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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Wildlife (Public) topic #148800
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Subject: "Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please." Previous topic | Next topic
richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Fri 07-Dec-12 03:27 PM
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"Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."


Dyserth, GB
          

I hardly ever use my SB800 flash since I bought wide aperture lenses as I find I can achieve desired images without it even indoors. In the gloom of winter things get harder with good light at a premium.

As some will have seen in my Waxwing images I used for the first time a flash on my D7000 with a 300mm f4 lens. I was impressed, as gone were the inevitable silhouetted images when taken towards a white or bright sky background. I left the flash on TTL BL in auto and at about 30ft the light was adequate. I also want to use it with my D800 for birding as well.

I would like to take this technique further, especially in our local reserve, as there are many dark corners where birds feed and sun and light don't reach. I would be grateful for advice please relating to the limitations, techniques and settings appropriate to using a flash on long lenses for the birds, both static and in flight please.

Richard

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
Rassie Silver Member
07th Dec 2012
1
Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
richardd300 Silver Member
08th Dec 2012
2
     Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
Rassie Silver Member
09th Dec 2012
3
          Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
richardd300 Silver Member
09th Dec 2012
4
               Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
treadwl Silver Member
09th Dec 2012
5
                    Reply message RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice ple...
richardd300 Silver Member
10th Dec 2012
6

Rassie Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Fri 07-Dec-12 11:55 PM
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#1. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 0


Milton, CA
          

Many photographers who specialize in shooting birds with long lenses use a flash extender like the Better Beamer. I use one myself. It extends the range of the flash tremendously. Shorter lenses probably do not need an extender - I'm not sure where the cut-off would be. I think with a 300 mm lens you may still get away without the extender, but I would say anything longer probably requires an extender.

In terms of settings, I use the settings recommended by another Nikonian in these forums. I set my camera's flash program to high speed sync, the flash itself to TTL with -1,7 EV dialled in. The flash head is set to 50mm. These settings ensure that the flash only adds to the natural light without becoming the main light source. It helps chase shadows away for more even lighting and helps add highlights in the bird's eye.

If you're not going to use an extender I would experiment with setting the flash on TTL-BL to ensure it only augments the natural light without drowning it out and making the lighting look artificial. And then I would still dial in anything between -1.3 to -1.7 EV.

Regards

My Nikonians gallery

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sat 08-Dec-12 10:46 AM
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#2. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 1


Dyserth, GB
          

Thanks for all the constructive comments. I have searched the web and the Better Beamer, or any other make, do not seem to available in the UK. However, your information regarding settings is most useful.

Richard.

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Rassie Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Sun 09-Dec-12 01:11 AM
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#3. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 2


Milton, CA
          

I found something in the UK. Look at this.

http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/diffusers_filters_etc/flash_xtender/12837_p.html

Cheers

My Nikonians gallery

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 09-Dec-12 04:14 AM
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#4. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 3


Dyserth, GB
          

Brilliant, thank you. I searched everywhere and found the same model, but it didn't do the SB800. I shall order your suggestion. I thought I may have to order from the US and was reluctant to do that. I ordered a Michael Tapes LensAlign a few weeks ago and I had to pay taxes and customs charges which were ridiculous!

Thanks again.

Richard

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Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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treadwl Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Sun 09-Dec-12 11:59 PM
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#5. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 10-Dec-12 12:00 AM by treadwl

Sunrise, US
          

Sorry to hear about your issue with the Better Beamer and getting one from the US. I got one last year and love it. I use it with my SB800 and have had great success by just setting the flash at minus 2 on the power setting. That way the flash just acts as a fill. Bythe way, I've used it with my 200-400mm lens.

Larry

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Mon 10-Dec-12 08:04 AM
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#6. "RE: Flash for bird wildlife with a long lens advice please."
In response to Reply # 5


Dyserth, GB
          

Thanks, I have ordered one although looking at it I wondered if I could have bought the spare front perspex glass and built one out of thin brass plate. At £36 it's not worth the effort

Richard

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Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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