Flash troubles

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by degodan9, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. degodan9

    degodan9 Member

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    So I've recently ventured into color photography after years of B/W. I'm trying to do night shots with the shutter open on bulb in an almost pitch black area and light up things in the frame that I want lit up with a handheld flash.

    Now this may seem like a rookie question, and it is, so bear with me.

    I'm looking at flash guns online, and it seems like all of them have to be hooked up to the camera to fire. Since I'm virtually planning on running around the frame and blasting certain object, a cord connected to the camera won't work.

    So are these handheld flash guns (ie vivitar 285, metz 45 cl1, sunpak 383, etc etc) able to be fired by just pushing a button on the unit itself, basically like pointing a gun at something I want to light up and "BANG", completely separate from anything to do with the camera, or do they always have to be syncd.

    Again, general rookie question, and the answer is probably right in front of me, but I can't seem to find any indication that I can use these in the manner that I plan on using them.

    Thanks ahead of time for any input.

    Nick
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Yes, you just short the contacts.
     
  3. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Hallo,

    'guns like the Metz 45 series and the 60 series are perfect for this. They can be fired either on a manual setting or an auto - using the sensor on the gun for light control.

    Don't forget that it is possible to have a smaller aperture on the camera than on the flashgun, just increase the number of flashes to build up the exposure.
    Lighting different areas of a scene in this manner can create some creative "layering" of the flashlight.

    Have used this method of lighting, years ago, to light huge places like theatres with just one 'gun, but have spare batteries!
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Many flashes have a test or similar button that will trigger the flash. The Metz do, but also Vivitar 285 and (I think) 283. Baring that, I once put a momentary button switch at the end of a PC cord (attached to the flash) for the same effect.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    All the 3 flashes you mentioned have the button for just that purpose. In fact I haven't seen a flash unit that doesn't have such a button.
     
  6. degodan9

    degodan9 Member

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    Right on. That's what I was figuring but I wasn't sure, since I have really only done landscape photography, which doesn't incorporate any type of flash. Thanks to all for your input.

    Nick
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    To avoid the recycle time issue, and since you don't need to sync it to the camera (though you can), I would suggest any old Metz 60 series unit . The dry cell batteries give ton of flashes, even on full manual.
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    A CT 60 unit and its separate power unit also weighs a ton.
    For that, the gain in recycle time - compared to 45-series Metz units - is minimal. The gain in output is that too. The extra capacity also isn't that impressing...
    :D
     
  9. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I pick up Vivitar 283's for around 20.00 USD routinely and considering you aren't even mounting them to the camera you don't have to go through the extra hassle of finding a low voltage example.

    People shy away from 283's because some of them do have high synch voltages so this is why they go for cheap used.

    They have a test button and you can also power them off a quantum Turbo if needed.

    I use them for all my manual flash stuff.

    Only drawback is they don't swivel but that's a non issue for your application.