Speedlight Versatility

Hey guys! I'm aware of the pros and cons of speedlights vs strobes, and after using both over the last few months I definitely prefer, or am just more comfortable with, strobes. But obviously there's monetary drawbacks to strobes.

So, what I'd like to know is from a standpoint of having a strobe (PCB) and a couple modifiers (octa and beauty dish), as well as 3 speedlights and a a couple umbrellas (and a vflat), how can I most efficiently make the best of my speedlights in (primarily) a studio environment?

In brief, short of loading up on more strobes and modifiers, what can I do/buy to make the best use of speedlights and make them soft/controllable/etc? Or are flags, diffusers, and other things of more use? I'm most interested in kicker/rim/fill lighting which I believe is lacking currently. But, any suggestions are helpful!

Wish I could buy everything, don't we all :).

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2 Comments

Patrick Hall's picture

I've always used a good speedring bracket for my studio softboxes and adapted them to my speedlights. If you need more of an even throw you can always put a diffusion cap on top of the flash to fill the softboxes up more evenly. Light is light so you should get a similar look between speedlights and strobes if you tweak the physics a bit. In some cases you might even get a faster flash duration out of the speedlights and also an easier time opening up your lens to say 2.8 or 1.4 if you want the shallow look in the studio.

Here is the speedring I recommend for speedlights although it will not work with modifiers having more than 4 poles: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/124818-REG/Chimera_2785M_Speed_Rin...

That was another idea I considered too, sticking with the modifiers for PCB and using speedlights in those, hadn't committed to the idea yet. I'll look into speedrings!