Strobists: how often do you use one on-camera flash?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, Mar 4, 2010.


What kind of flash use best describes you?

  1. Exclusively off-camera flash.

    3 vote(s)
  2. Mostly off-camera, but sometimes I use a single flash mounted on the camera.

    11 vote(s)
  3. Usually both: flash off-camera and one mounted on it contributing to the light.

    1 vote(s)
  4. I only use an on-camera flash to control a slave.

    4 vote(s)
  5. Could do off-camera flash, but I usually use a flash on the camera.

    5 vote(s)
  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    This is a poll for people who have the ability to do off-camera flash. Just curious to know how often people who have the capability to do off-camera flash find needs to do just the opposite and use one single speedlite mounted on the camera.

    If you do use on-camera flash, what sorts of occasions warrant it?
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I use on-camera flash all the time. But it's always bounced. It works really well in spaces where you have walls you can bounce off of effectively. I dislike bounced flash if I only have a ceiling to bounce off of (if I'm in the middle of a massive room, for instance).

    I'll generally use off-camera flash when I'm doing a posed shot, or I'll use it as a dedicated hair/rim light. For events where you're running around a lot, off-camera light as key lighting is tough to pull off unless you've got a voice-activated lightstand.
  3. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    I clicked exclusively off camera since that is the most accurate description. Normally the times when I am using a flash close to the camera I use an SU800 commander and hold the flash. It has been known for me to very occasionally put it onto the camera direct but we are talking around the 0.1% of shots level and probably less.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It depends on the kind of photography. When you are outdoors shoots subjects that move around and yu don't control you have to keep the flash on-camera. But I don't think anyone would use on-camera flash in a studio.

    I'll even use the pop-up flash. In bright sunlight it makes a very nice fill-in flash if you set it a stop below ambient.

    If I'm indoors and have time I use a three head Norman power pack systems I have
  5. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I use it exclusively off-camera. By that, I mean a typical shoot involves around 3 strobe lights (or 4,5,13... how many ever some shots require). I used to own a hot-shoe flash for my 5D but sold it due to really never using it. I think maybe once, it was mounted on my camera and right after I got it when I photographed candids at an indoor events. I just don't like having a flash on top my camera.
  6. maddagascar macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2009
    don't have a flash YET! but i'll be getting one for my night painting, as i can hold it in a tunnel and make a silhouette of myself facing away from the camera.

    also, it can be useful when to have the flash mounted and remote trigger to show yourself freezing with the light painting that you just drew.

    but i would do a bit of both once i get the flash and with the single flash on the camera too. :)
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I can't vote, but would like to see the results. Maybe a "View Results Only" button?

  8. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I can't vote either (since I can't yet do off-camera flash), but I see such a button (well, a link) off to the right. Do you not have that?

    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. What I'm trying to work out is whether or not I want to spend extra money on a flash that can do E-TTL II. If I'm never going to use it on the camera, then I don't see the point. The flash I have now has E-TTL, but I can't use it off-camera.
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
  10. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I've never shot with my flash on camera since I went to college and got it beat out of me.

    Then worst yet, I went to work for D the Baltimore Sun and the beating continued.

    Seriously though, I just never liked having my flash on camera too much. I got great results from it from time to time but always preferred to shoot with a sync cable, an SC-17 or wirelessly.
  11. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    2/3rds of the time my flash is on camera. I'm a photojournalist, so most of the time I just don't have the time or ability to go off camera. For quick portraits I try and use my TLL cord as the light is much better, but wireless flash only happens when I'm in studio or have time to set-up.

    When the flash is on camera, I use the bounce card as well as try and bounce the flash at a 35-60 angle. I never have the flash head directly pointed at the subject, unless I'm doing vertical and horizontal shots one after the other as the flash head is pointed in the wrong position.

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