Flash Help...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #1
    I would like to by a fairly cheap Hot Shoe flash as the two cameras that I use at the moment don't have flashes.

    One has a hot shoe and the other doesn't however, they both have PC sync cables so will both take flashes.

    I am not looking to break the bank just to be able to shoot in fairly low light.

    Looking in the price range of under £50 and just hoping for something that will be better than the normal flash of a P&S or DSLR.

    Thanks
     
  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #2
    It would be helpful if you told us what cameras you want to use the flash with. In general, used Nikon flashes (e. g. the SB-28, SB-26 or SB-80 (DX)) have a very good reputation: they cost about the same as cheap new ones, but are much better build, are more reliable and have more (useful) features.

    The Nikon flashes I've mentioned don't work with the current Nikon dslrs (except for the D3(x), I think) and thus the prices have gone down quite a bit.
     
  3. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #3
    Sorry the cameras are pretty dated so I didn't think it would be necessary!

    I have a Konica AutoReflex TC 35mm SLR

    and

    a Hasselblad 500 ELM with PC Sync slot.

    I will have a look at those flashes.

    I am also looking for a more natural look from the picture so I will need to buy a diffuser. This is totally new ground to me so I am not sure what to buy and how to get the best picture from it!

    Thanks again!
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #5
    Velcro is your friend :)
    You can put almost anything on top of a flash from gels, snoots to diffusers. You almost certainly want to trigger your flash off-camera. A long PC cord will do the trick.

    I was glad when I found out I can use my SB-600 with my new Sigma DP1 -- although the flash is bigger than the camera ;)
     
  5. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #6
    With the PC sync how will I work the flash?

    As I have said before I barely ever use the flash (opting for daylight or some external constant lights I have for portraits)

    Will there also be a limit on the shutter speed I can use with the flash and does anyone know why this is the case?

    Also with the more old fashioned cameras is there a way of setting a rear curtain sync?

    Sorry if I use some of the wrong terminology as this is a completely new avenue for me!

    Cheers
     
  6. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #7
    You'll set it to manual and adjust the power using the controls on the flash. Depending on the flash you en up with you might also be able to adjust the beam width.

    Yes, there will be a limit. It depends on the camera. You'll probably be limited to a max sync speed of between 1/100 and 1/250th of a second. This is a result of the shutter sliding across the frame instead of opening all at once. At fast shutter speeds only a small part of the sensor is exposed at a time. Since the flash pulse is very fast it will only illuminate the part of frame that the shutter isn't blocking.
     
  7. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #8
    Thanks for this description.

    Does anyone know how to find out the fastest flash speed since I am keen on maybe doing some hi speed photography (with the shutter open) so would be keen to know the fastest sort of speed of the flash!
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    You'll have to use it in full manual: you just set the power ratio (1/1, 1/2, 1/4, etc.) and that's it. Since your cameras are full manual cameras, you're used to do things by hand anyway ;)

    The Nikon flashes also allow you to focus the light with a built-in diffusor. This can help you to focus the light to a spot (if you want to) or do the reverse.
    Regarding the Hasselblad, panoz7's post is incorrect, you can use your flash at any shutter speed. It has a central shutter and thus you're not limited in any way.

    Your Kodak probably has a different kind of shutter, a focal plane shutter. You can only use it up to 1/125 s
    I don't know, but my gut says I don't think so.
     
  9. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #10
    It looks like the Konica will do at least 1/125.

    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/konica/konica_autoreflex_tc/autoreflex_tc.pdf

    It looks like the Hassy will sync at all shutter speeds, but the information on that isn't as solid as above.

    With practice you can sometimes cheat to faster shutter speeds. Basically the shutter curtain blocks part of the frame during the flash. If you pay attention to which part of the frame, you can compose to later crop out the underexposed portion of the image and leave you the image you wanted at a higher shutter speed.
     
  10. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #11
    I've not read this thread properly, but most people seem to like the vivitars, the 283 and 285 (HV). I have an old 283 and it's pretty good, but it doesn't swivel.
     
  11. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #12
    Like I said, it depends on the camera. I didn't realize the hassleblad only supported leaf shutters. I apologize for not checking that out before posting. Leaf shutters won't have a flash sync limit but they're slower over all than focal plain shutters. Like I said, I don't know much about hasselblads – do some support both leaf shutters and focal plane shutters?

    The shutter speed isn't as important for high speed photography as the flash pulse length. The flash pulse for hot shoe flashes gets to be very fast for lower powers.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #13
    No biggie. The 500 series has leaf shutters while the 200 series has focal plane shutters.
    Since leaf shutters aren't very fast anyway (1/500 s in case of the Hassy), I don't think it's going to be too much of an issue. But in principle, you're right.
     

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