Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fun with a flashgun- Nikon SB-26


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I borrowed a flashgun from Lee CF today. It is a wicked Nikon SB-26, with a hot shoe connection, PC-synch terminals (male and female), swivelling and tilting zoom head (20-85mm) and a guide number of 35 m.

Shooting modes include automatic, manual, TTL and strobe. Automatic mode uses an on-board sensor to detect the flash strength required for proper exposure (after feeding in the correct camera parameters into the flash unit). Manual is precisely that, manual. The only variable is the power output, which can be reduced as powers of 2. Full power, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64. TTL mode is only available to Nikon cameras that can communicate with the flash unit via additional contacts.

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Strobe mode makes the unit behave like a stroboscope. The parameters that can be adjusted in this mode are: flash intensity, number of flashes, and flash frequency. The frequency can be adjusted from 1 to 50 Hz. Of course, the number of flashes depends on the frequency and intensity of each flash.

I did some flash tests. A powerful and directional flash head does wonders to the lighting. Directing the light at the ceiling results in very even lighting that does not make the pimples shine nor does it cast sharp shadows.

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Ok, I look freaky here. I was staring at the countdown light on the camera, hence the evil eye.
Please stop judging my eye. It is a good eye. Wankers.

The preceding shots were done using two cameras. The digital camera was used to capture the scene while the film SLR was used to trigger the flash. The flash was pointed forward and upwards to light the wall and ceiling. The digital camera was pre-focused, exposure set to 2s, and the self timer set to 10s. Windows blinds were drawn and the lights were extinguished. The timer was tripped and the subject positioned in place. When the shutter opened, the subject triggered his camera to produce the illumination. The SLR camera’s shutter was then recocked without advancing the film as to avoid (further) wasting film.

I suddenly have this want for a large flashgun. Something powerful with variable power output and a directional head.

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