Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite
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Old 05-25-2007   #1
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Default Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

I'm going to be shooting in a dimly lit church using my canon Rebel, with my 430EX Speedlite, using the Gary fong diffuser.

I took some test shots yesterday, using the camera in program mode. The flash seems to be more than I'm looking for because there were some hard shadows on the wall behind the subjects, which was at least 10 feet behind them. HOw do I turn down the power to the flash? Is that possible? I'm new to this flash and need help getting the right settings. I just don't like that hard shadow, and it seems that they''re far away enough from the wall that it shouldn't get that hard shadow unless the flash is just too strong.

I need help before tonight!!!!

Photomom

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Old 05-25-2007   #2
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Show us the pictures and be as detailed as possible about the site conditions size, ceiling height etc if you want any meaningful info.
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Old 05-25-2007   #3
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Sorry, I don't have the photos available to send. They're on my computer at home.
The ceiling height is probably 40 feet (vaulted ceiling) so I can't bounce effectively. (Yellow lighting). I'm probably standing 30 feet from the subjects, they're probably 15-20 feet from the wall.
I'm new owner of the 430 EX speedlite and haven't played with the settings.
If I set my camera to full auto, will the Speedlite follow suit? If so, I guess I'll just have to deal with the shadows, because I won't have time to change things up. I pretty much have to deal with the conditions as is, I'd just like to know that if I set the camera to auto, that the flash will do the same.
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Old 05-25-2007   #4
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Hi Photomom, I use the 430ex on both my 30D and 5D. However, I've never used the GF Diffuser. I use the flip it. But, that's just apples and oranges.

The important things are not to shoot in program mode. I personally would shoot in Manual mode. I don't know how comfortable you are in manual mode though. The thing to remember is in manual mode you select the aperature that you'd like for the DOF (depth of field) prefered. Personally I'd probably go for f/2.8 to f/5.6 (there abouts). And then your shutter speed would be for two things. Controlling how much ambien light you record in your image and if you need to freeze any movement. Example, if people are fairly still, shoot the shutter speed around1/40th or 1/60th. But if they are moving, go up to about 1/25th.

Now this may confuse you because your meter will show either overexposed or underexposed (should be underexposed in this circumstance). But remember, your flash will meter and expose the picture correctly itself.

So give this a try in a room with the shades drawn somewhat and the door closed and see what you get.

But, back to your question about cutting back the flash power. I was going to tell you to use the FEC (flash exposure comp.) but I have reviewed the owners manual online for the digital rebel and did not see it. You will have to review your owners manual and see if you can find it.

One other thought that may help is if you have the lid on the GF Diffuser you may want to take it off. This may give you good bounce from the ceiling (if low enough) or simply just use some of the light up and not cast shadows.

Hope some of this may help.

Craig
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Old 05-25-2007   #5
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Thanks so much, Craig.

I'm going to get there a little early and make some test shots. I'll see what I come up with! I will try to post some to get some cc.

These are for a home school graduation, and I need to be sure they're good. Guess I'll just have to say a prayer that my settings are good.(at least I'll be in the right place for it!)

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Old 05-25-2007   #6
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsexton View Post
The important things are not to shoot in program mode. I personally would shoot in Manual mode. I don't know how comfortable you are in manual mode though. The thing to remember is in manual mode you select the aperature that you'd like for the DOF (depth of field) prefered. Personally I'd probably go for f/2.8 to f/5.6 (there abouts). And then your shutter speed would be for two things. Controlling how much ambien light you record in your image and if you need to freeze any movement. Example, if people are fairly still, shoot the shutter speed around1/40th or 1/60th. But if they are moving, go up to about 1/25th.
...read that last value as 1/125 - 1/160 (busy children )

Quote:
Now this may confuse you because your meter will show either overexposed or underexposed (should be underexposed in this circumstance). But remember, your flash will meter and expose the picture correctly itself.
...only when underexposured... ...overexposed will destroy the image...

Quote:
But, back to your question about cutting back the flash power. I was going to tell you to use the FEC (flash exposure comp.) but I have reviewed the owners manual online for the digital rebel and did not see it. You will have to review your owners manual and see if you can find it.
...you won't find it if it is the Original Rebel/300D, that one has no FEC.

BUT LO AND BEHOLD! You have FEC on the 430ex! with the buttons on the back you can vary from minus 3 to plus 3 stops, and everything in between: press the sel/set round button in the middle, then + for +FEC or - for -FEC, watch the display: under ETTL you will see the FEC symbol (a lighting with +/- next to it) and the value you set flashing. Confirm with the set button.

