Flash gun - Finepix S1Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lukemilnes, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. lukemilnes macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2006
    Hi people,

    i own a FujiFilm Finepix S1Pro and i have recently upped my game with my photography and have managed to get a job photographing DJs and live music events.

    I have been managing for the first few events with high ISO settings, wide F-stops and relatively long exposures. With the obvious cost of grain and lack of image sharpness!

    So its time to start bouncing that flash. I need something quite powerful so it can be bounced onto the subject to soften its effect. But it must also have quick cycle times so i dont miss the shot.

    Ive got a few pennies, but not an awful lot. Something around £100 - £150 would be nice.

    Any suggestions?
  2. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    I got the same camera. And the only question I have before you burn the eyes of the DJ, is how fast are your lenses? You should seriously consider investing in a 1.4 lens if you are going to be doing relatively dark photography. This may get you a fast enough camera for your purposes. And even if you are bouncing light, it will allow you to get shots while it is cycling.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Short Answer: Get some Vivitar 283 or 285 strobes and four ot five sets of rechargeable AA cells Loads of power for cheap. These are discontinueds but are available "everywhere" for not much money


    Can you compute an exposure from a guide number? If you can or you are willing to learn then you can buy a full manual strobe and get much more power for your money. Many of the older, time-proven professional strobes are completely manual. For years (decades?) the "standard wedding photographer setup was a Hasselblad and those camera lacked built-in meters on any time.

    THere are basically two classes of these. (1) those that take 4 AA size bateries and look like the Nikon SB600 or SB800. These are made by Vivitar, metz or Sunpack and sell for about $80. They have power and other characteristics like the SB600/800 but lack the automation, (2) The next step is a strobe that can use an external battery, one worn on a belt clip. Theese can have much more power and faster re-cycle times. Systems like these are made by companies like "Norman" and are a bit like a portable studio setup. These can be found on the used market for 1/2 the new price

    Your problem will likely be that you have a high and/or dark ceiling and will not be able to bounce the strobe off the ceiling and will need to have a bounce setup attached to your flash bracket. If you really do need one second or faster re-cycle after a full power flash you are taking about a big battery pack. Older used "Metz" strobe of the "Potato masher" style might be what you need. If you had a $1,200 budget you would have an easy to solve problem

    Last idea: Continue using existing light. It looks best really and captures the feel of the setting. But add just a little direct flash. Any cheap flash that will fit your camera should be able to do a -1EV exposure at 20 to 30 feet. The short burst of flash will frees some motion and there will be some trailing motion blur. Use your current long shutter speed with a rear-curtain strobe sync and flash set to about 1 stop low. I have a 285 and I know it will re-cycle in less then 1 second if I keep the power settng low, like 1/8 or so Unlike current model flashes the old tech strobe has a big mechanical calulator on it make manual flash easy.
  4. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    As posted above several cheap strobes can be a great solution to lighting a large area. Bouncing a strobe only works well with something to bounce off of. If the ceiling is high then the light has to travel that far and back to reach the subject. Another solution to a single strobe idea is an off camera cord. Nikon makes a nice long coiled cord that allows you to shoot off camera with one strobe and avoid the direct flash effect on your subject. This eliminates the direct shadow behind your subject and gets rid of red eye. An easy way to think of this is angle of incidence equals angle of reflectance. The direction the light comes in affects the direction it come away from your subject. The coiled cord allows for more mobility, no worries about your slaves on other strobes, and eliminates several problems found using only one strobe on camera. More options to consider. B and H lists the cord (SC 28) for $55 US. You could combine this with a dedicated strobe that costs less than $200 US. I don't know if you were looking for a strobe tha would give you dedicated features like TTL or AF assist.
  5. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Find a good used SB-24 or later, and build a bouncer out of foam stuff, there's about three instantiations on DPReview's forums- they work great for bouncing, they're cheap to build and you can make them wide enough to get a good soft bounce.
  6. lukemilnes thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2006
    Ok thanks for all the replies. Its given me plenty to think about. I'm real keen not to use the flash as obviously you get the feel of the environment that your working in- its not false as such. But sometimes you just got to use one.

    I find its pretty cheap to get hold of a flash. So i will be adding one to my kit anyway. But im more keen to get a faster lens. Currently im working with 2 lenses;

    - Nikon DX ED Fisheye. Which is nothing short of fantastic.
    - Nikon AF Nikkor 24-120mm 1: 3.5-5.6 D lens

    Im hoping to get the little gain i need by investing in a 1.4 lens. While the Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D Aspherical sounds like a dazzling lens, i know i cant afford it.

    So heres the question any cheaper alternative worth considering?

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