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08-10-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
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Flash Photography on Stock Kr

Anyone got any tips on how to shoot flash photography? I don't have an external flash (spending 200 plus on one is not an option right now) and have just tried using the one on my Kr.

I don't really like using the flash because of how overexposed and cheap it makes everything look. I'm not talking about portrait photos either. Just your standard run of the mill situation shooting. Should I be lowering any settings?

I make an effort to avoid using flash, but I know I will eventually need to use it so I'd like to be able to do it right.

Thanks.

08-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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It's difficult to get a natural look from the pop-up flash. Outside of using an external or off-camera flash, my suggestion would be to diffuse it. You can find diffusers specifically for pop-up flashes, or you can make your own. Look up "DIY pop-up flash diffuser" on Google and you'll see lot's of ideas.
08-10-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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Using the flash to fill is quite effective. Out doors has a nice effect, and indoors you can use Trailing synch and decrease the EV output to "dumb it down" I've just fiddled with it because I am a complete neophyte to flash (I've only been shooting DSLR for 7 Mo).

Einstrigger has a good idea with diffuser too.

One thing to note, if you are using a flash on a manual lens (K / M) they do not meter through the lens and as a result will over expose everything. I have been playing with this and found that indoors, varying with distance, if you "green button" expose it, pop the flash and knock off ~ 5 stops its workable for more fine adjustment. Trial and error. Electrons are free... snap snap snap away!
08-10-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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you know, off camera flashes dont have to be expensive...

08-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
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Does anyone have any experience with these?

Amazon.com: Gary Fong Puffer Pop Up Flash Diffuser: Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, Standard Version Bounce Flash Device, Universal Model, fits over the Pop-up Flash of most SLR Cameras (American Photo Editor's Choice 2008): Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: LumiQuest Soft Screen: Electronics

The Lumiquest Soft Screen seems the most appealing since it seems to take up the least amount of space, but I'm not really sure about that. Really hoping someone has had experience with these and can shed some light on which works best.

I also found this:


Seems really cool but it looks bulky and not easy to transport (I don't have a large camera bag).
08-11-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
you know, off camera flashes dont have to be expensive...
True. Those Yongnuo manual flashes are a bargain and you can learn a lot from using them. I personally prefer using manual flashes to P-TTL as well.
08-11-2011, 04:03 PM   #7
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Watch the trigger voltage on off camera flashes, search this site for posts on this subject, I believe strobe triggering in the 3V to 6V range are ok for the Kr, see this chart

Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

Hans
09-21-2011, 06:55 PM   #8
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Also interested in the Lightscoop, can anyone confirm that it fits the K-r? Their website lists the K-x, so I would assume it works with the K-r too...

09-22-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
...(spending 200 plus on one is not an option right now)...
Who says you have to spend $200+ on a flash?

I currently have about 20 flashes (some of them listed in the signature). The only one costing me more than $200 is a copy of Pentax AF540 bought new (the other copy was bought used for exactly $200).

If you want a usable flash less than $200, here is a list. All of the flashes listed are safe for Pentax DSLRs, with swivel and tilt head, and decent power.

- $150 - $200: Metz 54MZ-4/54MZ-4i (my favorite). I bought them for much less, but you need to be patient and lucky to find the module SCA3702 NOT at full price ($70). The flash can be used with other modules, but not as convenient.

- $70 - $120: Nikon SB 24/25/26/28/28DX, Metz 54MZ-3. These are build like tanks. I used to have several Nikon SB units but I sold all of them for the Metz 54MZ.

- $40 - $60: Sunpak 444D/433D/422D/36DX/30DX, Vivitar 5600/5200/3700, Pentax AF280T, Metz 40MZ-3i/40MZ-2/40MZ-1i/40MZ-1.

If you don't mind handle-mount flashes, there are even more choices. I just sold a Sunpak 544 for only $50 shipped.
09-22-2011, 01:49 PM   #10
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Bryan Peterson's new Understanding Flash Photography book is really good for beginners learning manual flash. So, I'd suggest getting one of those relatively inexpensive Yongnuo manual flashes and either buying or loaning that book and you will learn a lot and have real nice flash capability as well.
09-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #11
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table napkins works just fine.
09-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Who says you have to spend $200+ on a flash?

I currently have about 20 flashes (some of them listed in the signature).
This is why I love PentaxForums.

Also, I agree with the idea that if you really want to lean about flash photography, get a manual flash and a way to trigger it off the camera. Take a peek in the flash forums here for some amazing examples.
09-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #13
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I bought the Gary Fong puffer a long time ago. It's usefulness is pretty limited. It provides just a touch more diffusion than the built in flash. Keep in mind that the softness of the light depends on the apparent size of the light source as seen by the subject. So if the bare flash is like 2 square cm and with the puffer it's like 8 square cm, it's not going to make a big difference if your subject is 5 feet away. Maybe if you shot something very close you could see a difference, but otherwise it's rather useless IMO.

The lightscoop is a neat idea but it's held back by the fact that the built in flash on the K-r has a GN of 12m at ISO 100. Let's say you're shooting your kit lens at F/4. Without a bounce, that gives you a maximum subject distance of 12m/4 = 3m at ISO100. If you're going to bounce this up to the ceiling and back, you will lose about 2 - 3 stops of light. If you're bouncing off an average height ceiling, the distance from your flash to ceiling to subject is probably already more than 3 meters. So maybe you're at 1 stop underexposed before you account for the diffusion. Add the 2 or 3 stops of diffusion, and now you have to shoot everything at ISO 800 or ISO 1600 just to get a good exposure. That's the biggest problem with the lightscoop. The built in flash just doesn't have enough power to do a decent bounce flash. You could use it and shoot ISO 1600, but your images will have a lot more noise.

When I was new to photography I was very against flash photography because of what I thought flash pictures looked like. I was thinking of my P&S, blasted in the face, flat looking pictures. I spent my money on faster lenses to shoot only available light. But then my friend turned me onto what amazing things you can do with just a basic bounce flash. Save your money and buy one. You will never regret it.
09-30-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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have you heard of this before?

Home

I think this is very handy.
09-30-2011, 08:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Amazon.com: Gary Fong Puffer Pop Up Flash Diffuser: Camera & Photo
This should be decent for stuff like handheld macro work, but it should be known that you can get them on ebay for about $2.69 shipped from HK.
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