones

That might be the problem.  Try setting it to Blue and report back.  cheeky





Will do. 
 
I will be wandering down to my studio tomorrow in the hope that the weather will be nice so that I can stop off and take some landscape shots with my new 85 mm lens.
 
For the money I paid for my strobe lighting kit, I would have expected there to be a manual in with everything else, especially as it is aimed at amateurs as well as professionals. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I will have everything sorted.frown
 
 
 
Posted 11 March 2014
Edited by Ladiesman 11 March 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
Ladiesman
Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I will have everything sorted.


Fingers crossed.

Post on here if you need any help.

You might also like the 'Studio / Lighting Forum' at DPReview.com.  I hang out there quite a bit aswell as the 'Portrait / People Forum' - http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1025

Best regards
Paul
Posted 11 March 2014
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