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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Sep 2009 (Saturday) 07:12
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Wedding flash

 
Ralph ­ Merlino
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Sep 05, 2009 07:12 |  #1

My question is , what flash do you people use for weddings?
I find that the 580EX does not cut it. I can't seem to get even light.
The brides white dress is lit well but everything else goes dark.
I friend of mine on the west coast who has been shooting weddings for many
years said to through away the 580EX and get a Qflash. That is
the only flash he will use for weddings.




  
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MR ­ do ­ little
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Sep 05, 2009 07:48 |  #2
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Are you refering to off/on camera flash, ceremony/reception B&G formals ?

You will most likely want to change your lightning setup depending on the scene/venue.

Is your problem that you dont get good images with your 580ex on camera ?

Under what circumstances ?

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jeromego
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Sep 05, 2009 07:50 as a reply to  @ MR do little's post |  #3

I shoot with 2 580EXIIs and i'm happy with it. Quantum flashes are nice but heck, it's like triple the price of the 580s


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dougphoto
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Sep 05, 2009 08:03 as a reply to  @ jeromego's post |  #4

I have the same problem with my 540 ex. I rarely get an accurate reading, especially if there is any white in the frame. I am constantly changing settings on the flash. Totally frustrating.




  
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jeromego
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Sep 05, 2009 08:11 |  #5

dougphoto wrote in post #8587992 (external link)
I have the same problem with my 540 ex. I rarely get an accurate reading, especially if there is any white in the frame. I am constantly changing settings on the flash. Totally frustrating.

are you using manual on your flash? ETTL is so inconsistent hence the reason i shoot manual.


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sapearl
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Sep 05, 2009 08:22 |  #6

I've also been using the 580ex, for about 3 years now with excellent results. Exactly what camera settings are you using? There probably is nothing wrong with your 580.... it's likely the manner in which you are using it.

Do you know why the bride's white dress is fine but then everything else goes dark? First off your ETTL is metering for the dress (foreground), so it adjusts flash exposure accordingly, to give you a pleasing result. It sees that bright reflection and shuts down so it's not blown out.

Second, I suspect you are in dark venues, are NOT shooting in manual, and also are probably using higher shutter speeds or apertures that are too small for the desired overall ambient exposure effect that you really want.

You need to allow more ambient light to come into the exposure, to keep everything else from going dark. I choose my ISO first when using flash in dim areas, typically 400 or 800. I make sure my flash is set to MANUAL, and then I will DRAG my shutter speed, around 1/30 sec (really dark room) to maybe around 1/80 (much brighter). This last is a fudge, and you have to play with it to achieve your tastes.

For aperture, I'm around f/5.6 - 8.0, again all depending upon how much ambient light is available, and how much I want to allow in. The flash takes care of the rest, exposing the FOREGROUND.... that is the bride, groom, other folks in group shots, etc. When you settle upon the desired settings, this works perfectly.

In the example below, I wanted to expose for the foreground action in the shot below, which was 1/50 sec, f/6.3 ISO 800. I was fine with the background getting dimmer, as it should for this type of composition, adding a sense of depth.


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Ralph ­ Merlino
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Sep 05, 2009 08:22 as a reply to  @ jeromego's post |  #7

doug, that is just what I am talking about. A white dress
and everything else goes dark.

MR do little. Yes 580 on camera hot shoe,I can shoot in ETTL
and manuel on camera or both manuel or program and I still
do no get even exposure. I have been told buy many pros
that the Canon flash is not very good.




  
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sapearl
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Sep 05, 2009 08:29 |  #8

Here is another example of how I use the manual settings and 580 in dim venues.

=>


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sapearl
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Sep 05, 2009 08:31 |  #9

That is incorrect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 580 as you can see by my results..... it is not perfect, some prefer the Nikon, Q or Metz, but it does just fine. You just have to learn how to use it. It also helps to use a bracket which I have all the time.

Ralph Merlino wrote in post #8588057 (external link)
......MR do little. Yes 580 on camera hot shoe,I can shoot in ETTL and manuel on camera or both manuel or program and I still
do no get even exposure. I have been told buy many pros that the Canon flash is not very good.


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dougphoto
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Sep 05, 2009 08:32 as a reply to  @ Ralph Merlino's post |  #10

Yes, I shoot in manual. and usually it is a dark venue. I also have a shutter speed around 1/30th and ISO around 400 to 800, but I still get plenty of dark photos. Some will be perfect, but on the average, most are dark. I even use the + - on the back of flash, but that takes time, and only works for that specific shot. I've been shooting for 30 years and never had this problem.




  
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Ralph ­ Merlino
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Sep 05, 2009 09:07 as a reply to  @ dougphoto's post |  #11

saperal, thanks for the info. I do use a bracket and my 580EX is powered
with a Q Turbo. I usually shoot a 1/60 sec. However My ISO is usually
around 200 or 250.




  
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m3rdpwr
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Sep 05, 2009 09:09 |  #12

While I am not a flash expert, my instructor has been photographing weddings, portraits, etc, etc for 30+ years. He currently uses a 1DsMKii with 580EX's.

He photographed my wedding with that combo and as far as we're concerned, they were awesome.

No modifiers except for velcroing on a white plastic square at times.

He knows the Canon system extremely well and it shows.
I only wish he tought more workshop's for me to take as he had a unique way of teaching that worked for me...

-Mario


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picturecrazy
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Sep 05, 2009 10:58 |  #13

The white dress is throwing off your metering for subjects approximately the same distance from your bride. That means the meter is actually working. You have to be smart enough to evaluate your scene and dial in exposure compensation. If you have a white dress in the shot then go to +2/3 or +1. If you have a bunch of guys in black suits, then dial in -2/3. I had to do the same thing 20 years ago with my auto thyristor flashes. They all work on the same principles. The 580EX is not a "dud".

If you are talking about the background being really dark, then follow stu's advice as it is accurate. You need to drag the shutter. Sometimes I need to be at ISO3200 F/1.4 1/10 in order to get the backgrounds bright enough. It all depends on your venue and how much light there is. You have to evaluate each place individually.

If you posted some samples, it would really help us out figure out the problem.


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swjim
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Sep 05, 2009 11:16 |  #14

Ralph Merlino wrote in post #8588227 (external link)
saperal, thanks for the info. I do use a bracket and my 580EX is powered
with a Q Turbo. I usually shoot a 1/60 sec. However My ISO is usually
around 200 or 250.

If you want to let more ambient in then try increasing the ISO. 1/60 at ISO 250 will be very dim in many reception halls.


Jim

  
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Johnny ­ V
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Sep 05, 2009 11:30 |  #15

Not sure what you mean about, "I still do no get even exposure."? Please post pics.

For indoor shooting the camera exposure should be based on the background ambient light (set camera on Manual of course) just how much is personal taste. I like as much as possible without having too much subject movement. Then turn on flash and shoot away!

I use a 580EX and it's a great flash.

Still working on my website but here's a couple shots with the 580EX/XTi:

http://jvphotographer.​com …t_jeremy_weddin​g-8240.jpg (external link)

http://jvphotographer.​com …t_jeremy_weddin​g-8327.jpg (external link)

http://jvphotographer.​com …tommy/tc_weddin​g-2222.jpg (external link)

http://jvphotographer.​com …tommy/tc_weddin​g-2480.jpg (external link)


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Wedding flash
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