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Thread: What is an external flash for?

  1. #1
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    Default What is an external flash for?

    as above.... what's wrong with the internal one?

    what additional uses will it provide?

  2. #2
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    There are a lot of reasons why an external flash is often required. Some of the major reasons (in no particular order) are as follows:

    1) Increased flash range, many inbuilt flash units of have an effective range of a few meters.

    2) Ability to bounce flash from ceilings, walls etc.

    3) Ability to use diffusion devices such as softboxes and brollies.

    4) Being able to reposition the flash relative to the subject.

    5) Red and silver eye supression.

    6) Reduced battery consumption and ability to use cheaper batteries or rechargables.

    7) Shadow suppression and control.

    8) use of creative flash technicques such as light painting and so on.

    9) The use of specialist flash devices such as ring flashes for medical and macro work, fibre optic guides etc.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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    wow thanks!!

    ok, say i want to take pics in the dark.... what's the range i can expect from a $100 flash?

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    add two more:

    10) faster flash recharge

    11) some external flash provides wider coverage than the built-in flash
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by shuy
    wow thanks!!

    ok, say i want to take pics in the dark.... what's the range i can expect from a $100 flash?
    If you're using with a digital, I'm currently liasing with a local flash maker to custom make a flash that can sync to the 2nd flash (after 1st 'fake' metering flash).

    It'll be roughly about your budget. If you one can tompang one, maybe even cheaper hehe.

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    Originally posted by shuy
    wow thanks!!

    ok, say i want to take pics in the dark.... what's the range i can expect from a $100 flash?
    Don't expect to get much for $100. Flash gear with TTL control and a good range isn't cheap. However you might be able to get a reasonable manual fash gun for that sort of money.

    Regardless of type, the flash range is governed by the Guide Number (GN) of the flash unit. The GN is specified by the manufacturer for a given film speed and lens focal length.

    Range = GN / lens aperture setting.

    Example:
    Flash GN 30m at 100 ISO 50mm lens.

    Range at aperture f2.0 = 30/2 = 15m
    Range at aperture f11 = 30/11 = 2.72m
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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    what's the diff between a manual and non-manual (isit hotshoe?) flash?

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    Originally posted by shuy
    what's the diff between a manual and non-manual (isit hotshoe?) flash?
    Manual flash units come in two types and are known as 'Non Dedicated' flashes as they can be used on just about any camera equipped with a hot or cold shoe. (a cold shoe has no flash contacts)

    Manual only. These are the most basic flash guns available. They usually offer a couple of power settings (eg: full power, 1/2 power etc) and you have to fully configure the flash by hand.

    Auto flash units are a more advanced manual flash, these units generally have 2-8 power level settings and also an 'auto sensor' circuit that controls the duration of the flash (ie it's total light output) thus ensuring a more accurate level of flash illumination on the subject. This is achieved by moutning a sensor in the front of the flash (usually by the flash mounting foot) that detects the light output and when it has reached a suitable level for good exposure it turns off the flash. This gives a crude by quite effective method of control.


    Dedicated flash units:

    TTL (Through The Lens) flash control is considerably more advanced than manual flash systesm.

    These flash units rely on the camera to measure the actual light generated by the flash falling on the film plane to determine correct exposure. Once the correct amount of flash illumination is reached the camera instructs the flash to terminate the flash output.

    OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) TTL flash units are dedicated to their own brand of camera and often to specific models inside the brand, eg: Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc). There are Generic TTL flash units that will work with specified brands, such units are made by the likes of Achiever in HK and often will work with 2-3 brands of camera.

    Next question?
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  9. #9
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    where does the power source from the flash come from?

    what does hotshoe mean?

    how much is a normal TTL flash? very ex?

    thanks for the detailed answer!

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    Originally posted by shuy
    where does the power source from the flash come from?

    what does hotshoe mean?

    how much is a normal TTL flash? very ex?

    thanks for the detailed answer!
    hotshoe is a adaptor for fixing and triggering an external flash

    normal TTL can range from <$50 to >$600.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    The following 2 sites would offer useful information if you want to know more....

    http://www.metz.de/1_metz_2000/m_pag...name=mecablitz

    correction, the other link should be:
    http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/...flash-faq.html
    Last edited by mpenza; 13th September 2002 at 08:33 PM.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    wah that site uses 2 flashes?? that's abit overkill sia

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    Originally posted by shuy
    wah that site uses 2 flashes?? that's abit overkill sia
    ??? ???

    the site illustrates the various use of flash, from TTL to Bounce to Fill-in. multiple flash is only one of the small section.

    anyway, I've updated the second link which was wrongly given just now.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by shuy
    where does the power source from the flash come from?

    what does hotshoe mean?

    how much is a normal TTL flash? very ex?

    thanks for the detailed answer!
    A hotshoe is what you get when you leave your black/dark coloured shoes in the sun and they get hot.

    Seriously, a hotshoe is simply the part of the camera where you attach an external flash unit. On most cameras, this is a standard connector, on Minolta cameras at least, it's a proprietary connector.

    The power source of the flash comes mostly from batteries or an external power pack. For studio flashes, the power source is usually AC power from the wall socket.

    TTL flashes range in price from below $50 for third party units to several hundred dollars, depending on features, power, etc.

    Regards
    CK

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    just got my Epson 3100Z!! is there a TTL flash for it?

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    Originally posted by shuy
    just got my Epson 3100Z!! is there a TTL flash for it?
    no. it has a standard hotshoe with only the flash trigger. you culd get a auto flash for it.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  17. #17
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    so could u recommend an auto flash for me? my budget is ard 100 as stated... i'm no expert photographer, just trying it out as a hobby. and i'm a student on a tight budget... hehe

    thanks!!

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    go for the Achiever 260T. It's cheap ~$36 and works.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by mpenza
    go for the Achiever 260T. It's cheap ~$36 and works.
    You din tell him about the trigger voltage thingy eh? Heee.. Shuy, Get Metz 32Z-1 lah.. you wun regret it... Achiever 260T is also much bigger than Metz 32Z-1...
    Last edited by zephyr; 18th September 2002 at 09:54 AM.

  20. #20
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    how much is the metz? where can i see its specs?

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