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Old Jul 24, 2010, 2:32 PM   #11
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I never use the built in flash except for a filler flash at times.

But when I use a external flash and shooting indoor action, I have shot at 1600is. It keeps the flash from draining when shooting in burst. So I can get couple of burst without the flash not firing as it is complete discharge, and have to wait for the capacitor to recharge. I am shooting at 1/200.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 5:37 PM   #12
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Michael - you can easily build a little diffuser for the inboard flash with cardboard, duct tape and a piece of cloth ! I have three for macro (for different length lenses) and to make one for a 50mm would be no problem at all.
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 5:42 PM   #13
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Michael - you can easily build a little diffuser for the inboard flash with cardboard, duct tape and a piece of cloth ! I have three for macro (for different length lenses) and to make one for a 50mm would be no problem at all.
Diffuser? what is that for?
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Old Jul 24, 2010, 5:53 PM   #14
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Diffuser? what is that for?
It diffuses the light from the flash and due to it's shape (which can be varied) it disperses the light so you end up with a much softer, gentler light usually without creating hotspots from the flash on the subject.

Google 'Flash Diffuser' to get an idea of some of the commercial products out there - but it's much easier to just make yourself. Probably Googling 'DIY Flash Diffuser' will bring up some examples of how to make one.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 5:45 AM   #15
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Hi Michael!
You've got some good advice already, I'd only like to add a little.
We are unfortunate to live in a country where even bright summer light isn't really that bright. It's not easilly percieved, since our eye and brain have a tremendous capability to adopt. But the camera meter detects it! A cloudy day in Spain or California is actually brighter than a sunny afternoon here. Indoors it's much worse. For the climate we have triple glass windows that are not that large, and even that glass steals a lot of light.
So the solution, indoors but also outdoors, is to shoot with wider apertures than are usually recommended. Fast lenses are a very good help.

Artificial light is another story. Like you I don't like to use a flash. Usually it's that special lighting that draws my attention and makes me want to take a photo. At shows and concerts flash is often not allowed, and when allowed it's a nuisance ruining the show for others. But as stage light is uneven, it's important to meter what you really want to shoot, and not the dark background. I usally use spot metering or center weighed metering due to circumstances. I never use any program mode, always aperture priority. And to get a few keepers, I shoot a lot.

These were shot on my schools examination day this year. To house all the students, the show was on three times. That allowed me to use the FA50mm 1.4, A* 85mm 1.4 and A*200mm 2.8 respectively and mix the shots afterwords for the schools web page.

All are shot with the K20D, the last one is from the lobby with large panorama windows.



FA 50mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO 800

Name:  IMGP2010web.jpg
Views: 135
Size:  81.9 KB

A* 85mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO 500

Name:  IMGP2086web.jpg
Views: 109
Size:  117.7 KB

A* 200mm, f2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO5 00

Name:  IMGP2324web.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  149.4 KB

DA 16-45mm, f11, 1/40 sec, ISO 800

Name:  IMGP2437web.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  225.7 KB

Lycka till!
Kjell från Skåne

Last edited by bilybianca; Jul 25, 2010 at 6:02 AM.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 6:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by bilybianca View Post
Hi Michael!
You've got some good advice already, I'd only like to add a little.
We are unfortunate to live in a country where even bright summer light isn't really that bright. It's not easilly percieved, since our eye and brain have a tremendous capability to adopt. But the camera meter detects it! A cloudy day in Spain or California is actually brighter than a sunny afternoon here. Indoors it's much worse. For the climate we have triple glass windows that are not that large, and even that glass steals a lot of light.
So the solution, indoors but also outdoors, is to shoot with wider apertures than are usually recommended. Fast lenses are a very good help.

