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16

With mechanical shutters on most common DSLRs, they actually consist of two shutters, that move in the same direction. At slow shutter speeds, one will open, and then, after some time, the other will close. As these are mechanical devices, there is a maximum speed at which they move, and with really fast shutter speeds only a narrow band is exposed to the ...


15

Yes the trigger voltage on some old flashes is too high for modern electronic cameras. There is a page on botzilla Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages which lists many old flash units. I don't see your dad's flash model there, but the 20 B3 model had a trigger voltage of 168 volts. According to this thread on photo.net, the 7D can handle up to 250V, so that ...


11

1) Power and features. A flash with more power will, of course, allow you to bounce to higher ceilings, go through larger diffuse objects, and do daylight fill-flash at further distances. Quick feature discussion: Tilt: Most models have this, save the lowly AF-200FG. Swivel: Most model shave this, except the AF-360FGZ for some reason. Tilt/Swivel ...


11

The best place to start is the Strobist website. I could spend hours and hours typing up stuff and giving you my experience, but the Strobist is the place to get started on. It's all free, with explanations, and "assignments" designed to help you learn. It's the best, free, resource I know of.


11

Yes, the Wein Safesync is designed to do exactly that: http://www.weinproducts.com/safesyncs.htm


10

Canon flash is a bit convoluted. Exactly how the flash behaves varies by camera mode, in some modes the flash will try to act as main light, in other modes it will try to act as fill flash. Unless I misremember, in AV mode the flash will automatically, always, try to behave as a fill flash; the photo will be pretty correcly exposed per the light-meter ...


10

Nikon produces excellent manuals for their flashes, with a lot of great technical information (rivaled in this area only by Metz). The following is from the SB-600 User Manual, page 19: Alkaline-manganese | 3.5 sec. | 200 / 6-30 sec. Lithium | 4.0 sec. | 400 / 7.5-30 sec. Nickel | 2.5 sec. | 180 / 6-30 sec. NiCd (1000 mAh) | 2.9 ...


9

Fresnel spots are one of the traditional studio-lighting tools, carried over from theatre and movie work; they allow focusing the light from wide to narrow, just like the zoom function on a flashgun. For example this one from Elinchrom, or these Broncolors. The reason you don't see them often is that, like a scrim, snoot, honeycomb, or other tools, they're ...


8

Non-rechargeable Lithium batteries will definitely last longer than standard alkaline batteries... anywhere from 3x to 5x longer, depending on who you ask, and how it is measured. You will also get faster recycle times with non-rechargeable Lithium batteries as well. There are two important things to know about non-rechargeable Lithium batteries before you ...


7

There are some good learning resources. I'm sure others will point them out. :) I want, though, to give you some background on the flash you have. Sigma makes flashes that are "system dedicated" — there's different versions made for Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Sigma, or Sony. You can use it on the "wrong" brand (Sony excepted — they're weird) but will only get ...


7

I'm not really here for self-promotion, but I would like to point out that I have put a lot of work into creating a Definitive Guide to Pentax Flash Options (http://pttl.mattdm.org/) website, specifically giving a detailed comparison of features of different Pentax P-TTL-compatible flash options, both from Pentax and third-party (Metz, Sigma, Promaster, ...


7

The traditional flash head zoom steps really mean "covers the field of view of a full-frame lens at this focal length". That's because flashes don't really have focal length of their own — they just have a reflector which can move to deliver a wider or narrower beam, and for convenience, the angle of that beam is specified by the lens focal length that it's ...


6

Yes, it will work, or at least, it's worked in the case I've tried (canon flash on a nikon body). You're right that the specific TTL metering and the like doesn't work, but the flash definitely triggers. I remember it distinctly, because both of my flashes went down while shooting a large wedding and the primary had a spare canon flash. She lent it to me, ...


6

Bouncing gives the most diffuse light given an appropriate surface and usually produces excellent results. It's better to aim above and slightly behind you, if you light the ceiling directly above your subject you can get uneven lighting of the face, particularly eye sockets. Bouncing off walls can work well but tends to be less predictable and even, as ...


