Frustrated about flash... PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    How in the heck can I find out about all of this lighting! How do you know if a camera you're thinking about buying has a lighting system in it, or does wireless, and how can you tell if your flash is compatible with all of the features of the camera (and vice versa)?

    Likewise, what are all of these things like a flash trigger and receiver, hot shoe adapter, and stuff? Do I need this? What website can I find that will tell me exactly what I need in order to get started in flash?

    BTW, I know about strobist, but it doesn't really talk about equipment as much as it talks about technique. It'll be awesome once I actually GET my camera and flash.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You study various websites and forums. You read your camera manuals and other books.

    It takes time. It doesn't happen overnight.
     
  3. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    What camera/flash combinations are you looking at? I only really know about Nikon, and any model that supports Nikon flashes off camera will indicate they work with CLS (creative lighting system).
     
  4. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking at Olympus, which is where the crowd goes silent.

    Does anyone have some SPECIFIC websites?
     
  5. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Yep sure is.

    You still have options, cheapest routes are going to involve PC cords or wireless triggers (Cactus or Ebay). You do this and you can get any flash you want and as long as your body has a hotshoe mount, you can fire them. Quite simple. Don't get caught up in all the brand lighting system nonsense though unless you want the camera to do all the thinking for you. Go with some cheap triggers, cheap flashes, and get your hands dirty.
     
  6. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Listen to him :thumbup:
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikons CLS "brand lighting system" is as far from nonsense as you can get. It works. And works very well. Can you let CLS do everything for you? Of course; or like anything Nikon makes (except for their entry level beginner products) you can go into manual mode and STILL maintain the wireless cords free control of CLS.

    This is not a knock against Cactus or Pocket Wizards - however with a camera capable of being placed into Commander mode (Anything except the D50, D40/x, D60 and D5000) you have no reason to need Cactus or Pocket Wizards - unless of course you are using anything other than an SB600, 800 or 900 - but then why would you be?

    Are you sure you looked through the website, because it does go into equipment. Does it go into depth about the various systems on each manufacturers bodies - no. However Hobby does tell you what items you will need and just what they do. Trust me, its there. Sadly you will have to look for it. For example, this link should be your first stop before delving into anything else. If you want to spend some money take a look at "Nikon: A Hands On Guide To Creative Lighting".
     
  8. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Because those flashes are way expensive for most people wanting to build a light setup on a budget. A setup of 3 SB600's will run you $675, whereas a set up of 3 Vivitar 285's with triggers will run you $360ish.

    I have one SB600 and the CLS system is great. I'd use it exclusively if I had the cash to throw at two more Nikon flashes but the one I have just died from a 1 foot drop and cost me what another Vivitar and trigger would've run me.

    Plus, if you're using CLS in manual mode, what's the point other than not having to use triggers? The biggest benefit from CLS is the fact that you can have the flashes adjust their output themselves not just the wireless connectivity. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Nikon fanboy and I think their lighting system is very intuitive, it's even the reason I upgraded bodies, but it's so much more money for not much more in results. I'm actually glad I've opted for a system of full manual control because it's taught me how to control light better. If you have the money for Nikon flashes and you have a Nikon body that can act as commander, go for it. If not, the alternatives aren't inferior and they certainly aren't as expensive.
     
  9. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am not familiar with Nikon's CLS system (so cannot compare features) but what I know is that you can trigger wirelessly several Olympus flashes (FL-36R and FL-50R) with the built-in flash and control the output of the flashes from the camera. I have tried it with a single FL-36R and a E-420 and it works well. I guess it has its limitations under bright conditions and if the flash(es) are quite far from the camera. By the way, all of this is explained on Olympus' website. On this page you can access two short videos/slideshows that explain the wireless capabilities of the Olympus flash system. From the same page you can also download the manual for the Olympus FL-36R flash (there is a similar page for the FL-50R). If you read through it you'll clearly understand what you can achieve with the Olympus flash system. Hope that helps.
     
  10. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    Good info Steph and Sherman. I use the cactus wireless triggers on my Olympus and they work fine, I have one Olympus flash and one off brand and it triggers them with no problem.
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, it's difficult to be specific, particularly when info like that is left out of your OP. :lol::lol::lol:
     

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