TECHNICAL FORUMS > Film & Photography

Flashgun recommendations

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Jonathan T:
I'm about to start (probably badly) cave photography. I've got the camera (Canon G3), will get the slave unit when I've determined if I can turn the pre-flash off or not and now just require a suitable flashgun. Once I've got all that I'll get a Pelican case.

Any recommendations for robust flashguns?

Huw Groucutt:
whatever you can find cheap! It doesn't really matter what precise model you get. For a main flash aim for one generally aim for one with a guide number of more than 30 (in metres!), less for fill in (secondary) flashes....make sure its not a stupid shape and not too big!

mudman:
I'll echo what Huw just said except to add that you want to look at second hand flashes. Just go into camera shops and ask to look at whatever second hand flashguns they have. It can be quite a chore though trying to explain that it doesn't matter what camera you have as it will never be mounted on the camera.

I wouldn't splash out on a Pelicase at first. Get yourself an old ammo box from the Army surplus. Makes sure it's watertight by putting it in the bath and then pad it with cheap camping mat. When you're sure you really want to go to all the bother of luggin loads of gear to the nether regions of the underworld and put up with all the insults and grief from you 'helpers', then go for the more expensive gear.

As it's digital, you may have a problem using slave units but it also allows for other possibilities. People are now starting to use them with only a single flash to 'paint' pictures with multiple pictures, a single flash and a cunning use of Photoshop. Something I definitely want to have a go at sometime and have a few ideas for. I think your G3 allows for user setting of aperture and shutter speeds so this should be possible for you.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be updating my CV so I'll shutup here. Just give it a go, it can be very rewarding.

SamT:
So far I've been using my Cannon 'mu' zoom 80 (my keyboard aint greek) and 3 flashes that I bought from a local camera shop. 1 was a fiver, its small and I use it to trigger the other flashes. the other two were a tenner each (new). they have small 'magic eye' triggers that slot onto the hotshoe, fiver each from the 'big bin of bits'. so excluding camera - 35 quid the lot. All fits in a small darren drum with some camping mat padding.

Like mudman says - not worth spending loads untill you've decided you can be arsed with it all. Photo sessions can be a pain but I've had some good results so far. Digital would be great (Ive also wasted quite a lot film).

Titch98:
:crazy: Have a look at this:

http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/viewtechnique.cfm?recid=117 - some general info on underground photography, and to quote them, "The most commonly used are the Vivitar 283 or 285 and the Sunpak 433 series."

If you are considering using some slave flashes, you might want to consider using David Gibson's Flashgun slave units and information on these can be found here http://www.caves.org.uk/flash/index.html. There is also a version for digital cameras and a new version of his Slave Flashbulb Firer.

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