When is it necessary to use external flash?


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Feb 3, 2002
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#1
So far, haven't seen the need for an external flash...

When do you guys use an external flash?
 

#2
Use it 101% of the time. Internal flash sucks big time man. Once you've shot with external flash, especially bounced external flash, you will not want to use internal flash again. :)

Bounced flash gives you a much softer, natural lighting; internal flash is kinda harsh.

Regards
CK
 

Bluestrike

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#3
well... those big wide-angle lens will cause a shadow if I were to use an int. flash.......I won't want a mountain or shadow right in the middle of a pic!
 

Lennier

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#4
Using an external flash brings many advantages.

1. Higher flash output
2. Don't drain camera batteries
3. Greater control over flash output e.g. fill in 3d balanced
4. Bounce flash
5. Control over direction of flash through swivel head
6. Faster recharge rates
7. Superwide angle coverage
 

Feb 3, 2002
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#5
ic, thanks to all for sharing.

What's the typical effective range of an external flash?

Btw, juz curious, how come you guys are so free at this time of the day? :eek: :D
 

mpenza

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#6
for me, these are the main advantages:

1. Higher flash output
2. Bounce flash
3. Faster recharge rates

Effectve range of external flash varies a lot and depends on the ISO sensitivity, aperture settings, etc.
 

Lennier

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#7
We're just as free as you :cool: No perm job for me.

Flash output is measured by its guide number (GN) rating.

For example, the Nikon SB80DX is rated at 184 (at ISO100 and zoom head at 105mm setting)

GN = aperture x distance

Thus for a subject taken at f4, the flash can properly expose it if it is no more than 46 feet away.
 

Feb 3, 2002
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#8
So which is good external flash? I've been seeing a lot of the Vivitar thingy; is that a good one?

What are the features I should look out for when choosing an external flash?
 

Lennier

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#9
If possible, consider shelling out more cash for a fully dedicated flash. There is total integration with the camera body and many advanced features are available.

Not sure about Vivitar although I've used a Starblitz with good results on a Nikon SLR years back.

Some features to look out for include.

1. Zoomable flash head
2. Widest angle it can cover
3. Recharge rates
4. Swivel capable head (for bounce)
5. TTL capable with your system
6. Flash exposure compensation

Some 3rd party flashes come with a secondary forward flash. IMO this is an extremely useful feature when you want to achieve good bounce flash.
 

mpenza

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#10
imaginery_number is looking for one to use with the S602Z right? There're no dedicated flash avaliable as the camera only supports a standard trigger.

Suntax and Acheiver produce some cheap auto flash that could be used.

Vivitar 285HV (~$145) is one of the more popular ones here.

I'm personally using a Metz 32 Z-1 with the S602Z.
 

Feb 3, 2002
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#11
A little too broke to buy the external flash now..... :cry:

While I'm here, what's the diff between an external flash and a speedlight?
 

mpenza

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#12
Originally posted by imaginary_number
A little too broke to buy the external flash now..... :cry:

While I'm here, what's the diff between an external flash and a speedlight?
they're interchangeable names I guess. other names are: flashguns, photo strobes, etc.
 

Feb 3, 2002
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#14
Originally posted by mpenza
imaginery_number is looking for one to use with the S602Z right? There're no dedicated flash avaliable as the camera only supports a standard trigger.

Suntax and Acheiver produce some cheap auto flash that could be used.

Vivitar 285HV (~$145) is one of the more popular ones here.

I'm personally using a Metz 32 Z-1 with the S602Z.
What's the advantage of the Vivitar 285HV over the "cheap auto flash" you mentioned?

Does a cheap flash mean that it (1) not as reliable? or (2) doesn't perform well?
 

mpenza

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#15
Originally posted by imaginary_number


What's the advantage of the Vivitar 285HV over the "cheap auto flash" you mentioned?

Does a cheap flash mean that it (1) not as reliable? or (2) doesn't perform well?
There is a difference in performance. Reliability I'm not so sure.

You get what you pay for. For usual situations, you probably don't need a very powerful flash like Vivitar 285HV.
 

revenant

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#16
Originally posted by mpenza


There is a difference in performance. Reliability I'm not so sure.

You get what you pay for. For usual situations, you probably don't need a very powerful flash like Vivitar 285HV.
hmm...... Define "Usual Situation"?
 

mpenza

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#17
Originally posted by revenant
hmm...... Define "Usual Situation"?
perhaps every-day situation is a better word.....by usual, I mean situations like low and white ceiling for bouncing, use as a fill-in flash, when the subjects are near (not like 10-20m away), etc.

If you need bouncing onto very high walls, want to illuminate people far away using flash (e.g. during fashion shows where you have to stand a good distance away from the runway), attach a flash extender to shoot birds, want to bounce onto walls, etc, you need a stronger flash.
 

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