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What would you get if you use do a lot of flash photography

skimmel

Member
I find that, these days, I do a lot of flash photography, including fill flash outdoors. I've just purchased a G2 (thanks to everyone on this board for inspiring me!) and find that the flash is not performing so well for me. In particular, I miss being able to bounce and the method of doing fill flash is a bit cumbersome.

I'm considering the TLA 280. For those who have used it, I have a couple of questions:

1) I haven't even seen one -- how big is it relative to a standard SLR flash (I use an SB28 on my Nikon if that helps)? Does it make the G2 imbalanced?

2) Does it do a better job of fill flash? Do you still need to go through the G2 algorithm to do fill flash (set AE lock, then turn on flash, etc...)

3) Anyone recommend a different flash?

Thanks everyone.
 

coodeville

Well-Known Member
You're going to be slightly dissatisfied with the G2's flash performance if you've been using the Nikon system. I know I was. I own an F100, F5 and a Fuji S2. I'm not knocking the camera at all. But the G is more of an ambient light type of camera. Although, it does work great with studio flash. The G systems flash just doesn't cut the mustard compared to other brands like Nikon. Keep in mind that the Nikon system relies on what the whole composition reflects. That's the purpose of the 5 segment TTL flash sensor. The G system uses center weighted TTL falsh control. You'll need a lot more practice in deciding what type of compensation to use in your flash photography. Eventually, you'll get the knack of it. But for now, until you master " the art of G flash" stick to your nikon for anything imprtant. many will agree with me on this. And many will not. That's just my own opinion based on my own personal level of skill.
 

rak996

Member
I have the same question. I am considering a Metz 44 mz2, 54mz3, tla 280 or tla 360. I am interested in general indoor use and fill flash.What do you recommend and is it easier to use fillflash with any of those choices on a G2?
 
C

cyberstudio

I have been using a Metz 32CT7 on a G2 for a while, as well as an old Vivitar bare bulb flash. Now I stick a huge Sunpak 120J TTL on the top (of course, even much bigger than SB-28) which looked kind of funny. Balance is not as bad as I thought but I am still adapting to the new setup. I consider myself a semi-serious-amateur flash freak. Now I wish the camera supports flash exposure compensation so that I can engage my brain less of the time in outdoor fill situations, but I cannot think of anything which cannot be accomplished by setting aperture/shutter speed in manual mode. It is just more cumbersome without automation.

Now, it is true that I have seen a lot of nice pictures from Nikon's flash system. Perfectly balanced background and foreground every time, even if the photographer has limited skills. But for me, my photography isn't based on proper exposure (since I use print film most of the time, I just err on the overexpose side). Rather, it is based on properly applying basic principles of lighting (size of light source, position of light source, and distance from subject). In that regard, I have found the Contax G TTL flash system already adequate, even though you name any other modern camera line (including Contax N) and it will have more features and automation.
 
J

joeling

i've a Metz 32CT7 which i used it with ex-camera, Yashica 108. Part#1 question;
With the Contax G2, do you think the setup parameter is similar. Manual "M" of x to aperture opening of y as indicated at the back of the flash. cheers
 

robgo2

Active Member
Although I generally try to avoid using a flash, I have found two Contax flash units to be useful with my G2. The ultra compact TLA 140 is an excellent travel flash that never produces red-eye, unlike the TLA 200. For more heavy-duty needs, the TLA 360 is more suitable. Unlike Nikon flash systems, the TLA 360 does not receive information from the G camera regarding ISO and aperture settings, so these must be manually set on the flash.

The G2's center-weighted metering system is less sophisticated than a matrix metering system and tends to overexpose flash shots. After a period of experimenting, I have learned to set exposure compensation to at least -1 when using a flash. The results are quite satisfactory.

In general, I prefer center-weighted to matrix metering, because I like to control exposure by adjusting compensation. Such adjustments are tricky with matrix metering, because you don't know for sure how the camera's computer has determined the proper exposure.
 

skimmel

Member
Thanks to all for their advice. Are there non-contax flashes (preferably small) that can bounce and swivel, but also do TTL metering and couple (i.e., can read ISO and aperature settings) with the Contax G2?
 

tomasjpn

Well-Known Member
Hi Stephen,

the Sunpak B3600DX has a module for the G2. I believe that it's called an Auto 444D in the U.S?? (I'm in Japan)

I don't own this particular flash, but have considered it. It is definitely not a small flash, though.

