Crash Course on Flash usage needed ! Family Reniuon Dinner tonight... URGENT!


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marcwang

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Jan 9, 2003
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#1
Hi Guys,

Just Bought a SIGMA ST500 Super for my Nikon F80 with a STOFEN OMNIBOUNCE. This is my first external flash unit and it has a guide number of 50, has strobe and slave functions. Haven really experiment it yet, perhaps only as a slave with my Canon A40 to see the effects of bounce photography. Tonight is the CNY dinner man, and I hope to get some good shots, hope u guys can advise. If I need to make a bounce card, let me know. I would be using a Fuji Superia XTRA 400. I wanna know what flash setting ( angle of flash head, whether to use omnibounce or bounce card, use as slave with in built flash , etc ) when ......

1) I take group shots for like 20 people indoors...

2) Individual family potraits of 3-5 people close up....

3) General snapshots of people playing mahjong , blackjack in the house .....

4) Individual people headshots....

PLease suggest aperture, focal length, angle of tilt of the flash head, usage of omnibounce or without, bounce off wall or ceiling.

Aperture is quite important, as the flash registered underexposure for quite a number of shots at F9.5 - f22 when the flash head was in bounce position.


MANY THANKS !! need your help urgently:dunno:
 

mpenza

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Jan 18, 2002
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#2
the A40 doesn't have aperture priority and it'll be rather hard to use the external flash (flash exposure depends on the aperture rather than the shutter speed when shutter speed is slower than 1/1000s).
 

mpenza

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do note that the Guide Number of 50m = aperture x distance at ISO100. If you are using F22, the max range is only 2.8m when you fire straght on. When you bounce you probably lose 1-2 stops of light (even with a white ceiling)... and max range reduces to ~1.4m... This is generally too close. When you use ISO 400, the max distance will be 2.8m.
 

mpenza

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#5
if you want to bounce the flash, don't use a small aperture because the illumination from the flash could be insufficient.
 

Peculiar

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Jan 4, 2003
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I would suggest using lens range from 24mm to 85mm with aperture of 5.6 or 8... to capture some background ambient. Try not to use too big an aperture as DOF will not be sufficient. As for flash, just set it to TTL, there's not enough time to go into the depths of flash control now..

Forgot to mention the shutter speed.. maybe can vary between 30-60, as for film, ASA 200 is good enough

For bounce flash, if the ceiling is quite low, (5m and below), and subject is within 2-5m, flash head angle can be set to 75 deg with the bounce card.. 60 or 45deg if subject is further away ;)
 

marcwang

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#7
How about the omnibounce ? I heard that its really good for portraits...... .

If I must use a bounce card, please suggest how to make it ? Issit just any cardboard white card which I rubberband it to the flash head ?
 

T

Trevor_Tan

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#9
Just giving some suggestions but need not take it too seriously as I am also new to flash as well.
I don't know how much the TTL can be trusted on a Sigma Flash but if it works as well as an SB28 then you are quite safe.
For what I did during my last crash course in Flash (same like you)

1) Without Flash on, I set the camera to Shutter Priority choose between 1/125 to 1/60 (from Flash Syn to speed before slow Syn). This shutter speed should be able to hand held with no major issue. With this setting meter the place you will be taking picture of to get a average aperture reading. I will normally try to get a reading with 1/60 shutter speed.

2) Set your camera to aperture priority and set the aperture to the value you get from part 1. If you got a ceiling that is low enough for bounce flash, then tilt the flash head to 45 degrees (depend on where is the subjects) or more. I think it will be good to have the omni-bounce on too. With is flash setting, I normally set the aperture to 1 to 2 stops bigger (smaller F number as indicated on the camera) then what I get on part 1.

3) make your that flash and camera is set to at least TTL or matrix TTL mode. Then just Fire away. With this setting, I normally got the pic turn out fine.

4) If you got no time to do the above, just set the camera to P mode with the flash plug in (both at TTL mode or matrix TTL) and just let the camera do the rest. TTL Metering in Nikon F80 should be able to give more then 90% success rate ;)

5) USE YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA AS BACKUP!!!!

6) Enjoy your dinner! :D
 

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