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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Flash required?

Hope this is not a dumb question.

 

I have a canon 6D. Want to know if I can get away with taking pictures without a flash and the pictures come out looking nice. 

I will be at a function with low light ( A club function). 

 

If I do need to purchase a flash can you recommend one for this event.

 

Thanks

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,278
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Flash required?

It is hard to say. you would have to set the ISO to a really high level.

 

What lenses do you have?

 

An 85mm f/1.2 would help a lot, an 18-55 F3.5 not so much.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: Flash required?

I have a 70-200mm 

 

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: Flash required?

Can you recommend a flash?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,966
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Flash required?


@davis61375 wrote:

I have a 70-200mm 

 

 


What aperture?  In low light situations, I like to use a fast prime.  You can get away with f/2.8 with ambient lighting, but having f/1.8, or faster helps.

As far as a flash goes, I use a 600EX II RT from time to time.  Bouncing it off of the ceiling, or the diffuser, works well for closeups.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Flash required?

[ Edited ]

@davis61375 wrote:

Hope this is not a dumb question.

 

I have a canon 6D. Want to know if I can get away with taking pictures without a flash and the pictures come out looking nice. 

I will be at a function with low light ( A club function). 

 

If I do need to purchase a flash can you recommend one for this event.

 

Thanks


Not a dumb question. So many people had the same question Canon wrote a whole article on it.

Alternatives to the built-in flash: EOS 6D

 

One flash that was released since that article was written is the 430EX III-RT that would be a great first external flash to pair with your 6D.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Flash required?


@davis61375 wrote:

I have a 70-200mm 

  


Long distances have a huge impact of flashes. Light follows the 'Inverse Square Law'.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,805
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Flash required?

The 430EX III-RT would be a great flash to get started (the 600EX-RT II is the flagship flash in the lineup).   Canon flashes that have “RT” in the name are radio equipped.  They can be used with other flashes and communicate wirelesses (e.g. on on-camera “master” flash will communicate with any off-camera flashes.  Canon also has an on-camera commander module that isn’t a flash).  Many of the other Canon flashes can communicate optically but this requires line-of-sight ... so it limits where you can put them.

 

If you have deeper pockets, Canon has their new 470EX-AI.  This is a “smart” flash that automatically controls the bounce mechanism (bouncing light off ceilings or walls to soften the light).  This is not a radio flash (it’s not part of the “RT” system).

 

I generally suggest that when using flash for these types of indoor events, put the camera in “Av” mode, set a low-ish aperture (f/2.8 if it’s a single subject.  f/4 if it’s a couple of people... but you’ll need to use f/5.6 or f/8 if it’s a group — to improve depth of field).    

 

BUT (and here’s the key), there’s a menu option for the shutter speed when using Av mode WITH a flash.  There are three choices:  Auto, 1/60th - 1/160th, and 1/160th (fixed).

 

The default is ‘auto’, but I find that’s not usually the best choice.  ‘Auto’ says the camera will meter and set exposure for ambient light and use the flash as a fill light.  Since the camera can use ANY shutter speed with this choice, it can result in shutter speeds that are too slow for hand-held shots.

 

The “1/160th sec” choice is also not optimal.  That forces the camera to use the maximum “sync” speed for the flash.  This results in very little ambient light in the background and you end up with shots that look like they were taken in complete darkness with only the flash (not a good look).

 

The winner is the “1/60 - 1/160th sec” choice.  This is similar to “auto” ... except the camera isn’t allowed to use any shutter speed slower than 1/60th sec.  This results in the camera having time to collect more ambient light (so the room wont just look black) but well balanced with the flash on your subject.  

 

 

If the room has ceilings which are (a) WHITE (not colored or black) and (b) not too high (not a cathedral ceiling, etc. but normal heights) then you usually get a better result by “bouncing” the flash off the ceiling.  This causes the light to scatter and you get gentler light on the subjects.  This can get tricky if the subject is too close (e.g. “head & shoulder” framing) because the light comes down from above and you get “raccoon eyes” (in which case it’s better to rotate the flash and angle it to the ceiling just slightly behind where you are standing.)

 

 

This business of figuring out how to angle the flash is the point of the 470EX-AI speedlight.  This isn’t a flash targeted to photographers who are highly experienced in the use of flash ... it’s targeted toward those who are new to it.  The flash measures the distance to the subject and auto-decides how to angle the flash head.  (Canon has videos that show how it works).

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎12-05-2018

Re: Flash required?

I'm also interested in flash. Could you recommend one?

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