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Flash is a device which provides additional light to a scene. It can be used to help fill in a dark area of a photo, to provide light if there isn't sufficient light to begin with, or it can help to improve the composition of a particular photo, by creating your own source of light.

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10
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3answers
11k views

When and how to use a push-on flash diffuser?

I've bought a cheap flash on eBay and got this fancy flash diffuser as a free gift: So, what are the effects of a light diffuser like this one? What difference does it make to the resulting photo? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Can using an old flash damage a new DSLR?

I have been using my dad's old Metz mecablitz 18 B1 flash for a while with my Canon 7D and had no trouble with it, but just received some advice from a friend that using old flashes can fry the ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

How many watt-seconds do regular battery-powered flashes have?

I'd like to know how do battery-powered system flashes compare to studio units in terms of light output. I know that AlienBees B400 has 400 "effective"  Ws, and that Canon Speedlite 580EX II has ...
10
votes
3answers
714 views

Does the zoom head position of a flash matter when shooting through an umbrella?

It seems like a hotshoe flash's zoom head position might factor in to the lighting pattern when shooting through an umbrella. In the wide beam position, I expect more even light that one is ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the D7000 commander mode flash firing during exposure when the manual says it won't?

I'm wondering if I'm using the D7000's Commander mode incorrectly. Page 225 of the Nikon D7000 manual says The built-in flash does not fire [in "--" Option], although remote flash units do. Yet ...
10
votes
2answers
398 views

Why does exposure compensation have no effect with my hotshoe flash?

Taking photos with my Canon XTi and 550ex. Camera exposure compensation did not seem to effect the exposures. I figured out I needed to use the on-flash exposure comp. But the flash output is ...
10
votes
2answers
621 views

Which flashes are weather-proofed?

With some effort, it's possible to find out which camera models and lens have weather sealing. However, there seems to be little information available on weather-sealed flashes. From another answer ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Low budget entry level Speedlite?

Owning a cheap Canon 20D, I now want to buy an entry level speedlight/external flash but I'm confused with should i go for used or new the one while considering my low budget(150$ max). What things ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

What should I consider when choosing continuous lighting vs. strobes for studio photography?

If one were to want to get started with studio photography (I'm thinking things like portraits, headshots, perhaps pets, etc) what would be the considerations in choosing whether to go with continuous ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I get proper flash exposure in AV mode without using ETTL?

I have a Canon 5D Mark II and normally shoot with natural light (I try to stay away from flash). However, I am taking on more situations where I need to use my hotshoe flash (Canon Speedlite 580 EX ...
9
votes
3answers
944 views

Group shots on a bright sunny day?

What are some techniques for getting good group pictures (3-8 people, say) on a bright sunny day? I've found shade to be difficult, because someone will invariably have a splash of harsh sun across ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why am I limited to 1/100th of a second or slower with 5D Mark II, 600EX-RT, and ST-E3-RT?

I'm fairly new to using flash in my photography, so I'm a bit of a beginner when it comes to the finer points. I have an ST-E3-RT transmitter on my 5D Mark II, and a 600EX-RT Speedlite set as a ...
9
votes
2answers
928 views

What will I be missing with Vivitar 285HV vs. LumoPro LP160 or Canon 580EX?

I'm planning to get a hotshoe flash soon (I currently only have the onboard), and I have narrowed my choice down to several options, but I'm having a hard time deciding which way to go. ETTL This is ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Is it necessary to fully drain Ni-MH batteries before recharging them?

Is it really necessary to fully drain the Ni-MH batteries before recharging them? As a rule, I always want my speedlite batteries to be fully charged. At the end of each day when I use my flashgun, I ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Using flash with Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority gives me a white image - why?

When using the built in flash with Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority selected, I am getting a completely overexposed (white) image. Now my understanding of AP and SP modes is that the camera ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How would one remove yellow eyes instead of red eyes?

