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 Post subject: External flash guns
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:26 pm 
I'm trying to find out more about the use of external flash guns and what there advantage over built in flashes are?

*is the only main advantage of an external flash gun just added power?
*what situations are external flash guns more useful than built in?
*how often do you use them in wireless mode at a different position and how useful is this?
*can flashes be used as an alternative to strobe lights and softboxes?

Anything to look for or watch out for with a flash? any more information would be great full :)

thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:55 pm 
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1 - nope. You can also direct the light e.g. ceiling bounce
2 - any time you need flash that isn't direct, which to me is most of the time as direct flash sucks.
3 - personally never but it isn't needed in my current style of shooting.
4 - pass

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:32 pm 
popo wrote:
1 - nope. You can also direct the light e.g. ceiling bounce


& Don't forget bounce to the Wall too!

Also agree with Popo that Direct Flash are also Sucks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:19 pm 
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Afaik softboxes are just big flash diffusers ;)

You might like the wireless flash option, I've seen photographers hold the cam in one hand, and the flash in their other hand, to prevent red eyes and flat light :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:33 pm 
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I think the biggest thing that external flashguns bring to the table is their flexibility. Yes, you basically get a bigger, more powerful on-camera flash if you want to use it like that. But they are more than just an on-camera flash, in the context of built-in flashes - they can be bounced, diffused, or reflected much more readily, and that already helps get rid of the deer-in-headlights look that built-in flashes give.

Then if you get into either wired or wireless off-camera flash with flashguns, you get their small size and portability, plus the ability to get creative with lighting setups. The creativity that they allow is really one thing that I know I'm personally seeking when I go ahead and buy my first flash (I'm currently borrowing a Canon Speedlite 420EX).

Any of the mid-tier camera-brand flashes give you manual control over flash output as well, which again allows you to increase your creativity that would normally be limited if using just a built-in flash.

Perhaps think of it this way: You bought a DSLR system to avoid the restrictions of depth of field, magnification, or reach of compact or bridge cameras. Why should you be stuck to the same lighting abilities of those same cameras you moved up from, if you are using a more advanced system?

If you really want to see what off-camera flash can do, you really need to read the Strobist blog. I used to be really averse to flash photography, but that was chalked up to bad experiences with compacts and red-eye/deer-in-headlights/etc.

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 Post subject: Re: External flash guns
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:28 pm 
tobywuk wrote:
*is the only main advantage of an external flash gun just added power?


No.

tobywuk wrote:
*what situations are external flash guns more useful than built in?


Any - with the caveat that you understand your lighting control. The basic pop-up flash isn't much use other than basic fill lighting.

tobywuk wrote:
*how often do you use them in wireless mode at a different position and how useful is this?


90% of the time in wireless configurations, the other 10% on an off-camera bracket. Rarely is a strobe mounted on my camera hotshoe unless used as a CLS master. You need that flash off-camera axis.

tobywuk wrote:
*can flashes be used as an alternative to strobe lights and softboxes?


You are confused here and need to read up on your lighting. The above mentioned blog in the previous post is quite often quoted as a starting point. Strobe lights = external flashguns. Softboxes are a form of light modifier and isn't a light source in itself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:17 am 
Thanks for the info. I have been reading the strobist website, very usefull.

When i say strobe lights I mean the big lights that attach to powerpacks and stay on constantly, like the big lights they have at studio's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:45 am 
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tobywuk wrote:
Thanks for the info. I have been reading the strobist website, very usefull.

When i say strobe lights I mean the big lights that attach to powerpacks and stay on constantly, like the big lights they have at studio's.


That would be a hotlight :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:37 pm 
Citruspers wrote:
tobywuk wrote:
Thanks for the info. I have been reading the strobist website, very usefull.

When i say strobe lights I mean the big lights that attach to powerpacks and stay on constantly, like the big lights they have at studio's.


That would be a hotlight :)


Or technically tungsten lighting (aka continuous lighting).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:46 am 
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Photoj wrote:
Citruspers wrote:
tobywuk wrote:
Thanks for the info. I have been reading the strobist website, very usefull.

When i say strobe lights I mean the big lights that attach to powerpacks and stay on constantly, like the big lights they have at studio's.


That would be a hotlight :)


Or technically tungsten lighting (aka continuous lighting).


I thought tungsten was the material used in the light (like halogen gas etc.)?

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