Manual vs TTL flash

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pezdaddy, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. pezdaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #1
    Looking to get my first speed light, which for now will strictly be used on camera. Should I go for a TTL model or would manual be stuffy sufficient?

    It would get its most use at family birthday parties, pictures of my kids, etc. Currently have an 18-55 3.5-5.6 lens.

    TTL would probably be less hassle on the fly, right? Or would manual be sufficient? Eventually I want to get into off camera flash, just not at this time.

    Am considering one of Yongnuo flashes. Thoughts?
     
  2. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    Hi There,

    TTL is the way to go, "hassle free" IMHO
    I think a lot depends on your experience and what you want from the flash,
    I have a Nikon, use an SB700 flash and just power it up when shooting outdoors

    The camera just compensates for the current exposure for fill flash

    Nikon and Canon have this option
    ......Gary
     
  3. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #3
    I agree - if you don't want to get into off-camera flash at this stage then you're definitely best getting one that supports TTL. For the kind of photography you mentioned, it'll make working quickly indoors easy as you don't need to think about your settings.

    Longer term, it's definitely worth understanding manual flash, but your TTL flash will have a manual mode that you can use to learn.

    One other thing to remember - many older flashes have an Auto mode. Like TTL, this mode varies the amount of flash output based on the scene you're shooting. The difference is that with Auto mode, the flash dictates how much power is required through a built-in sensor. With TTL, the camera tells the flash when to switch off based on light received Through The Lens.

    Hope that helps,
     
  4. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #4
    ^^^^ what these guys said...

    TTL, then you have the choice.
     
  5. pezdaddy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #5
    Thank you very much guys, TTL for now (definitely want to get into off camera manual just not at this time).

    Appreciate it!
     
  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #6
    Do a lot of research before buying a flash. Good ones aren't cheap and good ones aren't always named Canon or Nikon, either. I bought a Metz over a Canon when I was asked to shoot a wedding for a friend and it absolutely saved my bacon. Before using TTL, check to make sure how your camera uses it. I was surprised to find that my 7D wanted me to go to the P mode for TTL and wanted to set my shutter speed to 1/60 sec. I went to the max shutter setting for flash (1/250 sec) and set the aperture to 5.6. These were minimums I knew I needed to get the shots in focus with reasonable clarity. I dialed the ISO up until the numbers agreed and set that ISO (500) into the Metz and shot full manual.

    A link for Speedclights

    Dale
     
  7. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    What's this 'on camera' flash you speak of? Sounds....unflattering. :cool:
     
  8. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #8
    I agree with ^^^^. Get a bracket to move it off the camera.

    Dale
     
  9. swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #9
    On-camera flash does not mean direct flash. Used creatively, on-camera flash can be very flattering.

    I'd agree that you never want your flash head pointing straight at the subject, but personally I do not think there is any need for a flash bracket. Bouncing the flash will give far nicer results than moving a direct flash 6" off-axis.
     
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #10
    I agree on most of this but the flash in my case was as tall as the camera if not more so. Moving it off to the side balanced the rig out quite a bit.

    Dale
     
  11. pezdaddy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #11
    I changed my mind and deciding against a TTL flash for now. Just like manual mode, I really want to learn how settings interact...so I went strictly manual with a Yongnuo yn-560 iii. Bought it off amazon yesterday.

    Should be enough to get me started and learning about how speedlights affect things. Right now I've been very anti flash and refuse to use the pop up flash on the camera (I have a Canon SL1).
     
  12. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #12
    For a small camera, your Canon has a lot of stuff in it. Read the Digital Photo Review review here:

    Know Your Camera

    Dale
     
  13. pezdaddy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    #13
    Thanks Dale. Yep, it's definitely small. Received as a Christmas gift, so only had it since end of December.

    It's my first "big boy" camera. I've been digital since 2001, but nothing as feature packed as the SL1, and certainly not removable lenses, so it makes a good stepping stone camera for me.

    I was born in '77 and used cheap 35mm film cameras during the 80's and 90's. Nothing fancy, that's just all there was that was accessible to me. However, external flash is a new one for me, even after all these years. I kind of feel like I'm late to the game, but better late than never I suppose!
     
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #14
    I was born in..um..1947.. All this digital stuff is new to me :) The Metz I bought replaced a thirty year old film camera flash.

    Enjoy your purchase.

    Dale
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    TTL flash is dead easy to use. But you can buy a used Vivitar H283 for as low as $60 and it has a "ton" of power. It makes just as much light as the $400 TTL flash and has the same on-camera bounce feature. The difference is that you have to think about exposure. Actually the H283 is a halfway decent "auto" mode.

    People did jut fine with non-automatic film cameras for 50 years. But they did require some skill that people just starting out now likely have not acquired.

    For off camera use, I have a really nice and way-powerfull Norman studio strobe setup that I really don't use anymore. I've gone over to using CONTINUOS lights, that same ones I use for video. Now days you can buy good fluorescent or LED continuous lights that are way-bright and not hot.

    If you will only be buying one set of lights, get the video lights because they work really well for stills, but strobes are useless for video.
     
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    Perhaps you should read up on the various uses for flash or rather how to use flash under a given situation.

    Direct flash is good as fill flash if set properly.
    Direct flash with diffusion also good for fill flash.

    Bounced flash with or without diffusion okay if care is taken and surface to bounce off of doesn't create issues in itself.

    Barebulb flash - least controllable but often can have excellent effect.

    The list goes on. Every one of the listed ways to shoot with flash by other posters makes sense given the right situation. One mode doesn't fit all situations.

    Given your camera, TTL makes a lot of sense and even better if the flash allows for manual control as well. As someone who has owned speed lights, camera flashes both manual and TTL I can say please do take the time to understand flash photography and what your* camera can do.
     

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