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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    yes i understand npw. its just actually flash exp comp. same as nikons. i dont know why they called it ratio control. sounds complicated. anyway, nikon do the same with their bodies; ie: CLS is not available to d40/60/5000/3000, only from the d90 up.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,087
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    yes i understand npw. its just actually flash exp comp. same as nikons. i dont know why they called it ratio control. sounds complicated. anyway, nikon do the same with their bodies; ie: CLS is not available to d40/60/5000/3000, only from the d90 up.
    It's available on all the current Olympus bodies except the E-4xx series. E520/620/30 have three grouping, E-3 has four grouping.
    E-510
    E-1
    Zuiko 14-54 F2.8-3.5 MkI
    Zuiko 70-300 F4.0-5.6
    Konica Hexanon 52mm F1.8
    Cullmann 2503
    Benro KS-0

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Angry Possibilities that cost more cash ...

    Don't get me wrong about this, the α700 can do ratio control with this '58 flash, but you HAVE TO HAVE the new HVL-F42AM ($299) or another HVL-F58AM($499) to be able to enjoy the feature.

    It is older model flashes that require the α900 ($2699) / α850 ($1999) to make it work.

    I guess the saddest part about all of this and what it exposes: As well as you may believe you "KNOW" your equipment, you really do have to read the manuals from front to back. If you gloss over them, it will catch up to you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-08-2010 at 10:07 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Battery backup!

    I decided to get some additional rechargeable batteries for the support of these flashes. My choice wound up being 16x "AA" POWEREX NiMH (2700mAh). These, according to the sales manager of Batteries PLUS, are the "cream of the crop" and should provide quite a bit of reliable flashes. They have a clear plastic case that holds four each and I use a piece of paper inside it (red on one side and green on the other) to tell me the state of the batteries (charged/discharged).

    I don't know if you recall my lamenting the "battery management nightmare" having multiple flashes can represent. It takes four hours to recharge these batteries, so you need to stay on top of them, otherwise your flashes are unreliable and effectively useless when the time comes.

    The idea of having to resort to using the FA-EB1AM External Battery Adapter @ $249 just doesn't do anything for me. That's a lot of cash for battery case, a cable and the SONY logo. You still need six "AA" to put in it!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-20-2009 at 11:52 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    it does take a bit of effort but its not that big a deal. on a weekend shoot where the i need flash, i take all 4 flashes, (16 batteries), and i take another 16 for backup. batteries last me at least 3-4 weeks before needing a recharge.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    The HVL-F58AM is a battery eater. LOL But, I have just as many rechargeables. You just can not have too many, I figure.

    Like I said, just keeping track of what's charged and what's not is the biggest challenge to doing this. A personal repeatable "system" is the best choice. Something you can rely on.


    EDIT: I bought the SONY α850 DSLR and that purchase restored the full functionality of the HVL-F56AM as a "ratio controller" for the four different flashes available for this use, as long as I use that camera. It's price is a mere $1999 ... a bit cheaper than the α900
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-02-2010 at 09:58 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool Flash modifiers

    One of the things I have been looking at, recently, is refining my flash capability. Most flashes FLOOD the area with concentrated light and that can be a lot MORE light than you really need, even when you clamp down on all the settings. Often, when modifying the camera settings, you soon find yourself operating with light settings you really do not want to use. Tight apertures, higher shutter speeds and lower ISO, to compensate. The thing is … all these adjustments have their respective limits.

    Normal camera settings for a standard portrait flash shot are around (and this is rough, but very normal)

    Ap: f/4 or f/5.6
    SS: 1/60 or 1/125
    ISO: 400

    Most flash exercises/experiences are a virtual experiment in terror, with you usually having to accept whatever TTL setting the flash can do and the spread it offers. With external flash modifiers, your illumination options become far more controlled, but YOU need to get into the game to make proper use of them.

    Portable grids offer a very direct concentration of light, illumination only a 10-30 degrees of the area in front of the flash (depending on the distance) and allows multiple flashes to be strategically placed and reduce the amount of post-processing image manipulation you may have to do to produce the desired response.

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    It can put a nice spot of light in one place, without affecting other illumination. So, for example, if you just want to isolate and illuminate just the dancing couple, here’s a convenient solution.

    A diffuser box provides a wider, diffused lighting source beam, but eliminates the flash scatter of the naked flash head.

    Name:  Harbor-Ultmt-LT-Box-small.jpg
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    It softens the light and allows shadows to become less harsh and again, a real time saver against subsequent post processing. While the flashes diffusing, drop down screen can be handy, to offer a more balanced looking source, this can be more appropriate.

    The cost of these additional items is relatively cheap, but they can improve your flash efforts enormously. Just work with them and practice their use. The time will come and then you will be ready with an alternative lighting solution rather than just a bare flash head.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-28-2010 at 09:50 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Flash on the "cheap"

    One of the “budget” flash solutions resides in a manufacturer rather close to my home. The Morris Company builds MASTER & SLAVE flash units that screw right into regular 120v lamp sockets. They can make for an extremely affordable solution to main and background strobes. The MASTER-type units have a port on them that allows for wired triggering, or you can trigger them in SLAVE mode your camera’s pop up flash or external flash unit.

    The SLAVE-units are a bit cheaper and can only trigger when they “sense” another flash going off. They have no wired-sync port.

    All you have to do is place them in a standard 120v lamp socket, point the flash at your subject or background and you are in business.

    Name:  MASTER-screw-in-Flash.jpg
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    Now, you have to bear in mind that these flash units are what they are, simple units, as far as lumens go. There are no intensity adjustments on them to be made, other than positioning them closer or further away from your subject. You can use reflective devices and colored-lenses on them, to offer different lighting effects, but they are limited in that way.

    The main attraction is that they are truly cost-effective, for what they do, and work as advertised. For 85% of the standard shots, you do not have to spend a lot of money to be effective. Sure, it helps to have better and more flexible gear, but what the heck, you should start somewhere and you can make a $100 go a lot further with a pair of these. You just have to understand what you have to work with, where the light really needs to be … and go from there.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-05-2010 at 09:40 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Nice idea! I guess they'd be interesting in a studio but maybe not flexible enough for much else (power socket, support, cables) and not available in the UK, of course. I think Elisha's YN460 solution is viable at about the same cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    ........The idea of having to resort to using the FA-EB1AM External Battery Adapter @ $249 just doesn't do anything for me. That's a lot of cash for battery case, a cable and the SONY logo. You still need six "AA" to put in it! .....
    http://www.linkdelight.com/index.php...uct-flyer.html

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb MeiKe Mk-FA01 Off-Camera Hot Shoe Cord

    One of the things I had gotten away from, because of the convenient built-in flash of the α700 was having an off-camera hot shoe cord. I had one for the Canon EOS 20D, but rarely used it because of the remote trigger MASTER/SLAVE of the flashless ST-E2 Speedlight Controller.

    Anyway, with the α850 not having the built-in flash, there are times you do not want the flash sitting a top the camera body. Going back the old style use of the hot-shoe cord, I have been able to alleviate that problem without having to employ the "AAA" powered HVL-F20AM Compact flash as a trigger source, which could easily be a point of failure in the flash system.

    I found a rather cheap copy of this SONY compatible cord at LINK Delight and now have it in the bag for those occasionally shots. I also found they have a very cheap copy of the screw-on battery pack for the HVL-F56AM and F58AM flashes, which can really boost your recycle and battery lifetime. Their rechargeable batteries are also well priced, with the charger.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-15-2010 at 02:03 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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