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09-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #31
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Thanks everyone for the answers! I agree that I will have to do some test shots before. I will try some ideas people gave for a homemade diffuser. I also agree that the M50 f1.7 is to consider. What aperture should I use to be sure that everyone will be in focus (I won't move the tripod during the shooting)?

09-23-2010, 03:53 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
What aperture should I use to be sure that everyone will be in focus (I won't move the tripod during the shooting)?
Maybe I answered this question a little too hastily in my earlier post. I am a little confused by your question. Are you going to be shooting people one at-a-time, or in groups? In any case you will want to choose the widest possible aperture that allows your subject(s) to be in focus while rendering a soft background.

Again, this depends on focal length, number and arrangement of subjects, and your shooting distance from your subject(s). This is a "test-and-adjust" area to address during your practice shooting.
09-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon.partsch Quote
Maybe I answered this question a little too hastily in my earlier post. I am a little confused by your question. Are you going to be shooting people one at-a-time, or in groups? In any case you will want to choose the widest possible aperture that allows your subject(s) to be in focus while rendering a soft background.

Again, this depends on focal length, number and arrangement of subjects, and your shooting distance from your subject(s). This is a "test-and-adjust" area to address during your practice shooting.
One at a time only.
09-23-2010, 04:51 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
Thanks everyone for the answers! I agree that I will have to do some test shots before. I will try some ideas people gave for a homemade diffuser. I also agree that the M50 f1.7 is to consider. What aperture should I use to be sure that everyone will be in focus (I won't move the tripod during the shooting)?
If I were going to take it with M 50 1.7, I will try to use f2.8-3.2 with flash (make sure you use slower shutter to get a good mix with ambient light) and f3.5-4 without flash but most likely Av and spot metering.

09-23-2010, 05:14 PM   #35
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There is something I never understood... how to use my pop up flash with a M lens... Every time I use it, I think the flash is at the max power and the photos are always over exposed (sometimes all white).
09-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #36
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The onboard flash fires at full power every time with manual aperture lenses because it can't meter light levels with them. You need to adjust the camera to the flash output, primarily by using your aperture and ISO. You can adjust for ambient light levels using the shutter speed as long as you keep it below 1/180.

3 really quick sample shots with my A28mm f/2.8 in manual mode at about 5 feet. All are at 1/80 and ISO 320 with auto white balance.

F/8 with Fuji film canister over the flash.



F/8, no diffuser



F/11, no diffuser



The shadows are fairly harsh even with the diffuser because the flash is the only significant light source in the room. When the diffused flash is being used as a fill light that will be much less of a problem. Watch for awkward reflections off of glasses, you may have to pose your model in such a way as to minimize them.
09-24-2010, 11:23 AM   #37
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Is there ANY way you can buy a hotshoe flash? If you're getting paid for this, you should have the proper equipment/lighting.

Photography is ALL about light and if you don't have good light, you won't have good photographs.

Even just a bounced flash (on the ceiling or a wall behind you) would be WAY WAY WAY better than the pop-up flash.

What would be ideal would be a flash off-camera on a light-stand shot into an umbrella. If you plan on doing lots of this type of shooting, you should be able to get a 1-light setup for ~$200. This would include a manual flash, lightstand, umbrella, and a way to trigger the flash.
09-24-2010, 12:01 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Is there ANY way you can buy a hotshoe flash? If you're getting paid for this, you should have the proper equipment/lighting.

Photography is ALL about light and if you don't have good light, you won't have good photographs.

Even just a bounced flash (on the ceiling or a wall behind you) would be WAY WAY WAY better than the pop-up flash.

What would be ideal would be a flash off-camera on a light-stand shot into an umbrella. If you plan on doing lots of this type of shooting, you should be able to get a 1-light setup for ~$200. This would include a manual flash, lightstand, umbrella, and a way to trigger the flash.

I agree with you assessment. There is only so much you can do with the onboard flash. A hotshoe flash can make a big difference. If the expectation is the final result is not that great, may be it is worth a try. Otherwise, like others, I suggest getting a proper hotshoe mounted flash with swivel head.

