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Thread: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

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    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Hi,
    I have been thinking of shelling out some money for the high-end 600 RT flash. One big use for this would be as fill light at my little girls soccer games. The games are always at 11 o'clock in the morning so the sun is nearly overhead. Even when I have the sun at my back if she is looking down at the ball her face is often shadowed.

    Obviously I can't shoot soccer within the one 180th second flash limit for my camera. I wonder if I could use high speed sync but still get enough power to do the job. It is peewee soccer so a lot of the action is actually fairly close to the camera.

    I have also thought about just taking a big silver reflector with me. The only problem with that would be needing the sun to be in the right place to reflect properly. It generally would not be.

    Any opinions on the high-speed sync question?

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    My S.W.A.G. is that the 600EX-RT will help, but probably won't light up the players as much as you want. It's only fractionally more powerful than the 580EX II, but since the head zooms to 200mm, it can throw light very well. That said, you're competing with the sun, and the 600EX is low on power for that, especially on HSS. However, I'd recommend renting one for a trial. If I'm wrong, you're golden.

    I use 2x 580EX IIs and a 600EX-RT for roller derby photography, but the only reason that works is the low ambient light. Relative to the inside of a wood-paneled drill hall with only one wall of windows and weak interior light, those three flashes have considerable oomph. But even all three together can't overcome the sun.

    The reflector is very unlikely to work. They're more for fill light on stationary subjects, since like all sources, their effectiveness decreases with the square of their distance from the subject. From the edge of a soccer field, they'll put a pretty trivial amount of light on the players, and may actually distract the players more than flashbulbs.

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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    I would suggest the solution is in your editing programme unless the action is very close to you. Duplicating the image and adjusting one of the layers to suit the face tones and then erasing the rest of the image on that layer ... that would be my favourite approach to numerous problems. Another approach if you don't have layers is to select the face and then adjust.
    Another tool is Tone Mapping, though I'm not sure I like the results, but worth playing with if as a hardworking Mum you have the time.
    If one flash unit doesn't solve the problem then perhaps two units ... or four?

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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    Obviously I can't shoot soccer within the one 180th second flash limit for my camera.
    Please explain.

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    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    I am not sure if this is what you are asking, but:
    I get blurry arms and legs shooting soccer much below 1/500th second. The flash has a max speed of 1/180 on the 6d. It can shoot faster in Hi Speed Sync mode, but it is at reduced power.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    I have been thinking of shelling out some money for the high-end 600 RT flash. One big use for this would be as fill light at my little girls soccer games. The games are always at 11 o'clock in the morning so the sun is nearly overhead.
    Great Flash Unit.
    Very likely it would be pointless buying it, for that specific use.

    The Guide Number (GN) @ FL = 200mm (i.e. the Flash Head zoomed for a 200mm lens) is:
    60m @ ISO100.

    That GN will give you a Maximum Working Distance (at full operating power) of about 4 mtrs to make Flash as Fill @ 1:1 ratio in full, overhead Sun.

    HOWEVER: using HSS, the GN will be less and thus the Maximum Working Distance reduced.

    The specs for the Canon 600 EX RT state that the GN for HSS for a Camera Shutter Speed at 1/250s and the Flash Zoomed to accommodate a lens of FL =200mm, is:
    31.8.

    This will in turn, allow a maximum working distance of just over 2mtrs for a 1:1 Flash Fill, in Full Overhead Sun.

    Setting the Flash Zoom wider or increasing the Camera’s Shutter Speed will reduce the GN, more.

    For sport in harsh overhead sun, you’d be better exposing as close to ‘correct’ as possible for the shadow side of the face and just allowing the highlights to blow when they do: and try to frame the shot to make the smallest area of the frame, blown.

    ***


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    I have also thought about just taking a big silver reflector with me. The only problem with that would be needing the sun to be in the right place to reflect properly. It generally would not be.
    Pointless for this purpose: useful in some case for controlled Portraiture.

    WW

    PS - Flash firing and pointed at little kids while they are "competing" - is a recipe for complaint, anyway.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    PS - Flash firing and pointed at little kids while they are "competing" - is a recipe for complaint, anyway.
    Bill may be correct, but I think you'll find that athletes are usually looking at the action, not the sidelines where flashbulbs are going off. Obviously a big studio strobe on full power will be hard to ignore, but smaller lights are generally ignored. Quite a few derby photographers are using considerably more powerful lights than I am, and their skaters don't seem to mind.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    I think you'll find that athletes are usually looking at the action, not the sidelines where flashbulbs are going off. . . Quite a few derby photographers are using considerably more powerful lights than I am, and their skaters don't seem to mind.
    Hi Lex,

    I don’t know the age nor the skill of the Roller Derby Athletes you shoot: but I expect they if they are on roller skates they are indeed concentrating on the competition and adept and at a reasonable skill and concentration level - and a flash (or twenty), is neither here nor there the scheme of things to them.

    BUT - The OP is discussing ‘pee wee’ soccer .
    Down here that starts at 4 years old.
    Eight mini fields, on one full pitch.

    The comment about using Flash soliciting complaints was NOT about the kids (‘Athletes’) complaining about Flash going off in their eyes – but their Parents complaining about it.

    Also, at pee wee level, the " Athletes' " eyes, are NOT always on the play.

    Considering that I had explained to the OP that the HSS Flash would only be useful if he used it at a range 0~2 meters from these Children - then I thought it also prudent that I warn him that he might get some complaints, for so doing.

    WW

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Ah. Yes, that's a rather different kettle of fish.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    OK - cheers!

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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Thanks to Colin mentioning the "fill light slider" I found my copy in Paint Shop Pro in the Brightness/Contrast menu and I am sure it would avoid the need for a flash which apparfently will not work ... after playing with a couple of my own photos with dark shadows. I have PSPX4 and PSPX3 and sadly it is not on X3 as I paid US$15 for my copy though since X5 is the latest version you might find a discounted X4 on Amazon. [ found open boxes for $40 and sealed boxes for $46 when I just checked]
    600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?
    Looking into the shed at Pikes Peak Cog Railway with insert of interior after using fill slider.

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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Great Flash Unit.
    Very likely it would be pointless buying it, for that specific use.
    Or as we say in the trade: "F^arting against thunder"

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: 600rt flash on HSS: adequate power for fill in peewee soccer?

    Last edited by William W; 3rd May 2013 at 02:43 PM. Reason: corrected grammar

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