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Photo Accessories (Lenses, Tripods, Flash etc) This is for all those "extra's" we all want to improve our photography. Lenses, Tripods, Flashguns, Lightmeters, Filters and the like. If it fits on a camera, or helps take better pictures then this is where it belongs.

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Old 21-12-2012, 13:12   #1
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Flashguns .... what do I look for .... please help :)

Hiya,

I have received a bit of money for Christmas and am thinking of putting it towards purchasing a flashgun for my Canon 5D (because it is the only camera I have that doesn't have a built in flash). The other cameras I have are EOS 30D, EOS 400D and EOS 1000D (all having built-in flash, which I do tend to use).

I have had the Canon 5D for some months now and not used it much and would like to put it to more use in the New Year, but feel it is let down by the fact that it doesn't have flash.

One of the things I would like to try my hand at next year is a bit of portrait photography ... I think they refer to it as "strobist" photography ?

Having done some searching on t'internet I have got myself in a spin now, so thought it best to post a thread here in hope that some DD members may be able to point me in the right direction, please.

Any help or advice, in layman's terms (as I don't understand all the technical jargon I have read in my searches) would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Dawn
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Old 21-12-2012, 15:51   #2
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Whatever you end up getting, if the 5D supports it, get the wireless versions. I was cheap, and got the non-wireless versions of the FL36 and FL50 for my Oly kit, and kinda regret it - "if I could only put the flash just over here...damn it, I need the wireless version!"
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Old 21-12-2012, 17:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystyler View Post
Whatever you end up getting, if the 5D supports it, get the wireless versions. I was cheap, and got the non-wireless versions of the FL36 and FL50 for my Oly kit, and kinda regret it - "if I could only put the flash just over here...damn it, I need the wireless version!"
Hiya,

Thanks for the tip, I will bear that in mind.

A photographer friend has mentioned to me that I should also look at getting a Canon flash as he has read that some of the “Canon compatible” guns can cause damage to the circuits in a Canon, and I don't want that to happen. So I'm thinking of perhaps buying a Canon 430 EX II flashgun for the camera.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 21-12-2012, 20:40   #4
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Hi,
May I suggest you also look at an "off camera flash cable". This cable fits the camera and the flash gun and will let you move the flashgun away from the camera for better lighting. This coupled with a simple white card to reflect light into the shadows will, I think, give you better lighting than a flash fixed on the top of the camera.
The cables can be found on a well known aution site.

Best regards
John M
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Old 21-12-2012, 23:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall John View Post
Hi,
May I suggest you also look at an "off camera flash cable". This cable fits the camera and the flash gun and will let you move the flashgun away from the camera for better lighting. This coupled with a simple white card to reflect light into the shadows will, I think, give you better lighting than a flash fixed on the top of the camera.
The cables can be found on a well known aution site.

Best regards
John M
Hiya John,

Thank you for the great suggestion and advice. I'm so glad I posted this thread because these are great tips and things that are so important that I would have never thought of.

I am still looking around at various different flashguns and prices because I want to make the right choice. This first purchase of a flashgun is important to me as it will set the basis for future purchases I make as I add to my strobist setup.

So your tips are much appreciated and all factored into when I make a final choice.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 22-12-2012, 14:18   #6
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Hi Dawn,
My Son has the Nissin Di866 Pro which is totally amazing.
I would love this flash myself.
Here is the spec for you to see.

