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January 23, 2013


Replies: 8

Looking around in flashes

Alex-to-the-ander Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Im looking for a flash to my Canon EOS 1100D :)

Canon Speedlite 580EXII is 1 of the best i found to a price a can handle, and it is used because i don't got enough money to buy a new.
I never tried a flash before and i don't know much about the ability a flash need to do.

The flash is need to take pictures like things in nature and animals, not so much portrait photos. I hope you can help me out ;)

So my question is "Is it good" ? ^_^

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Devious Comments

Tetchist Jan 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
using flash in landscape/wildlife photos is such an extremely specific and unlikely scenario that unless you know *exactly* how you're going to use it, don't bother buying one for that purpose.
Flash IS useful for animal photos, for a single reason - to get a catch-light in animal's eyes (that spark we all look for ). If you're lucky and the sun is behind you and the animal is looking at you, flash isn't needed. It's quiet likely that you'll use Aperture Priority (Av) for the shots, so Canon turns flash into Fill Flash at that mode (i.e. it adds light to existing exposure, instead of becoming primary source of light). This will soften shadows and create catch-lights. The flash you're looking at - 580EX - even has a panel that can be pulled out for that purpose. When you point the flash up, and with the panel pulled out, you get that 'catch-light' effect without the flash actually adding much light to the photo. To use flash in Program Mode where it can become main source of light - is frankly not useful for animal photos, though it could marginally be used for flowers.

All that above said, I usually do not use it - its too bulky and can scare off some animals. But I have same model you're looking at - and its an awesome flash, for the few times I use it.

And no - a light meter is not needed for flash photography OUTSIDE the studio (since you'll likely use Fill Flash most of the time). Not to say a light meter isn't useful (I have one).
Alex-to-the-ander Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for your rich comment and I think it's really great to get feedback from people who know something about it, I can definitely use this information. (y) !
A light meter should be above external flash on your list of gear to get. Specifically one that does incidence readings rather than just reflective light readings. In order to make best use of one or more external flashes, you're really going to want a proper meter.

OTOH, if you're doing studio work, you may find that experience and a histogram are good enough.
Alex-to-the-ander Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Okay, then i maybe put the flash on a check list later when need it... :)
Thanks for using you're time to help me out it was great to get some information.

See you ;) !
For nature shooting a flash probably won't help you that much. Wild animals will just be scared off by the flash and landscapes will be too vast to light with a flash.

For shooting landscapes a good tripod is key. That way you can keep your shutter open for as long as you need to to make the exposure.

For shooting wild animals a fast telephoto lens is your best friend. Sadly it is also a very expensive friend.
Alex-to-the-ander Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for responding me :)
So flash is more to do portraits ?
Just bought a Manfrotto tripod.
Flash is useful for lots of things. Portrait, wedding, macro, product, journalism etc.

Nature is just really where it isn't super useful. In theory you could light up a landscape with flashes but you would need some SERIOUS flash power for that. Small speed lights won't offer much. You could get a powerful flash light and light paint a landscape though. (very time consuming and difficult but produces very cool effects)

And like I said, flashes with wild animals usually aren't that useful. In the case of most wild animals you don't want to get close enough for a flash to be helpful anyway.
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