09-24-2010, 12:04 PM   #39
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I'm a BIG pop-up flash hater. I believe that using a pop-up flash as the main source of illumination gives you pictures that look like pictures taken by Joe Schmoe with a cheap point-and-shoot. You can have the greatest lens in the world, mated with an amazing body, but flashing some awful harsh/on-axis flash at the subject just makes the entire picture turn to crap.

I'd rather have a Pentax *ist DS with a Sears manual focus 50mm f/2 and proper lighting than a Nikon D700, 24-70 f/2.8 and the popup flash. And I'm 100% serious.

</rant>
09-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #40
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Nikon's pop-up flash doesnt seem as half as bad as pentax though for some reason, maybe it's just the grass is greener thing, but i swear i some some of my nikon friends popping up their flashes and I would go "that actually looks quite alright" as opposed to my k100d and k10d's "blech". K-x does a little better in this regard, although I still wouldn't use it if I dont' have to.
09-24-2010, 12:32 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Nikon's pop-up flash doesnt seem as half as bad as pentax though for some reason, maybe it's just the grass is greener thing, but i swear i some some of my nikon friends popping up their flashes and I would go "that actually looks quite alright" as opposed to my k100d and k10d's "blech". K-x does a little better in this regard, although I still wouldn't use it if I dont' have to.
Never shot much Nikon, but Canon's pop-up sucks. It DOES do ok in an outdoor fill situation, BUT then because of the 1/250s sync speed, I'm stuck stopping down to f/11 if it's really bright out (and if it's not really bright out, I probably don't need any fill, ugh...)....If I'm going to do an indoor shot with the pop-up flash, I might as well be using my S90 and save the wear and tear on my back.
09-24-2010, 12:54 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Is there ANY way you can buy a hotshoe flash? If you're getting paid for this, you should have the proper equipment/lighting.

Photography is ALL about light and if you don't have good light, you won't have good photographs.

Even just a bounced flash (on the ceiling or a wall behind you) would be WAY WAY WAY better than the pop-up flash.

What would be ideal would be a flash off-camera on a light-stand shot into an umbrella. If you plan on doing lots of this type of shooting, you should be able to get a 1-light setup for ~$200. This would include a manual flash, lightstand, umbrella, and a way to trigger the flash.
This has already been covered - I think she gets the message.
09-24-2010, 01:02 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
There is something I never understood... how to use my pop up flash with a M lens... Every time I use it, I think the flash is at the max power and the photos are always over exposed (sometimes all white).
This is an interesting question I would also like a better answer to: Can the flash output of the pop-up not be dialed-down? It seems if this is the case, it might make more sense to use the kit lens or the Tamron 90mm for the shoot for the flash integration - maybe not the ideal lenses for this situation, but would simplify things and perhaps lead to less mistakes.

And Miss_Alexx, don't listen to these haters that tell you you can't do this with the equipment you have - you can! Use negative flash compensation and a diffuser for subtle front-fill lighting to add to as much ambient or lamp-light that you can get on the subject (sunny windows = ideal).

I hope you will share the results of this adventure with us here on the Forum.

Good Luck!!!
09-24-2010, 01:10 PM   #44
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My beef with the kit lens is that its quite sharp around 24mm and falls off quickly past 35mm based on the sharpness chart at dpreview.com.

Seems like most people prefer 50-75mm lenses for portraits so i would recommend the 90mm which will give you some more distance between you and your subject and maybe soften the popup flash even more. Just an idea from someone who has no real experience :-)
09-24-2010, 09:48 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by buttons Quote
My beef with the kit lens is that its quite sharp around 24mm and falls off quickly past 35mm based on the sharpness chart at dpreview.com.

Seems like most people prefer 50-75mm lenses for portraits so i would recommend the 90mm which will give you some more distance between you and your subject and maybe soften the popup flash even more. Just an idea from someone who has no real experience :-)
We don't know what these photos will be used for, but having that last ounce of sharpness isn't always necessary, or even desirable, for portraits. In any case, the corners and edges are usually unimportant in portraits, and often the greatest differences in lens performance are in the corners and edges.

I tend to think that 90mm is a bit long for portraits; with my Spotmatic I used to have to choose between my 50mm and 135mm Takumars, and I'd usually go with the 50, maybe cropped a little, because the 135 resulted in somewhat of a flattened portrait. A 90 or 105 would have been good.

Paul
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