Nub here needing help with flashes, and suggestions from you pros

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RL., Jul 8, 2010.

  1. RL.

    RL. TPF Noob!

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    Hey I'm buying a 7d in the next few days, and will be needing a flash to be able to use on camera and off the camera on a stand which leads me to these questions...

    1) WTF is ETTL or ITTL? lol I understand that it means through the lens but what does that really mean? All I want to be able to have the flash off camera and have it fire/sync with the time I press the shutter button...how do I make that happen? Also some flashes say they are manual only or only have optical slaves....what does that mean?

    2) Do I really have to spend 500+ bucks on a canon 580 ex2 flash or is there one out there that's just as good made buy a 3rd party company for less $$$?

    Sorry for all the questions but all this flash stuff is confusing.....
     
  2. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc TPF Noob!

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    As far as I understand E-TTL and I-TTL are same thing but one is what Canon calls it and the other is from Nikon. Basically what it is is when you turn on flash, your dslr will need to know the exposure, just like when you take shots without the flash. It will briefly flash and at that time take exposure readings through the lens (TTL) so that way you know what shutter speed/ aperture to use when using flash.
     
  3. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    Flashes need some way of communicating with the camera to know not only when to fire, but also how much light to put out. This is what the different types of TTL are doing, and is normally handled for you when the flash is connected to the camera's hot shoe. Manual flash requires you to set the intensity of the flash manually. They will still need some way of knowing when to fire.

    If you want it "off camera" then there's a whole lot more to think about. This is where you might consider an optical slave. Or not - there are other methods which may be better.

    I suggest lots of reading:

    Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras - Part I.

    Strobist: Lighting 101
     
  4. flyingember

    flyingember TPF Noob!

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    you don't have to spend $500. maybe

    strobist.com covers flashes in detail.

    I'll give you the short answer on remote flashes. what you're doing matters for what you spend. I have three pocket wizards to control my two studio lights. each trigger alone cost me $180 when I got them, the lights were like $250 each, about the same as a Nikon flash. my setup lets me put them anywhere I can get them power. I could buy batteries and take my flashes anywhere

    instead of wireless I could buy cabling. to get the same distance you're talking $60 for 30 feet commercially and that wouldn't be long enough for me as I like to be free to move around. my wireless will trigger like 1000 feet away

    or you can buy the name-brand flash, if your camera can work as a master controller, and do it using their wireless flash system. masters control flashes, slaves require a master to work. some cameras require you to add on an optical master (Nikon makes a special non-flash trigger for their system for cameras without, you may be able to buy their trigger and flash and use it on a canon, I haven't tried this)

    your best bet is buy a TTL flash that works for your camera if you want to do wireless using their system the easy way. you can buy a cheaper flash if you're willing to learn how to use it and are willing to spend more money to make it work remote.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want wireless TTL operation, stick with a Canon flash.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you want to use a speedlight off camera to produce creative lighting, forget TTL and automatic modes.

    Put the camera and speedlight in their respective manual modes, and get the camera and speedlight computers out of the loop.

    Start your strobed (flash) lighting education here:

    Strobist: Lighting 101
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That means it will only fire when it sees another flash fire.
     

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