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Thread: Off camera flash - worthwhile??

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    Off camera flash - worthwhile??

    I am seriously looking at buying a flash unit - the Pentax AF360FGZ but before I lay down my cold hard cash, I just wanted to be sure it will be of benefit to my photography, and not sit collecting dust.
    Now I am not really interested in portraiture, but I am certainly interested in macro work, and the benefit in bird photography was clearly pointed out to me the other day.
    Other than these fields, I just don't know if a flash would be of benefit otherwise - please enlighten me

    Thanks.

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    I think most (massive generalisation) would prefer to shoot using natural light. But, if for whatever reason this is not possible then off camera flash in essential imho. It gives you the ability to both soften and make directional the artificial light. Essential for portraiture and macros.
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    It's all about the Light!
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    The Pentax units are expensive. The Sigma 530's work.
    Try mine if your not sure. I have the ST. The is a super as well.
    The Blackbird in the recent bird thread was done using my 530.

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    Off camera flash has all sorts of benefits. Probably the most obvious is that it can make a photo look more natural, no red-eye, no harsh shadowing around the subject. Catchlights dont have to be so central on the eyes. I personally like a catchlight that is off-centre.

    You can get very creative with off camera flash, and create a 'mood' to your photo, that would be impossible with on camera flash.
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    For macro and birdshots, I doubt if a standard flashgun is the best solution. For bird shots, I would expect the flash not to be of any help since the distances to your object will be quite long. Than again, I'm no expert on birding (understatement of the year - the only time I see a bird up close is when it's on my plate).

    For macro, I would suggest to look at a ringflash or a macro flash (double light). But on the subject of macro's I'm no expert either.

    So, since you mention you're "not really interested in portraiture", the flash you indicate would not be very helpful - it'll most probably end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    The Pentax units are expensive. The Sigma 530's work.
    Try mine if your not sure. I have the ST. The is a super as well.
    The Blackbird in the recent bird thread was done using my 530.
    Thanks for the offer Kym. Just looked up the price of the Sigma 530's they are more expensive than what I can get the 360 for - been offered to me for $350 - brand new. This is the maximum I have to spend.

    At this point in time a ring flash is way out of my price range.

    What I am getting so far from the replies, is that it is going to give me greater flexibility in what, and how I can take my photos.

    I think I will have to find some photos that show me what can be achieved.

    Cheers.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Matt, if you want to be able to use the flash purely off camera as a manually adjusted unit only, there are quite a few secondhand Nikon SB-26 and SB-80 speedlights for sale at fairly cheap prices that will give pretty good results.
    Those two models have the ability to be fired by the inbuilt camera flash at a very low output level. ( I just had a look at the K20D specs and the onboard flash can be dialled down -2 EV so it should fire the off camera light OK but not put too much light on the subject itself. )

    If you want the ability to use a flash both on or off camera then you will have to look at the compatible brand names of Pentax, Sigma, Metz etc.

    As for the use of it I reckon for macro work you will find it will be very useful, as an on camera unit and used with care it will work for birds under many situations. I would consider a flash to be an essential piece of equipment to have for when you really want "that" shot but natural light won't do the job.
    Andrew
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    I have found that getting an off-camera flash has added as much range and versatility to my photography as adding a new lens would.
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    I don't bother to use off camera lighting, I just bounce it instead. Bouncing appropriately can still yield directional lighting results

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    Just to update - just picked up a Pentax Af360FGZ flash and a pack of eneloop batteries. The guy also chucked in a small stand for the flash for me (although it is a Cannon stand hehehe)
    Going to have to wear around me for a while now

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    Ohh,ooo

    I can feel a pay back for that pic I took at the Chrissy BBQ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    Ohh,ooo

    I can feel a pay back for that pic I took at the Chrissy BBQ...
    Hehehe - good idea - I almost forgot about that...

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