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View Full Version : What did I get myself into? G1 with 550EX...


John Berry
10th of June 2001 (Sun), 04:19
I'd like to preface this virgin post of mine by saying that I am generally a pretty prudent consumer and spend a lot of time researching and fussing over things before I make a purchase, especially a major one.

That said, this week I purchased a 550EX for use with my G1 after about twenty minutes of poking around on the web. :)

Let me just say, WOW. I am thoroughly overwhelmed and, frankly, quite amazed at the complexity of a device designed exclusively to flash a light. I was surprised at the size of the flash (which is larger than my G1), and at the amount of functionality it contained, particularly the built in lcd panel. I am definately in over my head.

This is the first camera (film OR digital) that I've owned, and my main reason for purchasing an external flash was simply to be able to take better indoor photography of friends and family. I'm hoping to avoid the common "deer in headlights" look. Anything above and beyond that I consider a bonus.

Looking over the manual for the flash, I see that it's broken up into two distinct sections, one for A style cameras and one for B style cameras. Does the G1 fall into either of these categories? How much of the 550EX's manual will be of any use to me with the G1? Are there any online resources for using a 550EX with the G1 (I haven't found any so far.)? How about a good, general flash photography page?

I know that effective pictures can be taken with the G1 and 550EX (Pekka's got some pics that could prove that to anyone), I'm just not sure to start.

Thanks in advance,

John Berry
DWAC

Pekka
10th of June 2001 (Sun), 05:06
John Berry wrote:
I'd like to preface this virgin post of mine by saying that I am generally a pretty prudent consumer and spend a lot of time researching and fussing over things before I make a purchase, especially a major one.

That said, this week I purchased a 550EX for use with my G1 after about twenty minutes of poking around on the web. :)
Congratulations! That's how it goes. Two weeks ago I said to one friend of mine that my computer works just fine and I have no intention to upgrade it. Then one day I had a peek at one computer shop price list and oops, the next day I bought this 1.33Ghz Thunderbird, 512MB DDR RAM and Asus motherboard....

Looking over the manual for the flash, I see that it's broken up into two distinct sections, one for A style cameras and one for B style cameras. Does the G1 fall into either of these categories? How much of the 550EX's manual will be of any use to me with the G1? Are there any online resources for using a 550EX with the G1 (I haven't found any so far.)? How about a good, general flash photography page?
G1 is something between A and B. It has full E-TTL (B type is only TTL), but then again it can not use some 550EX features at all like distance display, strobo, modeling light and E-TTL in M mode among others (in e.g. D30 all of these work). See http://studio-on-the.net/photography/G1/wishlist.html and wish number 7.

Some technical info:
http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/flash-faq.html
http://www.modernviews.com/Guide/guide5_1.htm

I know that effective pictures can be taken with the G1 and 550EX (Pekka's got some pics that could prove that to anyone), I'm just not sure to start.
Best flash photos are taken with indirect fill flash (or direct when outdoors). For this I use Tv mode and set the speed to about 1/25-1/50 indoors and bounce the flash from nearest white or light surface which can reflect the light back to subject. This gives a nice mix of ambient light and flash fills the rest and freezes the subject.

The bounce direction and material is essential and its results really can't be reliably determined without modeling light (which G1 can't use), so the only option is to practice and use common sense (think of the flahs light as a ray and bounce material as a mirror - would it hit the subject?)

Check the green light in flash - after flash it tells if the unit was able to get enough light to the subject.

When there is no bounce surface available, you need a Lumiquest diffuser of similar to distribute the light evenly.

Hope this helps, if you have any more questions: shoot!

Olaf
11th of June 2001 (Mon), 13:10
Check out this page, a lot of useful information here:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/ETTL1.html