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Thread: Flash on team day question.

  1. #1
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Flash on team day question.

    Another question on my team/group planning.
    I was thinking of getting brave & using my speedlights on manual for consistent exposures, as the position of them won't change relative to the subjects once I'm set-up.
    I am googling Mr Guy's book, but in the meantime, can anyone answer when you use manual flash settings,ie full or 1/2 etc - do you always have to manually set the zoom distance as well?

  2. #2
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk
    ...can anyone answer when you use manual flash settings,ie full or 1/2 etc
    Manual settings are best used when you have consistent ambient light and consistent flash-to-subject distance. There are lots of old-school methods for determining the required flash power, but really, you can probably just get a test subject and dial the power up and down until you have the light level you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk
    ...do you always have to manually set the zoom distance as well?
    No, but if the flash is set up as a remote, I'm not sure how it determines the zoom level. I believe the 580EX II defaults to 24mm (its widest non-diffused setting). Regardless of what the flash does automatically, I recommend setting the zoom level manually. For instance, I'll swap between 100mm and 50mm primes when shooting roller derby with my Pocket Wizard-triggered flashes, and the lens swap changes the remotes' zoom levels. So I set the zoom manually to avoid that and keep the light's character consistent.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    It's hard to say how things will work, especially as we don't know how large the group is and what kind of pictures you are planning to take. Consistent exposures have nothing to do with using speedlights; you add light for either compositional reasons (make the lighting more interesting; light quality issues) or technical reasons (the room is too dark).

    In the right context, additional off camera lighting (with appropriate light modifiers) can certainly be ver useful. In other situations, you can do a lot of work and not have any positive impact at all. I generally shoot complex lighting situations totally manually, because I have never quite figured out the algorithms the camera / flash manufacturers have built into my gear. I let my eyes (looking at the shots) and the histograms guide me.

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    ... when you use manual flash settings,ie full or 1/2 etc - do you always have to manually set the zoom distance as well?
    Just my take on it, but it generally depends on the triggering system you're using to get the flash off-camera.

    Automatic setting of the zoom setting on the flash is typically done by the camera communicating the focal length being used (and possibly the crop factor of the sensor). If you're using a manual triggering system that can only communicate the sync/fire signal, then the flash doesn't "see" the focal length being used, and you do indeed always have to set the zoom manually on the flash, just as you have to set the power level manually on the flash.

    If, however, you're using TTL-capable triggering which can communicate the full hotshoe protocol, then the zoom can be set automatically or manually, just as you can choose to use either eTTL or M mode on the flash. When I use my YN-622c triggers, the flash's zoom behaves just as it does on-camera: I can set it to Auto (where it does the closest-match setting to the lens focal length being used) or to a specific zoom setting through the camera menus.

    The zoom setting is simply setting the spread of the light. The wider the spread, the shorter the distance the light can travel and vice versa. Basically all that's going on in the flash is that the bulb is being moved closer to or farther away from that front fresnel lens panel. You control it manually if you want a different spread of light than the one that will match the FoV of the lens you're using.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    I was thinking of getting brave & using my speedlights on manual for consistent exposures, as the position of them won't change relative to the subjects once I'm set-up.
    I am googling Mr Guy's book, but in the meantime, can anyone answer when you use manual flash settings, ie full or 1/2 etc - do you always have to manually set the zoom distance as well?
    I would, always.

    Rationale:

    Your question asks about plural – ‘Speedlites’. There is more than one. One at least will be off-camera. One at least will not necessarily be at the same distance from the Subjects as the camera – and – one at least will not be on the same axes as the lens.

    The “zoom” function on the Canon Speedlites represents a “coverage” of the Flash – whilst that is related to distance it is “coverage” nonetheless and is represented by ‘the (equivalent) FoV of Focal Length of lens on a 135 Format camera’.

    If one is going manual and dispersing multiple Flash heads, off-camera, then it’s my opinion that the spread of light should be manually set.

    I can see no situation where it would be useful floating about on a lighting set in "Half Manual Mode" – that’s just a recipe for problems and issues which might not be noticed at the time and latter - hours spent attempting to work out what automatic communication (or lack of communication) was actually controlling which outcome.

    WW

    PS - don't "google" NK Guy's book, "Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography"; Rocky Nook - just buy it.

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    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Thanks for the replies.... much appreciated & understood
    here I am practising the setup in the garage with my enthusiastic assistant... (I think he would rather be surfing)
    working on the theory of lighting the space & placing my group in it - I wanted to see how I could go with positioning lights to minimise flash shadow from player in front onto 1 behind..

    Flash on team day question.

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    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    the day was very busy, but went well, thankyou again for advice/assistance

    Flash on team day question.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Looks GOOD!

    Worth all your effort, Brava!

    WW

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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Not bad at all! I'd say the players are a tad dark, but you caught a great moment.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Flash on team day question.

    Interesting concept; there are a lot of artifacts in the cutout of the girls and the one that really caught my eye is the piece of arm missing on the girl camera left. I find that the various tools in PP software are not great for people and a lot of cleanup is required, especially with the hair. I would probably use the pen tool in Photoshop and choose a background colour that bends better when it comes to matching the hair.

    I'm not even pixel peeping at this point...

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