Newbie with flash - First purchase recommendations please

Messages
815
Name
Tony
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
I have a Canon 80D and virtually no experience with flash and would like some recommendations as to what would be a good “starter” piece of equipment to buy.

I work at a children’s animal visitor centre and I am increasingly getting involved with taking pictures for our marketing manager.

On some poor weather days some of our indoor barns can get very dull so I thought a flash would be a good addition to my bag as some of the animals can move quickly.

If at all possible I would like to make a purchase of a single unit (budget of about £100 to £150 ish) but something that perhaps could be expanded to do off camera flash in the future (something I know even less about but I saw it once in action and was very impressed)

Many thanks for reading.

Tony
 
Messages
3
Name
Andy
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
+1 For Godox.

I recently purchased the Nikon versions (TT685N and X1N) for £140 total. The addition of the trigger opened up so many options for off camera flash.
Great fun to play with, so much so I bought a second TT685N the week after.
 
Messages
501
Name
Kell
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Before I joined this site, i paid the money for a Canon 430EXII.

I like it, but most people say it doesn't offer anything that the cheaper Godox units don't.

If I had the chance to do it again, I'd take a punt on what Phil recommended above.
 
Messages
1,023
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
Yep, I’m in the same boat, no experience and never used a flash, after the advise here I went with a Godox v860 and x-pro trigger.
Both were £175 from Ebay (Nikon mind, if that makes a difference to price)

Very easy to use and set up, rechargeable and the trigger makes life really easy poisoning the flash when/where you want, I’m still a complete noob but I can make it flash and kind of get results, also builds into more if you so decide.
 
Messages
22,854
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#8
As above, but please take the time to learn how to use the flash off camera - it's simple enough and the quality improvement will be massive.
As Garry says, a bit of basic knowledge and practise with flash can make dramatic improvements, but I'd just qualify that 'use the flash off-camera' statement a little. What's important is not so much where the flash unit itself is, but where the light is a) coming from, and b) the size of the light source.

The most obvious place to start is probably with bounce-flash (see Soeren's link above) where the gun is pointed at the ceiling or a wall, and that then becomes the (much larger) off-camera light source which softens the shadows. In that case, having the flash on-camera is often as good a place as any and certainly very convenient.

ps Get the Ving 860. It has good power (bouncing tends to eat light) and fast recycle that is invaluable for anything involving people.
 
Messages
501
Name
Kell
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
I'd also add, if the 'barns' are actual barns then I'm not sure using a flash on-camera will necessarily give you enough power to bounce it off the walls and/or ceiling.

I'm still to get anywhere near being able to use a flash well in either large indoor spaces or outdoors.

I bought Syl Arena's guide to speedlights. I've even read some of it, but it seems if you want to get really good results, then the flash will have to move off-camera.
 
Messages
10,534
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#11
The day that you can bounce flash in the average barn i want to see it

Best solution is some form of off camera flash but that means a stand or assistant to hold so cost goes up

Mike
Which is why I suggested off-camera flash. . .
Our own barn is 4000 sq ft, the roof in places is very high and it's largely translucent plastic panels.
I'd also add, if the 'barns' are actual barns then I'm not sure using a flash on-camera will necessarily give you enough power to bounce it off the walls and/or ceiling.

I'm still to get anywhere near being able to use a flash well in either large indoor spaces or outdoors.

I bought Syl Arena's guide to speedlights. I've even read some of it, but it seems if you want to get really good results, then the flash will have to move off-camera.
The question is, where do you stop? Personally I can use very high powered portable flash but there's never either time or space for the type of shots that I need to take in this situation, so it's often about compromise, and a reasonably powerful flashgun, off-camera with a reflective umbrella and a sensible increase to the ISO, is usually both manageable and good enough.
 
OP
OP
tonybassplayer
Messages
815
Name
Tony
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Thank you very much for all the information and I think I will purchase the Godox unit this weekend.

Can I just check that if I just bought one of those units and then bought the trigger that has been mentioned then does the trigger sit on the top of the camera and "triggers" the flash from where it has been placed ?

PS Yes they are real farm barns but getting an assistant to hold the flash would be no problem
 
Messages
10,534
Name
Garry Edwards
Edit My Images
No
#15
Can I just check that if I just bought one of those units and then bought the trigger that has been mentioned then does the trigger sit on the top of the camera and "triggers" the flash from where it has been placed ?
Yes
 
OP
OP
tonybassplayer
Messages
815
Name
Tony
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
Many thanks.

My 60th birthday on Monday and if my cries have been heard it will be amazon voucher city for me and purchases made on Tuesday rather than opening the same old s**te that seems to happen to me these days.
 
Top