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Old Oct 22, 2006, 9:12 PM   #11
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Of course you can adjust the output on most flash units like the ex550 and ex580.
Actually unless you are using the flash in manual mode, the camera will automatically set it to the output it needs using ettl. (2 flashes happen per shot, 1 to get the settings 1 for the actual image)

But what difference would that make, if the light is bothering them from the already weak on-camera flash?
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 9:17 PM   #12
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That's why you would bounce it right?
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 9:31 PM   #13
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Wrong :-).
Bouncing just changes the direction the light is comming from making the light source appear larger and creates a longer light path, which would reduce the intensity.

However the camera/flash using ettl will automatically increase flash power to get the required light output to take the image at the F-stop selected. :?
Or if you are shootnig manual you must increase the power yourself to achieve proper exposure.

You cannot just reduce flash power (quantity of light available for the image) and hope to take a properly exposed image.

If you reduce light output, to take a properly exposed image you must either:
A. Increase the sensitiveity (ISO) or
B. Open up the lens (F-stop) or
C. Use a longer shutter speed. For Flash using a longer shutter speed is not an option as it has no effect. With strobes the dureation of the flash is your effective shutter speed. Unless you are dragging the shutter for special effects.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 10:04 PM   #14
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Still better than a flash in the face, I would think?
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 5:34 AM   #15
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Good help here. Thanks.

PeterP, can you further elaborate on the external flash. How BAD would those shots be? Could you describe an example of what I might see that I may not like.

Agree with Pagerboy in that getting a little more light, even if bounced, and if somewhat reducing the picture quality may be better than just darker or noisier pictures. Certainly not debating you. Asking for further help. It is AMAZING what the ISO can already do over my point and shoot. (SD450.) Love that little camera as a front pocket, any time, anywhere tool, but lamplit nursery shots are just not an option. Dark and very grainy. As you all know, having the extra ISO of a more advanced DSLR makes more pictures possible in tougher situations.

I do sneak a few flash shots from time to time but directly in their little faces is just too much. Day time, maybe. Darker rooms, no chance. Freaks em out and breaks my heart. Not worth it. Now, is there any softer strobing effect (correct my terminology here) in external flashes that may better hide that final burst????

Should I tranfer this question over to a "flash" forum???
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 6:29 AM   #16
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leeraff wrote:
Quote:
Should I tranfer this question over to a "flash" forum???
What's wrong with reflectors?
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...&Startat=1

-> They work with natural light too (reflected from open widow) - i.e. no need for flash...
http://www.photoflexlightingschool.c...ion/index.html
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 9:55 AM   #17
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Bouncing and using reflectors or diffusers as NHL mentioned would not be bad, in fact for normal images would be the preferable way to go.

For this specific application I do not think flash of any kind would be good.
Because no matter which way you go, you need to get the light level high enough to proprely expose the image. With new-borns they usually don't even have their eyes open most of the time but still react to light. So a pulse of light comming from above or from the camera would still end up annoying them.

In this case, until the subjects are a bit older I would just stick with just using available light and maybe a reflector or two too direct it.
That 50mm f1.8 or the 85mm f1.8 are quite fast lenses, bumping the ISO to 1600 or 3200 and practicing on getting steady hand should produce acceptable results if you clean up the highspeed noise with neatimage and unsharp.
Poking around I'm getting 1/30-1/50 sec in a not very bright room at iso 1600 @ f2.8
That's not bad if you are steady. The other thing to watch for at wide apertures like f2.8 or f1.8 is your depth of field is very narrow.

Fortunately these issues will all go away in a couple of months. :-) Then you could try for lots of light from flash assistance with something like the "Sigma 500DG super" a full featured and quite powerfull flash for a fairly reasonable cost.


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Old Oct 23, 2006, 11:39 AM   #18
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Again (repeat) photography is all about lighting:
http://www.photoflexlightingschool.c...its/index.html

Some folks expect some magic bullet... A 'super' lens with IS or may be an 'ultra' dSLR to shoot in the dark
-> Know how to master (or create/control) the light instead and then even a P&S will do wonder... :idea:
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 1:31 PM   #19
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Yes that is all well and very good basic information, but go back to the first post in the thread.
The topic was to shoot not active early new-borns that are bothered by bright light and flash pulses.:idea:
So you are basically working with what available light you have.

I guess it would fall more under the "E" word, as in the ethics of causing your subject discomfort just to get your shot.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 10:44 PM   #20
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thanks again. No "magic bullet" expected here. No "super" lens. Understood that knowledge and experience are my biggest limiting factors. Curious though, why is there so much talk of "better glass" and "save up for glass." Just find that a bit puzzling. Those conversations lead me to believe some lenses are better than others. Some comments here make it seem that settings and techniques are all that matter. Great!

So, I am certainly looking to increase my knowledge of photography, techniques, settings, etc. If I had eight hours a day to devote, perhaps I could catch up on some of the decade's worth of experience here. I just assumed my plastic lens was not quite a pro lens and I was getting "not quite pro" pics.

The reflector idea is probably one of the better ideas. I could certainly bounce naturally daylight into the crib with a well placed reflector. May even be able to bounce some basic lamplight. I'll be looking into that this week. A direct flash of ANY kind is just NOT an option at this point.

So, in summary, and from some previous research on prime lenses for other causes I did months back, the little $90 plastic 50mm is as good as it gets. No need to consider any other, up-close, subject isolation, prime lens. (I don't need the zoom capabilities at this time. Not even considering $800, $1200, etc. Happy to have the expensive paperweight down the road if that becomes the case. Just want fast, precise, crisp pics now.) The $300 prime lenses will have no better effect whatsoever? It's all technique and lighting?


Upon further review, I credit your lighting emphasis, NHL, as I reviewed the better lit pics from the NICU. But, at home, struggling to get that crisp shot. I'll work more with ISO of 3200 and techniques. Just curious what more experienced photographers could get in my current lighting situation...
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