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Author Topic: Playing with Speedlights  (Read 3971 times)
RSL
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« on: January 23, 2014, 08:41:38 AM »
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David Eckels
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 08:53:31 AM »
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I'm gonna come down and take lessons! Always frustrated with flash.
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dhancock
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 09:30:49 AM »
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Nice! I especially like the first one. I'm just getting started with flash, but I'm amazed with the difference it can make. I've recently purchased  a YN-565EX flash, and I'm quite pleased, especially for the price.
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cjogo
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 01:34:02 AM »
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I  have used a studio/field flash since the 70's -- got it pretty dialed in .  Shoot a lot of golf -- need one mighty flash for that gig  ..   The trick is to make it look = not flashed ... Bounce is your friend ~!

 Teaching RATIO is the master of flash ... Play 2 Is flash KEY -- it works = but would rather see it ratio'd ---almost like the flash was not as present...
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 01:28:56 PM by cjogo » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 02:03:10 PM »
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Yeah, I agree about #2, cjogo. Unfortunately, it just wasn't quite possible. The balance between ambient and flash was the key in that one. I tried putting an SU-800 on the camera and moving the flash off to the left (no space to the right.) Didn't work. Had to use the flash head-on. Not a good idea. Fun playing with the stuff, though.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 02:09:27 PM »
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Number 1 is nice, subtle, targeted.  Very good if you're only looking at the light and not the subject.

Number 1 is everything number 2 isn't.
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cjogo
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 03:07:17 PM »
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Number 1 is nice, subtle, targeted.  Very good if you're only looking at the light and not the subject.

Number 1 is everything number 2 isn't.

If the only flash did not illuminate the background so much  > but to the target .
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cjogo
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 03:13:52 PM »
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Yeah, I agree about #2, cjogo. Unfortunately, it just wasn't quite possible. The balance between ambient and flash was the key in that one. I tried putting an SU-800 on the camera and moving the flash off to the left (no space to the right.) Didn't work. Had to use the flash head-on. Not a good idea. Fun playing with the stuff, though.

Don't let the camera/flash control itself .     So  :: you always use manual with the flash  >> should be about 1.5 times less then the ambient ... for a good fill.

IE :: ambient at ISO 100 is 1/125 ~ f 8 -- your flash should be producing about 5.6 at the source. Or if you wanted to create the KEY situation - you were close.

 Remember most flashes are about half the guide number listed :-)
Only a few flashes, on the market,  will produce a true F8 at 10 feet ISO 100 -- I have been testing since the 70's.. My latest Canon flash , in full daylight, will produce 7.6 at 8 feet  >> after that it under exposes. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 03:23:26 PM by cjogo » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 04:06:29 PM »
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If it were the sixties -- the last time I really worked with lights -- I'd agree with you cjogo, but with Nikon's i-TTL you'd be nuts to screw around with guide numbers and go manual on the flash. Maybe you have to do that with Canon, but not with Nikon. Yes, the camera goes manual and you control shutter speed and aperture separately instead of being in aperture priority and letting the shutter speed drift, though if you're just bouncing flash off a ceiling or wall, in many cases you can do a pretty good job in aperture priority.

But when you're trying to balance ambient and flash you can't do that. You crank up the shutter speed (in the case of #1, shutter speed was 1/1250 in order, as Joe McNally puts it, to make the available light unavailable.) Aperture was f/2.5 for a shallow depth of field. Once those two were under control, it was a matter of controlling flash intensities. With an SU-800 I can hold the camera in my hand and control flash intensities on three groups of flashes. And with digital I can look at the back of the camera and get a pretty good idea of what's happening. You can't beat i-TTL and a flash setup you can control from camera position. Nowadays going to manual flash is sort of like using a view camera with a lens cap as its shutter. There was a time when that made sense because that's all that was available, but not any more.
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cjogo
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 05:54:34 PM »
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Guess I still shoot the occasional wedding /portrait.   I use to use my Nikon SB 24 flash > quick fill or key > with my Hasselblad --liked the Auto feature that my Canon flash doesn't have :-{  

 One flash on camera > never have time for dual setups when you are working a wedding.   Interesting to see the results -- I rarely use my screen on a shoot.   Maybe because I'm so busy changing my settings on the flash. :-)   I only learned how to shoot manual on my camera -- since I wanted the same results every time.

