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Old Aug 3, 2006, 2:04 PM   #81
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The Sigma EF 500 DG ST P-TTL Flash arrived this morning, so now all I am lacking is the DL, which is still enroute. So with the majority of the equipment here I will get to work.

MT/Sarah
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 4:48 PM   #82
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i posted two difussers. the one that is all white does not give enough range. it's too opaque. the other is great. i know some use the bottom of an alcohol bottle with success.

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Old Aug 3, 2006, 8:02 PM   #83
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 8:51 PM   #84
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Flash Thread Lesson 4 - Slave Flashes

Thus far we have discussed your camera's built-in flash. Today we will move into new territory. We will begin to extend our discussions now to include a means of increasing your camera's flash range. As you will probably recall from Lesson 1, the flash range (the subject to camera range in feet) of the built-in flash on your camera,is limited to 10 to 12 feet.

When you want to photograph a large group that requires you to increase the flash range beyond that fixed 10 to 12 feet range, what can you do.

You can:

(a) Increase your camera's ISO setting beyon the 200 ISO , or Auto ISO setting that you already have set in your camera. There is a chart for that in the your camera manual for that exact procedure. In the DS manual you will find it on page 149.

(b) You can add another flash, meaning a slave flash. That will bring more light (two flashes)to you photo scene.

(c) You can mount a compatible External Flash on your camera's hot shoe. This will require that the camera's built-in flash be closed to allow space for the External Flash to be properly mounted.

A Slave Flash is what you usein situation (b). A slave flash is quite simple. It is an extra flash of varying size and features that is usually mounted on an accessory flash bracket adjacent to your camera. There is no wiring required between your camera and the slave flash. The slave flash is triggered (using a photo-electric cell on the slave flash) by the light of your camera's built-in flash. Therefore, you will be using two flashes together when you work with a slave flash.

Here is how it looks:



And here is a closeup photo of that same slave flash. Notice the red colored area on the front of the slave flash, near the mounting bracket. That is where the photo electric cell is located that makes the slave flash fire when it "sees" the flash from your camera's built-in flash.



So you have seenwhat the first slave set up looks like. Please keep in mind that a slave flash can be used by any camera. All it needs to fire is the light of another flash. We are naturally planning that your camera's built-in flash will triggeryour slave flash. However, I have often "shared" my slave flash with other photographers who need extra light in their photos just like I do. So I will tell them to use their camera's built-in flash and I will just hold up my camera with the slave flash attached and powered up. I will point my camera at their photo scene and while I will have not taken a photo, my slave flash will fire when "seeing" their camera's built-in flash firing. Their photo gets the benfit from my slave flash.

Therefore, you can also understand another factor that can beof real assistance to you and your photo. The farther you can get your flash away from the lens of your camera, the less chance you have of getting red eye from your subjects in your photo. Camera accessory companies want to sell you all kinds of fancy flash brackets such as the stroframe which costs as much as $(US) 75.00. All that fancy flash bracket is doing is getting your slave flash or external flash farther away from your camera's lens.

So, because I like to keep my camera kit to a minimum, I just hand the slave flash to my husband, and he hand holds the slave flash where he is, (about 3 to 5 feet away) from my camera's lens, and the slave flash works just fine because there is no wired connection between my camera and my slave flash.

A bigger slave flash that both tilts and swivels is nice (it can do bounce flash and fill flash which we will discuss later in this series)but it is too large to practically carry in my small camera kit.So, I carry a slave flash with me at all times, but it is smallslave flash. It is just 2 inches wide and 3.25 inches tall and uses just 2 AA size batteries. I don't even have to carry an accessory flash bracket to mount it on, because I can always hand it to my husband.But it sure is nice to have that slave flash with me when I need a bit of extra light. Here is what my small slave flash looks like close-up.



You will notice that my small slave flash naturally also has a photo electric cell on it just below the flash lens to trigger the slave flash. No, it does not tilt or swivel, but for most of my use it does not have to tilt or swivel. Remember, I use it hand held and the person holding it can easily accomplish the titlting and swiveling just by using their hand and the photo electric cell/switch will still work fine and will fire that small slave at virtually angle it is held because it has a wide acceptance angle on the photo electric cell/switch.

When you are purchasing a slave flash, be sure that it has a wide acceptance angle on the photo electric cell/switch on it. I once bought a Sunpak model DS-20slave flash, that happens to be one of the best selling slave flashes in the photo industry. Yes it is cheap (around $(US) 20.00 but it has a very narrow acceptance angle on its photo electric cell/switch and can only be used when mounted directly parrellel and very near your camera's built-in flash. So, for me it was a total turkey and a waste of money.