Artificial light is another story. Like you I don't like to use a flash. Usually it's that special lighting that draws my attention and makes me want to take a photo. At shows and concerts flash is often not allowed, and when allowed it's a nuisance ruining the show for others. But as stage light is uneven, it's important to meter what you really want to shoot, and not the dark background. I usally use spot metering or center weighed metering due to circumstances. I never use any program mode, always aperture priority. And to get a few keepers, I shoot a lot.

These were shot on my schools examination day this year. To house all the students, the show was on three times. That allowed me to use the FA50mm 1.4, A* 85mm 1.4 and A*200mm 2.8 respectively and mix the shots afterwords for the schools web page.

All are shot with the K20D, the last one is from the lobby with large panorama windows.



FA 50mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO 800

Attachment 159483

A* 85mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO 500

Attachment 159484

A* 200mm, f2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO5 00

Attachment 159485

DA 16-45mm, f11, 1/40 sec, ISO 800

Attachment 159486

Lycka till!
Kjell från Skåne
thanks for your advice. nice to see people from home here as well, excellent pictures btw.

Michael från Gotland
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 10:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilybianca View Post
Artificial light is another story. Like you I don't like to use a flash. Usually it's that special lighting that draws my attention and makes me want to take a photo. At shows and concerts flash is often not allowed, and when allowed it's a nuisance ruining the show for others. But as stage light is uneven, it's important to meter what you really want to shoot, and not the dark background. I usally use spot metering or center weighed metering due to circumstances. I never use any program mode, always aperture priority. And to get a few keepers, I shoot a lot.


Kjell från Skåne
Kjell makes a couple of really good points here, but I want to call your attention to the last sentence of the quote. "And to get a few keepers, I shoot a lot." Many inexperienced shooters become frustrated with low "keeper" rates when shooting in low light. The fact is that most of us who do a lot of low-light shooting do have low keep percentages on those sessions. You go through a lot of shots where you have blur, shadows, etc. to get that one or two shots that are really nice, and those are the ones you see posted in this forum....not the hundred or so that were erased from the memory card.

Good low light technique is a requirement in many settings. On the "Breath of Life" series, I was in an outdoor theatre in which flash photography was completely prohibited, and I even had the lady next to me ask me (politely) to shield my LCD because it was distracting in the many scenes of the pageant in which the stage was very dark.

Be patient with yourself. It's not something you'll learn in one session.

Paul
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 11:01 AM   #18
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Some good advice here. But I'm going to re-inforce the whole low keeper rate of available light. That's great when you have that luxury. But when you're talking kids in your house without a bank of windows you don't necessarily have that luxury. In those cases I prefer much higher keeper rates - like 80%-90%. In which case a bounced flash is my recommendation:










I love available light photography, and it has it's place:




So there's a place for both types - but active kids in normal house situations in low light - learning proper flash techniques with external flash will allow you to capture those moments with much higher quality and success than available light. So I would plan on both approaches.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 12:55 PM   #19
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Hey Michael,
I wanted to add one point regarding your question on external flash units.
Yes, it has to be a Pentax brand or "made for" the Pentax camera. The pentax has a proprietary contact setup. Other flash units might fire OK but, you wont get PTTL metering and will only work in manual mode. The biggest problem is making sure the trigger voltage is the proper voltage or you could end up burning out the circuitry in your camera if its too high! So, be careful and make sure you have one mad for a digital camera or know positively it is low enough voltage so as not to damage your camera.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 1:09 PM   #20
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Hey Michael,
I wanted to add one point regarding your question on external flash units.
Yes, it has to be a Pentax brand or "made for" the Pentax camera. The pentax has a proprietary contact setup. Other flash units might fire OK but, you wont get PTTL metering and will only work in manual mode. The biggest problem is making sure the trigger voltage is the proper voltage or you could end up burning out the circuitry in your camera if its too high! So, be careful and make sure you have one mad for a digital camera or know positively it is low enough voltage so as not to damage your camera.
Hi there,

thanks, that makes sense, i thought that would be the way...but a followup question, would a flash made for Pentax A work?
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