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01-16-2014, 12:33 AM   #16
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Jai, use your built in flash, set the the flash compensation to -2 ,( to stop over unrealistic lighting) set the camera on p mode, ( to allow you to control dof) set the iso to 1000 ( to help with shutter speed) and try that in a room that simulates the party scene, and take the lens hood off ( to stop flash shadow)
That should get you well but not overlit images and should give you enough flash power to cover a reasonable size group of kids.
User raw plus to give you some extra latitude in correction if the jpegs are a bit dull which might happen on some shots with wide angle shots.

01-16-2014, 05:26 AM   #17
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In your first post you ask about external falsh? Instead of buying a flash buy a fast lens.

Both of these are very good for the price and would help you immensly. They are also cheaper than a decent flash.

Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 lens for Pentax DSLR Cameras

Pentax 21987 DA 35mm f/2.4 AL Lens for Pentax Digital SLR cameras, it's only $177.00
01-16-2014, 07:17 AM   #18
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An important aspect that I didn't see mentioned, is to get down to the childrens level, lay on the floor if need be! A bunch of photos looking down on the kids is not very impressive.

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01-16-2014, 08:27 AM   #19
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good point tuggie, the kids ages were not mentioned I don't think but a good trick is to get some one to do things behind your back. kids think it is hilarious if some one is making a fool of the photographer without him/her knowing.

01-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #20
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The Yonguo is not a good choice unless you already know your way around manual flashes, or are willing to spend a lot of time with trial and error. There are cheaper, easier, and better matches to get you started with good flash photography on the K-30/50/500. Buying from reputable sources like BH and Adorama is a good idea. For under $32 shipped you can get a nicely powered Auto flash with two range choices (35 feet for shallow depth of field and ceiling bounce, 17 feet for closer shots and more focus range), and that gives you both bounce and swivel. The reviews are consistently good on this unit. See:
Bower SFD290 Flash, Fully Automatic Zoom Swivel Bounce, Standard Hot Shoe SFD290

Learn on that flash, perhaps add some kind of diffuser (reflectors like LumiQuest are more capable than the Stofen/Fong types). Then, if you want to get more advanced, look at the more sophisticated units that involve more set up. However, Auto flashes such as the one linked above are more dependable and easier to use than ratio-type flashes like the Yonguo.
01-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
Jai, use your built in flash, set the the flash compensation to -2 ,( to stop over unrealistic lighting) set the camera on p mode, ( to allow you to control dof) set the iso to 1000 ( to help with shutter speed) and try that in a room that simulates the party scene, and take the lens hood off ( to stop flash shadow)
That should get you well but not overlit images and should give you enough flash power to cover a reasonable size group of kids.
User raw plus to give you some extra latitude in correction if the jpegs are a bit dull which might happen on some shots with wide angle shots.
This is excellent advice if you are most comfortable with simply using what you have now. I see that the OP is in Australia - I have no idea if a new Auto flash such as the one I linked in the U.S. is available there. I know that you can find a lot of Sigma there, but those are dedicated flashes and a bit pricey in comparison. Still, you'll have no trouble if you happen to locate a nice Auto flash. It can be relatively small, as shooting at higher ISOs will still get you good quality results (but bounce is essential, and swivel is advised).
01-16-2014, 03:55 PM   #22
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Jai, whatever hardware you have or end up with, before the day you must take lots of test shots in similar conditions to get a feel for the settings and techniques that will work on the big occasion. They will have to become second nature because you won't be taking still life photos. The subjects will move and do unplanned things, and your basic methods will have to be sound enough that you can improvise to follow them.

I'm still getting there myself- good luck with it all!
01-18-2014, 05:36 AM   #23
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Thanks everyone for the tips. I believe I have to practise a lot using the built in flash.

@adwb, that is a good advise. Will try that out.

@ScooterMaxi jim, BH and Adorama provides excellent service and the reviews were positive. Every component in US is very cheap when compared to Australia.

I still have not explored my current lens completely and hence buying another lens is bit over kill for me now. I do know that Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 lens is an excellent lens but I have to skip the purchase for now.

Regards,
Jai

01-18-2014, 09:14 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by geru2000 Quote
In your first post you ask about external falsh? Instead of buying a flash buy a fast lens.
I politely disagree. For general purpose, I find a flash is far more useful than a fast lens. The 50/1.8 will give you between 2 and 3 stops benefit and after that it's finished. And it comes at the cost of shallow DOF.
01-18-2014, 11:48 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I politely disagree. For general purpose, I find a flash is far more useful than a fast lens. The 50/1.8 will give you between 2 and 3 stops benefit and after that it's finished. And it comes at the cost of shallow DOF.
I agree with you there, also you need a fairly large room to be able to use it. A 35mm or similar is better, but they are not cheap!

Tuggie76
01-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #26
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Flash vs no flash! Of course if you are photographing a wall the flash is much faster/will be sharper/etc.

But a young girl blowing out the candles. The soft light of the candles in her face. The softer background w/o harsh shadows.

The method must match the needs of the subject and what you want to capture.
01-18-2014, 01:00 PM   #27
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I use a Sigma EF-610 P-TTL flash and wouldn't want to be without it, there are a couple of things to master but it can get perfect exposures automatically thereafter every time. However, I can also do the same with a 35yr old Nissan 360TW auto thyristor flash. Yes, I can only use up to 3 aperture settings and it's not as powerful as the Sigma, but it works auto-exposure fine. Using bounce off the ceiling or wall with either can make life a lot easier than dealing with very low light (noise and slow shutter speeds/subject motion blur) and the results look a lot like natural light.

I bought a second 360TW for the princely sum of 15 off the bay 2-3yrs ago. It's got swivel/bounce and a switchable fill flash. There's plenty of other auto-thyristor flashes around but you have to make sure they have a low trigger voltage, some old ones for film had 300 volts on the contacts which can fry a digital camera. There's a website that lists trigger voltages, keep it under 10.5v (the Nissin) and I know it will be fine - no issues here since 2006. trigger voltages

You should be able to find guidance on using an auto thyristor flash on the web, but basically on the Nissin you have a switch with 3 power settings and these relate to fixed aperture settings on the camera. To start with, stick to either ISO 100 or 200, put the camera in M mode, set the shutter speed to 1/160s, choose one of the 3 power settings, then play around with your aperture taking indoor shots with the flash head pointing up. Once you've found an aperture that gives good exposures, that's it, that's the aperture for that power setting. Then repeat with the other 2 power settings. Now you have 3 apertures where exposures will be right automatically at any distance (within the range of the flash). Put a sticker on the back of the flash to remind you of the apertures for each of the 3 switch positions. Done.

Last edited by SteveB; 01-18-2014 at 01:28 PM.
01-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
.......Buying from reputable sources like BH and Adorama is a good idea. .....
Thank you for the feedback - very much appreciated
01-22-2014, 08:45 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
A manual flash like the Yongnuo and using bounce flash will easily distinguish your shots from a point-and-shoot camera look. It should also enable you to get your shots safe (no blurring, high noise or harsh shadows in peoples faces).
I agree...bounce flash is the way to go IF the ceilings arent too high. Is this at a hall, or someone's home?
02-03-2014, 09:11 PM   #30
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Jai, if you can afford an external flash, it's the better solution. Also, think of it as investment for all your future photos, not just this birthday.
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