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Archive 2012 · Flash for home use
  
 
csebasti
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Flash for home use


Thanks again to everyone for all the great advise. I ended up ordering the 430EX II last night. I think I'll start playing around with it, and look into the books mentioned here first, then start working on stting myself up for off camera flash.

Those Cowboy Studios triggers look tempting for a cheap method of triggering off camera...

Chris



Jan 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM
GC5
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Flash for home use



One reason I like my 60d (and same goes for t3i and 7d) is that you can fire Canon ETTL flashes off camera. Sure it's not perfect (the onboard does show up in exposure slighly and gives an extra pinprick catchlight) but it works pretty well and beats manually adjusting flash all the time. I now hate having to pull out manual triggers for use with the 5d2.



Jan 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
fiyawerx
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Flash for home use


I have one of these that I find really useful for around the house with my two young ones, and it seemed to be very cheap for the features it provided. http://speedlights.net/2010/12/22/nissin-di622-ii-review/. It is going for about 200$, has a myriad of connection options, and it's power index appears to be somewhere between the 430ex ii and 580 ex ii. Budget was a fairly large concern for me, and I'm only shooting on a t2i, but just wanted to throw it out there.


Jan 03, 2012 at 09:00 PM
vchowdhary
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Flash for home use


Get a couple of cheap yn560 flashes and some wireless triggers.
Really loving these cheap manual flashes for experimenting



Jan 03, 2012 at 09:05 PM
GC5
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Flash for home use


I could not advise more strongly that you do not get a couple of manual flashes for your first flash(es). Get an ettl-II capable flash, whether canon or third party, so that you can use it on camera (other than fully manually).


Jan 03, 2012 at 09:30 PM
nads
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Flash for home use


csebasti wrote:
Thanks again to everyone for all the great advise. I ended up ordering the 430EX II last night. I think I'll start playing around with it, and look into the books mentioned here first, then start working on stting myself up for off camera flash.

Those Cowboy Studios triggers look tempting for a cheap method of triggering off camera...

Chris


Good move...

I highly support the comment that suggested getting some Sanyo Eneloop batteries. They're low discharge rechargeable batteries so they stay charged when they're not being used. I usually find them at Costco for a good price. I always keep a set in the flash and a spare set of 4 ready to go.

Another option for wireless off-camera flash is the CTR-301P flash triggers from ebay. Set your flash to manual mode and mount the transmitter on your hot shoe and you're ready to go. I think you can get them for $20 for a single transmitter and receiver.



Jan 03, 2012 at 09:46 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Flash for home use


GC5 wrote:
I could not advise more strongly that you do not get a couple of manual flashes for your first flash(es). Get an ettl-II capable flash, whether canon or third party, so that you can use it on camera (other than fully manually).


I agree, and the OP did. (He ordered a 430EX II.)

I have a non-dedicated flash that I use in manual (and it also has built-in autometering), but I use either my 580EX or my 430EX II for the majority of my shooting these days, and only use the 285HV for multi-light setups. I got the 285HV when I was shooting with an AE-1 Program, and it was fine for that, but when I got my first DSLR I didn't think twice about getting a 580EX.

The Canon flashes are so versatile that I wouldn't be without at least one. I can do ETTL autoflash with flash exposure compensation, manual flash, remote flash without needing accessory triggers, and much more. I think buying a non-Canon flash, and particularly a manual-only flash, as one's first flash is false economy.



Jan 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Flash for home use


GC5 wrote:
One reason I like my 60d (and same goes for t3i and 7d) is that you can fire Canon ETTL flashes off camera. Sure it's not perfect (the onboard does show up in exposure slighly and gives an extra pinprick catchlight) but it works pretty well and beats manually adjusting flash all the time.


