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11-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
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DA 21 and Indoor Shoe Mount Flash

Ok so here's the deal. I've a got a recently C.R.I.S. calibrated sharp DA 21 lens and want to shoot indoor family low light group shots this Christmas. I know at 3.2 the lens is not really fast enough for adequate low light shots without the use of a flash. If I purchase say a Metz 52 af can I expect the shots to look as nice as say the DA*16-50 lens? Or even at 2.8 would that lens also require a flash.

My eye is on the Sigma 1.8 18-35 but that lens is not available yet.

11-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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Not a thing there will help you with making them look good. Forget about sharp, heck even forget about light, once you have composition sorted, you will appreciate that looking nice has nothing to do with the equipment and all to do with the photographer.

Dan, a former gear junky.
11-29-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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As long as the flash is bounced of the ceiling (or a wall) I see no reason why the photos can't look great. The DA 21 and a bounced flash is my standard party/get-together setup for group shots.
11-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
As long as the flash is bounced of the ceiling (or a wall) I see no reason why the photos can't look great. The DA 21 and a bounced flash is my standard party/get-together setup for group shots.
What flash do you use?

11-29-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Well photography is all about light, and flash is a whole lot of light. So flash, if used properly, will improve photos. The only problem is if the lens is too wide for the flash or something. But with 21mm on APS-C it should be okay.
Just remember that flash is a tricky thing, so you need to learn some techniques.

But I am not sure what your question is. A flash will change how your photo looks and bring in lots of light. A flash doesn't just let you shoot with lower aperture, it changes the photo. So its not just "brighter", its "different". So using a flash with DA 21mm won't make it look like the 16-50mm, it will make it look like a 21mm with flash. The difference in brightness between f3.2 and f2.8 is much smaller than the brightness of a flash. When using flash, people often stop down to f5.6 or f8, so the photo isn't overexposed.
11-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well photography is all about light, and flash is a whole lot of light. So flash, if used properly, will improve photos. The only problem is if the lens is too wide for the flash or something. But with 21mm on APS-C it should be okay.
Just remember that flash is a tricky thing, so you need to learn some techniques.

But I am not sure what your question is. A flash will change how your photo looks and bring in lots of light. A flash doesn't just let you shoot with lower aperture, it changes the photo. So its not just "brighter", its "different". So using a flash with DA 21mm won't make it look like the 16-50mm, it will make it look like a 21mm with flash. The difference in brightness between f3.2 and f2.8 is much smaller than the brightness of a flash. When using flash, people often stop down to f5.6 or f8, so the photo isn't overexposed.
So really it doesn't matter how fast your lens is, you need a flash in low light regardless. I'm trying to save myself some cash here by purchasing a flash over a sale price $850 DA*16-50 lens
11-30-2013, 01:38 AM   #7
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I use Pentax FGZ 360 with DA 21mm indoors, stopped down to f4,0 - f5,6, and light is enough even with Gary Fong Lightsphere for full body group shots. However, outdoors, especially using HSS, I feel this flash isn't powerfull enough to use with DA 21mm.


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11-30-2013, 02:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
What flash do you use?
I use a Metz 44 or a Yongnuo YN560. The Metz has PTTL so can be used in auto mode while the Yongnuo doesn't, however, the Yonguno was a lot cheaper, is better built and is more powerful.

The advantage of using flash over even the fastest lens is that you can keep the ISO down, probably below 200, whereas even at f/2.8 in that situation you'd be looking at at least ISO 1600 to get a bare minimum shutter speed to avoid motion blur from people.

Using bounced flash indoors on manual settings is easy - once you've got your exposure right you just adjust the power depending on distance to subject and your distance from the ceiling, neither of which is likely to change much in that kind of situation. Always shoot RAW to make sure you can fine-tune the exposure later if needed, this is always a good idea but particularly when shooting manual.

11-30-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
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Just to notice - Metz 52 doesn't have auto mode (only 58 has). I get much more consistent results shooting in combination of manual mode on camera and auto on flash, than P-TTL, and that's handy to have for old lenses or old cameras.


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11-30-2013, 04:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
So really it doesn't matter how fast your lens is, you need a flash in low light regardless. I'm trying to save myself some cash here by purchasing a flash over a sale price $850 DA*16-50 lens
Define low light The half-stop (or so) benefit of the DA*16-50 can make a difference in some situations but I would not rely on it being useful all the time; you will e.g. go from f/3.2 and 1/10s (DA21Ltd) to f/2.8 and 1/15s (DA*16-50) or from 1/30s to 1/45s. With shutter speeds at the edge of what you can achieve hand held, the weight, size and different balancing of the DA*16-50 might work in your favor or against it.

A flash is always a useful accessory, even outdoors with good light.
11-30-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I use a Metz 44 or a Yongnuo YN560. The Metz has PTTL so can be used in auto mode while the Yongnuo doesn't, however, the Yonguno was a lot cheaper, is better built and is more powerful.
Amazon has the Yongnuo YN560 III for $75 and the II version for $54. The Metz 44 is $200. I'm only going to use this flash for indoor family gatherings. As a flash newbie will I be OK with the Yongnuo or should I spend the extra money and buy a TTL flash like the Metz? The manual flash can't be that hard to use can it?
11-30-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
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Manual flash can be a bit annoying, but there are ways to get around it. With the Yongnuo you save so much money you can even buy a flash diffuser for it and maybe a wireless trigger so you can use it off-camera (this is great, because harsh straight-on flash can make things look flat -you usually want flash at an angle so it creates interesting shadows. Shadows are what give things "shape" and 3-dimensionality)
11-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Manual flash can be a bit annoying, but there are ways to get around it. With the Yongnuo you save so much money you can even buy a flash diffuser for it and maybe a wireless trigger so you can use it off-camera (this is great, because harsh straight-on flash can make things look flat -you usually want flash at an angle so it creates interesting shadows. Shadows are what give things "shape" and 3-dimensionality)
I think I'll get the Yongnuo. I would rather have full manual control myself so I can choose what looks best to me rather than relying on the flash to choose for me.
11-30-2013, 01:01 PM   #14
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Ordered the Yongnuo YN560 III on Amazon for $25 bucks. I didn't realize I had some Amazon credit laying around. Bonus for me
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