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How often do you use the built-in flash?

Ozzie_Traveller

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G'day all

It seems that just about all of us have cameras with a built-in pop-up flash ..... and 'yes' I also know that there's others here with pro-level dSLRs without them, so you can have a short snooze here :)

The 'however' is that too many of us seem to only use the flash for parties and other fun times ~ and in this post I want you to consider using the flash for more mundane topics than 'fun parties & weddings'

Fill-in flash is very useful for many images - be they heavy facial shadows in middle of the day or in the example below, in outdoor, early morning images where a large slice of illumination is from heavy blue sky overhead

Here's the items that caught my eye during my pre-brekky morning walk - note the colour of the shaded side

typical exif- Panny FZ-200; 1/320s x F4,0; ISO-100; lens at 10x zoom / 325mm FFequiv

and here's the flash shot to fill the shadows. The flash power was menu dropped to EV minus 1,0


See the difference that a simple alteration can make?

Hope this helps
Phil
 

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Hi Phil,

You are right I don't use pop up flash, coz don't have it (5DMKIII) but I use OCF every chance I get, does that count.

Regards

Barry H
 

Ozzie_Traveller

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Hi Phil,
You are right I don't use pop up flash, coz don't have it (5DMKIII) but I use OCF every chance I get, does that count?
Regards Barry H
Course it does .... along with every good lookin' other 'tog who knows wot he's upto :)

My post also came about from a reflection from elsewhere where someone was pontificating that "these days you can do anything in post-processing ~ so why bother making the time / effort when taking the image". I disagreed with the other author

For myself - I enjoy being a 'photographer' who likes to get it right in the camera and as to PP afterwards, limit it to fine tuning rather than needing a serious makeover

Phil
 

Centurion

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Hi Phil,

I like being a "photographer" too, coz I suck @ Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture 1 etc etc.

regards

Barry H
 

Roger S

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here's the flash shot to fill the shadows.
That's really a 2 part question, Phil. Firstly, I do use fill flash outdoors, about 50-60% of the time when it's not landscape. The fill flash is great for overpowering bright sunshine to eliminate hot spots and glare.

It seems that just about all of us have cameras with a built-in pop-up flash
The second part of your question is another matter. I don't think the pop-ups on any of my Nikons have ever been raised. I have always had one speedlight or another handy when they are in use. The bridge and the micro both have pop-ups which are normally in the up position. The point 'n shoot cameras don't have pop-ups the built in flashes get used quite often.
 

Skyshot

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Never. In fact one of the deciding factors in buying my D850 was that it didn't have a pop-up flash. In it's place is a far superior viewfinder.

I always have a couple of Godox flashguns handy though (just in case). ;)
 

hooferinsane

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I use it for macro in the summer sometimes with a pop up diffuser, dialing down the flash output usually.
 

Minor Problem

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Never. In fact one of the deciding factors in buying my D850 was that it didn't have a pop-up flash. In it's place is a far superior viewfinder.

I always have a couple of Godox flashguns handy though (just in case). ;)
Having a pop up flash on one of my D800's was responsible for enough water ingress to kill it after a freak wave at Rocken End drowned me and it!
 

Ozzie_Traveller

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Thanks fellas for the replies, the 'reveals' and the chuckles :D

Phil
 

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As for On Board Flash, Way to Hot for my taste.
I cannot remember if there was any control of the power of the on board flash, but I never mastered it.
BUT, the importance of learning the concept of fill flash can make the difference between a good photo and a great one.

I put my external flashes down when I stopped shooting weddings. When I did put them to use,
I was usually Bouncing my flash off a wall or ceiling (when available) to achieve a softer light for fill.
Seems counter intuitive to turn your flash head away from the subject, but the results can be wonderful.

Shooting Landscapes has little use for Flash, though there have been situations.... so in the closet they went.

Now that I am shooting more Wildlife I am again finding a need for fill flash.
My first thought was, Imagine the size of the flash for that. What is funny,
I am getting fill on animals/birds 60-100 feet (18-30Meters) away using 1/8th power on a 580exII mid day.
Who would have thought?
Flash is a tremendous tool when applied appropriately. It is a skill that requires a little practice, but a skill you should have in your camera bag when you need it.
 

Mj224

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I used to use it for daylight fill ins, but as modern (Olympus) cameras don't have one, I don't bother. Not a significant problem, but they were dead handy on my old Pentax and EM10...........
 

DonS

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I use it rarely for fill flash.
 

SeanNeedham

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Having a pop up flash on one of my D800's was responsible for enough water ingress to kill it after a freak wave at Rocken End drowned me and it!
For not being in the same situation, all my Nikons have the flash gaff taped down. The Fuji's are different, but they're also used different to the Nikon.
 

Ozzie_Traveller

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a) I cannot remember if there was any control of the power of the on board flash, but I never mastered it. ...
b) Now that I am shooting more Wildlife I am again finding a need for fill flash. My first thought was, Imagine the size of the flash for that. What is funny, I am getting fill on animals/birds 60-100 feet (18-30Meters) away using 1/8th power on a 580exII mid day. Who would have thought? ....
G'day mate

re- a) ~ it depends upon the camera maker's menu settings and is very useful
re- b) ~ back in the 1980s I made up a flash-tele-extender (image below) for use on my film camera flash + the 300mm lens. It was easy to use and got me many night-time & in-the-trees animals (possums mostly) as I walked around with my torch as a spotlight.

It was easy then as the lens had a defined focus ring - but with the digital cameras and autofocus and non-distance-marked focus rings, it has become unusable. I had not considered it for daytime fill-flash ... it is something that I may try (thx for the idea)

However, if the idea appeals to you - the fresnel screen is from a newsagent shop, used by others for reading small text - cost about $10 and has a focal length of 8-inches/ 20cm. It was cut to size for the cardboard tube and the flash was profiled to fit tightly into the other end of the tube

Phil
Flash Extender Tube.jpg
 

SC PHOTO

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I have purchased a Flash modifier for the Super long shots, 500mm -1200mm.
It is called a "Better Beamer" made by Lens Coat. It is a crazy looking contraption.
Same Basic Idea you have imaged above employing a Fresnel lens.
I have not used it yet, but after the hard under wing shadows I was getting the other day, I am reconsidering.

Daytime fill flash can be just as tricky as night time. Some practice with low power setting can produce some wonderful images.
This Male Vermillion Flycatcher is backlit, I was experimenting this day.
I could have exposed him with out flash and blown the BG, but the flash helps to maintain some color in the Back Ground.
1/8th power without a modifier.
Now the animals do not care for the flash, they don't know what to make of it.
And it is a sure way of being discovered if the animal hasn't seen you yet. But certainly a useful tool.
Vermillion Fly CatcherVermillion Fly Catcher
 
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