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Flash/lighting quesition
  
 
michael49
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p.1 #1 · Flash/lighting quesition


I'm mostly an outdoor photographer and I enjoy taking family shots, like this....

(Fuji XE-1)







....but on freezing cold days and early dark evenings here in New England, like Christmas, all of my candid portraits will be indoors.

In the past I've relied my Canon 430EX on camera, bounced off the ceiling, etc - Manual, SS 1/100-1/125, ISO 800-1600 or so for some ambient and adjusted the EC on the flash accordingly, for shots like this....









But, I just sold my 6D and I will be shooting everything this Christmas with the Sony A7 and Fuji XE1 for which I have no ETTL flash, other than the on-board flash of the X-E1.

Question is - should I just mount the 430EX on the A7 and XE-1 and shoot the flash manually? Would you expect the lighting from room to room in a typical house to vary enough to make this a nightmare or is it do-able?

Or should I just pony up for a flash that offers ETTL on the X-E1 or the A7?




Dec 14, 2013 at 06:34 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #2 · Flash/lighting quesition


TTL is okay for run & gun, but many photographers prefer manual mode over TTL in controlled environments. It only takes 2 or 3 shots to adjust the flash output, so it's not an onerous process unless the subjects are moving all over the place. White balance can be a problematic when bouncing off walls, so use a grey card.


Dec 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM
michael49
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p.1 #3 · Flash/lighting quesition


Thanks for the reply, I'm really tempted to just shoot manually, I just wonder how much lighting variation from room to room will vary - If I have to take 3 trial shots of each scene patience will wear thin with my subjects.


Dec 15, 2013 at 03:19 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · Flash/lighting quesition


michael49 wrote:
...I just wonder how much lighting variation from room to room will vary...


If the rooms are about the same size with similar ceiling heights and similar paint colors/shades you won't have a lot of variance if you're using bounce flash; you'd have more variance using direct flash unless your flash-to-subject distance was always the same. What variance you do get can probably be compensated for in post if you get the first room's lighting right.

I have to say, though, that your situation would be one where I'd break out my old Vivitar 285HV; since it has an on-flash auto sensor it can be set for auto flash with any camera that has a hot shoe or PC socket. For candid shooting in constantly changing environments it's a God-send for just $80.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/61441-REG/Vivitar_233965_285HV_Flash.html

(If you order one now and request rush shipping it could be delivered in time for Christmas. )


Edited on Dec 17, 2013 at 09:02 AM · View previous versions



Dec 15, 2013 at 08:47 PM
michael49
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p.1 #5 · Flash/lighting quesition


Thanks so much for the input guys.

I didn't know about the auto sensor of the Vivitar 285HV, for $80 I'll need to consider that.



Dec 17, 2013 at 12:28 AM
 

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Michael White
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p.1 #6 · Flash/lighting quesition


Go to Strobist.com and search for a post on shooting Christmas morning using two lights in opisite corners of the room.


Dec 17, 2013 at 04:06 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · Flash/lighting quesition


michael49 wrote:
...I didn't know about the auto sensor of the Vivitar 285HV, for $80 I'll need to consider that.


Yeah, they're not as well known as they once were; they used to be THE workhorse flash of many wedding and photojournalism pros. I've been using them for almost 40 years, and even though I now have three dedicated EOS Speedlites I've hung on to two of my Vivitars.

Here's a shot of my oldest one, and a close-up of the auto-flash sensor (the aperture at the bottom of the "Vari-Power Module." There are four color-coded automatic settings for different apertures, and manual settings for full, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/16 power. (Oddly, the manual progression skips 1/8 power.)












Dec 17, 2013 at 09:17 AM
swoop
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p.1 #8 · Flash/lighting quesition


Can you even adjust power on the flash with a 430EX?

Best case, get yourself a cheap flash like a Metz 36 or 20 C-2, they have internal exposure meters that work independently of the camera. it takes a bit of practice but it's not hard to figure out. You can even just throw one in the corner if you attach some sort of radio trigger on it for off camera flash.

This is just my opinion but the cheaper manual flashes are a lot more practical than the whiz bang feature laden flashes from camera makers. Yeah TTL is super stupid simple if it's on the camera but working with manual flash is pretty easy too if you know what you're doing.



Dec 17, 2013 at 05:26 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · Flash/lighting quesition


swoop wrote:
Can you even adjust power on the flash with a 430EX?


Of course; you just press the [Mode] button to select "M," then press the [Sel/Set] button (the one in the center of the [+] and [-] half-moon buttons), then set the power using the [+] or [-] buttons. You can adjust power from full to 1/64.

The 430EX can only be adjusted in full-stop increments, but the 430 EX II can be adjusted in 1/3-stop increments.



Dec 17, 2013 at 06:34 PM





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