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Old Jun 18, 2007, 9:59 PM   #21
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algold/Alex-

That was a great photo you posted. It really seemed to catch the spirit of the moment. Nicely done.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 9:03 AM   #22
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A duh moment for most, another, wonderful, "ah ha" moment for me.

Forgot all about the reflector I bought some months back hoping to reflect even a tiny amount of daylight onto our newborn babies. Didn't get great results at the time and all but forgot about the reflector.

Pulled it out last night and bounced the external flash onto it. ECSTATIC!!! The 'duh' moment for many but a new tool in my box. The funny thing was, the reflector kept grabbing the attention of the child I was shooting so I got som great profile shots, very alert and engaged looks on his face.

Such a simple and relatively inexpensive solution. It actually looked light natural daylight pouring down on my little guy. Now the fun begins. My shooting started with the reflector at ground level reflecting straight across, even somewhat upward to the little guy. While it didn't exactly look natural, I got some really neat effects.

So, let the adjusting and playing with light begin...
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 9:05 AM   #23
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btw mtclimber, while I admit I've not even cracked the owners manual to my 430ex, I do refer to a third party book I got on it. I found no way playing around and found no reference in the book to any way to have the on-camera flash fire and "trigger" the external flash.

That's where my confusion and eager anticipation has been. I thought you needed a master, a transmitter or a cable. If you can specifically explain how to get a Canon camera to "Trigger" a 430ex, that check is waiting to hit the mail, ha ha.

thanks.
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Old Jun 19, 2007, 3:04 PM   #24
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leeraff wrote:
Quote:
I thought you needed a master, a transmitter or a cable. If you can specifically explain how to get a Canon camera to "Trigger" a 430ex, that check is waiting to hit the mail, ha ha.

thanks.
leeraff, I think your 30D doesn't have a commander flash mode to control a remote TTL flash, the same as 350D/XT and 400D/XTi. If you want to place your flash off-camera but still use the E-TTL flash functions you don't have a choice but to buy a dedicated off-camera TTL flash cable, here you are limited by the length of the cable (the original Canon cable is only 60cm/2ft. long, but there are cheaper third party cables up to 2m). For longer flash/camer distance you need either an ST-E2 transmitter (expensive), or an EX-580 Speedlite (even more expensive) to use it as a commander unit. If you don't mind using your flash in Manual or Automatic mode you have two options (both are much cheaper, but less flexible and you loose TTL flash metering):
1) PC to hot-shoe adapter to connect to your flash and to a light stand/small tripod/whatever, hot-shoe to PC adapter to put into your camera hot-shoe connector and a sync lead of an appropriate length to plug into adapters. Set your camera to manual or Aperture priority, set your flash to Auto mode, select the same ISO and aperture settings on both cam and flash and shoot away. The downside is a sync lead that always gets in the way :-)
2) Get a flash slave cell, something like this Jessops flash Minislave cell below works well and cost about a tenner. The setups for the camera and flash are the same as above. The only difference is that you need to raise your build-in flash. The moment the build-in flash fires the remote flash with a slave cell goes off as well. Works well up to about 7-8 meters range, but it depends on the sensitivity of the slave cell. The catch - any flash in the range of the slave cell can trigger your flash, so if you are not the only photographer on site you are in trouble :-).
It may work slightly different with your ex430, but I did not have too many problems with my venerable Vivitar 283 and a slave cell for the last 10 years or so. There are also all sorts of IR and radio transmitters, but I never used one and imo they are too complicated/expensive for what you really need.

This is the kind of shots you get with an off-camera flash in auto-mode, connected with a sync lead to your camera. I cheated here and used my flash on a lightstand with a 32" white brolly, the fill light was coming through the windows. ISO100, f/4.0, 1/60 sec, zoom at about 100mm setting:


hope this helps.
Alex

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Old Jun 19, 2007, 4:52 PM   #25
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algold,
thanks for the detailed reply. I certainly have considered a cable but wondered how easy it might be to frame a shot, focus, extend your other arm and then take a steady shot with one hand. I've seen pictures of people doing this and wondered how they did it. Obviously you could keep the remote flash on a small stand and move around with it. My luck, I'd tangle up in my discount solution and break a $1500 camera and lens. If the need ever arises, I'll find a way to get a commander. No need now, of course, especially after the great results I had bouncing the flash off a reflector.

Your picture by the way is great. Awesome catchlight in his eyes. Only problem I found with my bouncing technique was getting two catchlights in each eye. I'll have to figure that out. More fun and excuse to shoot.

Just mostly curious for this after the post from mtclimber but as was stated in another post, Canon could easily enable on board commander capabilities with a simple firmware upgrade. That would be a nice little bonus if ever announced. For now, Nikon seems to be doing more of the little extras, at least in my opinion.

thanks again.



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Old Jun 20, 2007, 5:32 AM   #26
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Actually Sony(formerly Minolta) can also control their slaves with the camera built-in flash...