•Usable camera : CANON digital camera, NIKON digital camera
•Guide Number (ISO100) : 60m, 198ft. (105mm), 40m, 132ft. (35mm)
•Focal length Coverage : 24~105mm (18mm with wide angle diffuser)
•Power Source : 4 x AA battery
•Recycle Time : 0.1-5.5 sec. (Alkaline, NiMH)
•Number of Flashes : 150-1500 times
•Flash Duration : Manual mode 1/300 (Full Power) , TTL mode 1/300-1/30000 sec.
•Energy Saving : Auto power off Off, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60 mins
Stand-by mode 30 sec.
Display off Display screen switch off
•Color Temperature : 5600K
•Flash Power Control System : Full Auto E-TTL, E-TTL II (for Canon), i-TTL (for Nikon), Ev compensation adjustment on camera
TTL E-TTL, E-TTL II (for Canon), i-TTL (for Nikon), [Advanced] Ev compensation, Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Auto Aperture Flash F1.4-F16 (ISO100), 1/3 Ev steps, [Advanced] Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Manual Power Full-1/128, 1/3Ev steps, [Advanced] Manual zoom, Sub-flash allowed
Multi-flash Frequency-90Hz, 1-90 times, Power 1/8-1/128
•Wireless Remote flash Slave:
Slave Digital Slave / Film & Studio Slave, [Advanced] Sub-Flash Allowed
Wireless TTL Master / Remote, 4 Channels, 3 Groups (A, B, C), Modes: Off/ TTL/ Manual, TTL Flash Ratio Adjustable
•Ev Compensation on flash : -0.3 - +3.0, 1/3Ev steps
•My TTL setting : -0.3 - +3.0, 1/3Ev steps
•Bounce Function : Upward 90 degree, Left 90 degree, Right 180 degree
•Sub-flash: Manual Full - 1/8, 1Ev steps
•FE/FV Lock : [FEL] OR[*] Button for Canon, [AE-L] OR [AF-L] for Nikon
•Rear curtain sync. : Yes
•High speed sync. : Yes
•Red eye reduction mode for Nikon: Yes
•Slow sync. mode for Nikon: Yes
•Red eye reduction mode + Slow sync. mode for Nikon : Yes
•AF assist light distance : 0.7-10m
•Operation Control mode : Color Display (Auto Rotation)
•Firmware Upadate Terminal : USB
•X terminal : Yes
•External power pack socket : Nissin Power Pack PS-300, Canon original pack, Nikon original pack (except Nikon SD-9)
•Accessories : Soft Pouch, Flash Stand with Tripod screw
•Dimension : 74(W) x 139(H) x 113(D) mm / 2.91(W) x 5.47(H) x 4.45(D) inches
•Weight : 380gr. w/o battery

I can personally vouch for this flash as have used it on my camera myself.
All the functions which are detailed above including the wireless works a treat.
Hope this helps a bit.
Craig
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Old 22-12-2012, 19:56   #7
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Hiya Craig,

Wow, thank you for the recommendation and all the technical information too. Much appreciate the time and effort you have put into the reply.

Sounds like a nifty piece of kit and just what I am looking for. I have done some searching on the bay and will also check out some other suppliers for price comparison.

Hopefully by the new year I shall have a flashgun and be able to get cracking with taking my photography to another level. I have a few ideas in mind already for some projects.

Thanks again for the help and info.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 23-12-2012, 00:15   #8
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Dawn if you just want something to try you are welcome to borrow my 580ex2 and my much cheaper Sunpak PZ42x to try out.

My opinion would be try something cheap first and then go upscale, you can use the cheaper one as an off camera flash.

The PZ42x ost me £125 brand new.
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Old 23-12-2012, 14:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Chris H* View Post
Dawn if you just want something to try you are welcome to borrow my 580ex2 and my much cheaper Sunpak PZ42x to try out.

My opinion would be try something cheap first and then go upscale, you can use the cheaper one as an off camera flash.

The PZ42x ost me £125 brand new.
Hiya Chris,

Thank you for the kind offer, but to be honest I'd be a bit nervous about borrowing someone's kit for chance I did something wrong and broke it.

Much appreciate the advice and also products to consider. I have done some research on the net for both.

Canon have a cash back deal on at the moment and I have just received Canon You Connect email from them today about further additional £25 cash back if 2 Canon products are purchased during the special offer period.

As there are a few items I am looking for was thinking that it may be an idea to take advantage of this cash back deal they have going.

I'm still a bit confused around the 'master' vs 'slave' flash setup and how it works. I take it that the 'master' is the flash connected to the camera and 'slave' flash/es are the ones that are triggered by the master ???

Which then leads me to the question .... do the slave flashes have to be the same make/model as the 'master'? i.e., if I got the Canon Speedlite 430EX II would other flashes be able to be used as slaves, i.e, for example the Sunpak PZ42x or the Nissin Di866 (as recommended by Craigs)?

OMG I can't believe how much research this is taking .... but I want to try as best as possible to make the right choice to start otherwise if I get it wrong I may just be put off the whole flash/strobist idea.

If you can help with any advice regards the above questions, it would be much appreciated. Alternatively, maybe I can give you a call some time to chat about this flash issue, it may make more sense to me then if you can explain it to me.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 24-12-2012, 10:55   #10
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I'm still a bit confused around the 'master' vs 'slave' flash setup and how it works. I take it that the 'master' is the flash connected to the camera and 'slave' flash/es are the ones that are triggered by the master ???

correct.

