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07-09-2015, 05:24 AM   #16
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Flash - Gary Fong Puffer diffuser for the on-body flash does work really well. It won't blow highlights and will give you good light. You might appreciate it for set shots. Be careful, though, it can fall off easily. The other diffusers for flashes work well too.

Your kit lens might be OK for 90% of what you want, just stop it down a little. finding a used 16-45 might be a better option if you have $150 or so to spend. The advice above about remembering to switch orientation is good, too, for better coverage.

This has been a good thread to refer to, for new users. Remember, this will be a crowded venue so wide is your friend.

07-09-2015, 05:32 AM   #17
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I do loads of conventions and most of my shots are between 20 and 28, which is why I definitely say take the kit lens. Take a flash too if you can.
07-09-2015, 05:58 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Flash - Gary Fong Puffer diffuser for the on-body flash does work really well. It won't blow highlights and will give you good light. You might appreciate it for set shots. Be careful, though, it can fall off easily.
I find it stays on pretty well, less likely to come off in a crowded environment than a mini softbox.

But it's a bounce flash modifier, and at conventions walls and ceiling are often too far away.

A Rogue Flashbender can work well.
07-09-2015, 06:04 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I find it stays on pretty well, less likely to come off in a crowded environment than a mini softbox.

But it's a bounce flash modifier, and at conventions walls and ceiling are often too far away.

A Rogue Flashbender can work well.

Yeah, that's the strength of the on-board Fong diffuser, it's not a bounce.

07-09-2015, 06:10 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Yeah, that's the strength of the on-board Fong diffuser, it's not a bounce.
Ah, my apologies, Ter-ror ... I have one of those, too.

I like the way it comes apart to not take up much room, but worry about losing the hotshoe part. Perhaps I should glue it.
07-09-2015, 07:04 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Ah, my apologies, Ter-ror ... I have one of those, too.

I like the way it comes apart to not take up much room, but worry about losing the hotshoe part. Perhaps I should glue it.
Yeah, I've lost my bracket. You know, I wonder whether a tether would be a good idea? Use one of those lens cap tethers, and a bit of cord to tie the diffuser and bracket together. That material is going to be tough to cement, I think the diffuser is polypropylene or another similar plastic which is very resistant to adhesives or epoxies.
07-09-2015, 08:26 AM   #22
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Ideally, for an event like this, if you can use flash, you're probably better off. If adding a lens is not an option, then the kit lens with a flash will give you the most flexibility. If flash is not an option, then you might want to try and use the 35. Of course, bringing more than one lens can help if you can swing it.

Remember, though, if you use flash, to diffuse it and get it as far from the lens as possible. That is, if you can use a flash bracket, that's good. If not, make sure you diffuse it somehow. I find that a sheet of bright white foam (which you can pick up in a craft store for less than $2, possibly less than $1) cut in a symmetrical trapezoid shape and rubber banded to the flash makes a very cheap, but fairly good diffuser. You use it by pointing the flash upward and letting the foam reflect the light toward your subject. You can still point the flash at a wall or a ceiling if one is handy.

Of course, part of what will govern your approach is what you feel comfortable with. If you don't mind looking like an old fashioned newspaper photographer, or having people look askance at your homemade diffuser (and possibly attracting a bit more attention to yourself), then you can get some pretty good shots this way (there's a reason why the old-fashioned newspaper photographer stereotype look exists), but if you're not comfortable with that, you might be better off making-do with a good low light performer like the 35mm. In any case, and especially if you decide to try and use a flash, I suggest that you practice in a venue with similar lighting conditions if possible. Don't be intimidated by manual flash settings. It's not as hard as you might think, and it gets the best results once you figure it out (I admit I'm a bit out of practice at the moment, though I am starting to brush up in anticipation of upcoming events).

P.S.: Just because the Sigma flash is P-TTL doesn't mean you have to use it that way. It almost certainly has manual settings and possibly an "Auto" setting as well. I think that's supposed to be a pretty good flash, so it's probably worth taking the time to learn how to use manually.

Last edited by CFWhitman; 07-09-2015 at 08:43 AM.
07-09-2015, 11:10 AM   #23
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This is really getting interesting and very informative, thanks everyone.

Just to put you in the picture, I am able to use the Manual settings on the Sigma Flash, I'm used to using the cheap Neewer ones I have. As for a diffuser, how about one of these...



This was designed and made by a friend of mine, it costs less than a $/ to make and fits onto any flash.

07-09-2015, 01:16 PM   #24
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That's basically the same thing as I was describing in my earlier post. It's worked pretty well in my experience, and if it gets too dirty just buy a new piece of foam and cut it to the right shape.
08-04-2015, 09:44 AM   #25
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Well it came and I went, but what did I take? I ended up taking the SMC Pentax DA 35mm F/2.4 AL coupled with the Sigma 610 on my K-r coupled with my new Panasonic DMC FZ200 with a Neewer manual flash.

It was great fun and the light was crap as expected. I started off with the Pentax and got a couple good ones (after extensive pp).








After a while I ended up switching to the Panasonic for the rest of the afternoon as I needed the reach. I also ended up doing this to some of the shots 'cos I hated the backgrounds. The first one was with the Pentax, the 2nd with the Panasonic.






Was it a success, not without Photoshop it wasn't. But it was a lot of fun. If you want to see more they are on Flickr HERE

As always comments greatly appreciated, good, bad or indifferent.
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