On a recent trip to Madagascar, we were able to capture some interesting animals during the night, where of course we used flash. The following photo is not made by me... ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

Can a Nikon/Canon flash be used on the other brand of camera

I was just thinking about this problem and was wondering if anyone knew if/how to use a competing flash unit (EX or SB series) on a nikon or canon (respectively) camera. I would assume a lot of the ...
9
votes
2answers
535 views

Inexpensive flash with full ETTL support

I've been planning to get the Canon 430EX, but I'd love to save a little cash, so I started looking at other 3rd party flashes. I've found a few that claim to have ETTL II support, but being so much ...
9
votes
2answers
892 views

What's a good, small, auto/thyristor flash? (non-TTL)

Persistently on my wish list is a small, portable, auto-mode flash. Non-TTL is a must, as I need to use it on a bunch of different equipment. But the vast array of flashes out there is a bit ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 1/250th second used as shutter speed when using a speedlight with my Nikon D7000?

I've got a Nikon D7000, if I increase the shutter speed it eventually goes to the bulb option and after that to 250, I've been told that 250/second is specifically for when using a speedlight as ...
8
votes
2answers
238 views

Why is there still a flash before my exposure when using second curtain sync?

When I used second curtain sync on my Canon DSLR, I noticed that the camera flashes twice: once when the shutter opens and the other time when the shutter is about to close. (I noticed that because I ...
8
votes
2answers
463 views

Why do I get horizontal grey bar with flash at shutter speeds slower than max sync speed?

I'm a total newbie to flash photography, and I am just trying to do some test shooting with Canon Speedlite 580 EXII using my 7D. I saw on the user manual that the maximum sync speed is 1/250 sec. ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the quantative relation between flash guide number and ISO?

I found that formula on the Internet: Guide Number = (Shooting Distance * Aperture) ÷ ISO Sensitivity Is it correct? If it is could someone please explain why ISO is related to guide number in this ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How much better is a macro ring flash than a “normal” external flash, for macro shots?

Canon produces two macro rings, MR-14EX and MT-24EX, and many other manufacturers also produce such rings. I have a Canon Speedlite 440EX II external flash, which I use when I don't use a tripod for ...
8
votes
6answers
877 views

Should I turn off image stabilization on my lens when using flash?

I seem to remember reading that you should turn off lens image stabilization when using on camera flash? Is that right? If so why?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Creating silhouettes in a studio environment

The trick to creating silhouettes in the field, as far as I know, is to use spot-metering and to expose for the background. However, this is a bit more difficult in a studio environment. What is the ...
8
votes
2answers
229 views

What do you recommend as a first step for hands-on learning about flash?

So far, I am enjoying my new Speedlight (Nikon SB-700), but any good results I have gotten have been mostly luck. I'd really like to understand how to use it so that I can make intentional technical ...
8
votes
2answers
275 views

What's the relationship between flash power expressed as a fraction and as EV?

I'm looking around for a second flash to play around with for off-camera stuff. Some flash specs I'm reading say that I get an adjustment range of plus or minus 2 EV or similar, while others say I get ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good softbox for small hotshoe flash?

What are the good softboxes for a small flash like a Canon Speedlite 430EX, for example?
8
votes
4answers
463 views

To take my portrait photography to the next level, should I get a second flashgun or a monolight?

I am a hobbyist and using a Canon 600D with 50mm f/1.8 and 18-135mm lenses. I bought 430EX-II flashgun, and it works great as off-camera flash with the 600D's built in transmitter. I also have a ...
8
votes
3answers
346 views

Why do my Cybersyncs fire my Sunpak flashes with the test button, but not the shutter release?

During wedding receptions, my Sunpak 383s fire very inconsistently. Every time I press the test button with the Cybersyncs, they fire every time. When I press the shutter button, they don't fire. ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I reduce glare on subjects during night flash photography?

I've been taking a lot of photos at night, using an attached flash. The photos are generally pretty good, however I've noticed that there is quite a bit of glare on subjects faces (especially when ...
7
votes
4answers
293 views

How do I start using a hotshoe flash?