Also remember the Sigma 500DG Super? :idea:
This flash has a remote slave built-in so it can trigger off with any flash. You can make the Sigma work off the 30D built-in flash by pressing FEL lock: This will fire-off the preflash, and when you release the shutter only one burst will fire and will sync the Sigma properly!

-> If you press FEL on something really close the camera's built-in flash output will be very weak when it fires the 2nd time around as if there's no contribution from the flash at all (just the wireless trigger), the higher output lighting come from the dumb slave(s)
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 7:08 AM   #27
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nhl,
thanks. we've certainly covered that many times in another forum so I appreciate your reply. I was confused when mtclimber mentioned just letting the on-camera flash trigger the 430ex which I didn't think could happen. Believe me, I have no real need yet for a whole bunch of additional lighting, or at least the expense. just curious.

while not rolling in dough, I'm the type who would prefer to prioritize, save up and get the right solution than get tangled up in cords, knock over a stand, scare the heck out of a child with a crashing light and lord knows what else. So, if that day came, a Sigma, maybe 580ex would probably be the choice.

For now, I remembered a reflector I had bought. Put one child on a bed last night with my simple studio light facing down AND bounced the external flash onto a reflector hanging on the light stand... WE'RE GETTING THERE. Remember my ah ha moment we discussed when I first put them in front of a bay window when spring broke? I think somewhere it was stated, "It's all about the light, stupid!"

Learning every day here. Thanks to all.


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Old Jun 20, 2007, 9:20 AM   #28
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EDIT added to original post. Here for anyone still following topic:

Doing additional research, I think I've realized the lenses questioned below aren't even in the same class. For any new readers, my debate is more between 28-70mm f/2.8 and the 24-105mm f/4.0. I'm certain I'll benefit from the 2.8 in my low light situations and add a longer lens later such as the 70-200mm f/2.8.
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 11:02 AM   #29
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I have the 28-135 IS USM, but if I had to do it over I'll probably get the 24-105L - The 28-135 full-frame was the only lens available at the time when I got it, but they have so many better constructed lenses now... On a cropped camera any number of 16-50 'digital' only f/2.8 will be better than the 24/28-70 f/2.8 IMO!

Remember photography is all about lighting (i.e. the capture of light) - fast lenses help but if you can fix/modify the lighting the results will always be better...
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Old Jun 20, 2007, 1:25 PM   #30
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nhl,
"On a cropped camera any number of 16-50 'digital' only f/2.8 will be better than the 24/28-70 f/2.8 IMO!"

That now opens a whole other can of worms I've been wondering but not sure I've asked.:?

1) Do the "digital" ef-s lenses mean the exact range stated on the lens and no crop factor needs to be taken into consideration? Therefore, the EF-S 17-55mm kit lens, is a TRUE 17-55 on a 1.6 cropped sensor (30d) whereas a EF 85mm is really 85 x 1.6 = 136mm. :O

Hmmm. So, that makes sense why in the reviews, so many talk about how perfect the 24-70mm is for full frame and sort of question/warn for cropped sensors. True? That said, many reviewers still seem to love this lens on Rebels, 20d's, 30d's, etc. Curious for any experience/better understanding here.

2) More cans of worms, but along the same lines... When books/articles speak of 85mm being the perfect focal length for portraits, that dates back to older film books, etc and probably sees most current authors being digital and now using full frame sensors. (Can't imagine many published authors make their money with Rebels or 30d's at least as a primary body.) Does that mean the cropped factor would see a 50-55mm being that same "perfect" length for 30d portraiture? 50 x 1.6 = 80mm and 53mm x 1.6 = 84.8mm???

3) Finally, tying is all together, you've helped in enough of my posts... it's currently the low light I have the most interest in but do see outdoors in the not to distant future. One of my longest term goals is amateur sports photography for nephews and perhaps one day my own sons. Outdoor, natural light, spontaneous portraiture for friends' and family's children too. I LOVE the idea of the range the 24-105 provides for now but have my own fears about the other low light settings. (Still 75+ percent of the time.) That's why I think the 24-70mm seems (although a slight compromise on range) perfect for low light and ever-darting little guys.

You have been very kind and helped me in many ways, even when I've needed a few "deja vu" reminders or slaps upside my newbie head. But, with all you've followed, this seems like the ideal setup for me and my wife, god love her, wants the best we can get for these precious memories too. (Of course, she doesn't exactly know the real costs involved here, if you know what I mean...)

I've gotten my external flash. Check! Learning and getting good results there. I have some very basic lighting that helps (when I set it up.). Check! I love my primes for when I have very specific shots, distances in mind (the 50mm 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8). If I think, and repeat, I think the 24-70mm 2.8 and eventually the 70-200mm 2.8 are perfect compliments, what can you help me understand about the f/4.0 that would be better for me about the 24-105mm???? Inconvience of weight and general size of the 24-70mm, yes! Better range of the 24-105mm, yes!!! But that trade off for aperture??????

I'm obnoxious (check!) but I think we're moving along here. Another, I think...


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