View Full Version : Combining Speedlights and Strobes

14-09-2011, 4:04pm
So, I've been asked by my girlfriend to do her Dance Studio's end of year photos and the scenario is a pretty basic studio-style shoot. I'm going to be hiring a set of two Bowens Gemini 500's (1x Softbox and 1x Umbrella) with a 3mx6m white Muslin background and 3m stand for the actual shoot.

Given my 600D doesn't have a PC port I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need a pc-hot shoe converter for the Studio Strobes, but I was also hoping to use my two YN-560 speedlights for either fill-flash if needed, or with some gels to change the colour of the background. I was wondering if it would be best to trigger these optically from the studio strobes, or can I get some kind of adapter to enable me to fire everything at once?

JM Tran
14-09-2011, 4:09pm
for indoors you can mount one of the Yongnuos on your camera and turn the CELL mode to ON for the Bowens for optical trigger - works great for indoor. Alternatively you can also use the onboard flash of the camera to trigger the Bowens and the YN560 on S1 setting to set them all off at once.

By having it optically triggered it allows you more freedom to move with no sync cable connected to be mindful of.

14-09-2011, 5:17pm
Ahh I wasn't aware that Bowens could also be triggered optically, that would make everything much, much simpler! :) I'm a little concerned about using the on-camera flash though, because I don't want the harsh flash affecting the light on the subjects.

If I mounted the Yn-560 on the camera and pointed it at the ceiling would it create enough light to trigger the Bowens?

JM Tran
14-09-2011, 5:21pm
yup even at the lowest power settings the YN560 can trigger off the Bowens, provided the ceiling isnt 10m high:)

with optical slave on just be aware that any flash will trigger it ie. compact cameras to certain phones as well

14-09-2011, 6:01pm
Perfect, thanks for the reassurance. I'm a little out of my depth with this project (motorsports to studio portrait :eek:) so I'm doing a lot of over-thinking and worrrying. I did a practise shoot yesterday with just the speedlights, and my umbrella which turned out okay on an individual model, but I was struggling to get a decent, even exposure for the group shots.

Strobist.blogspot has been my bible though, and I'm slowly getting used to the strobist way of thinking. :flash:

14-09-2011, 8:30pm
G'day 98k

Just an addition ... I often use the on-camera flash at -2EV to trigger my Yongnuo 460s in a studio environment of 3-5m camera to subject distance. There is no discernable exposure from the on-camera flash, but it sure triggers the other flashguns

Whatever you do I suggest that you run some trials beforehand to double-check it works & get a tad of self-confidence too

Regards, Phil