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03-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #1
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Looking for good, easy to use flash

Hi,
I've 2 weddings coming up (late summer).

I was thinking that it could be a good excuse to upgrade to the K-5 from my K-7. This would help me in low light and ability to use higher ISO.

But this wouldn't solve issues where someone is in awkward lighting- e.g. near a window so 1/2 face in bright, 1/2 darker. I presume this is a good example where the flash would help me?
I'm looking for a flash that's as automatic as possible/requires me to do the least work and has easiest learning curve.

The Metz 50 and 58, Pentax AF-360 FGZ & SigmaEF610 DG ST were recommended as they have following features and are 'easier' to use that other flashes-
full P-TTL (not the Sigma I think)
tilt & swivel heads
AF assist

Someone said the Pentax is the easiest to master- true?
Does the Pentax have swivel head?
Which would you recommend?

Cheers,
Pa.

03-21-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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the Pentax 360 doesn't have a swivel head, the 540 does.

For how easy to use they are, try them out i would say, i don't know what you find easier.

HSS is also important maybe if you want to use it as fill-light.
the Metz and the Pentax can but no idea about the Sigma.
03-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dinneenp Quote
near a window so 1/2 face in bright, 1/2 darker. I presume this is a good example where the flash would help me?
mmm...you're better off with cheapish gold, white or silver reflector...the reflected light will be softer and better looking than the harsh flash output.

Any of those flashes is fine..but WARNING p-Ttl sucks big time, the pre-flashes badly timed will get you blinking, strange faces photos. You would be bettre off learning to use manual mode, getting flashes that'll go down to 1/64th of their power and trigger them wirelessly, one on a stand with an umbrella and one on camera for fill is an event friendly setup. You may need a voice activated stand (i.e. friend/hired guy) to be fast and modify light without touching the flash.
03-21-2012, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Maybe look at a Metz 44 AF-1 ...

Bonsoir,

Here's a link which might be helpful ... I bought it, it's good and easy.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/174525-k-5-metz-44-auto-...periences.html

Salut, J

03-21-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
mmm...you're better off with cheapish gold, white or silver reflector...the reflected light will be softer and better looking than the harsh flash output.

Any of those flashes is fine..but WARNING p-Ttl sucks big time, the pre-flashes badly timed will get you blinking, strange faces photos. You would be bettre off learning to use manual mode, getting flashes that'll go down to 1/64th of their power and trigger them wirelessly, one on a stand with an umbrella and one on camera for fill is an event friendly setup. You may need a voice activated stand (i.e. friend/hired guy) to be fast and modify light without touching the flash.

Thanks but it's just me taking the photos and it's going to be casual so no chance of umbrella etc.
I've thought about the reflector but again it's just me.

@Anvh- what is HSS
When you say fill light do you mean to brighten darken areas?
03-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dinneenp Quote
@Anvh- what is HSS
When you say fill light do you mean to brighten darken areas?
Yes fill in the dark parts.
As for how to do that the best, if the ceiling isn't too high simply point the flash up, that will soften the light a lot and it will look natural, don't got an omni-bounce or something like that, they don't work better then bouncing from what i've experience.
I've bought an omni-bounce, used it once or twice but never used it again...
For outside things are different, then a reflector is indeed a lot better but you need someone to help you then but you should be able to use the flash as well to fill-in though but experiment with that first.
I see you need to use them late summer so you've some time to practise.

HSS is high-speed-sync, means you can flash with faster shutter speed then 1/180.
Not handy to freeze movement though but very handy as fill-light when it's bright outside.
03-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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I don't know about easier to use, but the Metz 58 has the most features for the money so just get that. Some of the extra stuff you think you might never use is actually very cool. For example, the second reflector (actually a bulb). You can bounce the main flash and still get fill-in from the secondary.

Check out Matt's very useful site.

P.S. Definitely upgrade to the K-5 as well. More DR means less need for flash, since you can pull up the shadows with less damage to your IQ.
03-21-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I don't know about easier to use, but the Metz 58 has the most features for the money so just get that. Some of the extra stuff you think you might never use is actually very cool. For example, the second reflector (actually a bulb). You can bounce the main flash and still get fill-in from the secondary.

Check out Matt's very useful site.

P.S. Definitely upgrade to the K-5 as well. More DR means less need for flash, since you can pull up the shadows with less damage to your IQ.
I'd like to do both soon if possible but cash probably won't allow for it.
I've also been thinking should I get the K-5 instead of a flash and get the flash down the line....

03-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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The k5 will let you go to Iso 1600 and a bit over without sweating...Iso 1600 and a f2,8 lens is all i've needed in very difficult lighting conditions. Flash photography has this awfull look if it's not handed correctly so the camera upgrade is a better option than the flash IMHO.
03-21-2012, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dinneenp Quote
I've also been thinking should I get the K-5 instead of a flash and get the flash down the line....
Honestly, a K5 should have no play in your decision to get or not to get a flash - there is nothing more disgusting and amatuer'ish looking (sorry for the harsh words) than a portrait of a beautiful stunning bride with the side of her face shadowed because the photographer wasn't fully prepared and did not have the proper equipment for the shoot. A K5 is nice, really really nice - but it doesn't matter how high the ISO capabilities are, you still need a flash when out doing portrait work, and a wedding shoot is no different...
03-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
you still need a flash when out doing portrait work
Not necesarilly...you can locate a nice window that sheds good natural light for the portrait work, it'll look way better than on-camera flash, ask the bride to move as needed. And if in the interiors you don't have harsh changes of lighting from dark to light, the small difficulties in a tungsten lighted room can be worked with care from Raw in PP.
Flash is a good tool if you have the conditions to use it right. There ain't nothing more disgusting as too much on-camera flash or flash ill used, washing all the portraits and rendering them flat.
If you're on a budget get the k5 (it'll improve your capacities in hard lighting AND in good lighting too) and a cheap manual or Auto flash...You can get an old nikon Sb for a fair price or the yonnuos...That way you can go with manual flash where it is absolutely indispensable...you just gotta practice a bit, and you'll get pretty close pretty soon, then you just correct as needed, chimping fast to see if you didn't blow out or underexposed too much.
03-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Not necesarilly...you can locate a nice window that sheds good natural light for the portrait work, it'll look way better than on-camera flash, ask the bride to move as needed
- And call the crane and the local builders to have them move the pier to the other side of the pond you are looking to get the picture off of.
- Take a shovel to transplant the rose bush that you want to integrate into the photo.
- That piano you want the bride to lay atop on, well, make sure you have a crew of people to pick it up and move it for you.
- Most importantly, ask the bride to walk the right side of the church where the windows are instead of down the center, certainly the ceremony will allow for this.