You probably want to see what the small slave flash would look like in a normal set up, so here is a photo of that as well.



OK, thus far we have talked about slave flash hardware we will stop here and deal with how to use slave flashes in our next lesson. Keep in mind that we are always available to handle your questions.

MT/Sarah


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Old Aug 4, 2006, 1:10 PM   #85
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Going back to P-TTL, is there a difference between a P-TTL flash designed for a film camera and one designed for a digital camera or do they interchange like lenses?

Thank you,

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Old Aug 4, 2006, 1:16 PM   #86
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Non-

The answer is no. However, if you are giving consideration to acquiring and old flash unit. I would be very careful. The newer Pentax film and the DSLR cameras seem tohave used a progressive lower trigger voltage.

MT/Sarah
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Old Aug 4, 2006, 1:27 PM   #87
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Wow, six minute reply! Thank you. By no, you mean there is no difference and and an older one could work (unless the lower trigger voltage is an issue)? I was looking on Ebay and saw a Vivitar 730 AF P-TTL and noted the description stated "I don't think it was designed for digital." This is what prompted the question. I am trying hard not to go into this backwards; from my hobbies I have a tendency to buy accessories before buying the main item. I can see myself a few weeks before Christmas with six lenses, a flash, camera bag, and no camera to put under the tree.

Thanks,

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Old Aug 4, 2006, 3:02 PM   #88
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mtclimber schreef:
Quote:

So you have seenwhat the first slave set up looks like. Please keep in mind that a slave flash can be used by any camera. All it needs to fire is the light of another flash.

I've been using a slave flash for many years, it - an Osram S18, must be over 30 years old- worked with my Kodak dx 6490, but, not with the Pentax *Ist L. First I thought it was the pre-flash from the build in flash that fired the Osram too early, but the same happens with the Sigma EF-500 ST and that does not use a pre-flash, but infrared if i'm correct. To be sure I took a picture of the loaded slave with the Kodak and with the Pentax, you can see the flash flashing on the Kodak, but not on the Pentax.

Richard.


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Old Aug 4, 2006, 3:46 PM   #89
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Flash Thread Lesson 4 Continued

As I promised yesterday (08/03) having taken a look at slave flash hardware, today, let's take a look at what kind of photos that you can take with them. As you will probably recall, I mentioned that a Slave Flash will work with any camera. Because I have all of the consumer level DSLR cameras that I let students try-out during our workshops, that do not mean that I have the brand name dedicated flash units for each of those DSLR cameras for the students to use with each of those DSLR cameras.

So here is what I do: I teach slave flashes and then I have the studentsuse slave flashes during the flash workshop, switching as we need to, during the flash session. Another thing to keep in mind as well. The three long distance slave flash photo samplesused in this lesson are from my files because I did not have an event available that I could rush out to and take sample photos for you this afternoon. The sample portraits were taken right in our living room with my husband Bradley volunteering to pose and using my DS equipped with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Let's take a look at the two portrait samples. The first was taken with the slave flash in the vertical bounce position and the camera's built-in flash acting as a fill/primary light source. Here is how that looks:



In the second portrait sample, I wanted you to see most of the effect from the vertically bounced slave flash, so I shielded the camera's built-in flash with my hand, thus reducing almost all of the camera's built-in Flash's contribution to the photo, but still giving enough light to fire the vertically bounced slave flash. Here is how it looks. Notice that the bulk of the light is coming from overhead because the vertically positioned slave flash was bouncing off the white ceiling.



Next, we have a look ata photo were the camera's built-in flash was pointed straight ahead (after all it is fixed in that position, but I don't want any confusion) and the Slave flash was positioned at a 45 degree angle tolight both the ceiling and to spill into the photo as well. Here is how that looks:



The next two photos are taken with both the camera's built-in flash and the slave faced straight ahead to get the maximum light. The camera's ISO setting raised to ISO 800 to get better flash distance and so that I could use a Zukio 40-150mmtelephoto lens (there is a 2.0X additive for that lens)to take the photos at 40 feet from camera to subject distance.





So there are a few samples of what you can do with an inexpensive slave flash.

MT/Sarah
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Old Aug 4, 2006, 3:57 PM   #90
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Richard-

Without having the Osram slave flash to examine it, I am at a loss to answer your question. It should work with your DL just as well as it worked with you Kodak DX-6490.

Sarah
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