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04-11-2013, 04:16 AM   #1
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Newbie with external flash question

Hi I have a Pentax ist D and I have a couple of dance performances coming up which will be at night, obviously with stage lighting, and just wondering what would be a good choice for flash, I have located a new one cheap, its a "Sigma Electronic Flash EF-530 DG ST " and there is also a "Sigma EF-530 DG Super Flash" about $60 dearer. Would either of these be a good choice? I have also seen a few "Speedlight" type flashes....I think they are cheap Chinese brands but would they be better for this type of activity? Cheers

04-11-2013, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Either one will work if you are close enough to the stage. I've used the EF-500 DG Super Flash on my DS numerous times with my kid's theater productions (dress rehearsals only - not the actual performance). You will need to bump up the ISO on your camera.



I've also had good luck using a monopod and no flash while sitting in the audience.



Tim
04-11-2013, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 0408shadow Quote
I have also seen a few "Speedlight" type flashes....I think they are cheap Chinese brands but would they be better for this type of activity? Cheers
If it's the Yongnuo range then they're very good (IMO) but they are fully manual-only... The Sigma's I believe use P-TTL which might suit your needs more...

QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
Either one will work if you are close enough to the stage. I've used the EF-500 DG Super Flash on my DS numerous times with my kid's theater productions (dress rehearsals only - not the actual performance).
I work in a theatre and if you used flash during a performance you would be asked to leave...
04-11-2013, 09:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Adding to the above.

I also do a fair amount of theatrical work. Are you certain you will be allowed to use flash?? My guess is that during actual performances, flash will be prohibited. It would be terribly distracting to both performers and audience. I have never used flash even for rehearsal shots except for posed portraits.

For that sort of thing I generally wind up shooting without flash at ISO 6400 or higher with my K-5 to freeze movement. With the *istD you probably can't go that high so you will have to be creative about catching action at the peak or a pause. This will be a real challenge.

Another suggestion is to match WB to the stage lights, not the flash unless you are right on top of the performers. Stage lighting is very warm but not near as bright as your eyes tell you. You may need to do a few test shots of just the set to get a feel for the lighting.

04-11-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
If it's the Yongnuo range then they're very good (IMO) but they are fully manual-only... The Sigma's I believe use P-TTL which might suit your needs more...



I work in a theatre and if you used flash during a performance you would be asked to leave...
Thanks for the pointers!
04-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
Adding to the above.

I also do a fair amount of theatrical work. Are you certain you will be allowed to use flash?? My guess is that during actual performances, flash will be prohibited. It would be terribly distracting to both performers and audience. I have never used flash even for rehearsal shots except for posed portraits.

For that sort of thing I generally wind up shooting without flash at ISO 6400 or higher with my K-5 to freeze movement. With the *istD you probably can't go that high so you will have to be creative about catching action at the peak or a pause. This will be a real challenge.

Another suggestion is to match WB to the stage lights, not the flash unless you are right on top of the performers. Stage lighting is very warm but not near as bright as your eyes tell you. You may need to do a few test shots of just the set to get a feel for the lighting.
Hi thanks for the tips, I forgot about possibility of no flash but I'm guessing I should get one just incase, plus I'll be taking social dance pics, another photographer in Adelaide suggested I use one....I must look into the K-5 cameras as someone in another forum suggested it as an upgrade as they are being discontinued! Cheers
04-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Why not go with just stage lighting. Most performances don't really want flash and stage lighting is much more effective.



Shot with the K10 and sigma 70-200/2.8 at ISO 1600 wide open

The *istD is far better than the K10 at ISO 1600
04-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 0408shadow Quote
Hi thanks for the tips, I forgot about possibility of no flash but I'm guessing I should get one just incase, plus I'll be taking social dance pics, another photographer in Adelaide suggested I use one....I must look into the K-5 cameras as someone in another forum suggested it as an upgrade as they are being discontinued! Cheers
I would think that most current model cameras would put your d to shame for low light performance. I have a ds (I think its the same sensor as your d). I have always been happy with it except for low light, high iso performance. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while to one with better high iso performance. I recently got a k-01 due to the low prices (same sensor as the k-30 and similar sensor to the k-5 I think). While the AF on mine doesn't do well in low light due to the contrast detect auto focus (k-30 and k-5 shouldn't have that problem), the high iso performance and image quality are phenomenal compared to the ds. Its a big step up. I never shot at over iso 400 with the ds unless I had to. With the k-01, I have no problem shooting at iso 6400. Others told me there would be a big difference and they were right.

04-16-2013, 12:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
I would think that most current model cameras would put your d to shame for low light performance. I have a ds (I think its the same sensor as your d). I have always been happy with it except for low light, high iso performance. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while to one with better high iso performance. I recently got a k-01 due to the low prices (same sensor as the k-30 and similar sensor to the k-5 I think). While the AF on mine doesn't do well in low light due to the contrast detect auto focus (k-30 and k-5 shouldn't have that problem), the high iso performance and image quality are phenomenal compared to the ds. Its a big step up. I never shot at over iso 400 with the ds unless I had to. With the k-01, I have no problem shooting at iso 6400. Others told me there would be a big difference and they were right.
Hi, thanks for your input Ripit...I went to a photography course on the weekend and was blown away by the difference in quality, so I have been franticly searching for a K-05 just missed out on a decent one on Ebay (hoping they are as good if not better than the Cannon EoS camera's that were there) cheers!
04-17-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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I have a question in a similar vein. I Have an old Vivitar flash unit that I bought some 30 years ago to use with my ME Super. Does anyone know if it will work with my brand new K 30? I am reluctant to just try it out of fear I might fry the circuits on my new camera.
04-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flynnfotog Quote
I Have an old Vivitar flash unit that I bought some 30 years ago to use with my ME Super. Does anyone know if it will work with my brand new K 30? I am reluctant to just try it out of fear I might fry the circuits on my new camera.
It may, it may not. What's the model of the flash? Do you know how to measure trigger voltage?

I've used Vivitar 3500, 3700, 4600 (still now), 5200, 5600, and 285HV (still now) with Pentax K10D, K-7, Ricoh G200, GXR, and Canon G5.
04-18-2013, 04:24 AM   #12
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I don't know the model off t.he top of my head, but I will dig it out and check. I don't know how to measure trigger voltage.
04-18-2013, 08:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flynnfotog Quote
I don't know how to measure trigger voltage.
Read this thread, in particular post #8 (interestingly, the flash discussed in that thread is circa 1980, probably the same age as yours).

Many of my flashes (see signature) are about that age too.
04-20-2013, 12:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Why not go with just stage lighting. Most performances don't really want flash and stage lighting is much more effective.



Shot with the K10 and sigma 70-200/2.8 at ISO 1600 wide open

The *istD is far better than the K10 at ISO 1600
Thanks for your input Lowell....Those pics look pretty decent, I hope mine come out as good, I have purchased a K-5 with 18/200 the other day and today I just bought a Pentax P30n SLR Film Camera with Pentax 1:1.7 50mm attached lens....a real oldie, but I hope the lense can assist me in some way!! Cheers
04-20-2013, 01:10 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 0408shadow Quote
what would be a good choice for flash
Be aware flash is not permitted in many venues, it's distracting for both performers and patrons alike.
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