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 Post subject: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
Friend of mine keeps telling me to go this route, I only have a Rebel T4i but like shooting portraits. So do I have many decent options (not too expensive) and would it be worth it to me, considering my camera?


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 817
Location: United Kingdom
When I use a flash, I much prefer an external one because it offers a lot more flexibility and range.

Depending on the lighting effect you want, an external flash could also come in handy for portraiture as a second flash, triggered by your camera's integrated flash.

Yongnuo does flashes that are very reasonably priced and offer a lot of bang for your buck, including features such as TTL metering.

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DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:22 pm
Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
Step1) Get a flash if you don't already have one. (430ex, 580ex or similar)
Step2) Get a off camera shoe cord.
Step3) Learn and enjoy.

An off camera shoe cord is cheaper than a trigger and will allow you to explore moving your flash off camera easily.
While triggers can be nice, and I recently started the learning process with some pocketwizards, the shoe cord has all the functionality of having your flash on your camera without having to worry about extra batteries for a trigger.
If you find yourself really enjoying it, then it might be time to invest in triggers.

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Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
Cpl things I still don't get ..

Looking into this a little more, I saw a E TTL cable recommended aswell, but why would I wanna buy a cord if my new speed light can be triggered by me pop-up flash? Gotta be something here I'm not understanding..


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 817
Location: United Kingdom
viciouschris wrote:
Gotta be something here I'm not understanding..


Indeed. You can trigger some external flashes with the camera's built in flash (or another external flash) but you have no way of doing metering on the external flash with it being physically separate from the camera so you have to know the setting to apply to your external flash or play by trial and error. The cable facilitates this metering so the external flash's settings will change based on the metering read by the camera.

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DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
Okay, slowly starting to get it. Confusing, b/c when I looked at triggers I didnt see a good definition of TTL.

But as I see it now; I could go with a 'cord' which cost about $79 .. or a low end Yongnuo TTL trigger (yn622c) for just a cpl collars more.

Are there some disadvantages here that I dont see?


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
TTL means Through The Lens metering. This system tries to determine how much light you need based upon what your camera sees through the lens it is using, rather than an external source.

And do not get the Canon OC-E3. I had an interesting experience with one.
After the unfortunate experience with the canon brand, I went with an off brand cord and have been a lot happier with it. Stick to around $20 and you should get a cord that is at least as good as the Canon version.

Not too long after this incident, I got a macro lens. One of the reasons I went with a Sigma lens was due to the poor customer experience with the Canon cord.
While I still like Canon's products as a whole, I am not nearly as loyal of a customer as I once was.

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Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 894
Location: SE Texas
My Canon OC-E3 experienced the same failure as described by Bleudragon. I do believe this is a design weakness of the OC-E3. I bought one labeled OCF, through Syl Arena's site; it is his family's garage industry. The chief advantage of a cord, rather than optical wireless, is that there is no need for line-of-sight arrangement of the flash units, and unlike radio triggers, no chance of other electronic devices interfering with the signal.

When using optical wireless, and one places a flashgun inside a light modifier, or behind subject, line-of-sight is lost, and while there may be one or more surfaces that can reflect light back and forth between the flash units, enabling communication by the coded signals, this is less sure than either radio or TTL cord.

Also, and this is a big one, if your camera supports the ability to control a hot-shoe-mounted Speedlite using the camera's menu and LCD, that capability is maintained when a proper E-TTL cord is used. Not all TTL cords are E-TTL cords. The OCF cord is an E-TTL cord. ("E" refers to "evaluative," which means full compatibility with Canon's Speedlite system.)

I believe you can now order OCF cords through Amazon, which, if accessed through the Support link here on Cameralabs, will benefit Cameralabs financially.

Edited to add: Thanks to Bluedragon, for advising me of an error in my above reply. I had typed that the "E" in E-TTL was for "electronic," when it actually is for "evaluative." Of course, the instant I saw his PM, I realized he was correct. I had remembered incorrectly. :oops:

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Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


Last edited by RexGig on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:22 pm
Posts: 498
Location: 1 AU from the nearest star
If you want a brief read on the metering systems for flashes, this wikipedia article will work.

If you want to go all out and learn about flash photography, then Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites by Syl Arena is a good read.
Though I will give credit to RexGig for recommending this book originally.


RexGig wrote:
My Canon OC-E3 experienced the same failure

Nice to know I am not the only one. What makes this even more disappointing is the official Canon version is the most expensive.
It might be argued they did this on purpose in order to reduce impact damage if you hit the wall with your flash. If this is the case, they succeeded too well as a light breeze might cause the thing to fall apart.

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Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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 Post subject: Re: Off-camera Flash?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:10 am
Posts: 419
Location: Denver, CO
viciouschris wrote:
why would I wanna buy a cord if my new speed light can be triggered by me pop-up flash?


Couple of other reasons here. Your pop up flash will quickly heat up and the system will greatly reduce how frequently you can take shots. Where as with a 580EX in master firing from a cord, you can shoot longer and more frequently before tht becomes a problem. And second, odds you are modifying your off camera flashes with umbrellas or soft boxes. So the light hitting your subjects eyes is diffused and doesn't bother them much at all. With the pop up flash, they are getting hit with annoying hard flash. You can set the pop up to not contribute to exposure, but you still hit your subject with harsh annoying direct flash in their eyes.

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Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 IS, Σ30/1.4, 50/1.8, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 IS, 85/1.8, 580ex II, 430EX II, 270EX II.


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