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Thread: Question on External vs Camera Flash

  1. #1

    Default Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Hi... Im just starting out using flash so I bought a 2nd hand 420ex here to play around. I'm confused. I give a scenario and hope the more senior bros can help me.

    Manual setting: 1/100, f3.5, iso 100
    without flash : dark
    camera flash: exposure is correct
    external flash: dark

    Why do I get dark pics with external flash? is the flash spoilt?
    i left the flash setting to high-speed sync and off the high-speed sync both get the same results. Any bros can help me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    You may use this web page as a starting point to learn about flash phtography

    http://web.canon.jp/imaging/flashwor...low/index.html

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    If the BG exposure is dark, only the ISO and aperture can being it out. So can the shutter speed. This is called 'dragging the shutter'.

    But sometimes, no matter what the shutter speed, or ISO, or aperture, the ambient light is still too low. That way, unless you use a tripod and use a very long exposure - it's very difficult to expose the BG properly.

    Since there is NO PHOTO, we can only GUESS what went wrong and possibly try to confuse you.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    If the BG exposure is dark, only the ISO and aperture can being it out. So can the shutter speed. This is called 'dragging the shutter'.

    But sometimes, no matter what the shutter speed, or ISO, or aperture, the ambient light is still too low. That way, unless you use a tripod and use a very long exposure - it's very difficult to expose the BG properly.

    Since there is NO PHOTO, we can only GUESS what went wrong and possibly try to confuse you.
    Hmm true...this is confusing. lol.. n true no photo very hard to help me too. I just dun understand why using an external flash make the subject as dark as not using flash at all as compared to using the camera's flash which gives it correct exposure. I suspect the flash unit i bought is spoilt although it can fire the flash

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Ag_surfer View Post
    Hi... Im just starting out using flash so I bought a 2nd hand 420ex here to play around. I'm confused. I give a scenario and hope the more senior bros can help me.

    Manual setting: 1/100, f3.5, iso 100
    without flash : dark
    camera flash: exposure is correct
    external flash: dark

    Why do I get dark pics with external flash? is the flash spoilt?
    i left the flash setting to high-speed sync and off the high-speed sync both get the same results. Any bros can help me?
    A photo will really help us understand your problem and help us with your question. Is your external flash on ETTL or manual mode? You might have set the flash at 1/64 power instead of letting the flash do the evaluation for the necessary flash power.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by flashbug View Post
    A photo will really help us understand your problem and help us with your question. Is your external flash on ETTL or manual mode? You might have set the flash at 1/64 power instead of letting the flash do the evaluation for the necessary flash power.
    Ok...I will set up account on flickr n upload some pics. 420 ex theres no control on the flash. Except to choose slave/no slave, high speed sync/slow speed, on/off. the ettl button was light up on the flash unit so i assume it is on ettl. The external flash function setting on the camera show:
    flash mode: ettl2
    fec: 0
    ettl2 meter : Evaluative

  7. #7

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash


    420ex and no flash same dark photos


    camera flash

    The dark photos are not really helpful so I up the iso to 3200 to get the following images:


    no flash


    420 ex


    camera flash

    Hope this helps bros here to analyze my prob. Thanx

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Ag_surfer View Post
    ............................


    420 ex

    .................

    Hope this helps bros here to analyze my prob. Thanx
    the 430 flash seem like not working, as I don't see any highlight reflection of the flash on your lens.

    you sure the 430 flash did fire off?
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Ag_surfer View Post

    420ex and no flash same dark photos
    I checked the EXIF data of this image; the flash didn't fire so you get the expected outcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ag_surfer View Post

    420 ex
    But EXIF data of this image reported that it did fire.
    I have two possbile guesses:
    1) Possible bad connections between the flash and the 550D. Double check for loose connection on both hot-shoe connections. And the pins on the 420EX.
    2) You might have a bad capicator or flash bulb, maybe a loose wire in the flash itself. The Canon 420EX is an older flash it might need to be sent in for servicing. Something maybe broken or loose.

    Simplest test: try another flash gun !

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    the 430 flash seem like not working, as I don't see any highlight reflection of the flash on your lens.

    you sure the 430 flash did fire off?
    It did fire off... I'm guessing something wrong wif the flash as in it didnt sync the firing wif the opening of the shutter or something along that line. Thanx for the feedback bros.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question on External vs Camera Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Ag_surfer View Post
    It did fire off... I'm guessing something wrong wif the flash as in it didnt sync the firing wif the opening of the shutter or something along that line. Thanx for the feedback bros.
    A proper flash from it should consist of a preflash and the actual flash.
    Perhaps it was the pre-flash that you saw and the actual flash didn't fire off, which might explain why you didn't have the reflection of the flash off your subject.

    Try changing the sync curtain to rear first, then dragging ur shutter speed to 5seconds and press the trigger.
    See if you see 2 distinct flashes separated by a 5 second interval - One immediately after pressing the button and the other just before the shutter closes. (if you are on rear curtain sync)
    If you only see the first flash but not the second, your flash is likely faulty or something is wrong with the contact point.

    Alternatively, go try with another flash unit and see if the other flash give you the same problem.
    Last edited by flashbug; 16th August 2010 at 06:25 AM. Reason: grammar

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