I'm relatively new to flash, have always shot without it. And now with what I like to shoot I find I need to buy a flash.
I like to go to events where vendors showcase their toys or figurines.
The show displays are often saturated with LED or (even worse) flickering fluorescent light bulbs. The resulting photo without flash is under saturated, lacking in contrast, monotone, and flat. Some smaller vendors do not have lighting so going with natural light is difficult as the convention hall lighting is very far up (likely 5 stories tall). I also find the exposure auto setting in Av mode is rather bad when there is such strong fluorescent beaming at the figure and my shots are usually very dark. I want to see if I can overpower the existing display lights and just shoot in a more controlled manner with a flash.
how i shoot :
- I use a Canon 5D Mark II. Primes usually (35mm f2/50mm f1.8/85mm f1.8) and may buy a 24-70 f4 as the primes are inconvenient to frame a shot.
- I prefer lighter weight as I walk a lot.
- I usually want to shoot at f4 or higher due to DOF issues.
- I shoot around 2 feet away from the item. (like the guy in the photo...)
- Bouncing flash off ceiling likely is impossible as the ceiling is over 5 stories tall.
- I prefer a built in battery pack, not AA.
- Manual exposure is rather hard to do as shots have to be done quickly since there are lines. Prefer Av mode.
- Is a SpeedLite 600EX overkill in light power? It is on the expensive end for me. I really started reducing my kit cost and size since I became more casual. I used to shoot only L lenses and 1D bodies, but now moved to non L primes and just a 5D2.
- Is SpeedLite 430EX sufficient light power? The flash likely will be pointed semi-directed to the object and I will only be standing at most 3 feet away.
- Thoughts on 3rd party like GODOX's V860II? It's much cheaper than the 600EX but is it built to last and does it perform?
- Thoughts on buying second hand flashes? Do the power circuitry wear out over time or the flash unit goes bad?
- Will a simple diffuser over the bulb be sufficient? I don't want to bomb the figure with light rays and shadows.