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Old May 16, 2007, 5:10 AM   #1
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Researching external flashes here, I'm learning tons and understanding the issues, benefits, pros and cons, etc. I see some complaints about weight of large external flashes. (Can't imagine it's a huge deal, especially for the benefit, but...) I also see some love getting the flash "off the camera." Probably tons more issues I don't even know to consider yet, but...

Question is:
What is a more ideal, universal set up for mostly indoor, relatively close shots (mostly in the same small room)? 1) One large feature-rich external flash (such as Canon 580EX or Sigma Super), or, 2) Getting a transmitter and purposely keeping the external flash off the camera. (In Canon situation, this could be the transitter or the Sigma Super coupled with a 430 for the same prices as the flagship 580ex.)

Certainly different desires for different situations. Just curious if anyone can elaborate on pros and cons of where the flash is actually located. (One consideration for me is babies and small children, getting the flash out of direct eye contact.)

I imagine the flash on the camera provides flexibility, ease of use, less hassle. But, is there tremendous performance benefit in getting the flash off the camera to offset this convenience. I am also thinking of situations where external flash is recommended outdoors for fill flash such as under trees, direct overhead sunlight, etc.
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Old May 16, 2007, 6:26 PM   #2
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For your FLASHING needs check:

He has good articles on basic gear
you can use and have great results,
and some Lighting with flash 101:



I don't know about the Canons,
but i realy appreciate the Nikons i-TTL
Creative lighting System.

With a good master Flash as SB-800 in commander mode,
you can control out to 3 groups of other flashes.
Cordelss, no radio-triggers, just the Nikons (or compatibles from SIGMA).

All setings for power output of the other flashes
done on your commander flash.
No need to go physicaly and adjust them.

The built in flash on Nikon D80 can act as Commander also
and control up to 2 groups of flashes.

And a simple solution would be any flash that has photo-senzor-triger.
You can then simply trigger it with your on-camera flash.

I usualy set the on-camera flash to the lowest power setting.
(flash exposure compensation).
Just enought to triger the other off-camera flash(es),
and to provide some subtle frontal fill-in.
For more fill use more output from it and even better,
make and attach some diffusor on it...

I personaly don't like on camera flashes, build in or attached firing
directly on the subject.
The reason is obvious: flat lighting, unpleasant (for me) face hot spots, the harsh shadow....

Yes, the light can be made even with some sort of diffusers/small softboxes and
by this also softening the shadows but!... for more modeling of your subject -
showing depth - a off camera flash makes the trick very nicely.

And to just show you the effect on using of-camera flash
definitely check this out:

Dave Black is a GREAT sports photographer.
Check more lighting examples from him at his Workshop at the Ranch site:



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Old May 18, 2007, 8:52 PM   #3
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It depends on how far off-camera you need. I use a flash bracket to get the flash out of the direct plane of the lens, and use the tilting head in combination to get both bounce flash and some catch light for the eyes. If you need more, then wireless flash is probably the way to go, as it allows much more flexibility in positioning.

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