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Thread: Standard Flash Setup

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    Standard Flash Setup

    Hi all,

    I am just chasing some advice on your 'standard' flash setup when shooting at home. I only have a single 580EX-II and Yongnuo triggers so I understand that there are limitations.

    For example: on the weekend we had some people over for a christmas party (including kids). If I took a metering, I was getting 1/15s at f5.6 which is obviously too slow and the DOF was pushing the boundaries for a group 'room' shot.

    To make it easy on myself, I set the camera to manual with 1/100s, flash bounce off roof @45 and then set the aperture to whatever DOF I wanted. Flash was mounted on the camera hot shoe, E-TTL with 2nd curtain sync. This ends up with the flash doing pretty much all the work which is better than the alternative of blurry shots!

    The shots were ok from the point of view that they were in focus, exposed ok and the DOF was what i wanted. However, I still think there is significant room for improvement before going to buy a ST-E2 or similar.

    From what I have seen, I could probably push the shutter down to 1/60s before i start getting ghosting (i.e. 2 exposures). I used 1/100s because the kids are all <1yr and move a lot for photos. I know the flash would freeze movement but was concerned about ghosting.

    What would be your advice for flahs setup in this situation?

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    I think you are on the right track, the other two considerations is your iso and the ambient light you want
    Darren
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    checkout the gary fong difusers lots of people swear by them and i cant see myself not buying one in the near distant future
    Ben

    Camera: 7d
    Lenses: Canon 17 - 55 f2.8, Canon 85mm f1.8, Sigma 30mm f1.4
    Flash: 430 exii

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    I am a bit confused with what exactly you want ??.

    On Camera Flash - I always use my Gary Fong Diffuser, and then bounce when ever possible,
    Unless using very slow shutter speeds, you are not going to have too much trouble with ghosting, the flash is much faster than your shutter and will freeze the action for you, so even using second curtain sync won't make a big difference.

    Don't waste your money on an ST-E2 controller, you have a 580EX-II, use that as your master and avail yourself of a 430EXII, (cheaper than an ST-E2) or a second 580EXII.

    Moving subjects, variable distance to subject from camera are situations where you either need to be real quick with maths and adjust your aperture on the run, or stick to an E-TTL system and let the camera and flash do the work for you.
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    I was using ISO400 on the weekend, as the noise is very tolerable and the flash was doing the work anyhow.

    MarkChap - I want to know how others would normally setup their camera when shooting flash around the house etc. As mentioned above, I use manual and have been running with a shutter speed of 1/80-1/100. How slow can I push the shutter speed before I have problems?

    I used it indoors once with 2nd curtain on AV mode, and with shutter speeds of 1/15 with the flash doing a small amount of fill it was all over the place (i.e. blurry!).

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    There's no magic answer, the amount of ambient light and how you balance that to the flash makes a big difference to freezing action vs motion blur

    Read up on strobist to get the idea

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    As Kiwi said, it all depends on the end product you are trying to achieve,

    When you say "indoors", are we talking indoors in your average house, or indoors in a largish hall, what are you defining as indoors

    If you are doing controlled shots, ie- "ok sit/stand there and I will take your photograph", then I would set up a light stand with a speed light and an umbrella or softbox and shoot full manual, with enough ISO to give me a shutter speed that would produce the result I wanted, then set the aperture to suit the the flash.

    If you are in an uncontrolled situation, ie- walking around just grabbing candids along the way, then I would have as described before, flash on camera, Fong/Stofen diffuser, and wherever possible bounced, in E-TTL mode, again I normally shoot manual, so enough ISO for a good shutter speed, set an aperture I am happy with and then let the flash do the hard yards. You could use aperture priority, set your aperture to you desired DoF, and then set enough ISO to achieve a hand hold-able shutter speed, this will require less work from the flash. Slow shutter speeds, hand held and sharp photos don't really go together in most circumstances.

    So in trying to answer, I guess there really is not right or wrong way to do it, you just need to do it in a way that produces the results you are after

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    Thanks for the info. MarkChap - the uncontrolled situation (candids) is what I am talking about. I don't have an umbrella/light stand yet (that is the next purchase).

    It sounds like I am atleast in the ballpark. Camera in manual, bounce the flash and then set the shutter speed/aperture/iso to best balance the ambient. I will have to do some tests as on the weekend i think i could have balance it much better.

    Thanks again.

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    That's what we are here for

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