Ive the 430ex version 1.
It can be used as a slave, not master. dont know about the mk2.

Ive gone through this process myself and have all sorts of gear, some of which was a waste of money.
I've got to run out to the national portrait gallery now but will write back in more detail so you can perhaps pick up from my experiences.
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Old 24-12-2012, 11:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Gee* View Post
Ive gone through this process myself and have all sorts of gear, some of which was a waste of money.
I've got to run out to the national portrait gallery now but will write back in more detail so you can perhaps pick up from my experiences.
Thank you so much for the reply. From what I read, and to my understanding the updated Canon 430 EX II flashgun can be used as a 'master' flash, but then as I'm still learning, and the techno jargon baffles me ... I may have misunderstood what I read lol.

By doing all the research and asking all the question (even if some sound silly) it all forms part of my wanting to get it as right as possible when I start. So any help or advice you have from your own learning experience which you can impart to me would be most appreciated, thank you.

Enjoy the National Portrait Gallery and best wishes to you and your family for the Christmas season.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 24-12-2012, 22:27   #12
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hi, cheers. It was fun.
Festive greeting to you too.

Flashes...
Ok, this is going to be a balance over what you want to do and the budget you have for it.
Isn't it always!

1 - on camera flash
directly fired without modifier tends to look crap. If at all possible you bounce the flash instead off a nearby wall or ceiling.

A) diffuser
Add a modifier like a fong light sphere to diffuse the light and make the images less harsh when light is directed at subject or wall.

B) black flag
Buy a piece of foam to act as a black flag in helping control the light spill when directing your flash head for bouncing off walls. The larger the light source, the more diffused the light and softer the persons face.

A and b are useful for quick portraiture sessions where you don't have time to set anything up and are working alone. E.g. Weddings.
Bounce the flash with the diffuser wherever applicable

2- off camera flash.
Much better results this way, but more complicated & time consuming OR expensive

In all of the following options look to purchase umbrellas and or soft boxes. But also stands and clamps for holding flash guns and brollies in place.

A) wired ttl
Cheap and the ttl does the lighting calculations for you.
I bought a wired ttl flash cord. Extra long.
It's never long enough and you very easily accidentally snag it whilst moving your subject and knock your camera and or flash to the floor.
I don't like it. Too easy to be a very costly mistake!

b) wireless non-ttl
Relatively cheap, but you have to use trial and error and experience, or buy a flash meter.
I bought rf602's some years back
If you are photographing still life, it allows you to get the camera and flash separate and you can take your time setting things up and making adjustments. But people tend not to want to sit still for several minutes whilst you set up each shot.

C) wireless ttl
Complete control, flexibility and immediacy, but at a price.
Light based triggers and receivers are limited in distance, positioning and daylight, whereas rf based units are more reliable.
For that reason I purchased pixel kings rather than st-e2.

Ok so that's your basic options outlined.
Next you need to decide what type of portraiture you want to do so you can work out how many lights you need.

Example
1 main light for subject
1 fill light
1 background light for separation & depth
1 hair light.

You can replace fill light with a bounce card.
You can skip the hair/rim light
So you could drop down to a 2 light minimum.


So as you can see there are a number of technological options that can be chosen depending on what you want to do and your budget.

My path and reasons are as follows:
1- 1x430 ex
Why? it's a sound starting point to the world of flash. Very flexible. Fast.
Ttl. It will always work being canon on canon unlike some 3rd party flashes. 
Problem. Shooting at weddings uses up the batteries fast and it gets hot. The 580ex can take external battery packs.

Buy a diffuser and flag to go with it for about another £30


purchase a separate wireless non ttl system so you can get off camera flash.
E.g.  rf602 with 3 receivers (£42) and 3 cheap flashes like the  yn460 (£30 each)
Why?
Non ttl will allow you to learn about light and how to control it.
I don't put these flashes onto the camera. Although models like the 560 may be ok to go on the camera and have some ttl functionality and are still only about £50-60
But you get what you pay for and are not sturdy compared to the canon.

Buy  a stand for each light and umbrellas.

3- if you have the money, skip non ttl in 2 and go for pixel king transmitters for ttl. Price is about £110 for I trigger & 1 receiver followed by about £70 per receiver.

