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02-02-2017, 08:45 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Recent Flagged Flash P-TTL Examples

I hope you don't mind clicking through across the pond to PentaxUser, but I wanted to share these recent domestic portraits and the related discussion points .....

These are mainly lit with a single on-camera Pentax AF-540FGZ (1 & II) with a flag-type modifier to shape and direct the light away from the subject, and produce directional lighting that mimics the effects of more complicated off-camera wireless setups. I certainly find the manipulations of an on-camera P-TTL unit much easier to control and adjust quickly, and of course less complex to set up, less space etc, that I find I use this technique a lot now.

Note that there are two more photos further down near the bottom of the first page of the thread. Also there are a couple of examples lit by off-camera umbrella / softbox setups also.

Please take a look and feedback / comment here ..... Link To PentaxUser.com below :

Flashes, A Flag and Domestic Portraits

02-02-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
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Do you have a picture of the flag setup that you used to create those lovely portraits?
02-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by W.j.christy Quote
Do you have a picture of the flag setup that you used to create those lovely portraits?
What they said ^ ^ ^


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02-02-2017, 10:49 AM   #4
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Lovely series of portrait shots with very natural-looking results, Nigel

02-02-2017, 11:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for taking a look guys .... I'm using 2 'flashbender' type knockoffs. The main issue to look out for is weakness of the straps and velcro. I've had a cheap example break quickly before.

I'll take a mobile phone shot of the camera flash and flag combination and post it later.
02-02-2017, 11:42 AM   #6
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Great pictures, nice job! Many times if the flashed is bounced willy nilly, pics just come out flat and boring, but you did a good job making the light soft but still directional.

You said in the thread that 1,2,3,6,7 were on camera flash flagged so no direct light went onto the subject, but in 1,6, and 7 there are pretty distinct catch lights. Did you bounce the flash off of a particular surface, or was the flash very close to a wall?
02-02-2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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Excellent examples of what's possible with on-camera flash - thanks for sharing! I have experimented a bit with the slightly fiddly (but cheap and compact) "black foamie thing", and it really makes a huge difference. I use flash all to rarely, though, so I lack the practice needed for consistent results and confident use.
02-02-2017, 12:02 PM   #8
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Thanks also Jake and Savoche ! I hope here to encourage everyone to get those P-TTL flashes and flags out and get capturing some nice indoor portraits without all the effort of wireless set-ups and umbrellas and stuff.

I made a mistake with my OP on the thread .... The first and last shots of the first set were in fact shot with off-camera flashes, using an umbrella and softbox. The others with catch lights are all flagged flash though, and yes, they are shot close to white walls which produced the strong catchlights.

02-02-2017, 12:08 PM   #9
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Ok I see kinda what you did. I am assuming you put the "flag" on the flash with the reflective surface facing behind you?
02-02-2017, 12:20 PM   #10
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Yes, the flash head was lighting the white surface of the 'flag' .... This would produce a wider and stronger spread out over a larger area than a black flag .... However a black foamy thing must be a real power drain! But the flag was pointed sideways and slightly up, preventing any direct front light from reaching the subject.

Last edited by mcgregni; 02-02-2017 at 12:25 PM.
02-02-2017, 01:23 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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Cool thread you started here, Nigel. Haven't had much time to further explore yet, but over the Christmas holidays I gave flagged P-TTL on-camera bounce flash a first try.

Both shots with an improvised black foamie thing (black felt, actually). First shot bounced sideways from a white wall, second shot bounced from a white ceiling. AF360FGZ II flagged to prevent any direct flash reaching the subject. Far as I recall +1.5 EV flash compensation (set in camera). Am not completely happy yet with the results, but the technique definitely holds promise in my book. One issue is indeed the light loss, which is quickly felt with a GN 36 flash, but maybe that can be mitigated a little by setting the zoom head manually to 58mm instead of Auto?
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Last edited by Madaboutpix; 02-02-2017 at 01:28 PM.
02-03-2017, 12:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Cool thread you started here, Nigel. Haven't had much time to further explore yet, but over the Christmas holidays I gave flagged P-TTL on-camera bounce flash a first try.

Both shots with an improvised black foamie thing (black felt, actually). First shot bounced sideways from a white wall, second shot bounced from a white ceiling. AF360FGZ II flagged to prevent any direct flash reaching the subject. Far as I recall +1.5 EV flash compensation (set in camera). Am not completely happy yet with the results, but the technique definitely holds promise in my book. One issue is indeed the light loss, which is quickly felt with a GN 36 flash, but maybe that can be mitigated a little by setting the zoom head manually to 58mm instead of Auto?

Obviously the GN36 flash is quite out of powerful, I have one.


For ceiling or wall bouncing. I would use the Metz 52. and make the maxium zoom.


putting the flash closer to the surface bounced is helpful.


so remote control is important. optical or wireless.or , cable.

Last edited by andy888; 02-03-2017 at 12:08 AM.
02-03-2017, 02:03 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Madaboutpix, you've got some nice directional light going on there!

I agree guys that GN36 can be limiting in this sort of situation .... That's why I always recommend people get the more powerful Pentax flashes. My shots were at close distances with the walls only 3-4 ft from the flash, so there were no power concerns. But in bigger rooms and when the subject is further away this flagged flash business can be a real power hog.

Regarding the flash zoom setting ....I have not found that zooming in has a positive effect generally. It doesn't add to the effective power or range, more the opposite really in bounced situations. I find that zoom settings in the range between 24-35mm works best.
02-03-2017, 10:09 AM   #14
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As promised I've just put some phone snaps into a post on the PentaxUser thread. .... These show the camera/flash/flag I'm using. Please take a look, a post on the 2nd page of the thread.

Sorry, I've spent ages trying to put the photos into here from my phone, but I've given up fed up in frustration. ...
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