Flash for wedding photography


dinneenp

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 22:33
Hi,
I've done 6 weddings now, all without a flash. I'd like to buy a flash as it can help.
Can anyone recommend a good flash, that'd be ideal for weddings please? I'm guessing it's be one that'd need as little work as possible so that I could concentrate on taking pics.
I have a k5ii and a k7.
Thanks,
Pa
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.
Last Edited by dinneenp on 23/09/2014 - 22:34

gartmore

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 08:43
Whatever you buy, I would suggest you don't use p-TTL, the pre-flash firework display makes many people blink
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

vic cross

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 09:32
+1. Also if possible use the flash on a bracket off camera. A hammerhead flash like the old AF400T which I used on my 645 when I did weddings. You can't buy them new anymore but they come up now and then on Ebay. There are other makes of course.(Metz) or you could use any hot shoe type mounted on a bracket. This will avoid red eye as the flash is not directly in line with the lens. [I have had red eye at more than 50ft with a hotshoe mounted lens]. A good diffuser of some sort is also a good idea when indoors, also bouncing the flash is good indoors. taking the flash off the camera and holding it to one side when taking a shot of the cake alone gives more pattern on the icing. etc. etc.
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

McGregNi

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 09:43
I have the Gary Fong Lightsphere kit, and its excellent for indoor group portraits. Outside you can aim the flash with the lightshere straight on to the subject for a wide and soft fill. Manual is probably the best mode, I agree, although you will have to' chimp ' a bit when moving around and the distances change.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

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MattMatic

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 10:10
Quote:
I'm guessing it's be one that'd need as little work as possible so that I could concentrate on taking pics

They all need work

I've tried them all, and there are pros & cons to each.

Massive Metz 50MZ5 (still looking for a home) is superb in "A" mode with very clean light and shed loads of power. You need biceps to match though Pro: tracks your aperture & ISO, Cons: tracks your aperture & ISO (so it's no so easy to dial back the flash, but the exposure is usually excellent); Pentax metering does not warn you if you're going to be overexposed! (Found this when moving from indoors, rushing outdoors to capture the bride arriving and even without flash the exposure was OTT. One nasty bug that I wish Pentax would fix - i.e. flash the exposure indicator when overexposure likely)

AF540-FGZ - probably my favourite. For fill in on P-TTL it works very well. I have a modified Pentax grip (threads on PUF) to mount the flash off camera, with a 5P cord into the side of the flash. Flash head rotated 90 degrees with a FunkyFoam home made reflector - so it's firing sideways, which allows instant portrait/landscape switch.
You can do "A" mode too - but the flash does not track the aperture & ISO - but this allows you to change the ambient/flash ratio easily and works very well indoors or for fill in.
Also provides HSS for outdoor fill in flash.


So, my recommendation would be the AF540, an off camera mount and cable

But every time I have to practice beforehand so I am 100% comfortable with the modes and setups - indoors, fillin, outdoors, etc. Sometimes a little crib-sheet helps too.

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)
Last Edited by MattMatic on 24/09/2014 - 10:11

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McGregNi

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 11:10
Matt, do you concur with Ken though on the issue of the P-TTL pre-flash causing problems? I must say, I have found my wife always ends up with slightly closed eyes when using it ... Seems to react very quickly to the flash. Manual plus the lightshere sorts it though.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

SteveF

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 12:14
+1 for the 540, but as said, be wary of using P-TTL. if on camera, I always either bounce it or use a diffuser.

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MattMatic

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 12:35
Quote:
do you concur with Ken though on the issue of the P-TTL pre-flash causing problems

Yes, there are a few that blink faster than a preflash. Always good to do a couple of shots with B&G before - so they know how it feels to be photographed, and to find out if they blink quickly

But it depends on contrast too - fill in flash hasn't been a problem for me.

One event I did I had to use the Metz 50MZ5 for indoor shots, and switch to the AF540 for outdoor fill in. Probably could've done it with just the AF540 in "A" and "P-TTL/HS" modes though

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)
Last Edited by MattMatic on 24/09/2014 - 12:36

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dinneenp

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 16:08
thanks for the replies so far. I was hoping there'd be a simple suggestion or two. The 540 seems 'top'.
But it seems flash isn't simple.
If I used a diffuser or bounced the flash would this prevent people seeing the pre-flash and therefore not blinking?
If I'm bouncing I guess they don't see the preflash?
If I'm outdoors I can't really bounce it off anything, can I?

Thanks,
Patrick.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

McGregNi

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 16:27
Pre-flash still happens with bounce, but its effect would not be so direct, so bouncing it's likely to reduce any issues. Without an umbrella you're not really able to bounce outdoors, so its more a'fill' type of lighting ... You can use something like the Gary Fong lightsphere pointed directly at the people for a soft diffused effect (In P-TTL you'd have some minus flash compensation set), our in manual I'd underexpose the ambient light a little and use manual power on the flash for a subtle effect. If you need very controlled directional light outdoors then a snoot is required, and you probably want that off camera in wireless mode, on a stand maybe off to one side to give a side directional quality and some decent contrast on the faces.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 24/09/2014 - 16:30

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stub

Link Posted 24/09/2014 - 22:48
Im not a wedding photographer. But I would recommend the 540fgz with a Gary Fong diffuser...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

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johnha

Link Posted 25/09/2014 - 00:13
The biggest problems with indoor flash are usually either red-eye and/or ugly shadows on any background. The former is best avoided by a bracket, the second is mostly fixed by positioning the subject away from any background (even with bounce or a brolly you'll still get a shadow otherwise).

Outdoors, flash is useful for fill-flash, but any gun with an 'A' setting and it's own sensor works well enough, just aim for 1:2 or 1:4 depending on the conditions.

In any case, you'll be able to refine you're technique from your test shots once you've selected a particular gun.
PPG Flickr

dinneenp

Link Posted 26/09/2014 - 15:20
Price on Ebay seems quiet good- £169 buy it now
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

vic cross

Link Posted 04/10/2014 - 18:39
Whatever flash you use make sure the women with the big brimmed hats keep their heads up or you'll get a mask like shadow across their face like the Lone Rangers mask. CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

dinneenp

Link Posted 05/11/2014 - 15:52
Hi,
I'll more than likely go with the AF540-FGZ. Here's a few features someone told me to make sure the flash has; does the AF540-FGZ have these? If not is there another model that does?

1. The ability to tilt and swivel the head of the flash 360 degrees for bouncing.
2. The ability to use High Speed Sync with your camera
3. ETTL
4. ETTL compensations (so you can set the flash power to be above or below what the camera thinks it should be)
5. Includes a wide angle diffuser (normally part of the head of the flash, most flashes only zoom out to 24mm do the wide angle diffuser is useful for wide angle or group shots)

Thanks,
Pa.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.
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