Fuji Flash technique?

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
I've always sort of stunk at flash technique. I did some casual shots of my granddaughter's first birthday yesterday using the rented G1X Mk III and its onboard flash (I don't have a flash for the X-T1). I had no trouble with focus, even in the very low indoor light, but my lighting was inconsistent. In some images, the background was fine, and in others, it got very dark. I tried using both Av and indoor portrait modes, but found setting everything manually worked better for me. Any thoughts on a decent flash for the X-T1, and better, a good primer on using it? For me, shooting waterfalls in a dimly lit canyon is much easier than shooting indoor people scenes.
 

AndyMcD

Top Veteran
I just picked up a Godox TT685f which offers TTL and off camera abilities (it fits into the wider Godox system). Benefits are that it is fairly cheap (I paid less than 100GBP for mine) and seems to work well, plus has a good guide number. They have a smaller unit called TT350, which has the same capabilities but a smaller guide number and it goes for about 70GBP - this might be a better carry around unit for my X-T1.

For indoors on camera I tend to just point it straight up and pull out the little white card and just fire away - that has worked pretty well - bouncing off white walls can work too but can be a problem for getting catchlights in the eyes. There is a Rogue Flashbender Softbox sized box under our tree, I think that this might allow me to use the flash more directly on camera (to get around places with very high or coloured ceilings).

I am currently investigating off camera capabilities (with a X1T-F controller from Godox) and will be looking to add a couple more flashes (either two 350's or another 685 and a 350). My goal is to be able to take a decent outdoor group picture of my daughters' cadet unit and I think I will end up needing at least two flashes for that.
 

AndyMcD

Top Veteran
Thanks @BobbyT I have LinkedInLearning through work and have started watching David Hobby's lessons on there. I've already learned something about balancing ambient and flash which is pretty obvious when you see it, but wasn't at all obvious prior to that :S

I agree about modifiers, I get a softbox in a couple of weeks which will be a start - I'll check if my homemade honeycomb fits this new flash (I made it for a YN560).
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
I was going to say, "just immerse yourself in TheStrobist and don't come up for air until you get it." David's site is unbelievably helpful. I'd also add that you'll quickly want to get that flash off your camera for portraits. Very, very quickly, I think. Fill light needs to be coming from the same place as the lens, so it's great for that, but as your main lighting for a portrait, you're probably going to want it close to your subject at a different angle above them, and in some kind of big, diffuse modifier. None of that is expensive, but I don't know your options for triggering that thing remotely, besides using a small on-cam flash to trigger.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
My i40 was waiting at my door when I got home this evening. Don't have time to do much tonight, but I did spend a while playing with different settings, using our dog as my test model. He just sighed like he usually does when I'm taking pics. It will be interesting learning proper technique and flash exposure compensation to eliminate that touristy "flash" look. I see a lot of images, mine included, where the flash overwhelms the scene.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
I've been fiddling with the i40 and the X-T1. With family visiting this weekend, I'd like to be able to get a few decent pics without blinding people. The following images were done with the 35mm f2 attached, aperture f8, ISO 800, Aperture Priority, flash set on TTL with 0 on the dial, and exp comp +0.3. Camera chose 1/75 for both images. First image is without the soft box, second with, and the flash was tilted at its uppermost range both times. Setting was an office with the morning sun coming through a partially shaded window, and overhead flourescent lights. Thoughts?

I will say reading the i40 instructions generates some confusion for a flash noob like me. Manual, Auto, TTL, Manual Zoom, Slave, there's even an Easter Egg that allows HSS up to 1/4000 with the X-T1. Still not clear as to the advantage of HSS, but I'm plowing through reading material trying to wrap my brain around it.

DSCF0745.JPG

DSCF0747.JPG
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Aiming the softbox at the ceiling isn't going to take advantage of having a softbox. It's just diffusing the light before it bounces.
Understood. In this example I aimed the softbox right at the subject. However, I had to raise the flash TTL dial to +2 and the X-T1 exp comp to +1, otherwise, only the center of the Canon camera was lit, and everything else faded into an almost black background, with the edges of the Canon barely visible.

DSCF0762.JPG
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Is it a small softbox?
It is. It's molded to fit right over the end of the flash. Here are two more. The first is with the softbox, flash set on manual, flash dial set at 1/2. Second is without the softbox but with the diffusing panel pulled out and in place, flash set on TTL +1. Neither image was changed other than resizing. In my eyes, the first with the softbox definitely has much less harshness to it. Is this the type of setup most useful for people pics?

DSCF0771.JPG

DSCF0777.JPG
 
Yes, but with larger softboxes. I posted a thread on here somewhere with some low cost/high quality softboxes for studio type work.

I always shoot flash in manual. But I don't currently shoot with a flash on the camera. The first pic of those two looks like you got it dialed in good in manual.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
Dave the Yongnuo stuff will work for Fuji as well, just not TTL. Same hot shoe config as Canon. You can control out put and zoom separately for each flash from the controller.

Tony using flash to get family shots is tricky. If you're going to pose people, it works well. If you're trying to get candids, then the flashes sometimes hurt more than they help. Easiest route might be to ignore the small softboxes, and have the flashes aimed at the ceiling.
 

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