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Author Topic: Stupic flash questions  (Read 1711 times)

Greg D

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Stupic flash questions
« on: October 22, 2009, 11:16:21 AM »

Edit - Should be stupid, not stupic, but hey, when you're stupid....

Okay, what I know about using flash is this:  You push the button that pops up your flash, and you take the picture....
Seriously, I've been shooting for awhile (mostly landscape stuff not needing flash), but I'm beginning to think there are some situations where it would be beneficial (such as keeping the shutter speed up on shots at dusk).  I've read the "Lighting 101" stuff on the Strobist website - the strong recommendation there is to avoid ETTL and get a manual flash.  But I think most of the uses I'd have for flash would more often be on-camera rather than off, and if the camera gives you flash exposure compensation control over external flashes, can't you basically accomplish the same thing you can with a manual power control flash?  One big hesitation in getting a manual is that all I've found are fairly bulky and heavy, and there seem to be some ETTL flashes (like Canon 270ex) that are tiny but probably powerful enough for my purposes.  But due to my ignorance on this topic I don't really know what I may be missing here.........
Any advice appreciated.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 01:36:16 PM by grog13 »

Jonathan Wienke

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Stupic flash questions
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 07:40:47 PM »

Manual and auto both have their place. I like to manually control exposure to get the highlights within 1/3 stop of clipping. But that takes a little bit of time to get dialed in perfectly exactly. When shooting a concert where the stage lighting is flashing on and off with the music and overall light levels are changing 2 stops or more in a second or less, manual simply isn't practical. Aperture priority with appropriate exposure compensation is the only way to fly unless you want to miss most opportunities because you haven't finished dialing in the new settings after the light changed.

The same principle applies to flash. In a studio situation where everything is under your complete control, you can dial in the flash settings manually and then shoot hundreds of frames if the distances between lights and subject don't change. But at a wedding reception where one second you're shooting something 3 feet away and 10 seconds later you need to capture something happening across the room, manual is not the best option. I recommend a 580EX; you can use full manual or ETTL, whichever the situation warrants.
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