I just got a 7D last month, and I'm really enjoying the built-in Master capability. I only notice the pop-up flash's light (when set not to fire) in reflective objects, and it's not particularly ojectionable, but I've ordered a Nikon SG-3 IR shield to test. For $12 it seems like a no-brainer if it works, and if it doesn't I'll give it to a Nikonian.














Jan 03, 2012 at 11:46 PM
csebasti
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Flash for home use


nads wrote:
Good move...

I highly support the comment that suggested getting some Sanyo Eneloop batteries. They're low discharge rechargeable batteries so they stay charged when they're not being used. I usually find them at Costco for a good price. I always keep a set in the flash and a spare set of 4 ready to go.

Another option for wireless off-camera flash is the CTR-301P flash triggers from ebay. Set your flash to manual mode and mount the transmitter on your hot shoe and you're ready to go. I think you can get them for $20 for a single transmitter and receiver.


I currently have a set of 4 Energizer and a set of 4 Panasonic Ni-MH rechargeables. Will the Eneloops be much better? And if so, do I need a different charger for them, or can I throw them in my Panasonic charger? I'll have to check out Costco this weekend.

That wireless trigger looks temping as well. Only $21.60 on amazon with free shipping. thanks for the tip.

Chris



Jan 04, 2012 at 05:11 AM
vchowdhary
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Flash for home use


GC5 wrote:
I could not advise more strongly that you do not get a couple of manual flashes for your first flash(es). Get an ettl-II capable flash, whether canon or third party, so that you can use it on camera (other than fully manually).


My experience was quite the opposite having used both Nikon and canon flashes. Even with Nikon system being better than canons I still learned more about flash use from a cheap 60 dollar flash than from ones costing 5 times as much.
Depends on use I guess and your mileage may vary



Jan 04, 2012 at 05:51 AM
 

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BrianO
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Flash for home use


vchowdhary wrote:
...Even with Nikon system being better than canons...


I hear this from time to time, and I just don't buy it. The systems are somewhat different, but I don't believe that one is "better" than another.



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:06 AM
mfreardon
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Flash for home use


csebasti wrote:
I highly recommend the Eneloops, especially for home application. They hold a charge when not being used so you won't lose the shot while you're searching for new batteries.

In addition, you might want to consider a Demb flip-it for your flash. I love mine:

http://www.dembflashproducts.com/



Jan 04, 2012 at 02:08 PM
kurtis miller
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Flash for home use


I have 2 430exIIs that I use with the cowboy studio triggers with good results. The way I use them (always on manual power control) I could have gone cheaper and bought Yongnuo Speedlights, but it is nice to be able to just slap the 430exII on the hotshoe and turn it to ettl and fire away.

Figuring out how to bounce your light is entertaining too... consider playing around with a "BFT" http://neilvn.com/tangents/2011/03/08/video-using-the-black-foamie-thing/

Good pickup, getting your 430exII for $250ish.



Jan 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM
GC5
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Flash for home use


vchowdhary wrote:
My experience was quite the opposite having used both Nikon and canon flashes. Even with Nikon system being better than canons I still learned more about flash use from a cheap 60 dollar flash than from ones costing 5 times as much.
Depends on use I guess and your mileage may vary


Yes - manual flash is a useful learning tool and can be rewarding. I have some myself. But for one's first and only flash, especially for bouncing flash for kid shots, I think having an ettl capable flash is critical. You aren't always going to have time to set up flashes, adjust exposure (on camera or flash) etc with manual flashes. With a 430 (as OP purchased), you can throw it on, bounce it off a wall and you are pretty much ready to go.



Jan 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM
RobertLynn
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Flash for home use


580exii
Not sure what camera youre using but if it's 7d you can do flash commander stuff with it.



Jan 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM
skasol
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Flash for home use


Hi chris, I am too new to flash photography as well as a newborn baby. I am taking some great shots with a 580EX II bouncing off the ceiling or walls with Omin-Bounce diffuser. I will be looking into getting a trigger for off camera flash. good luck to you post some shots if you can.