When I work with ambient & flash -- I meter the ambient first --- the image #1 would had been about 1/30 for me > unless you are having the flash create your only exposure.  

My modern camera will only sync at 250th -- just barely enough for outdoor work.

I think it is different when you are working with people as your subjects-- you can't do testing :-)  I only have about 3 real settings I use all day :: luckily my Canon has "C"ontrol setups -- and 3 settings on my flash to follow suite. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 06:19:55 PM by cjogo » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 06:18:27 PM »
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My modern camera will only sync at 250th -- just barely enough for outdoor work.

Are you sure you don't have a high-speed flash feature that you can turn on in the camera's setup? High-speed flash cuts down the output strength of the flash units significantly since they're in high-speed repeat mode, but there are plenty of situations where that doesn't matter. #1, for instance.
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cjogo
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 06:22:56 PM »
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Are you sure you don't have a high-speed flash feature that you can turn on in the camera's setup? High-speed flash cuts down the output strength of the flash units significantly since they're in high-speed repeat mode, but there are plenty of situations where that doesn't matter. #1, for instance.

I need 7-10 ft -- hi-speed does no good in that situation. I remember when it first appeared ..  works great in a very close proximity.    In a normal/sunny situation -- I use 1/1 manual all day ~~ ISO 100  1/250 @ f 10 or variances of ..depending on the light & distance.     If I move into the subject I just change my ratio.  So only one variable has to change -- the flash.  Your manual setting of your aperture/shutter remains constant.  
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 07:42:17 PM by cjogo » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 06:44:36 PM »
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Well, the f/10 doesn't affect the flash. That's an ambient light thing. But having to go full-bore on the flash at 1/1 seems strange when you're shooting at sync speed. I gather you're talking about direct sunlight without any diffusion. I think we all have our particular ways of going about this stuff. It's obvious that what works for me doesn't work for you, and I wouldn't even consider going full-bore with the flash in manual except in a very unusual situation. As far as having to change your flash to maintain a fill ratio, if you were using i-TTL you wouldn't have to do that. The camera would figure it out more accurately than you could. You probably should go to a Nikon dealer and check it out.
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cjogo
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2014, 07:14:37 PM »
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"the F10 doesn't affect the flash"  

 Well  if you have a party of 8 or more and you backup with your 28mm -& - they are  heavily sun lite > with the incident meter reading = ISO 100  250 @ f9-10 (especially with a white wedding dress )   The F stop of your exposure  > has everything to do with your flash .  You better have a good punch or deal with dark eye sockets of that f10 ambient -- that you underexposed with a weaker flash.

Trust me : Even with i-TTL if your flash doesn't produce the f stop you need ::  there's just  no substitute for real key light you need to be professional. Tried the E-TTL of the Canon -- seemed to over fill ??  Wish the Canon "camera would figure it out more accurately than " I can ...

I wish I didn't have to carry a Norman or Quantum flash around for a real F8=10ft  ..
On a overcast-fill day the newest shoe mount Nikon /Canon are much better these days, though.  

The Nikon always had a better flash system .. :-)   Glad you are getting good results -- without all the buttons I have to think about for tomorrows job ..( hope it's overcast)


« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 10:27:35 PM by cjogo » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 04:53:54 AM »
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"the F10 doesn't affect the flash"  

Oops. What I meant to write is that your 1/250 doesn't affect the flash.
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RSL
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2014, 08:24:14 AM »
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Trust me : Even with i-TTL if your flash doesn't produce the f stop you need ::  there's just  no substitute for real key light you need to be professional. Tried the E-TTL of the Canon -- seemed to over fill ??  Wish the Canon "camera would figure it out more accurately than " I can ...

