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Thread: Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

  1. #1

    Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

    Hi all!

    I am about to buy myself a flash gun or ring flash - and I have no Idea which to get because I will be photographing events in a dark, very dark room with strobe lighting and possibly smoke - pictures of people and bands. Also, as well I need to find an alternative to a flash? Does anyone know an alternative?


    Please Help!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 1st April 2011 at 08:48 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

    Can't think of an alternative to flash at the moment without wheeling in studio lighting which is probably going to make you really unpopular, I guess you could use very high ISO and do something artistically blurry. My preference would be a flash gun, I'm no expert on ring flash but you could certainly get the flash gun off camera which would be a lot more versatile. It occurs to me that a ring flash in a very smokey room would be bouncing back too much light from the smoke in front of the lens - a bit like car headlights in fog, great shots of smoke but possibly not much else.
    Either way balancing your exposure with strobes going off and sorting out your white balance with coloured lights is going to be ... interesting so good luck either way

  3. #3
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

    I agree with Paul,don't consider a ringflash.If a fog machine is going to be used,forget about using any flash.It would help if you would post what camera you have and the lenses you have to choose from.
    Last edited by Jim B.; 29th March 2011 at 01:19 PM.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

    I don't really like ring flash for anything but macro work and am not totally keen on the ring flash for even that. I dislike the round, donut shaped catch lights in the subjects eyes with ring flash use and the light is pretty flat for macro work...

    I would recommend an off camera flash such as the 580EX ii or 430EXii (although the 550EX, 580EX and 430EX are also candidates) used on a flash bracket which will keep the flash elevated over the axis of your lens. I would bounce the flash when possible using a diffuser/reflector (I like the Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro) or if I needed to use direct flash, I'd diffuse it with a Lumiquest Mini Softbox or one of the many Chinese knock-offs sold on eBay for a pittance...

    However, for photography of performers and bands, a camera with high ISO capability paired with a fast lens would probably be the best bet and will disturb the performers and guests a lot less...

  5. #5

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    Re: Flash Gun/ Ring Flash! Both?

    The real question is what budget are you working to?

    The focus on smoke maybe overdone here as I see you are unsure whether smoke will feature. In any event if there is stage lighting and smoke and you use a fast lens you'll still likely have have more smoke than band. Off camera is the way to go. The better ring flashes don't produce the flat lighting referred to above but they won't throw enough light for your purpose, I think.

    An alternative to flash? With a Canon I'd say the 85mm f1.2L lens coupled with a 5D mkII. But an expensive coupling. My experience with live gigs has been that if you are close enough the stage lights usually are strong enough to allow some fine shots without flash.

    Good luck.

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