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Thread: Confused about flash...

  1. #1

    Default Confused about flash...

    Sorry if this question sound stupid... but i'm really lost to how flash works on a DSLR..

    previously on an flim SLR almost any flash... just plug it in, set the F and distance and we're good to go...

    now it seems like there's 1001 things to consider... like compatibility issues... and the worst comment i read was it can destroy the DSLR???

    i'm using olympus e-510. other than the common FL-36 and FL-50... what other alternative do i have for a good flash? and is it a must to get a lightsphere? sorry... i used bounce card last time...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Confused about flash...

    Quote Originally Posted by viewwing View Post
    previously on an flim SLR almost any flash... just plug it in, set the F and distance and we're good to go...

    now it seems like there's 1001 things to consider... like compatibility issues... and the worst comment i read was it can destroy the DSLR???
    I completely agree with your observation. I can't help the impression the manufacturers are creating this mess of proprietary systems to lock in customers. On top of that, documentation about what all the automatic gadgets really do (beyond marketing speak) is sparse, making them pretty unpredictable.

    The concern about older flash units is that they may use higher trigger voltages than modern cameras are designed to handle (which is IMHO a design flaw of the camera). There is little risk if the flash uses a low voltage trigger, or if a suitable protective interface is used.

    Compared to the in-built camera flash (which is as "integrated" into the camera intelligence as it can be), I find that an old-fashioned external "computer"/manual unit (i.e. pre-TTL) gives much more consistent and predictable results. I don't get to enjoy automatic zoom reflectors & all the other niceties, but for my use it's good enough. And I can use the same flash unit on different camera systems. The same unit (mine is an estimated 25 years old) works just as well on all-mechanical cameras, DSLRs, compact digicams, etc.

    I haven't used a lightsphere personally, but I think (and this is also based on the "example" photos I've seen) most add-on "modifiers" are useless and overpriced junk. Diffusing light by itself is completely useless unless the diffused light comes form a large source(and for this these gadgets are way too small). The main positive effect is to bounce light off the walls (and thus create a large source of diffuse light), which can be achieved just as well without all these expensive gadgets. (For the record, there are also plenty of people who don't mind spending $$$ on a cheap piece of plastic.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Confused about flash...

    Thanks for the sharing bro... at least now i know that i have to more or less use back the same "brand". guess i'll start with FL36... which is alot cheaper and lighter...

    Question about about diffusing of light... off the shelf items... are "better looking" and of course more for people whom are willing to spend... for budget hobbyist like me i think i prefer to try and "copy" ... but other than replicating a bounce card... how do else can u diffuse light? how to replicate lightsphere... put a cup?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Confused about flash...

    1. There's no compatibility issues if you use the proprietary flash. You don't even have to set the f-number. Just put on P and everything's automatic!

    2. As for card vs lightsphere vs gary fong, etc.-- it's all up to you. Some people have used tissue paper for many years and have not had to change to anything else.



    Quote Originally Posted by viewwing View Post
    Sorry if this question sound stupid... but i'm really lost to how flash works on a DSLR..

    previously on an flim SLR almost any flash... just plug it in, set the F and distance and we're good to go...

    now it seems like there's 1001 things to consider... like compatibility issues... and the worst comment i read was it can destroy the DSLR???

    i'm using olympus e-510. other than the common FL-36 and FL-50... what other alternative do i have for a good flash? and is it a must to get a lightsphere? sorry... i used bounce card last time...

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