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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:16 pm 
Hi people,

I'm really interested in starting to use flash on my photography. My camera does not have a built-in flash, so I'll have to buy an external unit. I'm rather unexperienced with flash photography, so I wanted to hear suggestions on the following.

- I want a flash mostly for two purposes: using it as fill-in light (taking a portrait when a beautiful landscape as a background, where the person is underexposed, for example) and macro photography.

- I want it to operate with Canon's E-TTL (suggestions here, can you live without this? It seems rather handy and simplifying to me).

- It should be able to be fired wirelessly (please suggest hardware that accomplished this).

I appreciate your input very much.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 3:39 pm
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For E-TTL it’s best to use one for the Canon family flash guns. I heard that Metz is another good option but I have no experience with it. For macros, if you don’t want to invest in a dedicated macro flash, you need a bracket that will place the flash beside your camera and not on top of it, so that you may get closer to the subject and the flash doesn’t over shoot it. That means you have to buy a TTL cable to connect the flash to the camera. The wireless trigger option is extremely expensive if you want TTL. There are inexpensive wireless triggers on the market, but you’ll have to use the flash I manual mode. That’s not that scary as it seems, there are tons of tutorials on the net for any situation and any kind of photography and the moment you’ll understand how it works you’ll have no problem to use the flash in manual in any situation, with the bonus of better flexibility and more nuanced shots just, like using the camera in manual mode.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:22 am 
I would DEFINITELY stick to Canon flashes.... especially if you have a Canon that can fire them wirelessly. Also.... although this may be premature.... I would also recommend buying at least two flashes to greatly enhance your creative abilities. I would also suggest getting a decent range of light modifiers such as diffusers, umbrellas and soft boxes. It wouldn't hurt to have a beauty dish and/or a ring flash for your macro work either. I use an Orbis ring attachment and love that thing!!! Shadowless light and great for macro! Check it out!

http://www.orbisflash.com/

Here's mine. Just got it the other day. :D

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:12 am 
No offense, but for me "shadowless light" is fancy wording for "flat light". I like the circular highlight the ringlights cast on the background but I don't like them as key lights, and would definitely NOT recommend using one until you are more comfortable using off-camera flashes. That being said, both Radu and ImageX make very good points, especially for the manual flashes part.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:39 pm 
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I like the circular highlight the ringlights cast on the background but I don't like them as key lights


Not sure what you mean about "circular highlights". Do you mean the halo effect around the subject?

I bought mine specifically for models that are near backgrounds/walls. I really like the look of it and it's used in high end glamor photography all the time. It works great for a key light and/or in combination with some fill. It's really for very specific uses though and I'd recommend someone getting a beauty dish before a ring flash.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:59 pm 
Yes, that's what I mean


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:26 am 
My tip is
Keep an eye out at car boot sale etc for any old small flash gun I have an old 80's Sunpak specially handy if it has built in slave they are Ideal for halo back lit portraits and cost pennies.
Mount it directly behind the sitters head either facing the head for hard halo (the nearer to subject the smaller and harder further the softer), or aim at the background for even softer, defuse with plenty of tissue ,cloth etc set up your main lighting as per usual (it has very little effect on frontal exposue) and bingo
Instant shadowless halo for next to nothing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:48 pm 
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For a first Canon flash I always suggest the 430EX II. No need for the extra size and weight of the 580EX II until you want to do multi-flash setups.

To tigger the 430EX off-camera, I recommend cheap radio triggers like the Yongnuo RF-602 or Cactus V5.

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