The Nikon always had a better flash system .. :-)   Glad you are getting good results -- without all the buttons I have to think about for tomorrows job ..( hope it's overcast)

Does the Canon have flash exposure compensation? On the D3 and D800 if for some reason I'm getting too much fill, all I have to do is go to flash exposure comp and dial it down a bit. It's then going to stay at that relative level as I move in or out. Works with a multiple off-camera light setup too. Two other beautiful features on the Nikon -- maybe on the current Canon but I don't know -- are (1) the ability to hold down a button to keep the flash(es) from firing when you want to test for ambient exposure, and (2) the ability to hold down another button and get the light(s) to do their pre-flash and the camera to hold the result. Then you can make the flash shot without a pre-flash. It's a big help when you're shooting a portrait, especially if the person you're shooting is a fast blinker who blinks so fast on the pre-flash that the blink is partially caught in the actual exposure.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 10:41:52 AM »
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Does the Canon have flash exposure compensation? On the D3 and D800 if for some reason I'm getting too much fill, all I have to do is go to flash exposure comp and dial it down a bit. It's then going to stay at that relative level as I move in or out. Works with a multiple off-camera light setup too. Two other beautiful features on the Nikon -- maybe on the current Canon but I don't know -- are (1) the ability to hold down a button to keep the flash(es) from firing when you want to test for ambient exposure, and (2) the ability to hold down another button and get the light(s) to do their pre-flash and the camera to hold the result. Then you can make the flash shot without a pre-flash. It's a big help when you're shooting a portrait, especially if the person you're shooting is a fast blinker who blinks so fast on the pre-flash that the blink is partially caught in the actual exposure.

I went into a rather long winded response about this.. but I'll spare yo.u.. Smiley and just recommend you go by Quantums site and read the features on their systems and see what more power and control will do for you.  (more than you can imagine)  And, going from Canon to Nikon only requires changing control modules.   Same learning curve for the most part.   Check them out and remember to compare the prices over many years with inexpensive upgrades that bring you to their latest revisions so you never have to replace gears, you just upgrade it.  Batteries too.  I really love their systems.  More, they're into nice big dials to adjust and not button pushes and LCD readoutso and more button pushes.. Need less fill, turn that big dial to the minus, more to the plus.  Works the same way for  flash output depending on the mode you're in.  And they actually have a flash limiter where you can tell it to give yo the right exposure on a subject say 10-12 feet out, but not past 12.. brilliant.
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cjogo
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2014, 12:49:55 PM »
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Oops. What I meant to write is that your 1/250 doesn't affect the flash.

The shutter sync speed is one the first things I look for in a camera body .. We were all spoiled with leaf shutter lenses -- 1/500 ~!

It affects the overall exposure  >  the max power output of flash has to match your ambient exposure settings.


IE your exposure is ISO 100  ~ 1/250 ~ F8   ---  your Nkn/CN flash can almost carry that F8 light you need >  for the balanced light for your subjects @ maybe 8+ft . ( Norman & Quantum are about 1 stop more light)   You change that shutter speed to 125 /11 -- no way your flash will have enough power ..  Your subjects are now underexposed by at least a stop or more  -- past 8-10 ft.

That's why we could use a SB26 on top my leaf shutter Hassy / RZ   -- use 50 ASA film and now that exposure is 1/500 at 5.6/8.0 >   now a Nikon/similar flash could be substituted for the monster Norman setup @ your weddings.  

So ::  the shutter speed and film speed have to equal your output of your flash...
.

Lucky today is somewhat overcast -- so bounce or fill all day ---way easy day for this wedding. Still use a hand meter for every setup... So little post work  ~ if you have your pre work correct :-) 


 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 01:19:14 PM by cjogo » Logged
cjogo
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2014, 12:56:00 PM »
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I tried a few with EttL today --seems to over flash somewhat -- tried the auto ETTL in sunlight --- had to go to full 1/1 manual > needed F 8 power.... will do some more test ..thanks
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 08:24:55 PM by cjogo » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 05:21:53 AM »
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If it's over-flashing use flash exposure compensation and dial it down a third of a stop. I'm assuming Canon has flash exposure comp. Can't imagine it hasn't.
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