BTW, I am not talking about indoor shooting, I am talking the real stuff outdoors where there is plenty of light where the flash will matter most.
03-22-2012, 04:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
- And call the crane and the local builders to have them move the pier to the other side of the pond you are looking to get the picture off of. - Take a shovel to transplant the rose bush that you want to integrate into the photo. - That piano you want the bride to lay atop on, well, make sure you have a crew of people to pick it up and move it for you. - Most importantly, ask the bride to walk the right side of the church where the windows are instead of down the center, certainly the ceremony will allow for this.
You can call it the "complete experience" and charge more for your work!
I agree that flash is important in some occasions, but you can arrange most of the shots so you can take them with natural light without having your crane moving the church porch (and aunt emily who can't really walk that fast).
And then it may be my fixation but i have a strong feeling against on-camera flash. Direct output from that litle light source in the same axis of your lens gets you dull photos.
Going back on topic, as i said before any of the flashes mentioned will serve his purpose, i was just trying to share other possibilities. Since he got time i'm sure he can get somehow a flash and experiment, and decide if he prefers flash or better ISO and DR and then be carefull with some shots,shoot raw, and be willing to fix some things in PP.
In the time he's got he can practice manual flash so he doesn't have to choose between the two options since he can buy a manual one cheap and put the rest towards the K5 (manual flash may be intimidating at first, and you may fear it'll be slow and make you lose shots...but after a short while operating the flash you will be agile with it and guess the power output for correct exposures).
Oh and if you go with the flash try syncing it through a Pc cable and mounting it on a monopod, that way you can operate the camera with one hand and modify the angle of the light source for more dinamic and natural looking photos.
Experiences differ, and i haven't shot any wedding but i've shot various events, fashion related in difficult interiors, parks, big wide hotel reception rooms with nice windows but mixes of tungsten and white flickering light...and in most occasions you can get away with ambient light.
It's a shame that the OP can't have anyone help him with the reflector since that way he can fill and cast golden tones, silver or just smooth white, well angled light.

Last edited by Coeurdechene; 03-22-2012 at 04:35 AM.
03-22-2012, 04:45 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote

BTW, I am not talking about indoor shooting, I am talking the real stuff outdoors where there is plenty of light where the flash will matter most.
Can you expand on this please?
03-22-2012, 05:38 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I assume he's talking about fill flash...so you can get shots where the bride, groom or guest are correctly exposed while you keep a nice blue sky and the rest isn't burnt. Or in open shadows you can get good light for a part of the scene but a harsh ray of light or an unshadowed area will be burnt, fill flash will let you close the gap and get a decent exposure all over the frame. The thing with events is that you cannot control when things happen, so maybe it'll turn out that the presice moment where groom and bride arrive or leave the church is when you're getting a harsh sun light that will cast strong shadows and create a look that i really like but that ain't appropiate for weddings, there you got Fill flash to the rescue! i think he's refering to that kind of situations. Those situations are difficult to control, since you don't decide the itinerary, it might make difficult the shooting of nice candids and may make you lose nice moments, like the example before, if theres a strong variation in light and you get a part of her head in a strong black shadow, then you got to fill that shadow at least a bit with a small power output, so that it doesn't look like a film noir image.
Flash fill will get you great results if handled correctly, and sometimes the thing i hate about direct flash output, the flatness, can be liked by the wife since it erases lots of the skin imperfections.

One thing wedding photogs usually do aside from capturing the event as it rolls out naturally is to look for a nice location and take the newly weds, in all their splendor and apparell and take lots of portrait shots. In madrid lots of wedding photogs use el campo del moro, it's a palace "private" garden that's open to the public every day for a determined amount of time...there there are lots of open shadows and nice fountains, etc...so any sunny day you can see 7-8 couples with their photogs roaming around doing portrait shots, i know some photogs that cheat and do that a couple of days after when the light is just perfect.
Don't be afraid to talk to the couple and see if they would like portraits in a nice place with sentimental value, cheat a bit and do it the day where light is great. In that occasion bring reflectors and stands to get that perfect portrait they will put on the master bedroom.
You shouldn't fear bringing something like this either: Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder Review for the posed portraits of the most relevant guests in the wedding itself. Scout the location days before the wedding happens, get there and chose a good location for the portraits, once in the event you can leave that corner setted while you take event shots, then you just ask the more relevant people to dedicate you a couple of seconds, usually they'll be delighted, you just gotta chose the right moment where you don't interrupt anything relevant.

Just after seeing your pages i doubt you'll encounter difficulties, and that i may be saying things you already know.
Nice website by the way...is it a wordpress theme?
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