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First Flash

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Distraction
30 Oct 2013 - 9:54 AM

What would you recommend for first flash for a newbie?
With weather increasingly changing for the worse I can't rely on natural light anymore and I could really do with extra light for my outdoor portraiture.
Where do I start? It's all so complicated.. Flashes, triggers, slave modes- I'm stepping into the complete unknown...
Could anyone please shed some light?

Many thanks in advance.

(I shoot with canon 20D and canon 7D)

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30 Oct 2013 - 9:54 AM

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indemnity
indemnity  5328 forum posts
30 Oct 2013 - 11:02 AM

Try reflectors first, and up the iso, or look at strobist website, for help on speedlights.

Or go down the battery/mains powered studio head route.

mikehit
mikehit  46189 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2013 - 12:01 PM

I would suggest the Yongnuo range as a very good compromise of cost and quality (50 for something akin to the Canon 580EXII) - if you then want the more specialist options offered by Canon's own models the Youngnuo will still make an excellent back up or slave.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/YONGNUO-Function-Wireless-Speedlite-Flashgun/dp/B00CJRB2...

Wireless triggers are useful if you are using flash mounted off the hotshoe - if it is on a bracket then you can use a cord to connect it. For portraits there are a heap of 'flash modifiers' ranging from filters to gels and softboxes.

It is very easy to get carried away with all the gizmos so I would say take it easy. This book is an excellent introduction IMO:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speedliters-Handbook-Learning-Craft-Speedlites/dp/032171...

RavenTepes
30 Oct 2013 - 5:04 PM

+1 for the Yongnuo.

I use the 568 EX and am extremely happy with it. Much of the time, I'll use a Fotodiox softbox modifier with mine with pleasing results.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314968 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2013 - 10:41 PM


Quote: What would you recommend for first flash for a newbie?

Anything that is fully dedicated to your system, Canon, Metz, etc.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014747 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 12:40 AM

go ETTL at first

I got a manual one - was a bloody nightmare

had no idea what to do with the thing - was either pitch black or blown out.... had no concept of Aperture/flash relationship in those days...

so let it do the thinking for you till you get the hang of it all

indemnity
indemnity  5328 forum posts
31 Oct 2013 - 12:47 AM


Quote: Go ETTL at first

I got a manual one - was a bloody nightmare

had no idea what to do with the thing - was either pitch black or blown out.... had no concept of Aperture/flash relationship in those days...

so let it do the thinking for you till you get the hang of it all

Takes minutes to work it out today with digital...you have try hard to **** it up.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314968 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 1:04 AM


Quote: Go ETTL at first

I got a manual one - was a bloody nightmare

had no idea what to do with the thing - was either pitch black or blown out.... had no concept of Aperture/flash relationship in those days...

so let it do the thinking for you till you get the hang of it all

[quote]

Its all so easy these days Smile

ETTL is the way to go, at least until you get you feet wet and want to explore further.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014747 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 8:49 PM


Quote: Go ETTL at first

I got a manual one - was a bloody nightmare

had no idea what to do with the thing - was either pitch black or blown out.... had no concept of Aperture/flash relationship in those days...

so let it do the thinking for you till you get the hang of it all

Takes minutes to work it out today with digital...you have try hard to **** it up.

utter rubbish

the very first time you use a flash on manual it's just trial and error - you get far more misses than hits.

we must assume that the OP doesn't have a flash meter or a tape measure to work out the correct flash power for the correct Aperture/distance/GN combination

after many years of manual flash I can usually guess a decent start power/distance/aperture/ISO combination without a light meter - but someone totally new....

I think you have to try very hard to get it right

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314968 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 9:01 PM


Quote: utter rubbish

I wouldn`t quite go that far, but why make it more difficult and less fun than it need be Smile

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014747 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 9:06 PM

with ETTL it is easy and fun

and it is hard to get it wrong

without it, it's hit and miss, and can be very frustrating.... take a step back, dark subject, step forward, blown out.... all that kinda thing.

to say it's hard to get manual flash wrong is, as stated, utter rubbish Wink

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314968 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 9:10 PM


Quote: without it, it's hit and miss, and can be very frustrating.... take a step back, dark subject, step forward, blown out.... all that kinda thing

For a lot of us that was the only way when we started, we then had to wait a week for the disappointing results Smile Smile

ETTL is the way to go for sure.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014747 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 9:16 PM

well back then you defo needed a light meter.

now you need a histogram Wink

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314968 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 10:19 PM

Yes a light meter for flash but saying that you still need one for flash, the histogram is a pretty useless as a flash meter Smile

arhb
arhb e2 Member 72150 forum postsarhb vcard United Kingdom67 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2013 - 11:47 PM

Going from ettl to manual on a flash, is like going from T/Av to manual - for some it's a bigger deal than it is for others.
My point is don't start using ettl because it is easy, without starting to explore 'manual' soon after.
If the OP really wants to learn about flash exposure, manual is still the best way to learn.

I often don't use a light meter for location work where I'm using 1 or 2 light sources, relying on the screen and the histogram for feedback,
but in-studio I always use one for the initial set-up, in the knowledge that the individual lights will still need tweaking until I get the overall look I'm after.

Start with 1 flash, 1 trigger/receiver, a light stand and a reflective brolly to spread the light, and take it from there.

Last Modified By arhb at 31 Oct 2013 - 11:50 PM

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