After this you enter the world of studio lighting which I much prefer!
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Old 24-12-2012, 22:48   #13
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Wow *Gee* thanks for the detailed expo of flash and lighting tips. Excellent read and one I am going to read over again a few times to grasp all the concepts because there is so much to go at there.

I can't express enough how much I appreciate the time you have put into the reply and all the helpful information (on Christmas Eve too). You really know your stuff when it comes to this subject and your knowledge and experience is priceless. You are a real credit to DD.

I may have some more questions once I have digested the information you provided, if you are okay with that.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas, hope Santa brings you what you wished for

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 26-12-2012, 01:36   #14
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Happy to help.

Also worth noting is that the degrees of rotation a flash head can spin around by one way and the other can be limiting in some instances.
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Old 26-12-2012, 16:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Gee* View Post
Happy to help.

Also worth noting is that the degrees of rotation a flash head can spin around by one way and the other can be limiting in some instances.
Hiya *Gee*, thanks .... I had noticed, in my online searches, that some of the flash heads can rotate, so I will factor that into my final decision too.

Last night I was at a Christmas dinner ... the room had extremely low lighting and I wish I had my flash unit then ... but heyho I actually learned a lot about the actual camera controls and in a way think I pushed the camera settings to the max in order to get some shots without blinding folk with the flash lol (although at times I had to use the pop-up flash, but reduced the flash compensation, which seemed to help a lot).

Hope to have made my mind up about which flash & accessories to buy and have them in hand by first two weeks of the new year.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 30-12-2012, 00:24   #16
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the thing that has not been mentioned is light quality and consistency
what i mean by this is the cheaper flash guns can give varying results on each flash which can look a bit odd on the final image which can effect white balance from one image to another and exposure can be affected from one image to another
the more expensive ( ie canon ) flash guns tend not to suffer as much but are not totally immune from the same symptoms

my advice is go for the best you can afford buying a cheaper 3rd party brand will be good value for money now but you will replace/upgrade it in the future and it will probably be replaced with a canon variation

ETTL does work most of the time but it can also get it very wrong and you tend to be altering the flash output anyway but it's better to have ETTL than not
high speed sync is a must if you want to use flash outdoors but keep in mind the higher the guide number the better for this because of how high speed sync works it reduces the flash power significantly
after all your competing with the sun

well thats my thoughts on the subject maybe some of it is food for thought
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Old 30-12-2012, 12:10   #17
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I'm in this arena right now. I have the smallest nikon off camera flash right now. the SB400 but I am going to be doing some events soon and getting half the money up front and buying a flash so I have been doing some research.

If you have the cash, get the best you can afford,being that my sb400 doesn't have a rotating head, when bouncing flash, it is no good really shooting vertical as it shoots off to the left. Be sure to get something that rotates 180° I think the 1st one should be able to be master and slave as well. Also invest in a little transmitter and reciever. (pretty cheap)

My thoughts are if your going to invest, get the most versatile first so you are not limited. I wish I would have saved and did that instead of just dumping the quick $100 bucks back then, because I really am limited. it's a nice little flash for quick things but really doesn't have much versatility at all.
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Old 30-12-2012, 15:55   #18
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Hiya

Thanks guys for the further tips and past experiences updates.

I have found some very useful readings on the net about flash units etc, although my brain is totally frazzled now after so much reading.

I'm tending more towards buying a Canon 580EX now (if I can find one at a reasonable price) so that I can buy one or two other flash units to use as slaves.

My problem is that once I set out on a mission, I tend to go full hog and want to get all the trimmings too, so I have also been looking at stands, triggers/receivers, diffuses, umbrellas, soft boxes etc.

I find I keep having to rein myself in to only getting what I need in my early stages of learning about flash, otherwise I could go mad.

Time is marching on though, and I would like to have made a decision by the end of next week, for at least the master flash unit so that I can use it to experiment before taking some photos of my son on his birthday which is at the end of January.

All the info provided here is so helpful, thank you to all for your contributions. If there are any more to add, please do as every bit of information and advice helps me with my decision. And I am sure it will be of great benefit to others too along the way.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 30-12-2012, 18:58   #19
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580ex2
Yuongnou rf602 triggers
430ex2 or pz42x as secondary flash

2 x Chinese copy of Gary Phong light spheres and loads of watching videos on YouTube.
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Old 30-12-2012, 19:46   #20
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Quote:
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580ex2
Yuongnou rf602 triggers
430ex2 or pz42x as secondary flash

2 x Chinese copy of Gary Phong light spheres and loads of watching videos on YouTube.

