How do I use this thing?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jennhunter, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    I just got a 430ex II.....was curious as to if anyone had a place to direct me with some good basic reading material for a beginner?
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The Canon 430 EX II owner's manual would qualify as good, basic reading material, and I would suggest that as a start to answer the question "How do I use this thing?" since the owner's manual covers all aspects of how to use the flash. The 430 EX II owner's manual is probably a more authoritative source than any single user, or group of users, to be found on this forum.
     
  3. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    heh

    not sure how the canon flashes work but i'm sure you could just stick it in the hotshoe on TTL mode and fire away

    if you want to learn the cooler off camera type stuff take a look at the 101 section on the strobist blog
     
  4. AliasPros

    AliasPros TPF Noob!

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    fire away! Shoot I had that flash and it got elbowed off of my camera body braking the hotshoe mount on it and then took that opportunity to upgraded to the 580exII. I didn't like how lose the neck is on it when using a Fong Diffuser, however I got awesome results with the Fong cloud diffuser. As for how to use it, hit the select button I think then dial it up or down for brightness. Also yes, read the manual, you can learn you flash in a quick read. I recommend an nice Diffuser.

    ALIAS
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I agree, stick the thing in the hotshoe and start snapping. (make sure the batteries are charged up).

    One important thing to note, is that the flash (along with the camera) will act differently, depending on which mode you are in. For example, when you have the camera in P mode (when the light levels are low enough), the shutter speed will default to 1/60 and the aperture will go it it's max. These setting probably wouldn't be enough to get an exposure without the flash, but the flash will make up the difference (on a subject that is in front of the camera). In other words, if you are shooting a person in a dim reception hall, the flash will light up the person but the background may show up fairly dark.

    Now if you switch from P to Av or Tv, the camera will give you aperture and shutter speed values that will give you enough light for an exposure with the ambient light. Which means that it will likely give you a fairly slow shutter speed. The flash (in E-TTL mode) should give you enough light to to expose the subject. This may give you a better balance of flash exposure and ambient (usually background) exposure. However, you need to be careful about letting the shutter speed get too slow.

    When using an on-camera flash, I usually set the camera to manual mode. I set an aperture of the DOF I want and set the shutter speed for the ambient exposure I want. (hint: shutter speed does not affect flash exposure). In E-TTL mode, the flash will match it's power to the aperture (and ISO) that you have set....so even though the camera is in manual mode, the exposure is still fairly automatic. You may need to experiment to find out what shutter speeds will give you what you want, without getting into trouble. Also, you want to watch out for the max sync speed of the camera (probably 1/200 or 1/250). At speeds higher than that, you will need to use the HSS feature/mode (which will limit your working distance and eat up battery power).

    The E-TTL exposure is based on a reading from a pre-flash...and as such, is influenced by the reflectivity of the subject. So you may need to adjust it, depending on what is in front of the flash. For this, you adjust the FEC (flash exposure compensation). You can adjust this on the flash, but if your camera has a button/feature for this, it's probably much easier on the camera.
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  7. tjones8611

    tjones8611 TPF Noob!

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    I learned the hard way last weekend about the flash not affecting shutter speeds. As a novice, I assumed the light would assist with a faster shutter, therefore I used the camera in AV. While shooting I realized nothing was faster than about 1/30 and may photos were out of focus since I did not have my tripod.

    I did get some great fill-affects when I was able to hold the camera still enough. From the reading, Im guessing manual mode would have been better. It was about an hour before sunset, still enough light out, at least I think, for a faster shutter speed. Regardless, I need to quit assuming I can circumvent the use of a tripod in any situation…never fails that I regret not taking it.


     

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