5

I'm guessing that by "regular batteries", you mean run-of-the-mill alkaline cells, the typical Energizer, Duracell, etc. that you can buy in any grocery store. This chemistry does poorly in high-current situations; I'd think that recharging a flash would be that kind of load, so performance would not be too great. My guess would be that you would need quite ...


5

@John Cavan pointed out the Strobist. I'd add Syl Arena's Speedliting. You'll get great advise there as for flash techniques and accessories.


5

There are probably better guides, but here's the very basics: Get the flash off the camera, if at all possible. There are several ways to do this, that range from remote triggering systems to extender cables and poles, but get it off if possible. If you can't get it off, try a technique called bouncing the flash. Basically point the flash straight up (Or ...


5

To cut a long story short, you are using too fast a shutter speed. The shutter consists of two black 'curtains' that travel down over the sensor, one after the other, allowing exposure of the shot. Both these curtains have to be out of the way when the flash fires, otherwise they will block part of the sensor and you get a black bar in your shot. Using a ...


4

I would step up to the SB-600 as this flash unit has a turntable head. So when you are shooting a portrait photograph (portrait as in aspect rather than person) you will be able to turn the flash head to bounce as it would if your camera was taking a Landscape shot. That's the basics, but if you want to use a flash with a turntable head, you also get the ...


4

Automatic modes are for when you want convenience and fast setup; manual mode is for when you need precision and repeatability. Therefore, automatic modes are preferred when moving around, the scene is dynamic or you don't have time to tweak the lighting; manual mode is more suitable for studio or location setups. Having a manual flash on-camera vs. having ...


4

Don't forget that you can also set the parameters for using flash in Av mode on Canon 5D Mk II cameras, with respect to shutter speed. In the 'Custom Function' Menu, > 'Exposure' (C.Fn I), > 'Flash Sync, In Av Mode. You have 3 options: 1. Auto 2. 1/60 to 1/200 3. 1/200 fixed I think that Auto is the default setting, the only problem with this is your ...


4

With manual flash, you have two separate exposures you'll have to set and balance - background exposure and subject exposure (illuminated by flash). Both are affected by aperture and ISO, while only background exposure is affected by shutter speed and only subject exposure is affected by flash power setting. First, you'll set your aperture, ISO and shutter ...


4

Sigma flashes will do as claimed, so I think you're safe there. The only downside, from my experience, is that the interface for them is less then stellar. However, other than that, the flashes are very good. Another, which is a cut above Sigma, is Metz. If Metz has claimed support for Canon, the flash will do what is advertised for it, the company has a ...


4

Fresnel lens are rarely used in studio strobes because in studio we mostly need soft light, not the hard one. And if we need hard light, we can always use standard reflector. And if we need spot light, we can always use tube reflector. Fresnel are used on hot-shoe light because there are different focal lengths of different lens, the hot-shoe light is ...


3

It refers to the maximum shutter speed where both the sensor is fully exposed to the light. Shutters consist of a rear and front curtain. For shutter speeds faster than that, the rear curtain trails increasingly close behind the front shutter before it reaches the other end. One benefit of sync speed that has nothing to do with flash is the amount of ...


3

This is one of the key differences between "speed light" hotshoe flashes and traditional studio lighting. With studio lighting, flash power is determined by the amount of capacitor charge, and the duration increases (slightly) for lower-powered flashes. For hotshoe flashes, the capacitor is charged to full but the burst of light stopped when the proper ...


3

The only brand which uses a physically different connector is Sony since they inherited it from Konica-Minolta. All other brands have the same connector and you can mount whichever flash fits. The basic sync always works, meaning it will trigger at the right moment. Sophisticated metering and sync may not depending on the camera and flash combination. If ...


3

Essentially, you'll need to adjust aperture, ISO, and flash power until you get proper exposure. If your image is too bright, tighten your aperture, decrease ISO, or decrease flash power until it's properly exposed. If it's too dark, do the opposite. If you like to do math in your head, you can use the guide number of the flash as an aide for proper ...



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