Wednesday, 17 February 2010

It goes from bad to worse, then better again! :)

So, after spending a couple of weeks in bed recovering from surgery, then heading down to Birmingham for the Spring Fair, I get back home to find myself spending another week sick in bed.  After talking to a few other people that went it seems their must've been something going around at the show.  Now, though, I'm finally starting to feel human again so just wanted to post a quick update.

Had some new bits arrive this week.  My free SB-900 arrived yesterday from Nikon.  For those of you who didn't know, this was a special offer Nikon had for registered DSLR owners to upgrade to a D300s before mid-January and receive a free SB-900.  So, I did, and now it's arrived to join the ranks in my growing little Speedlight army.

Just as an aside on the flash situation, I just recently discovered that the Yongnuo YN460-II actually has some limited CLS support (sort of).  I always knew this flash had an optical slave mode (manual power, set from the flash itself, as usual), but what I didn't realise is that it has a second optical slave mode which is designed to ignore the pre-flashes sent by the CLS system.  Very very handy if you just want to add a little light to a dark corner in your scene and you don't quite have enough SB-900s to go around.  Just set your power (manually, from the flash itself, not via the CLS menus), pop on a gel, snoot, grid or whatever, and set it to CLS slave mode.

How close the colour temperature is to SB-900s (or even if their quality control provides for consistency between different samples of YN460-II flashes) I don't know, but at only £38 each, I think I'm going to have to pick a couple up and see how well they work.

Anyway, to go along with the new SB-900 and the RF-602 gear I received last week, I decided to pick up some Konig light stands.  I had bought some on Amazon a couple of weeks ago, but they turned out not to be anything like Konigs with a non-standard adapter nobody I know has ever seen before (although the image in the listing did clearly show a standard 5/8" spigot).  The company failed to acknowledge that the image misrepresented the item, but did refund the purchase cost minus the shipping (I had paid extra for next day), and my return shipping costs.  So, all in all, I'm out about £20 because of those idiots.

A friend suggested an alternative seller on eBay from which he'd purchased some in the past, and they were top notch, so I ordered four.  Konig, 2 metres tall (that's 6'6" for the rest of us), each with their own individiual bag.  Very pleased.  I hadn't tried them before, but I needed something a bit more lightweight than I usually cart around.

They'll definitely require some assistance to help prevent them from falling over in anything more than a breeze, and I probably wouldn't want to throw a 43" brolly on one outdoors, but they're not bad at all for the price and will definitely see much use now that the weather's starting to warm up.  Given that I got these to help become more "lightweight", I'm currently seeking alternatives to sandbags.  That kind of defeats the purpose of lighter stands, but we'll see. :)

Speaking of the weather warming up, and getting over spending far too long in bed doing nothing, I'll hopefully be able to get back out and shooting more regularly again soon.  So, I'll be popping up some reviews of the new gadgets I've picked up over the past few weeks, giving them a good workout and testing, along with some tips and tricks to workaround any problems that may come up when using them.

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