About using flash, built in or external?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by PhotoBug, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. PhotoBug

    PhotoBug Guest

    Many weeks ago, someone posted a message asking about advice on buying and
    using a flash for his Canon camera. There were a lot of opinions given, on
    what flash to buy and some people trashed the Canon flash units. One person
    answered some of those trashers of the Canon flash, by saying, don't condemn
    the equipment just because you don't know how to use it. He then gave some
    tips and comments about using the flash properly and explaining how the
    flash units provide flash for a correct exposure.

    I read that thread because I always got mixed quality of shots with the
    built in flash on my Canon 10d. Sometimes the shots were nice, other times
    they were bad. I thought the Canon flash wasn't reliable for critical shots
    (weddings, events, etc.) I was on the hunt also for a flash to fix my woes.
    I ended up buying a 580EX. Same results, mixed shots, some really nice,
    others bad. Then after reading the tips offered by the person mentioned
    above. My flash photography has improved 100%. Even using the built-in
    flash has been improved.

    The main tip, use the FEL. Flash Exposure Lock. I have my focus set as the
    middle one in my view finder. Use that spot to meter the subject, press the
    FEL button. The flash locks in that exposure for the next shot. Then I
    recompose my shot, fire, and nice shots!

    I also hated my 28-135 lens quality at the wide end of the aperture range.
    But at f8 it is very sharp. But whenever I let the camera decide what to do
    with a flash shot, it tended to open the aperture up, resulting in soft
    pictures. If I could only do my flash photography at f8.

    So I did the smart thing, opened the camera manual to learn more about my
    camera. Here is the result. I set the custom function of the camera to
    force a fixed flash sync speed of 1/200. Then shoot on Aperture Priority,
    setting it to f/8. The flash does the rest. And with my cheap lens, I am
    getting really sharp flash photography pictures.

    This newsgroup gave me some great tips, which has helped my skills. Thanks!
    So I am giving back with tips of my own.

    1) Learn your epuipment!
    2) I also put that camera and flash manual next to the commode and read and
    re-read it! What a great opportunity to soak in the knowledge provided.
    3) Take your equipment out on photo expeditions to learn, your assignment
    is to get to your location for the shoot, then open your manuals and try
    changing some of the custom settings and see the results. Try different
    metering modes, even manual exposure (Sunny 16 rule, etc.) and learn from
    the results your camera returns. If you spend the big bucks on an upper
    model of camera and use it as a point and shoot, what's the point?

    And have fun, this is a great hobby. (and you can make money doing it!)
    PhotoBug, Jan 15, 2005
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  2. PhotoBug

    BillB Guest

    Thanks for the very nice post. Not everyone has the inclination
    or temperament to dig in and learn to get the most out of their
    equipment, but with luck you've inspired a few more to follow your
    lead. And for those that think it's too much work, seeing your
    skill level rise has a funny way of easing the effort, sometimes
    even changing what was once drudgery into pleasure. In my own case
    a disappointment several years ago with my newly purchased Canon was
    cured when after skimming through the manual, the section on 'white
    balance' caught my eye. :)
    BillB, Jan 15, 2005
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  3. I have a question about flash photography. I set my D70 to Manual mode and
    use the exposure indicator in the viewfinder to find the correct exposure.
    Everything is fine. However, when I activate the flash or use the SB800, my
    pictures always come out overexposed. Why does the meter not take into
    account the flash when the camera is in Manual mode?
    D70 Is the Best!, Jan 15, 2005
  4. PhotoBug

    Alex Guest

    Yep. And white balance isn't such an issue once people start shooting
    RAW. The little bit of extra work is worth the results.
    Alex, Jan 15, 2005
  5. PhotoBug

    Dirty Harry Guest

    Cause its not a canon with TTL? hehe just kidding
    Dirty Harry, Jan 15, 2005
  6. PhotoBug

    Deadeye Guest

    Think about it. If you set the exposure per the meter, then add in
    flash, you are going to overexpose the picture. The meter is only
    showing you what to expect from your current aperture/shutter speed.
    After that, you're on your own. That is what 'manual' means after all.

    You may wish to read the manual, for both the camera and flash, again.
    Deadeye, Jan 16, 2005
  7. PhotoBug

    PhotoBug Guest

    That is because you already set your camera to take a properly exposed
    picture without a flash. Set your aperture to f/8 for sharp pictures, adjust
    the shutterspeed to a speed that will prevent blur, turn on the flash and
    shoot, if flash is required. That means, after setting the aperture and
    shutterspeed to your requirements, if your metering says the shot will be
    underexposed, then use the flash.
    PhotoBug, Jan 16, 2005
  8. PhotoBug

    me Guest

    I guess the more they overtake the plumbing the greater the risk of failure.

    The flash must have it's own light sensor so it will know when to quench the
    light for a given f-stop. If applicable to your flash: Look for a chart on
    the flash that shows f-stop and distance.
    Good Luck,
    me, Jan 17, 2005
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