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Thread: Flash Tutorial

  1. #1
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    Flash Tutorial

    Help Please,
    I have a 50D and 580EX 11 flash. I have never used a real flash before and am having trouble understanding the camera settings I should use when using the flash. I have read the manual several times but can't seem to get it right in my head.
    I have ISO at 100, flash exp. comp. at -1. I don't know correct setting (AV, TV etc.) for camera. At the moment I would like flash to work automatically.
    Are there any tutorials or books written in very easy to understand english anywhere that you know of.
    Thanks for your help.
    Carmen

    My Stuff:- Canon 50D l EF 28-80 f2.8-4L
    l EF 100-300 f4-5.6 l Canon 100mm f2.8 macro l Tokina 11-16 f2.8 l Pol. Filter l Flash l Grip l Remote l Tripod l Lightroom 2 l CS3

    Constructive Critique of my photos always appreciated

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    When using flash, set the camera in manual. Google 'planet neil' and read his tutorials on flash. I am sure you will find these invaluable.

  3. #3
    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    There's the flash equipment tutorial that might help you in getting to know the terminology and some of the basics - it's in the tutorial section.

    Camera in M, flash in E-TTL II mode. Reset the flash exposure compensation 0, point the thing up if you have a ceiling to create a nice bounce effect, otherwise use a wall to bounce it of. If you want more help, provide examples of when things went wrong.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Thanks TOM and jev. I will use those setting and practice.

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    It depends on what you're trying to do.

    If you are indoors and bouncing the flash, as a default set Manual Exposure to about 0 to -3 stops under ambient light. ISO 100 is not good when using Speedlites...it depends on what you're doing but I usually use ISO 1600 as a default for indoor work in dark places. That might be too high for you. Set the Flash Exposure Compensation to +2/3 as a starting point

    It's important to note that there is no one setting for anything. I myself often use AV mode for indoor flash, but this is very risky but I am able to mitigate the risk with experience. M mode is probably easier to do when starting out

    Otherwise, experiment, expose for the ambient as normal, and use the FEC to control the flash exposure. You may even want to try FEB for trial and error

  6. #6
    Member Slika's Avatar
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    What about the Strobist Lighting 101 document.

    Easy to read and understand too

    JJ

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    Member Sammi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    When using flash, set the camera in manual. Google 'planet neil' and read his tutorials on flash. I am sure you will find these invaluable.
    Wow this guy has some great tutorials, TFS
    Sammi
    Canon 50d - 300d backup - 28/135mm IS usm - 50mm 1.8 - ettl flash - Assortmant of other stuff I hardly use
    I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it. ~Author Unknown

  8. #8
    Member Edgar's Avatar
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    Great timing for this topic, I thought I would join the thread as I have similar questions.

    As per above, I've just purchased the Canon 580 EX II as well, however, I find that using the M mode and up the shutter speed (I've just tried around 1/100-1/200 sec) and the shots turned out good.

    What I don't understand is why when I set to Av mode, the camera automatically set the shutter speed really slow 1/20sec and below, I would have thought the camera should know there is a speedlite attached, so it can up the shutter speed a little more.
    Canon 5D MKII, 7D
    Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II | EF 24-70mm F2.8L | EF 16-35mm F2.8L II | EF 180mm F3L Macro | EF 85mm F1.8

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    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    What I don't understand is why when I set to Av mode, the camera automatically set the shutter speed really slow 1/20sec and below, I would have thought the camera should know there is a speedlite attached, so it can up the shutter speed a little more.
    Did you read the flash equipment tutorial posted in the tutorals section? In Av, the system is using your speedlite for fill-light - exposure is determined as if there is no speedlite attached. The speedlite will only lighten up the darkest areas in your subject...

  10. #10
    Member Edgar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information Jev.

    I've tried using Av for still objects and it works really well with the speedlite (with steady hands / use tripods of course) but may not be the best when it comes to portraits indoor.

    By the way, what Colour Balance do you guys choose? AWB or Flash?

  11. #11
    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Manual. Shoot in RAW and set whitebalance in postprocessing.

  12. #12
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    Set your WB to Flash when using flash. You can change it later in PP if you need to, but you should always try and limit necessity of PP - it's just one more time-consumer
    Wedding photographer shooting Canon

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