Flash for Weddings.

porcelaindoll

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So this is my first *paid* gig, and the only thing I'm worried about is the reception, using the flash.

In August my boyfriend's brother got married, and i played around with my camera to practice. I didn't have an add on flash, i just used my regular... and it sucked.

So my question is, what is the best flash to use? I don't wanna waste my money on a flash that doesn't do a good job.
 

iflynething

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What camera body and how much do you want to spend?

It shouldn't be a problem using flash at the reception.

I would invest in a flash bracket as well to lessen the shadows

~Michael~
 
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porcelaindoll

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nikon d200, and nothing overtly expensive really.
 

Samanax

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How much were you looking to spend?

Nikon SB-400 - $115

Nikon SB-600 - $225

Nikon SB-800 - $390

Nikon SB-900 - $450
 

Johnboy2978

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For a professional speed flash for a nikon, you should be looking at a sb800 or sb900. This is a wedding in which you putting yourself out there as a professional. Therefore, your gear should be up to the task. I'll let the others take turns beating you up about how many bodies, duplicate lenses, and not only 1 but at least 2 flashes you are going to need for your (at least 2 digital bodies) etc. The problem is that you've given the impression that you are a professional, and if you show up w/ one body that suddenly malfunctions, you're screwed and the happy couple is going to rip you a new one when they get no pics.
 
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porcelaindoll

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lol, yeah okay. it's my coworker's wedding .. and it just portraits and reception shots. there is obviously *no problem* here.
 

iflynething

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You'd be pushing it at the SB-600. To me, the 400 is nothing more than a little more powerful pop up flash.

If you have the money for an 800, I have had great success with that one for all my receptions, parties, reunions....just about anything.

~Michael~
 
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porcelaindoll

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You'd be pushing it at the SB-600. To me, the 400 is nothing more than a little more powerful pop up flash.

If you have the money for an 800, I have had great success with that one for all my receptions, parties, reunions....just about anything.

~Michael~

yeah i looked at the 400, and it seems like one step up off of the on camera flash.

thanks for the advice, i'll keep that in mind about the 800.
 

AlexColeman

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I have two 900s for my portraits, and it works good for any other instance then sports, I often use CLS throughout the wedding, placed all over the reception. They work remarkably well, so the 800 should be a good alternative. The big thing is unobtrusive use of flash.
 

In2daBlue

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I agree with the poster who said you shouldn't be doing professional gigs with only one camera body. Too many things can go wrong and if you're at a wedding and your camera breaks, you drop it, someone spills beer on it, etc. you're going to feel very amaturish if you just have to throw your hands up in the air and say "Well, that's it. Sorry."

However, I disagree with the posters who are telling you the 600 isn't enough flash for wedding portraits. Unless you're planning on shooting sports or having to use the flash from more than 50 feet away from the subject, I see absolutely no reason why the 600 can't do everything the 800 or 900 will do and nothing less.

I have a couple of 800s and I mostly leave them behind for weddings. My 600s are smaller, easier to carry and are terrific in every lighting situation. Save yourself the money and buy a 600 at $240 and forgo the 900 at $500.

Mostly, just learn how to use the strobe. If you know how to use the strobe correctly there is nothing you can't do at a wedding and reception. Get a diffuser cap though. They are only like $15 and really make a difference in getting you softer light.
 

Gailpetersen

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The "pro" level flash units have more sophisticated circuitry and in general will produce more consistent exposures and they provide IR assist to help your camera autofocus in dim lighting - as at a reception when the DJ decides it's cool to have everyone dancing in the dark. At a bare minimum get the SB600 though the better choice is the SB900 if you plan to continue with photography.
 

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