Buying a flashgun: – features to look for:
Bounce and swivel
By bouncing light from the flash off walls or ceilings or reflectors, the effective size of the light source becomes massively larger than the flash tube itself, therefore creating a much softer quality of light.
The ability of the zoom mechanism in a flashgun to adapt automatically as you sweep through the zoom range on your fitted lens can be a big bonus.
The provision of an LCD panel is a must for keeping an eye on advanced flash settings. Some flashguns feature colour or even touchscreen LCDs.
Intuitive controls enable quick and easy access to settings. Most good flashguns include an HSS (High Speed Sync) mode.
Extend your reach
The maximum power output of a flashgun is given as a Gn (Guide number). Higher numbers signify greater power, and therefore extended reach.
The red window on the front of most flashguns shines a red grid onto the scene while the camera is autofocusing. It helps to enable accurate focusing even in darkness.
Diffusers soften the light, and coloured diffusers allow you to match the flash’s White Balance with that of artificial ambient light.
How to use Master and Commander modes
Many high-end SLRs feature built-in wireless flash Commander options. Here’s how they work
01 Pick a mode
In the Flash section of custom functions, head to Flash cntrl for the built-in flash. Regular TTL, Manual and
Repeating flash modes are often available, but to trigger a wireless remote flashgun select the Commander mode.
02 Flash powers
The power of the pop-up flash can be selected between TTL, manual and ‘–’ settings. The latter gives the least illumination, but some light from the pop-up flash will still be present in the resulting shot.
03 Group effort
TTL or manual flash power, complete with flash exposure compensation, can be set independently for different groups of wireless remote flashguns. The wireless channel can also be given one of four identifying numbers.