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Old Jun 3, 2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Warning - Rookie Question about External Flashes

I was a bit dissapointed in my on-board flash range (T2i) on a recent trip, so I've been looking into external flashes. I'm afraid I'm missing some of the most painfully basic information, though.

I understand the TTL concept, in how an external flash that is compatible with my camera will meter the flash needed, and the exposure appropriate to the circumstance. From there, I'm lost.

When mounting the flash on a bracket, does the camera communicate wirelessly with the flash, or perhaps does the bracket contain a wired link? On that topic, are the bracket mounts worth it?

Slave flashes... I gather that a Speedlite 580 will act as a wireless master flash to allow metering of slave flashes in addition to firing them. What about wired connections? Can the Canon Speedlites be wired together? Can a 270 or 430 be a master flash when wired to others? What about the other well-respected brand, Metz? For that matter, can my camera be wired to the flashes?

My need to link to slave flashes isn't immediate, but I want to allow for such flexibility in the future as I ponder this purchase.

Thanks!

Jim
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 12:45 PM   #2
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Mark1616 would be one of best person to talk to about flash photography.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...questions.html
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowa_jim View Post

When mounting the flash on a bracket, does the camera communicate wirelessly with the flash, or perhaps does the bracket contain a wired link?
For your camera you would buy an off-shoe cord - it does not come with the bracket, you must buy it separate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iowa_jim View Post
On that topic, are the bracket mounts worth it?
The answer is - it depends. It depends on how the flash is being used. A flash bracket does 2 things - 1) it moves the flash away from the camera which prevents red-eye and 2) it keeps the flash on top of the camera so you can rotate the camera but keep the flash above.
Now, in many situations the best results with flash are bouncing the light off ceiling or wall. In those cases you don't have red-eye. BUT when you switch from portrait to landscape orientation you then have to change the flash head to tilt on the other axis. So you have to make TWO adjustments (turn the camera and change the flash orientation).

But there are instances where you can't bounce - outdoors or indoors with ceilings that are too high. In those instances you have to shoot with direct (or diffused) flash - but even diffused, you can still get red-eye.

Now - I have a bracket - I use it when I've shot weddings, I've used it for sports work (where I couldn't bounce) but it adds a lot of bulk. So for the majority of my family shots with flash I don't use it because the bulk isn't worth it and I'm able to bounce.
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 5:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowa_jim View Post
When mounting the flash on a bracket, does the camera communicate wirelessly with the flash, or perhaps does the bracket contain a wired link? On that topic, are the bracket mounts worth it?
You have two options here:
Wired - Like JohnG indicated you can get an off camera cord:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

... or wirelessly: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features


Quote:
Originally Posted by iowa_jim View Post
Slave flashes... I gather that a Speedlite 580 will act as a wireless master flash to allow metering of slave flashes in addition to firing them. What about wired connections? Can the Canon Speedlites be wired together? Can a 270 or 430 be a master flash when wired to others? What about the other well-respected brand, Metz? For that matter, can my camera be wired to the flashes?
The ST-E2 can act as a master also so it can control the 430EX wirelessly (The 270 is not a slave device)
The 270EX or 430EX can not be master, and they can not be wired together. Only film camera can do this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_Connect.html

Metz flashes work like Canon's, the 58AF-1 works like a 580EX (except it has an extra head which can be more flexible when bounced):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._AF_1_TTL.html

and the Metz 48AF-1 is equivalent to the 430EX (with slightly greater power):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._AF_1_TTL.html

Last edited by NHL; Jun 4, 2010 at 6:05 AM.
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