I've just been given a Sigma EF-500 DG ST flash unit. I've not really had much experience using flash. How can I get started? Are there any good learning resources?
7
votes
5answers
782 views

Wide-angle flash for outdoor nights, or poorly-lit ballrooms

I am trying to think of good techniques that can capture the full vibrant scene of outdoor night or poorly-lit events at wide angles. In my previous experiences, flash fitted with wide-angle plate or ...
7
votes
3answers
508 views

Why does my external flash use Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh batteries so quickly?

I've recently purchased a Canon 430EX II to use with my 550D and it's great but I'm having battery issues. I've been trying to use 2× 800mAh Ni-Cd and 2× 2500 mAh Ni-Mh (all rechargeables, the 800mAh ...
7
votes
4answers
630 views

Why does my lens focus better/faster with a speedlight attached to the camera?

I have a Nikon d90 and have often found that the camera reaches focus faster, with less re-adjusting and missing the focus, when I have a speedlight (the Nikon sb-600 in my case) attached. Why is ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

What kind of lighting equipment should I have as a Strobist beginner?

What kind of lighting equipment should I have as a beginner? Basically I want to take some great portrait pictures with a decent lighting equipment. Any suggestion towards strobist accessories?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Metering - How to account for the light from the flash

I pretty much use Manual mode (in my Nikon D40) and learning quite a lot from it. Though I understand "Metering" for correct exposure, I've trouble understanding it while using Flash (both in-built as ...
7
votes
4answers
777 views

How limiting are the line-of-sight requirements of Canon's optical wireless flash system?

I have a Canon 7D and 580EX II Speedlite, and am trying to make the jump into flash photography, particularly portrait work. I understand that the 7D's wireless trigger works by line-of-sight. Will ...
7
votes
3answers
239 views

Etymology of “flash gun”

I used the term "flash-gun" today in front of some non-photographers, and they looked at me blankly. "Why," they wanted to know "is it called a flash-gun, and not just a flash? How is it anything ...
7
votes
1answer
706 views

Are there any accessories that can protect my camera from high voltage flash guns?

I use some older flashes that have a lot higher trigger voltages and may damage my newer cameras if used in the hot shoe mount. Therefore as a precaution I use the PC sync with them instead and mount ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I reduce the light from the pop-up flash as a wireless controller on a Canon 7D?

What are the best work-arounds out there for dealing with the built-in flash when trying to use the Wireless Flash feature of the 7D? Is there a Canon version of the SG-3IR? Or do you use a modified ...
7
votes
3answers
934 views

When should I use Flash Exposure Lock (FEL)?

I know that this function calculate the flash output required for a shot and store it in memory. When and why would you use this function in the real life. Thanks,
7
votes
2answers
672 views

What does UV coating do for a flash tube?

For studio portrait lighting, is it better to have a UV coated flashtube, or a clear flashtube, and why? Does it make a difference what ambient light there is?
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Advantages of TTL over manual mode when using speedlites

Yesterday a user on stackexchange asked me why do I prefer manual over TTL when working with speedlites. I use them mostly off-camera and I've developed a kind of a workflow where I do not walk back ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does my old Quantaray flash not work on my newer Canon DSLR?

I have an older Quantaray QTB-7500A flash with the Canon TTL module. I used this with my old Canon EOS Elan 35mm which died a few years back. I recently bought a Canon Rebel XSi, because I could use ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is flash duration?

When speaking in terms of flash specifications, what is flash duration and how does it impact exposure?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I combine my Canon camera with my Nikon flash?

I have a Canon 60D camera and a SB-600 flash for Nikon. Can I use this flash wirelessly with my camera? I had Nikon camera before which I replaced with Canon and I haven't purchased a flash yet, so ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What flash slaves can be used with a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT?

My current flash setup is a standard shoe mount but I've been thinking about getting a remote. I've been drooling over the Speedlite 600EX-RT. It uses radio to control slaves, which is nice (longer ...