Flash question...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by gravity0, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What's the difference between a dedicated and a non-dedicated flash? It's not making sense as both look the same.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A dedicated flash is designed to work with your camera, it communicates with the camera, usually for things like TTL (through the lens) metering.

    For example, if you have a dedicated flash for your camera (a Canon 430EX on a Rebel XTi), you can use E-TTL mode....which causes the 430EX to fire a pre-flash, which is read by the camera. The camera then tells the flash how much power to use for the actual flash when the shutter opens. This all happens in a fraction of a second, just before the shot it taken. When you change the camera settings, the flash (and metering) automatically adjusts itself. In a nut shell, it's an automatic setting for your flash. There are other benefits, like HHS (high speed sync) and auto zooming of the flash head.

    A non-dedicated flash, on the other hand. Only gets a message from the camera of when to fire. Some of these flashes have their own metering system, some just have a manual power adjustment. So this means that you have to understand a little better, how flash works and how to meter or adjust for it. If you change your camera settings, you have to change the flash settings to match, or you might end up with poor exposures.

    Non dedicated flashes are cheaper and they are great for using as remote off-camera lights. But if you just want to stick a flash on top of your camera and not have to figure it all out...then a dedicated flash is the way to go.
     
  3. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks Mike, that Helps.
     
  4. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    BUT using TTL is very much like using 'program' or a preset on your Camera.

    Most professionals will be using in manual mode and off camera. This is so they can control exactly how much light falls and where on the subject.
     
  5. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,399
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Flagstaff/Az
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah I rarely use TTL as it is. Old habit from when cameras didnt have electronics.
     
  6. zbo2408

    zbo2408 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Is there a best of both world options? I am a beginner with my XSi & there are times I would like to have an off camera flash ... but I could use the TTL option until I know how ot use it better.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Because of the communication required, it's a little more complicated if you want to use 'off camera TTL'. You can do it within the Canon system, but you need a master and a slave....so either one 580EX as a master and then either another 580 or a 430.

    If you are leaning toward off camera flash, I'd suggest a cheap manual flash anyway.

    A 'best of both worlds' is a dedicated flash, because you can also use it off camera, either with E-TTL (providing you have the rest of the system) or you could use it manually (provided you have some way to fire it).

    While TTL is like an auto mode for your flash metering...you can still have quite a bit of control while using it. For example, when I'm shooting with flash, I will usually have the camera in manual and the flash in E-TTL...but I'm quick to adjust the FEC when needed.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not exactly. TTL is great for when you're in a dynamic environment and your subjects and subjects' distances are always changing.

    Taking time to set camera setting in manual mode is easy, but having to back away from the camera and adjust the power on the flash or having to run over to a flash on a stand and adjust it to get the proper exposure is going to leave plenty of time for you to miss a good opportunity for a photo.

    Each has their place in time. I wouldn't use TTL flashes when shooting models that are in a static environment where the only thing that's apt to move is the model's body and not their position on a set. If I was shooting a wedding, or some other event where things are constantly happening and I'm constantly moving around, then I wouldn't hesitate to use TTL mode on a flash.

    There are many experienced and pro photographers that will share my views.
     

Share This Page