Question for my new Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CAG76, May 30, 2009.

  1. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Ok first of all I don't know much of anything about external speed flashes, but I am excited to learn. I do have some photography books that I am going to read, but one quick question for anyone out there with experience who just might know.

    Ok here it is. First of all I have a Canon Rebel XSi and bought a Canon Speedlight 430EX II. When I put it on the Hi Speed mode and when I hold my shutter button down, for 6 shots in one burst. It fired shots one and two. It did not fire on three and four, then it fired on five. Then did not fire on six.

    I have trouble believing there is some kind of defect because everything else is working great or appears to be. Any help would be great! Also if anyone has any tips and any examples to show of some good flash photography... that would be great too. Would like to see what others have done and how they've used speedlights.

    -Christopher
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The flash can only keep up to the motor drive if it has sufficient power in it's capacitor to produce the required output ...
    If the required flash power output is small then it may keep up with the drive.

    I believe that the High Speed mode on the Canon flash refers to the Sync Speed ... ie high shutter speed.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You cannot fire full capacity or near full capacity and have the flash recycle fast enough to keep shooting. Shoot at like 1/8th or 1/16th power and your flash will recycle fast enough to keep up with your shooting.
     
  4. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! This is helpful! Perhaps there are ways to adjust this Sync Speed? I still have yet to read all of my flash instructions too so I will be doing that.
     
  5. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Thats a good tip too ANDS. Now I need to read up and figure how to change the shooting power.
     
  6. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Did you read the 430EX II owner's manual yet? If not, you should. And read the XSi owner's manual regarding use of flash and sync speed.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, pretty much what ANDS said. The flash recycling time varies with the power. Full power or 1/32 (not sure how low it can go since I do not own this flash) yield different recycling time.

    Here is the spec from Canon

    Recycling Time
    Approx. 0.1 to 3.7 seconds (AA-size Alkaline Batteries)/0.1 to 2 seconds (AA-size Ni-MH batteries)

    So battery type also affect the recycling time. A fully charged Ni-MH batteries will have a faster recycling time as well.

    I do not think anything wrong with the flash. It just that it is the limitation of the flash (of flashes in general) regarding recycling time.
     
  8. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I just put a couple of AA Alkaline Batteries in. I could try AA Ni MH batteries.
     
  9. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    I think flashes use a capacitor to store that much energy up for one shot (since four batteries on their own wouldn't be powerful enough to flash that bright). So it has to wait for the capacitor to fill before it can flash again.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No it's not adjustable.

    The sync speed is the fastest shutter speed that still allows the shutter to be fully open. On your camera that is 1/200 of a second.

    Shorter shutter speeds work too, like 1/60.

    At faster shutter speeds part of the image sensor is partially blocked by one or both of the shutter curtains. In other words the shutter curtain opening is just a slit. The slit gets narrower as the shutter speed increases. When the flash fires the resulting image has a black bar on one side. How wide the bar is depends on your shutter speed. At high shutter speeds the balck bar will comprise most of the image.

    I shoot Nikon so am not familiar with your gear but many DSLR's and higher end speedlights have a fast sync feature (FP Sync).

    High speed sync reduces the speedlight power so it can fire several times during an exposure essentially making several narrow exposures accross the image sensor.

    I'll leave you to your studies. Using strobes (speedlights) requires an entire subset of photographic knowledge but it is the key to making you a well rounded photographer capable of producing professional looking images. It's all about light.

    Book Recommendation: "Light: Science and Magic" by Hunter, Biver and Faqua.
     
  11. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    I love it! These are very helpful! Thanks!

    Yes, I was reading my manuel and it does say something about FP Sync. I will read more about that. It will take a bit to get things down, but somehow for some reason. I don't know what I did, but the flash did start firing on every shot now.

    The book was telling me to look at some flash indicator within the viewfinder. It says if it is not lit things may not come out right, but if it is lit then it's good to go. So I've been checking to make sure it is lit, I think it says based on distance and how your camera settings are, I believe like aperture and such. So I think I am getting somewhere. I just need to continue to read and learn a lot about lighting and speedlights. When and when not to use them. I mean I didn't just buy it just to have it.

    There were situations I wanted it for to brighten the subject when I'm facing the sun. One thing I don't understand is how a flash works in the sunlight. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I will see people taking pictures of race car drivers on the winning podiums when the sun is bright and they have flashes on their cameras???
     
  12. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Read up on Fill Flash.
     

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