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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    37

    Smile Time to buy a flash unit

    For the sake of all my night shots not looking like it came from a Point and Shoot camera, I've decided to buy an external flash.. yay!!

    Problem.. don't have a clue what to look for, and not much info on the net on how to choose one.

    So.. would be super if you can point me in the right direction.

    Would like to know which units you have found to be best, brands, what functions to look out for, any old Minolta ones that work well etc.

    Most of the photos I take are the usual everyday ones, mostly of people. Looking at spending approx US $ 100-200, second hand would be allright.


    Cheers
    Last edited by ShaunZ; 08-31-2009 at 04:56 AM.
    -------------
    Sony Alpha 200
    Minolta AF 50mm f1.7
    Tokina AF 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Sony DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6
    Minolta AF 70-210mm f4

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559

    Lightbulb Flashy prices ...

    Well, not too many out there at $100 -$200 limit.

    The new SONY HVL-F20AM Compact External Flash is supposedly brighter than the "built-in" flash ... and priced right where you want it.

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    It is on the SONY Style site.

    You can also make due with the Minolta 3600 HS D or the SONY HVL-F36AM (nearly identical), but discontinued.

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    You will probably find them available on ebay. The beauty of this flash is that it will work "wirelessly" ... and allow you to place the flash closer or at some kind of angle to your subject. They do come with a mini-flash stand.

    Reaching a little deeper, you can go to PCNation ... and get a new SONY HVL-F42AM for around $239. It's a bit brighter than the '36 ... and has been redesigned to be far more useful.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-31-2009 at 06:55 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    You can get the F42 for ~$200, go for it. The F20 is pretty useless.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Here is a link for them on Ebay. Take your pick.

    Frank

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    how about a tripod instead...a flash will only reach so far

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559

    Lightbulb I just had a flash!

    I have never seen a tripod stop anything other than camera shake. Anything slower than 1/60th sec, if it moves, it is a blur.
    Just ask Jimmy Olsen with his famous "red/blue blur" shot, from the WB-series, "Smallville." Of course, Clark Kent was
    moving @ "break-neck" speed when he pushed Lois Lane across the street ... and she didn't break. That always amazes me.

    A flash can 'apparently' freeze motion ...

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    if done correctly ... it is cutting-edge photography!

    Without it ... you get "interesting", but kind of miss the subject ... (my own version of the "red-blue blur")

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    You have to ask: "What's important to me? Waiting for the 'right light' or getting the 'right light', right now?"
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-31-2009 at 04:41 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. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    flash alternative for people shots


    brings out the warm color feeling
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559

    Cool The heat is on ...

    Like I have been trying to tell you, Steve ... those "hot lights" will kill your photography!
    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. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    nothing like taking pictures next to a nice warm fire

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