Hiya Chris,

Thanks for that, is the very near the combination I seem to be developing as I write down all the pro's and con's about various option.

I notice that the Canon 580EX II has been discontinued and is really only available on fleebay now. There is a 2nd hand one that I am thinking of putting in a best offer for and going to see if they accept an offer of £280 (do you think that is reasonable?).

I'm also looking at either of the following as slave flash:
Canon Speedlite 420EX Shoe Mount Flash (@ £85)
CANON 430EX DIGITAL SPEED LIGHT (@ £144.99)
Sigma DG 500 Super (@44.99)
Yongnuo YN-560 (approx £40 - £45)
YN460 (@ £30 each)

or a cheap option:
TT520 GODOX Shoe Mount Flash Speedlite (£23)

There are so many triggers/receivers but I've been looking at:
Pixel King wireless transmitter + 1 x receiver for £110 (additional receivers £70) or
Pixel King E-TTL II wireless flash trigger + receiver for Canon 580EX II (£94)

Then there are stands and soft box etc, which are many varieties to chose from, but then that is another matter and because they don't cost as much as the main pieces of kit I need I can take a bit more time looking for those.

It is the higher priced items that I want to get as right as possible for now.

What do you think of any of the items I have listed .... are there any I should totally write off the list?

Thanks for your help.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 31-12-2012, 03:55   #21
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Ok, now you know what tech options are out there, its time to take a step back and tell us what sort of portrait photography you want to try doing.

1- quick snap family shots that are better quality than a directly fired flash?
2 - hire a model and go out on location shoots?
3 - will you have a 3rd party to help hold lights when out on location shoots?
4 - indoor studio style portrait shots?
etc...

Depending on what you actually want to do, will determine which are the right tools for the job - and for the price.

For instance, you could go and blow your entire budget on a good flash and trigger and then not be able to produce the type of portraiture you want as you dont have enough lights, or a stand, or the right type of modifiers.

Conversely, you could buy lots of cheap lights and a non ttl flash system that that will require a considerable amount of set up time for each and every shot and therefore prevent you from doing anything like high quality family shots or weddings.
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Old 31-12-2012, 12:27   #22
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Update: First purchase for my lighting setup

Hiya,

I have taken the first step to acquiring my lighting setup and have purchased a Canon 580EX II as my starting flash.

There were a number of reasons that swayed me to this particular model of flash, despite it being a bit over my budget for a first flash. However, after carefully weighing up all the valuable information I had received and spending hours researching various flash units I thought it best to heed on the side of caution and buy a Canon flash as the hotshoe flash for my Canon cameras. That way I can be assured that there should be no technical issues as they should be compatible.

Also, the 580EX II has apparently been discontinued, and currently not available in the high street stores (nor as New online from well known suppliers). As I have read some very good reviews about this flash and also came highly recommended by fellow togs, I thought I'd seize the opportunity to get one before they become difficult to find.

Now onto the next stage .... Thanks *Gee* for your post and very valid point and food for thought.

Next items I need to look for are 'slave' flash units (which I'm not too concerned about if they are non-Canon as I won't be using these on the camera), I also need some transmitters + receivers, light stands and accessories.

Considering the points *Gee* made, I think I am going to start my journey to learning flash photography by taking small steps.

I will first off want to learn as much as I can about lighting and the impact it has in various settings and subjects.

My son will most probably be volunteered to be my main model (he doesn't know what he is in for when he returns from South Africa on Saturday lol). So I think point 1. family shots will be my first port of call.

I'd also like to get the feel for the flash by also applying it in a 'still life' setting too.

I then hope to progress onto taking photos of family and friends. I have a few friends who have asked me if I would do some photos of them, so I should not be short of models for this project.

Point 3. I would mainly have to do this single handed, unless my son agrees to help me when it comes holding reflectors etc. (something else I am looking at purchasing too). I think he would quite enjoy helping me as he is a bit of a budding photographer himself and he could learn about flash photography at the same time as moi.

