Gear Talk > Lighting

Entering the world of needing a flash at darker weddings

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I won't try and talk up any knowledge of external lighting I may have.

I have none.

But what I do know is that I have a couple weddings on the books with receptions in dimly lit restaurants and the 50D has laughable ISO qualities when it gets that dark, so I'd better start learning and move away from my comfortable world of natural light.

My budget for a single flash unit and any necessary accessories is about $400, but I can go higher if need be. Currently I'm considering a 430EXII and some sort of wireless/off camera trigger and on-flash softbox.

However, anyone in this section of the forums knows more than me, so I am very open to suggestions.

Second hand 580ex should run about 300 bucks get a cheap ettl cord off eBay and a cheap manual only radio trigger off ebay and a stofen omni bounce off ebay then you can use it on or off camera the 430 will be a bit limited for weddings with its lower rotation ability of the head compared to the 580

I had been wondering about the limited rotating ability of the 430EX. I'll see what I can find on ebay.

Will the stofen bounce be enough of a diffuser? I'd like the light to be as soft as possible, but I've no experience in wondering if a small softbox diffuser would be overkill.

Scratch that last question, here's a better one.

If I buy a 430EXII and a cord or radio trigger, will that be capable enough to warrant not needing the extra swivel?

I have Stofens for my 430 and my 600.  I don't really like using them.  The colors/contrast I get from a bounced flash are much more pleasing.  The stofen might be a little more useful on the 430 as it does not have a catch light panel but I still find it much more useful to just use the flash directly. 

If you're looking for more interesting shadows, I'd use it off camera anyway...and I still don't use the stofen. 

I'd recommend the 580 or 600 for the higher output and easier controls.  (yes, it makes a difference in the real world).  For example, when bouncing flash straight up to an extremely high ceiling, like the ones found in reception rooms, the extra power is nice.  Also, when manually adjusting the output, the dials on the 580 and 600 are much easier to adjust quickly rather than having to hold down the center button for a few seconds and then pressing the +/- buttons, which are a bit tricky to press...minor gripe but it does slow me down a bit.  I mainly use my 430 to light backgrounds or if I need the extra power for bounce flash...usually off camera.


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