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Thread: Is external flash really necessary?

  1. #1
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    Default Is external flash really necessary?

    I have just bought my first SLR and lens a few months back. As my friend is going to HK, I am thinking if I should get a flash. But as I don't have that much money to burn atm and I still need to get a tripod, I am wondering if a flash is really important for me. I know that a flash is important if you're taking indoor or portrait shots but I'm not really into those. I am keen in macro though and flash might be important for that? Is flash a necessity for macro? In what kinds of situations or photography would a flash be necessary for good shots? Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    I would say that a flash is an essential item for portrait, wedding and event photographers. Of course it is not a rule to use it all the time, as you can see from the wedding photography subforum that many beautiful shots are taken with use of ambient light.

    For macro, I suppose you're good to start if you have an appropriate lens and a tripod will definitely help. Flash in this case might help in certain situations, or be used creatively. There are also specialized flash systems built specifically for macro use, which you may consider instead. IIRC, it's more costly than regular systems.

    That being said, if you can spare the cash, it's worth getting stuff from HK. Prices are definitely better. Last I went, got a 430ex + ST-E2 transmitter for less than the price of a single 580ex (in SG). I think considered 'grey' set here, no local warranty, but so far no problems.

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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Well, there are no absolute rule to which equipment or accessory is absolutely necessary in photography, apart from the camera and the lens (obviously). I knew of photographers who insist on not using flashes for photography, including the build-in flash. There are even people who insist on not using tripods for photography.
    Owning a flash or other accessories will give you more techniques which you can explore in taking pictures, but it really depends on the effects that you want for your pictures that determine what accessories that you should buy. So you should really read up on what a flash can do before you decide on getting one.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    I'm waiting for the day when DSLRs can deliver crisp, sharp & perfectly noise-free images at ISO3200! When that day comes, i will sell away my SB600!!!
    Flickr Me! :: Nikon D80 :: Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by look4raymond View Post
    I'm waiting for the day when DSLRs can deliver crisp, sharp & perfectly noise-free images at ISO3200! When that day comes, i will sell away my SB600!!!
    high ISO is not a substitute of a flash, nor flash is a substitute for high ISO

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    always get a speed light, you never know when you need to use it. plus it makes your DSLR look cooler! pro photog image!

  7. #7
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Only if you need to use it.

    Personally, I do like having a flash around, for portraits, weddings as well as macros.

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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    I use external flash on indoor, macro, night, fill/wireless flash in portrait shoot etc. The thing is whether you know how to make use of it or not, if you don't know how to use it, bought also useless. You can read more on how to make use of external flash.

    But it' expensive and add to the weight.

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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    you can also buy a 5500K (colour temp) video light instead

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    depends on what type of image you are shooting..... e.g. portrait...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by look4raymond View Post
    I'm waiting for the day when DSLRs can deliver crisp, sharp & perfectly noise-free images at ISO3200! When that day comes, i will sell away my SB600!!!
    that will be my time i clear my 400D...haha...confirm lose a lot of money...but i tink its worth to do so:P
    PM me if U Want Asst Wedding Photographer
    http://totoro17.multiply.com http://chinhaven.tripod.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    An external flash is a must IMO, unless u don't shoot portraitures, macros or events but only landscapes.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    well... get an external flash if u feel that your current flash isn't good enough..

    (WHICH MEANS NOW)

    unless u do only fill flash (which can still require something like the lumiquest soft screen), u won't be able to do bounce flash or use better diffusers which are really important, esp in doing portraits, still life, macro shots...
    Canon EOS 30D w/ grip 580EX, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, EF-S 10-22mm
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    this may sound confusing, or cryptic.

    but a speedlight is something you don't always use, but when you need it, you really do. its akin to the lack of cabs when you're late for an appointment, and misplacing your housekeys before going out.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    high ISO is not a substitute of a flash, nor flash is a substitute for high ISO
    I agree with you.

    You're often spot on but you never try to explain to newbies.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    I agree with you.

    You're often spot on but you never try to explain to newbies.
    There are millions of resources online that will explain why it is so. If the person he is directing it to can't be bothered to find out by himself, posting the reason would be just as pointless.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    I agree with you.

    You're often spot on but you never try to explain to newbies.
    actually don have to explain 1 by 1... all they need to do is stretch out their hand and type something to "abuse" google, and google will give them the answer most of the time.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    IMHO... i think it is necessary to have an external flash as you would like to have another good lens other than your kit lens to capture a great moment.... it's a "must have accessories"... if you really want to get into serious photography...

    and most of all... you and your camera will look more handsome with ext. flash to others ...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    high ISO is not a substitute of a flash, nor flash is a substitute for high ISO
    I prefer to use a bright "diffused torchlight" than a flash for creative lighting setup if u ask me.

    No, i don't like flash on my camera, itz heavy.
    Last edited by look4raymond; 17th March 2007 at 03:12 PM.
    Flickr Me! :: Nikon D80 :: Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is external flash really necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by look4raymond View Post
    I prefer to use a bright "diffused torchlight" than a flash for creative lighting setup if u ask me.

    No, i don't like flash on my camera, itz heavy.
    well, you can try that to balance the exposure at very very high contrast scene where even the built-in flash ain't powerful enough...

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