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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> So I bought some strobes...help!!!
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01/17/2015 08:03:43 PM · #1
...and now I need help learning how to use them!!! It's a Bowen knockoff set so maybe I just need to look that up? But thought I'd try my luck here and have also pm'd the seller...but as he works the night shift doubt I'll here from him too soon :-/ Why, oh why, don't instruction manuals come with lighting kits?! I got all kinds of stuff with the strobes but can't use em if I can't figure the stuff out.

These are Digital Photo DP250s, and mostly it's the various cords and cables that are driving me nuts. Along with things like how to mount the umbrellas up on them - I can see a small bracket that looks like it should hold the umbrella, but tried the brolly in it and it sits pretty loosely. Also the camera-mounted transmitter has a tiny little hole in it, clearly it's supposed to link up to something...but what, is anyone's guess. I've already changed my camera's flash options to TTL.

So I really don't know where to start though at least I've found the on/off switch, test button, a hi/lo switch for continuous light and another switch that I haven't yet figured out what it's for.
01/17/2015 08:12:48 PM · #2
Argh… no clue! Definitely look up the manual.

My strobes have a power cord and then one of the strobes attaches to the camera via a synch cord. The rest just act as slaves (and it doesn't matter which one I use as the master).
01/17/2015 08:14:20 PM · #3
instructions should come with lighting kits -- everything I've bought comes with instructions (though it doesn't mean much some times when they're written in Korean and badly translated…
01/17/2015 08:28:36 PM · #4
OK...I did find a teeny tiny lil manual in the bottom of the box that the transmitter came in Chinese...followed the pictures and yes am glad to say that I now have ONE strobe working, yay! It sounds like it's the same setup as yours, with one strobe synch-corded to the camera's transmitter and others slaving off it.

Now...if I can just get the covers off the bodies of the other two strobes I'll be sooo happy...they are pretty much stuck on there, it's a twist-and-lock system. I can see exactly how they are meant to come off, but they just don't want to let go!

So for the project involving this one strobe, til I get the other ones freed up and set up (don't want to force the hoods and break them) I may have to resort to using my beloved SB910 as a mere slave to act as a fill light...if it will sync off the strobe.

And oh yeah bought mine used, seller said there was no manual. Grr. Haven't yet had luck finding the manual online.
01/17/2015 08:31:31 PM · #5
I thought my covers were twist and lock, but they had two thingies on the top that I had to push together to release the cover.

The Einstein had side levers.

I wonder whether it's really a twist and lock, because there needs to be a way to hold on soft boxes, octoboxes, etc. And usually those don't twist. (well, from what little I've seen, usually the don't twist. :)
01/17/2015 09:10:42 PM · #6
maybe post a couple of photos of the units and the online gurus will be able to make an informed guess .
I guess most units work in similar fashion
01/17/2015 09:52:51 PM · #7
Yeah, I finally did find a little lever mechanism on the side, a la the lens hood on my 70-200...you have to push it down and twist the hood to get it to unlock. So yay me for figuring that out on only 1 glass of red wine *hic!* ;-)

But...still having brolly issues, though I was finally able to wrest the one cover on that brolly off, after a long battle involving rubber washing-up gloves, some swearing and an annoyed Canuckistanian!

And I wanted to put the softbox on one; it comes with 4 struts and I found 4 little velcro pouches on the perimeter of the softbox, clearly meant to hold one end of the struts. But can't figure out how they attach to the metal ring which mounts onto the strobe. So still some frustration.

However I am VERY happy with the test shots I've gotten so far, despite size of studio limitations. So when I shoot tomorrow I am sure I will have to adjust a bit for incoming light (unless of course I block it out). But this simple little studio setup of 3 cheap strobes for my budget - if you don't count in some extras - means that I MIGHT finally be able to put out some game-changers.

We shall see.

*muwahahahahahaaaaaaa...*
01/18/2015 07:45:37 AM · #8
dude.....youtube is your friend
01/18/2015 09:17:42 AM · #9
unless you have a majorly bright spot, usually if you set your camera to manual mode, 1/200 shutter and f12 or so, that should get rid of the ambient light inside and just be using the strobes
01/18/2015 11:00:36 AM · #10
i cant seem to find the strobe you bought.

so i'll offer up some advice hoping to help you out.

you need a way to trigger the strobes, either direct wire, radio or optical.

the lights should have come with some sort of sync cord that will connect to your camera and to the lights. the most basic method is to connect one lights and trigger the others as optical slaves (just like if it was a speedlight.)

if you look at my alienbees unit and compare to yours:



at the very top and center, that where an umbrella post slide into and tightens down.

the sync is the line that will connect to the camera.

