Low powered flash recommendation?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steve-F, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hope someone can help with a cheap option?

    I occasionally find I'm shooting in low light with a fast lens (f1.8) and high ISO but just want a little bit of off camera flash to highlight my subject (I do want to keep some of the available light). I have an old Metz flash that's great for other situations but is way too strong for this .... and I can't dial it down - it's lowest setting is f4 at ISO200. I have a wireless trigger that works off the hot shoe.
    I use both a Nikon DSLR and a Canon DSLR.

    Thanks for any recommendations??

    Steve.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #2
    The cheapest I could find for you is this Yongnuo YN460-II. They have others that go up in price from there and up in regard of features too. It should work on both your Canon & Nikon & your wireless hotshoe trigger too.

    You could always use a universal diffuser softbox attachment on your current flash for a few buck$.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. That looks a very neat little unit!
    Although I'm struggling to work out how low I can turn it down?? I'm thinking I'll need to have something that will work in Manual at a very small fraction of it's full power. I'll search for the manual on-line.

    Many thanks.
     
  4. ijohn.8.80, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    ijohn.8.80

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    #4
    Just found out it is a full manual flash, it has no TTL support. For your purpose as an off camera fill, it should be adequate.

    A good review with full tech. spec's is here. It says that it has the following power settings:
    1/1 – 1/2 – 1/4 – 1/8 – 1/16 – 1/32 – 1/64

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #5
    If you're getting f/4 ISO200 with your current flash, you could just move it twice as far away from the subject, and you'd get f/2.

    Just a thought, before you go spending money on new gear.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    Or pop a neutral density gel over the flash. These gels are used extensively in the film business. If you a pro rental shop or supply shop in your area ask them for sample. It's the perfect size to fit over most flash heads. Otherwise you may need to order a full sheet. It's not expensive, and you may find some interesting uses for it. Heck, you could cut it down and sell flash ND sheets at a camera club and make back your cost.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #7
    I have several of the YN460-IIs and they are excellent manual flashes. Setting the power is as simple as pushing up and down buttons.

    The only thing that tripped me up at first was changing modes (M, S1, S2). Each mode has it's own power setting. So if you set M to say 1/8 power and then switch to S1 (optical slave) it defaults back to 1/64. Not a big deal but it caught me off guard.

    The original 460-IIs had a plastic foot but they have since upgraded to a metal foot. Unfortunately I broke one of the plastic ones but I shouldn't have dropped the strobe in the first place. ;)
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks for all the advice and comments.
    Unfortunately my old Metz is in auto mode when I quoted f4 at 200 ISO - so moving it further away or adding ND would only result in it increasing it's power to compensate. When you switch it to manual it only works at full power. I can't complain as I've had 15 years of good service out of the Metz (and it's still great)!
    I'll probably go for the Yongnuo as it's manual and I could adjust as suggested with distance and/or ND filters (I knew that swatch of Lee filters in my bottom drawer would come in some day!!).

    Steve
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #9
    You can also reduce the Yungnuo down to 1/64 power. Then move it if that still isn't enough. :)
     

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