Point 4. Indoor studio style photography is something I am aiming to achieve. Hopefully, come the summer of 2013, I will have converted my outside sheds into a studio, but that all depends on finances and what work is involved in doing the conversion.

So with all that in mind, (I think I have been thinking out loud here lol) .... I would like to start small and simple (nothing too technical or complicated) and take it from there and develop as I go along the learning curve.

I don't have an unlimited budget, so I will have to be frugal with my spending as there are a number of items I need to buy, including a new lightweight tripod, macro extension tubes ... or lens (if I can find a reasonable priced one) and other and sundries.

I'm quite excited about this new venture into a different style of photography that I am used to. It is a big step out of my comfort zone, but bring it on I am ready to learn more now.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread. All the information is a great help and I think it will be a good reference for others now and in the future.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 02-01-2013, 18:56   #23
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hi.
Congrats on your purchase.
Based on what you have said I'd do the following
1 - 580 ex
buy modifiers for it like knock off fong lightspheres and black foam.
This will do you for cases where you are lighting quickly and on the move.

2 - 3 cheap flash units for indoors use.
+ 4 receivers + 1 trigger of a similar ilk to the rf602
if budget can stretch...
+ a cheap flash meter. sekonic l-308s if new or something second hand.
+ 2 stands with adapters for holding flashes
+ brollies
something like this perhaps...
http://www.jessops.com/online.store/...TKtAodDWAAg Q

3 - a tin of mid level grey paint and some coloured gels for your lights.
Use it on a spare wall of your house and with the gels you can have your background light paint it any colour you like.
e.g. you can do this sort of thing...


Absolut Pears by *Kats Photography*, on Flickr

By the looks of it, the image above was a 3 light setup.
1 studio head with softbox on either side of the bottle and a third head with a coloured gel pointed towards the background wall.
Mirror propped up on a couple of chairs.
Take the shot, tweak the levels and add a vignette in pp.

Anyway, that's just my suggestions based on my interpretation of what you've said. Hope it helps.
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Old 02-01-2013, 21:41   #24
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Hiya *Gee*

Thanks for the information, example (I'll overlook that it is of an alcoholic drink ) and the recommendations/suggestions of what can be achieved with the equipment you listed.

BTW I have, since my last update, bought myself some further equipment:

Canon 430EX II Flash non Canon diffuser

Canon off shoe cord 2

Calumet HDBackground support with half roll brown paper

Lastolite 5 in 1 circular reflector 39" (with stand and boom arm)

So with that I may need to buy one more flash (perhaps a cheaper model although I have been looking at SIGMA EF-500 DG ST, Sigma EF-610 DG ST)

You suggested in your post: 4 triggers + 1 receiver (I was of the understanding that I will need 1 trigger + 1 receiver for each flash or have I misunderstood?)

I have been looking at flash meters, found this one minolta auto meter 3 light meter ambiant / flash meter that I was considering bidding on, but I will look some more before I make a decision.

I have a couple of old tripods, that I don't really use as they are very basic and was wondering if these would be any good to use as stands. Alternatively, there are a few that I have seen online.

I've seen some sets of brollies/soft boxes which I'm adding to my list.

Years ago I was given a set of Lee Filter samples (there are a couple of hundred of them) and was thinking of modifying them to use on the flash unis. I have seen a flash filter kit where the filters slide into a plastic sleeve and fits over the flash head with Velcro.

I'm glad you used this example using a mirror for reflection because I was about to give a mirror away that I didn't have use for anymore, but on second thought I am going to keep it now for this exact purpose

Wow, I think things are starting to come together now. Within the next couple of days (certainly by the weekend) I will have some flash units and will be starting to learn this new technique. With any luck I will be able to post some photos by next week.

The amount of learning I have achieved through this thread alone is amazing. All the advice, recommendations, tips etc are all much appreciated. Keep them coming, if you have more.

Off to find more goodies now ....

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:35   #25
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lol, what a numpty! yes you are right its receivers you need multiples of.
I've corrected above should anyone not read any correction I post here.

A light meter will obviously be more useful than a simple flash meter, so by all means, go for the upgrade in functionality.

If you have already got stands then there are adapters you can get to hold flash guns and a brolly.