the slider adjust the power of the strobe

the model lamp will turn the modeling lamp on and off (track will adjust the power of the lamp to the flash power.

test will dump the flash. if you lower the power of the strobe you need to dump it (there may be an indicator to remind you) or else it will fire with the original setting.

remote is a connection that you can use to control multi light setups and the strobe power with one control.

like wendy said, if you shoot at 1/200 (i use 160 to stay below my 5d2 sync speed) and f8 or more the ambient most likely will not be a problem unles its very bright. with any strobes or flash you ought to be shooting manual and adjusting the power of the lights to light the scene, relying on the camera meter and resulting settings will mess you all up. stick with 160 shutter and an aperture of your choice depending on how much dof you need or ambient you want to let in.

Message edited by author 2015-01-18 11:01:19.
01/18/2015 11:07:23 AM · #11
Can't you just post a shot of the heads so we can see exactly what you're dealing with? Also, take photos of the individual cords

LOL. Isee kiwinik beat me to it...

Message edited by author 2015-01-18 11:08:15.
01/18/2015 03:13:45 PM · #12
To check the ambient simply take a photo using the same settings but don't let the lights fire.
If the test image is black then no ambient lighting is in the photo.

The faster you can sync your shots for the lights the easier it is to remove ambient light.
01/18/2015 05:11:27 PM · #13
Ok had somethin of a hairpin learning curve over the last 24 hours. Will post pix of cords etc soon.

But for the most part, once I was able to figure things out, was able to pull off what I think was a decent shoot with a good image to show for it.

So now it's trying to learn how to put together the softbox etc and various mounts that I need to learn.

Apparently this gear is compatible with Bowen(sp?) gear so I assume it's mostly based on that.

Let me go put some images up...back soon.
01/18/2015 05:37:46 PM · #14
sent you a PM re softbox which may help
01/18/2015 05:54:10 PM · #15
have emailed diagram hope it helps,
01/18/2015 06:04:21 PM · #16
Ok here's a couple images: added text so peeps know what my questions are.
01/18/2015 06:04:52 PM · #17
double post

Message edited by author 2015-01-18 18:06:53.
01/18/2015 06:09:43 PM · #18
I have only set up a flash unit for photo's with Santa at work but Susan I beleive the cable from your transmitter would fit into an external flash connectoion on a camera. the bad part is the D7100 does not have this. I had to buy a differnt transmitter from Henry's I can check the system out for you when I am at work tomorrow.

eta the transmitter wourd off the shoe for the flash unit.

Message edited by author 2015-01-18 18:13:00.
01/18/2015 07:18:11 PM · #19
this ends that don't fit into anything should fit into your camera. you don't need them if you use the radio trigger (which sits in the hot shoe of the camera). you have the option to use the radio triggers or hardwired. the wire is so long because its made to attach to your camera and to the strobe.

the umbrella setup look correct.

to attach a soft box you will most likely remove the metal baffle on the front of the strobe and mount it there.

Message edited by author 2015-01-18 19:22:38.
01/18/2015 09:13:32 PM · #20
Added a few comments to your photos. Hope it helps.

Matt
01/18/2015 10:19:15 PM · #21
Added a few additional comments as well.
01/19/2015 09:32:05 AM · #22
Thanks for the help and feedback comments, very useful in helping me figure things out. Thanks esp MattO on the tether cord, though now I need to find where on the SB-910 that cord end goes...yes I did originally try to find a compatible port for it on the D7100 body but there isn't one.

I can see that I need to remove the baffle to mount up the softbox, but now I need to figure out how to assemble the softbox and attach it to the strobe head.

@ kiwinick...the diagrams help a little but I still can't see where/how the ends of the struts of mine go to attach to the elastic end of the box and/or metal ring Frustrating, cause there are so few pieces but the most crucial ones are the ones that make no sense!
01/19/2015 09:51:08 AM · #23
I have SB900's and other Nikon flashes. But on all of them down on the side there is a small rubber cover that pulls out and it goes in there.
01/19/2015 11:08:50 AM · #24
Originally posted by MattO:

I have SB900's and other Nikon flashes. But on all of them down on the side there is a small rubber cover that pulls out and it goes in there.


Uhhh I don't know if my flash has that, I can't see anything...but there is a small recessed hole in the front that looks like it's meant to be a port, and it looks like it's meant to fit...but I went to put the tether end in and didn't fit! Going to check it out.
01/19/2015 11:14:30 AM · #25
not all speedlights have the port, my canon 430s dont have one.

why are you tethering it to your speedlight? just put the radio transceiver in the hotshoe.

Message edited by author 2015-01-19 11:15:26.
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