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Thread: Speedlites

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Speedlites

    Hi all,

    I'm considering getting a speedlite. I am a Nikon D90 owner, and never use the built in flash because I feel it washes the subject out. I'm not partial to doing any particular type of photography more than another.

    I've heard great things about achieving positive results with speedlites. Because I only have had poor experiences with the built in flash, I am not confident about the SB700. Can anyone confirm it is a significant improvement?

    If so, I have been googling examples of the flash in action, but surprisingly I don't find much. Does anyone know anywhere I should look to get a with and without comparison?

    Thanks

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    The problem with the built in flash is that it is small, limited power and only faces forward. Once you get a proper speed light you will be able point the light in any direction and bounce it off walls and ceilings. Even better than that is that you will able to use Nikon CLS to fire the flash remotely off camera using your built-in flash as a master. The possibilities are endless. If you do use it off camera using some type of light modifier may also help. Brollies, reflectors, gobos, gells and diffusers can all help make the speedlight suit your needs. The shots in this thread: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...rd-of-our-life! all use remote speedlights bounced off the walls, you can see the soft light it creates. I don't have any examples of direct flash because like you I don't shoot that way.
    D7000, D300, Nikkor 50mm F1.4D, Nikkor 18-200mm, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, Sigma 8mm F3.5, SB800, 3x SB600


  3. #3
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    The problem with the built in flash is that it is small, limited power and only faces forward. Once you get a proper speed light you will be able point the light in any direction and bounce it off walls and ceilings. Even better than that is that you will able to use Nikon CLS to fire the flash remotely off camera using your built-in flash as a master. The possibilities are endless. If you do use it off camera using some type of light modifier may also help. Brollies, reflectors, gobos, gells and diffusers can all help make the speedlight suit your needs. The shots in this thread: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...rd-of-our-life! all use remote speedlights bounced off the walls, you can see the soft light it creates. I don't have any examples of direct flash because like you I don't shoot that way.
    Agreed, though Fedgrub shouldn't be getting washed-out subjects even with the built in flash. Unflattering light, yes; but the flash should be well balanced, and if it isn't there is the flash compensation button on the left side near the flash. It's a pretty flexible unit.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Good advice Jim. (And Keith's as well.)

    Fedgrub, as Jim says, you can get decent (not washed-out) results with the built-in flash. The key is to control the amount of light it adds to the scene with some flash exposure compensation.

    Rule-of-thumb: dial in 2/3rds of a stop of NEGATIVE flash exposure compensation for your first guess. Chimp, then adjust to taste. If the scene has at least some natural lighting as well, I mostly wind up taking a bit more off the flash. On a good day, the end result doesn't look "flashed" at all.

    But (as Keith says) stepping up to a stand-alone flash unit is well worthwhile. Getting the flash off-centre (even just lifting it up the 6 inches or so a flashgun provides) helps considerably. Having the ability to bounce the flash can be a massive help. (Stand alone flash guns are very powerful: in a normal room, the flash is easily able to splash enough light up onto the ceiling or the wall behind you to light the subject. The other night I used bounce flash off a high ceiling for a macro subject - which is where you usually need the most light of all. It worked just fine.)
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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