Its useful to have a mix of softboxes and umbrellas. I prefer the light from a studio head in a softbox. Different brands of umbrellas have different qualities to light, as do different colours of umbrellas and whether you shoot through or bounce.
With regards to the gels/filters, I use them on a studio head for background lighting. I've attached to the reflector a couple of bits of velcro, and the corresponding velcro dots on the filters I commonly use.
quick, cheap and simple.
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Old 07-01-2013, 00:28   #26
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Hiya *Gee*,

Thanks for the clarification and further information, much appreciated.

I have now got a nice little flash setup forming, of which I have received the items this weekend.

I've even had a go at using the two flash units, the Canon 580EX II on camera (using the Canon 5D) set to ETTL II mode and the Canon 430 EX II as a slave.

I figured out (by using the manual) how to set the 580 to Master and 430 to Slave. However, I now have to practice how best to position the slave.

I've taken a few photos over the weekend (my son arrived home from his jollies to South Africa yesterday wooohooo!) so I got to practice using the flash. And wow what a difference (even though I'm still a novice).

The chap I bought some of the items from kindly gave me a brollie for free. It is a reflective one, I think, because it is silver on the inside and black on the outside.

I have also found an old flash which I want to use as a slave flash ... but apparently I have to buy a sensor mount for it as it is a Cobra 480AF Pentax (and I will have to set the flash manually ... but that will help with the learning I guess).

I'm just waiting for the light meter to arrive .... I managed to buy one as recommended, the Sekonic L-308S which should hopefully be with me on Friday.

I still have to buy transmitter/receivers ... but with my current setup with the 580EX II and 430EX II being able to communicate with each other it works okay for me now (unless I'm doing this the wrong way .... please advise).

I've got 3 old tripods that I am going to use as light stands. Thought I might as well make use of those and see how it goes. Apparently I can get flash and brollie attachments etc for them.

The Calumet roll of paper that I got is sooooo long, so I am going to cut that into smaller lengths for practice purposes. I'm going to find up some old cloth etc in the loft to use as backdrops too. Trying to be thrifty and resourceful here

I have a set of Lee Filters ... 303 gels for the flash (which was given to me over 2 years ago and I never even knew what they were for lol), not that I will ever need that many or colour variations, but some will become my favs I'm sure.

I'll post some of the first photos I have taken using the flash in the appropriate forum sections. I don't want to clutter up this informative thread with a host of pics.

Wow I can't believe how much I have learned over the past couple of weeks here, and with all the fantastic help and information from you guys and gals here at DD I am well on my way to achieving one of my goals this year, i.e., learning to use flash in photography

So a huge thank you for all the input into this thread and I hope it is useful to others too.

Job well done!

And please ... if there is still more tips, trick and advice, please post here.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:23   #27
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Flash Photo resource

Hi crystal_singer,

You've probably already found this resource, but http://www.strobist.blogspot.com is an unbelievably great resource for all things flash. He has tutorials, behind the scenes advice, and lots more. I think it might take a few lifetimes to absorb just a bit of what he has online.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:51   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keagriver View Post
Hi crystal_singer,

You've probably already found this resource, but http://www.strobist.blogspot.com is an unbelievably great resource for all things flash. He has tutorials, behind the scenes advice, and lots more. I think it might take a few lifetimes to absorb just a bit of what he has online.

Good luck!
Hiya Dave,

Thank you so much for the link. I hadn't come across that one yet so I'll be sure to spend some time looking through. I've had a quick peek and there is a host of valuable information there.

I now have 2 x flash units (Canon 430EX II & 580EX II) and I'm still learning how they work and the best uses for them. It all takes time and practice, but I will get there eventually by reading up on various lighting techniques.

Thanks again for your valuable input to this thread.

Cheers

Dawn
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Old 03-03-2013, 16:11   #29
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Did you figure those triggers out Dawn ?

I'm hoping my shoulder is well enough to start doing some photography with my tiny olympus this week, just some indoor stuff with a light tent and various lighting.
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Old 04-03-2013, 17:27   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Chris H* View Post
Did you figure those triggers out Dawn ?

I'm hoping my shoulder is well enough to start doing some photography with my tiny olympus this week, just some indoor stuff with a light tent and various lighting.
Hiya Chris,

Thanks again for the triggers.

I managed to figure out how to get the 430 EX II to communicate with the trigger, but the 580 EX II doesn't seem to want to play ball (think it may be that they are not compatible, or I am doing something wrong with the settings).

Hope your shoulder is improving and you manage to get back to some photography soon.

Cheers

Dawn
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