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06-06-2015, 12:11 PM   #1
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hotshoe flash on side

Cameras like the Z-5 have the flash off to the side. Does this create a nice look to the photos or do they still look pretty much the same as if they were directly on top of viewfinder?

06-06-2015, 02:25 PM   #2
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A slightly off center flash that is still on camera will generally have the same, flat effect as right over the lens. Lighting angle affects the shadows and modeling ones sees on the subject. At usual subject distances for most portraiture, a lighting angle far greater than the distance of just a few inches on camera is needed for pleasing effects as well as substantially greater height to throw shadows down behind the subject so the result looks more natural. The minimally acceptable way to use a straight on flash as main light from the camera position is with a high, offset bracket. However, since this usually still gives unflattering high contrast the better results are obtained with a bounce method such as umbrellas, reflector panels, or wall and ceiling combo.
06-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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There is some benefit to having the flash offset, even if it is only a few centimeters. The most obvious is less tendency to red eye. As noted above optimum results require that the flash be off camera. Flash brackets are available if you want to experiment. I got mine used for $2 USD in the junk box at the local camera shop. Prices range from about $7 USD to over $300 USD. (yes...go figure...)


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06-06-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Years ago a common alternative to buying any flash holder or bracket was to simply hold a flash at arm`s length about 45 degrees out and high with a pc cable attached to a camera operated with the opposite hand or on a tripod. In this way it is easy to see results of different angles of lighting. This could still work well with any DSLR equipped with a PC terminal, but the user may have to learn quick calculations for manual flash that are really not very difficult as long as the lens in use has a distance scale like they all use to have.

06-06-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
Years ago a common alternative to buying any flash holder or bracket was to simply hold a flash at arm`s length about 45 degrees out and high with a pc cable attached to a camera operated with the opposite hand or on a tripod. In this way it is easy to see results of different angles of lighting. This could still work well with any DSLR equipped with a PC terminal, but the user may have to learn quick calculations for manual flash that are really not very difficult as long as the lens in use has a distance scale like they all use to have.

You can also buy extension leads for hot shoes, which I imagine would allow the auto-flash bits to work still.

I have no idea how modern auto flashes work, so can't say if the positioning would be a problem (shouldn't be, I think it fires one small burst to meter, then calculates and does the full.... so surely the flash could be anywhere and it would still work?)
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