Best advice on using an umbrella/flash ??

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by James Bass, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. James Bass

    James Bass Guest

    I recently purchased a 42" silver umbrella that I would like to use w/my
    SB-28DX. I have two lenses to use: 50mm 1.8 & a 28-105mm 3.5/4.5. I will be
    using the flash/umbrella to supplement window loght. How much & which way
    should I bracket for the flash ? And should I set the flash to 24mm wide to
    cover more of the umbrella's surface ?

    James Bass, Feb 26, 2004
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  2. James Bass

    Timo Labrenz Guest

    It depends on the distance between flash and umbrella. You really have
    to try it. Use different settings and take the one that covers a bit
    more than the surface of the umbrella.

    Don't use the Nikon flash on the camera. If you don't have a remote
    flash release cable, get a servo flash that's triggered by the SB-28DX.
    Set the Nikon flash to indirect lighting (90° upwards or so) or use a
    small softbox, if you use it on the camera with a servo flash. Mind
    that the servo flash might be less powerful, so you have to set the
    Nikon flash to less power or you might not see the effect from the
    umbrella at all.

    Actually, you might swivel and shift the SB-28DX while it's on the
    camera so that it points towards the umbrella. However, I wouldn't
    recommend this method, unless you use a tripod and shoot an object that
    doesn't move. You'd be much less flexible as you'd have to adjust the
    flash every time you move the camera.

    Timo Labrenz, Feb 27, 2004
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  3. Assuming you have a dedicated TTL cable between the camera and flash,
    the camera will manage the metering on it's own. But - to balance
    the window light with the umbrella flash, you really need a light
    meter to attain a nice 1/3 fill. As your flash has 7 manual power
    levels, you have a fair degree of control over it's output. Some rigs
    have built-in "fill-flash" capability - that's worth a try on it's
    own as well.

    You probably want the window light to be the primary source, therefore
    the fill flash should be between 1/4 and 1/3 of the intensity for

    Be aware of the color temperature differences between the 2 light
    sources. If there's a huge brick building across the street, the
    window light will be warmer than the flash. This won't matter with
    black & white of course...

    And yes, use the built-in diffuser and set it to 28mm so the umbrella
    is fully illuminated. You want the light as diffused as possible.

    Good luck. Post your results in a URL for follow-up.

    jim h


    More than photographs: free downloads, prizes for every 1,000th visitor, a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, Feb 29, 2004
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