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TTL vs manual strobe usage with optical cables

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#1 chipi



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Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:46 AM


I would like to see what crowd opinion is on usage of TTL vs manual control of strobes (manual is with with optical cables).

Also, question for those who are using manual do you more do strobe adjustments or aperture bracketing?

Finally, for those who switched to optical cables: copper vs. light after some experience. Are there any issues, side effects .. is it really as with regular cables.

Now I have S&S housing for D700, it has optical bulkheads, also I have 2 S&S YS250 strobes and my plan is to use manual strobe control and simply skip TTL. My background is D70 in Ikelite housing and Nikonos V.

Reasoning for my decision to go manual with optical cables is due to several reasons:
1. Much simpler and cost effective. One just needs those 2 small optical cables and that's it. For TTL, I would need TTL controller (expensive) + bulky TTL cables. I guess that's around 1k more and not really sure if I need it.
2. I am focusing on WA with either FE or regular WA lens. My compositions are either "landscapes" or CFWA. Not sure, but how it looks to me (after lot of reading and practice as well) TTL is more for macro and general situations where subject fills in most of the shot so most of light in shot will be coming from strobe itself, while for most of wide angle work where light is a mix of natural/ambient light and strobe light it looks better to hit manual and focus on understanding strobes (there is a nice article on GN usage from few days ago here). I find it I have to do lot of exposure compensations (eithe ron camera or on strobe) so anyway loose some time and not sure if TTL is really helping me.
3. Digital means preview so we can do most of shots again if needed. These new nice dSLRs such as D700 have such a beauty of LCD which really allows you to view image as it is and not guess. Also, shots are anyway mostly in series so a bit bracketing or strobe adjustments is nothing special. Plus, all these is neede anyway for TTL usage also since as I mentioned before it is not fire and forget concept.

What do you people out there think? What is you reasoning from gear, usability, flexibility, technique itself and of course final results perspective.

I am OK with fully ignoring macro work and simply discussing <=35mm lenses and all types of WA work.