Quote:
One other thought that may help is if you have the lid on the GF Diffuser you may want to take it off. This may give you good bounce from the ceiling (if low enough) or simply just use some of the light up and not cast shadows.
...don't take the lid (what Gary calls the 'Inverted Dome') off if the ceiling is far away and/or dark: as the lid then effectively becomes the ceiling from which you bounce!

...hope this comes timely enough to be of some help, *my* 0.02 worth...

Kindest regards!

Max@Home
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Old 05-25-2007   #7
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Max!!!! You're probably the one I need to speak to! You sound like you know the 430 EX well. And I'm shooting with the Rebel XT, by the way.

If I set it to ETTL, is that like auto mode on the flash? If I set my camera to the settings suggested, (and yes I caught the 1/25 thing!!!!) will the flash automatically compensate and expose correctly? Or do I have to change the settings on the flash?

Also, does the flash zoom automatically set itself to the camera settings? I see all of the **mm settings on the zoom, but don't exactly know when I should change them.

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Old 05-25-2007   #8
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

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Originally Posted by PhotoMom View Post
Max!!!! You're probably the one I need to speak to! You sound like you know the 430 EX well.
...well, they made me the Canon Forum Moderator for a reason...

Quote:
And I'm shooting with the Rebel XT, by the way.
Hurray! that one has FEC.

Quote:
If I set it to ETTL, is that like auto mode on the flash?
no, ETTL means 'Evaluative (metering) Through The Lens', as the flash receives info from the camera's metering system, and the camera meters through the lens (the 'real' image as seen by the camera)

Quote:
If I set my camera to the settings suggested, (and yes I caught the 1/25 thing!!!!) will the flash automatically compensate and expose correctly? Or do I have to change the settings on the flash?
...or in the camera, no situation is alike, but as a STARTING POINT: try M-mode, evaluative metering, single shot AF, F5.6, 1/125, ISO400 in an indoor situation. Remember the camera meters for the ambient, and the flash meters for the subject, so if background too dark: higher ISO, lower F-value or shutterspeed (to allow the camera to 'suck up' more ambient light), reverse if background too light. If subject too dark, dial in FEC PLUS, if subject too light dial in FEC MINUS... watch the histogram for the overall exposure and the 'stamp' for the distribution between flashlight and ambient light...

...way more and better info on: Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras - Part I., but a little much for now... some fillflash tips... ...some tips from the Pro's...

Quote:
Also, does the flash zoom automatically set itself to the camera settings? I see all of the **mm settings on the zoom, but don't exactly know when I should change them.
...as long as you have the zoom in auto, it will automatically adjust as good as possible to your camera's lens focal lenght, provided the flashhead is pointed forward.

In all other flashhead positions it will zoom entirely back, BUT! with a press on the ZOOM button you can manually override this using the + and - to steer the zoom. Note that it doesn't zoom 'gradually', but from position to position (24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 80, 105).

If you have to shoot outside with fillflash, read and learn the 'high-speed-sync' button, the button with the lighting and H next to it, worth your time!

If you are going to use the GaryFong a lot, take many extra batteries with you! It works like a charm, but in diffusing and spreading the light a lot gets lost, so your flash 'outputs' more per shot, so the batteries will die sooner!

...hope this helps, *my* €0.02 worth...

Kindest regards!

Max@Home
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Old 05-25-2007   #9
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Thanks for the catch on the 1/25th thing Max.

I read your post 4 times before I finally caught it. LOL. All I can say is that I'm glad its the long weekend finally.

Oh yeah, I had completely forgotten about the FEC on the flash. Never use it and completely forgot about it.

Photomom, just take your time and don't get nervous. We're sure you'll do a great job. Or as seeing what time it is, I sure you "did" a great job. Post some pics for us to see.

Craig
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Old 05-27-2007   #10
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Default Re: Help with Canon 430 EX speedlite

Thanks for everyone's help. I've posted 10 photos of the 16 that graduated. I do have to say that I adjusted them in Lightroom before I posted them. They're in the Galleries under SCHEF Graduates.

I still see that dad gum strong shadow on the back wall behind them!!!!! I hate that!
I used the GF Lightsphere and I was approximately 15-20 feet away from them and the wall was probably that much behind THEM, and I still got the shadow!

I could NOT however bounce off the ceiling because THAT was WAYYYYYYYY too high, so I had to point the flash forward.

I REALLY need some practice with this flash. I'm still in awe of how powerful it is!

Please critique them anyway.

And it didn't do any good to tell me not to get nervous, 'cause I was ANYWAY!!!! LOL

Photomom


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