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09-16-2015, 08:03 AM   #1
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Flash for outdoor music festivals

So I've been shooting a lot of music festivals lately and always have trouble in the evening. My fastest lens is 70/2.8 and it doesn't really cut it. I have to keep the shutter fast enough for my shaky hands as well as freeze all the dancing people. I was going to buy a rokinon 85/1.4 but I don't think that's the best solution. With the extra 15mm I'll still have to keep the SS fast enough and with people moving, they'll likely move in and out of the shallow DOF. So in kind of leaning towards buying a p-ttl flash instead. Plus I'll be able to use it at night. I have a neweer manual flash but with the lights from the stage constantly changing, there's no way for me to keep from under or over exposing.
So will something like the pentax pttl flash solve my problem? I need something that will change the exposure as the environment changes.

Also, is it normal to use like some kind of diffuser in a situation like this? I don't want the pictures to come out with heavy shadows behind the subjects or on their faces. And what kind of diffuser would I need? I'm thinking I'm on the right track but this is new to me so not entirely sure.
Thanks

---------- Post added 09-16-15 at 08:05 AM ----------

Oh, I'm also planning in buying the DA35 or 40ltd depending on how much this flag set up will run me. And I'm not married to using a pentax flash. As long as it does what I need it to and isn't too complicated.


Last edited by Another dyemention; 09-16-2015 at 08:27 AM.
09-16-2015, 08:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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If you have a safe place to place your flash you could use a cactus v6 wireless trigger with a pentax flash and hang it up high or on an amplifier with a diffuser. On camera doesn't look good to me an optical trigger is unreliable. You still should make sure you get ambient lighting into the picture.
Heres one wit a flash hanging from ceiling
09-16-2015, 08:34 AM   #3
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I'm hesitant to leave my stuff somewhere but it could be done. As long as all the drunk hippies can't break it lol. I have a cowboy studio remote thing that i use at home but my problem is how do I get the right exposure? I have no experience with flash other than my manual one.

---------- Post added 09-16-15 at 08:42 AM ----------

And I should have specified that the crowd is what I'm looking to photograph. The stage is lit up whelk enough to use whatever settings I need.
09-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #4
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Use a larger flash bracket and hotshoe cable and enable contrast control flash. Or add a couple of diffusers if desired.

I'm not sure if P-TTL is going to help vs simple auto thyrister.

09-16-2015, 10:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Use a larger flash bracket and hotshoe cable and enable contrast control flash. Or add a couple of diffusers if desired.

I'm not sure if P-TTL is going to help vs simple auto thyrister.
Isn't that the point of pttl? To automatically adjust the output of the flash to get a correct exposure?
09-16-2015, 11:24 AM   #6
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I hang mine by the concert rigging for lights if you ask the sound or lighting guy they may let you. I've only done it once but It helped a lot. next show I am going to do 2 flashes.
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Last edited by Sliver-Surfer; 09-16-2015 at 12:58 PM.
09-16-2015, 12:53 PM   #7
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I never did the music stage but I do think that P-TTL is a no-go here... If you get few manual flashes with triggers that can adjust their power, like Cactus V6, you are fine. You will expose for the background (I prefer using full manual mode) and then use the flashes to light the subject (power accordingly adjusted). I will not bother if some of the moving people are blurry as this can be very creative as long as your main subject is properly lit. As someone suggested already you can use diffusers but you will need to adjust power of the flashes exponentially.

As you mention by yourself that the lights are always changing on the stage and for me that is the reason to go full manual mode while as long as this is got right and once the flash power adjusted for the main subject as they do not move too much on the stage anyway, then the background exposure can be also quickly figured out while those stage lights usually do not change the power.

Also custom WB can be very helpful there.

Just my 2c.
09-16-2015, 01:42 PM   #8
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thank you for the replies. I was more concerned though with taking pictures of people in the crowd and around the crowd. Basically full body portraits or just top half. The ambient light from the stage is always different so That's why I thought a P-TTL would be useful. I was not aware that you could buy triggers that can set the power. I will look into those.

---------- Post added 09-16-15 at 01:44 PM ----------

Do you know if those would work with Neweer TT560? That is the manual flash I currently own.

09-16-2015, 03:11 PM   #9
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Ok, so I've been reading various info for the past hour and no, I don't think I need a pttl flash. But is there some way, other than trial and error, to know how to correctly set the exposure before I take the picture? My flash just has like 10 power settings and nothing more. Is there some flash that will communicate with my camera the way the on camera flash does?
09-16-2015, 04:23 PM   #10
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only flashes with pentax p-ttl will communicate. Pentax,Metz,Sigma are the most popular ones

Your other option is a thristor flash like vivitar 285 hv it doesnt communicate with your camera but changes its output depending on amount of light bounced back from scene.

Last edited by Sliver-Surfer; 09-16-2015 at 04:30 PM.
09-16-2015, 08:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
Isn't that the point of pttl? To automatically adjust the output of the flash to get a correct exposure?
It is but so does the auto mode flash with a thyrister. I think p-ttl is good but not needed and the preflash may startle some people and cause them to shut their eyes (rare).
09-17-2015, 12:25 AM   #12
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Cactus V6 will not work with your Neewer TT560 (check flash compatibility on Cactus web page). If you like to stay with Neewer you will need another flash and trigger from Neewer where also you can adjust power and to be exact you need Neewer TT850 and FT-16s trigger with receiver (more receiver needed if you get more flashes).

Just get 2x Neewer TT850; 1x FT-16s; 2x receiver. You may look if FT-16s is compatible with another basic receiver to use it with your TT560 and you are set.

The Neewer TT850 is just re-branded Godox Ving V850 as well as trigger and you will find on Pentax Forums a review of these...

---------- Post added 09-17-15 at 03:28 AM ----------

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