Flash Help & Indoor Photography

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Boz

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Hey everyone! I'm needing some help with flash. I have a DSLR and I want to learn more about the external flashes. I have one but it's really old and decided to recently die on me. I have another but it's a wired one that you mount completely off the camera. For $1 at a garage sale, it was a steal!

But I want to learn more about using an external flash in general. What should I look for in a flash? I don't have a lot of money to spend and I know they can get pricey. :shock:

This summer I may be doing a wedding and I really want to use an external flash rather then the light scoop for the indoor photos. I just don't have a lot of experience with it!
 

missyscove

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What kind of DSLR do you have (canon, nikon or something else?)
I have a Canon digital rebel xti and a Speedlite 430 EXII flash which is the cheaper of their speedlite models. I'm sure one of the more camera experty people will come along, but I'll say that I love mine. It's definitely one of the better purchases I've made and it really enhances my pictures.
 

MikeScone

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Boz wrote:
I have a DSLR and I want to learn more about the external flashes. ... I have another but it's a wired one that you mount completely off the camera. For $1 at a garage sale, it was a steal!

But I want to learn more about using an external flash in general. What should I look for in a flash? I don't have a lot of money to spend and I know they can get pricey. :shock:
First, I'm not sure I'd use that $1 flash - the internals of today's cameras can be damaged by the high voltages used in the "good old days" when flash units were switched by physical switches in the camera. Today's electronics aren't nearly as tolerant. Even if the flash wouldn't damage the camera, it's not going to use any of the camera's ability to meter flash for exposure. You'd have to use manual exposure on the camera to get the pictures right, based on the distance from the flash to the subject and the strength of the flash. In years past I've done it, but it's no fun, and you never quite got the exposure right.

There's a thread in this Camera Corner forum about external flash, called Flash - on and off camera, and also one just calledExternal Flash. You might want to look at them for some comments and examples. The thread on taking pictures of rabbits with red eyes might also be helpful

If you're using the D5000, you should look at one of the Nikon flashes which can interface with the camera electronics. They're really amazing - the camera reads the actual flash through the camera lens as it reflects from the subject, and shuts off the flash when the exposure is perfect. Some of them, like the SB600 I have, can read the focal length of the lens and adjust the light pattern accordingly - zoom in and the flash concentrates the light toward the center, zoom out and it spreads the light to get full exposure.

Yes, the Nikon flashes can be pricey - $100 and up - but in actuality the built-in flash is pretty good - much better than an external flash which can't talk to the camera. If you really want an external flash, I'd just use the D5000's own flash until you can save up enough for one of the Nikon Speedlights.

Ken Rockwell's got a good page comparing the Nikon flashes - you should probably take a look at that and see which flash unit would be best for you. He has an SB-600 like the one I use, but he says that the SB400 ($140 new, $100 refurb) is the one he uses the most.


 

Pet_Bunny

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I bought a new Nikon SB-900 flash for my Birthday a few weeks ago. I just love it. It is big and powerful and Itook some incredible pictures with it.

As you know, I like to take pictures with a flash as fill, and using a diffuser on it. The set up I have is like a small portable studio flash where I can control my lighting. The picture was taken with the flash with diffuser held to my left and above the bunny.



Like Mike, I would stay with a dedicatedflash (Nikon)with your Nikon camera.
 

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