Jan 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM
akin_t
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Flash for home use


BrianO wrote:
I just got a 7D last month, and I'm really enjoying the built-in Master capability. I only notice the pop-up flash's light (when set not to fire) in reflective objects, and it's not particularly ojectionable, but I've ordered a Nikon SG-3 IR shield to test. For $12 it seems like a no-brainer if it works, and if it doesn't I'll give it to a Nikonian.

http://webs.lanset.com/rcochran/flash/medres/SG3IR_D200.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3177/3084823022_79a825894b.jpg


While the 7D's pop up fires, it really doesn't contribute much to the exposure of the photograph. But the shield couldn't hurt.



Jan 04, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Gib Robinson
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Flash for home use


I found Syl Arena's book "Speedliter's Handbook - Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites" VERY useful. It goes through virtually all the issues addressed in this thoughtful thread -- batteries, flashes, modifiers, stands, cords, etc. etc. My recommendation would be to get that book and let it guide you.

Arena does NOT recommend the ST-2, and neither do I. I own one along with the Pocket Wizards that work with Canon flashes. The Pocket Wizards are wonderful but for what you want to do, a short cord and a longer cord should be just fine.

For a short cord, I use this on which allows you to use two flashes. Even if you don't plan to buy or use two flashes right now, it will give you that option later.


Pearstone
Universal Duo TTL Off-Camera Flash Cord - 3' (0.9 m)

Coiled DesignUse Your On-Shoe Flash Off-CameraAllows Full TTL FunctioningUse with Two Flashes in Manual ModeCreate Unusual Lighting Effects
B&H # PEOCDU3Mfr # OCD-U3
In Stock

Arena's book also got me using a longer cord without coils: Interfit NSTR137 Multi-Fit TTL Cord for Nikon/Canon/Fuji Cameras (32'/10m). The longer cord will allow you to set you a flash on a tripod or stand and move around while you photograph.

As for flashes, Arena's book looks at all the Canon possibilities and one or two cheaper third-party options. A good used 580EX would be my recommendation but Arena's discussion will lay out the plusses and minuses. Dollar-for-Dollar, I think Arena's book would be your best initial investment.

--Gib

P.S. Modifiers (diffusers) are a wonderful topic to explore and Arena does a good job. If you do use a long cord and a stand you can use somewhat larger diffusers that don't work well on camera. Soft light has big advantages.







Edited on Jan 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM · View previous versions



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:02 PM
kurtis miller
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Flash for home use


akin_t wrote:
While the 7D's pop up fires, it really doesn't contribute much to the exposure of the photograph. But the shield couldn't hurt.


Of course the OP is using a 5dII... but the camera wireless flash control communication from the 7D and the 60D has the ability to fire/communicate from the popup flash just before the slaves are triggered so that the popup flash contributes nothing to the exposure. ...you can chose this option or you can choose to let the popup contribute as well to the exposure in the menu settings. So you really don't need the shield unless you are worried about upsetting your subject with a flash coming from your camera.

quick google search in the how to: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-to-control-multiple-flashes-wirelessly-with-a-canon-7d




Jan 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM
h00ligan
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Flash for home use


Binh Ly wrote:
The 430EX or EX II is enough for your needs. You should be able to get one used for around ~$175 (430EX) or ~$225 (430EX II).

I would not go with that 270EX/EX II. The 270 does some tilt which is OK, but the really annoying part of that flash is the crazy multiple flashes for AF assist - that alone is enough to annoy the heck out of family members and probably your baby when it becomes darker in your home.



I thought this at first, but the inability to swivel all the way around really creates bouncing issues when surfaces are uneven or specific. I'd spend the money for the higher end flash, as you bounce more you will appreciate the full swivel.

This came to my attention after reading the speed lighters handbook and another book on portrait and wedding photography. I constantly wanted to fire over my right shoulder at an event and couldn't.



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:10 PM
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