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Old Jun 20, 2006, 11:09 AM   #1
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I was out shopping over the weekend and wandered into a photography store and saw they were selling a used Sunpak 383 for $40 so I grabbed it. Unfortunately it didn't come with a manual so I'm not real sure of the settings.

I intend to use it mostly for macro photography, I bought an omnibounce diffuser (plastic white cup that fits over the flash - I think it's called a diffuser) to go with it and was hoping someone could recommend what settings I should be setting on the flash for use with macrophotography (Nikon 4t and Raynox DCR-250 filters). I assume I want the ISO set at 100, and power down to 1/16, but I'm not sure what mode to set with the vertical slider.

And once I have the proper settings what changes do I need to make in my picture taking, when I set the camera for having an external flash, will it take that into account when it's recommending the exposure settings in the manual mode? Will I always be able to use a fast shutter speed and high aperature setting with the external flash?

If anyone could offer some advice on how I can integrate this flash into my macro setup I would really appreciate it. I'm hoping it will help me on my quest to take the high quality pictures that the rest of you macro pros take.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, I really appreciate it.
T
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 2:16 PM   #2
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You'll have to experiment for best results.

With no diffuser, shooting at ISO 100, you'd need to have the aperture stopped down to around f/11 to get range down to around 2 feet according to the distance scale on my Sunpak 333 Auto (very similar flash).

Use it with the slider on M for manual to see the distance scale if you plan on shooting with it set to 1/16 power for macros.

If you're using a diffuser, that may let you get a little closer, or able use a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number) so that you don't have to go all the way to f/11 to get within 2 feet (as using aperture extremes can impact image quality, and I think your Panasonic only stops down to f/11)

A diffuser should give you 1 or 2 stops of light loss.

Shutter speed won't have any impact on how much light the camera sees from the flash since the flash burst length is very short (ranges between 1/1,200 and 1/20,000 second depending on power setting/aperture range used with most of the Sunpaks in this size). So, shutter speed is only useful for the ambient light portion of the exposure.

You'll want to use your camera in manual exposure mode, setting both the aperture and the shutter speed. Then, just experiment until you get the exposure to where you like it (mix of ambient light and flash).

If you're using it outside in Daylight for Fill, I'd probably set the camera about 2 stops down from where the flash exposure is set. For example, if using Auto Ranges, set the camera to f/8 at ISO 100 if the Flash tells you to use f/5.6 at ISO 200 (ISO 100 is one stop down from ISO 200, and f/8 is one stop down from f/5.6, so you'd have the camera set two stops from the flash).

For Macros, you'll probably need to go with manual power on the flash instead.

Again, experiment for best results with your camera.

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Old Jun 20, 2006, 3:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to reply, I forgot to mention it's a FZ30 I'm using for a camera with all this. Due to the focal range of the close up filters I'll be shooting within a foot distance the majority of the time. If the flash is too much maybe I can tape a piece of paper along the outside of the omnibounce to dim it a bit more.

I'll play around setting it on manual with 1/16th power using f11 on the camera and see how things turn out. I'll keep reading and experimenting and hopefully I can stumble across something that will work out. All the macro pro's in this forum have such a soft even light across their pictures I hope I can achieve that as well.

Thanks again for the reply!
T
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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This thread maybe of help:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=53


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Old Jun 21, 2006, 12:58 PM   #5
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I'd just like to point out that there are ring-style lights for macro illumintion that make more sense than the Sunpak (which I love). If you need to use it, you'll probably want to create a tent-like structure to allow for all-around illumination using bounce lighting. But it's not a natural for macro subjects.


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Old Jun 23, 2006, 5:38 PM   #6
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Just wanted to post my thanks again for everyone replying with their suggestions. And thanks for the thread link! I wanted to get a ring light, but I wasn't able to find any that fit my budget, and it's nice having an all purpose flash if I need one.

I've been using a omnibounce on it and have been getting pretty decent lighting in my macros.. much better than previously anyhow!

T
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