Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper

Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper
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25

Buckle in for a long answer. There are three primary advantages that "studio" flash have over hotshoe flashes. The first, and most obvious is power; even the lower-powered "serious" units (we're not talking about AC-powered lightbulb-shaped slaves) tend to start at at least the equivalent of 2 "full-sized" speedlights (of the Nikon SB-910/Canon ...


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 ...


14

Disable the flash in the camera settings. It still uses the AF-assist beam, but it will not fire the flash. The setting is in different places depending on the camera, for example: EOS 5D: Menu > Custom Functions > 07 EOS 5D mk II: Menu > Tools 3 > External Speedlite control > Flash function settings > Flash firing EOS 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss X4: Menu > ...


14

The guide number represents the light output of the flash alone, with no ambient light factored in. Unless you are using slow sync flash, the ambient light is just assumed to have no meaningful impact. And, when you do want it to be a factor, the simple isolated number is much easier to actually use to figure out your light ratios. Why doesn't the ambient ...


13

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 ...


13

More power! Master capability. PC port. Retractable bounce card. "Weather sealing" at the hot shoe. The 580 will also swivel further to the right and a little more downwards. The 430 is a great flash though. I don't think you'd regret it. Too bad you just missed Canon's summer rebate on the 580! It was going for $400. If you got the 430 and eventually ...


13

The "Auto power off" feature can be toggled as one of the unit's "custom features". You need to set feature number 1 to have the value "1". To set the custom features: Press the "C.Fn" button for 2 sec. or more so that "C.Fn" is displayed on screen. Select the Custom Function No. Press the + button to select the Custom Function number ("01"). Change the ...


13

Short answer: while a flash will work okay with alkaline batteries, other types are better. 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. | ...


13

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 ...


13

The trigger voltage you are worrying about doesn't come from the camera; it's all in the flash. All the camera does, in effect, is "flip a switch"; it shorts out the centre pin of the flash and the contacts at the side of the flash's foot. The voltage problem comes from the kind of "switch" used to short out those contacts. In (most) modern cameras, that ...


12

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 ...


12

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.


12

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


9

Aside from the obvious thing you're missing (automatic exposure control) the 580EX (and the cheaper 430EX) have an AF-assist LED light which is activated during focussing that can be very useful in low light. It also allows second curtain sync (flash which fires as the shutter closes rather than opens, useful for when doing long exposures with flash), as ...


9

Refer to page 19 of your ST-E3-RT manual. It specifies that when used with camera models released prior to 2012 (so, anything but the 1DX and 5D mark III at the time of this post) you lose high speed sync and your max sync speed is "one increment slower" than whatever it would normally be. The flash sync speed is 1 increment slower Check the flash ...


9

After trying as few things and playing around with the flash with no success, I found the following thread on the web. The advice given is : Rub all the battery contacts very briskly with a clean rag that is just ever so slightly damp. I actually works! To rub the terminals inside the battery compartment I wrapped a thin, slightly damp rag around ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


8

"Speedlight" is Nikon's brandname, and "Speedlite" is Canon's — but apparently Ricoh also used the name "Speedlite". That made me curious, and in a quick trademark search, it appears that no company has ever registered these terms, although an "American Speedlight Corporation" registered a letter-A-with-sunburst logo for their product ("Flash apparatus in ...


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

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, ...


7

As with anything you buy used, wear and tear can be a drawback. Flash heads and key electronics do have a limited life, though I can't recall having a flash 'bulb' die on me, usually some other, unknown issue takes their life before then. For the record, I purchased a used 420EX that was used as a rental unit by my local store. So I assumed going in it had ...


7

If you're setting up the lights, and they're a fixed distance away from your subject, then use manual. Other than if you fire your flashes with insufficient power, your exposure will be consistent from frame to frame. That's the boring example. Nothing is moving. TTL doesn't gain anything over manual. If the distance isn't fixed, then it's still ...


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 ...


7

Yes. Canon also has a near-infrared proprietary optical system for wireless flash. It doesn't have a snazzy marketing name like CLS, but is often referred to as "Canon wireless eTTL" or "Canon optical slaving". Like CLS, it can communicate most of the full hotshoe protocol, such as eTTL-II and high-speed sync (HSS). It also allows for control of the remote ...


7

Like any lighting, this is not a simple one-size-fits-all type of deal. You have to think it through. Light should very much feel organic in the image and should have a reason for being there (i.e., "motivated light"). Nothing is more jarring than a light source in an image that your brain tells you just shouldn't be there. So think what light sources in ...


6

I just picked up a LumoPro LP160 (about a week ago, in fact). I'm pretty happy with it so far. As Matt indicated, this flash will be manual only, but it works fine as an optical slave (triggered by an onboard flash), and it works fine on the hot-shoe with TTL metering or in manual mode. If you end up getting remote flash triggers (ex: Pocket Wizard or ...


6

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 ...


6

Your test button should firing at whatever power you select manually. I can't speak to that specific model, but it has on a few different flash brands I've tried. Its pretty easy to tell if it does. Just set it to high, take a picture and press the test button. Set it to low, take a picture and press the test button. Is there a big difference? ...



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