I've also been thinking about picking up a flash that can bounce and has a little more power. I was considering one of the Contax flashes that has a bounce head.

Mark Edwards
 
F

farnborough

I use an old Metz 30CT6, which has a trigger-sensor and it fires automatically with the TLA Contax flash. It can bounce and is stronger. You have to do all the settings manually though.
Peter
 
U

urgenta

Hi

I use two different flashes from Metz. A 45-CT and a 42-MZ, both with the SCA382 adaptor. They work fine withe G2. Compared to the size of the g2 is the MZ-42 a bit bulky. The 45-ct has the great advantage, to have a builtin flashbracket. I switch them to manual mode and the G2 makes the rest. I own also a TLA 200 and use it very often.

Good flash!

Hans Villars, Switzerland
 
C

cyberstudio

Ok Stephen, if you think putting a 120J on a G2 looks like an idiot, but you need something reasonable, you need to look no further than Metz 32CT7. It has bounce, swivel and secondary flash. The magical thing was the secondary flash is well balanced with the main flash. In a "normal" situation, about 10' white ceiling, 45 Planar, anywhere from 2 to 6 people, Fuji Press 800 film, I always get evenly illuminated pictures. Many other flashes have the secondary flash too powerful. The flash may look not tall enough but very close to your lens - but that's fine the secondary flash must be as close to the lens' axis as possible to avoid shadow under nose. It will not cause red eye, at least I have never got red eye because of that, unless you put eyes near the center of the frame I guess. It recycles quickly and quietly and looks small. Complaints: the dedicated Metz shoe falls off all the time. Need something to anchor it to both the camera and the flash. But for lighting quality and compactness, pretty hard to beat.
 
J

joeling

Hi Bobby;
i've the Metz 32CT7 on e G2, for flash shots (indoor) what's e appropriate setting to work as you mentioned. Set aperture as per subject dist or set to TTL ?
your advice is greatly appreciated.
joeling
 
C

cyberstudio

Hi Joseph, I have the TTL hot shoe, and I bounce 99% of the time unless there is no white surface. So I just set the flash to TTL and the lens to f/5.6 (for 10' ceiling) and turn on the secondary flash. That's with ISO 800 film (Fuji Press 800 or Superia XTRA 800) overexposed 2/3 stops.

If you don't have that TTL hot shoe, you can still do the same. Let me know if it is your case. The hot shoe would say SCA 380, SCA 381 or SCA 382 if you have the Metz TTL hot shoe for Contax.
 

skimmel

Member
Sorry to be dense, but: if you have the Metz 32CT7 and an adaptor, the flash will work just like the TL200? Also, I couldn't find the 32CT7 on the Metz website. Is there another one you recommend?

Thanks.
 
J

joeling

hi Bobby, hv check that 32CT7 has SCA300 instead. got abt 12 shots w yr recommended setting. when i bought e G2, it bundles w TL 140. trying scouting for manuals, no luck but will try again over wkend. let's see how the flash prints look like after developed.
thanks guys
cheers
 
C

cyberstudio

Hi Stephen, with the correct TTL hot shoe yes it is as automated as a TLA200, only more powerful, more useful, more flexible with more features. The TLA200 is good for matching color to the camera body.

32CT7 has been discontinued for a long long time and you will have to find it used. Even the 40MZ-2/40MZ-3i has been discontinued and Metz has not come up with something with the same configuration. The current Metz model is 54MZ-3. I am unable to offer you any recommendations for the newer versions because I lack the first hand experience.

Like I said I use a Sunpak 120J right now, but the learning curve is much steeper than I expected. It was nothing like the 32CT7 which was much easier: just use 800 speed film, find a white ceiling and wall, bounce off that, and automatically get nicely illuminated results.

Joseph, you may use one of the A settings. Set the film speed first and the LED's at the back will indicate to you what aperture to use. Just use the same aperture on both your flash and your lens and off you go. You may have to experiment with film speed setting to find the optimal film speed, which is not necessarily the film speed of the film you are using.
 
W

writing4me

Bobby - would you have a minute to email me about the Metz 32 CT7 please? There is one for sale for $35 but I can't get access to any information or pictures to know what it is, so I can understand if the price is good. You're the first person I've heard mention this flash. Hope you don't mind. Lynn@turnkeydesign.net
 
C

cyberstudio

Hi Lynn, I think it is definitely worth more than $35, at least I paid much more than that for a used one a few months ago. Of course, if the flash doesn't suit you, it doesn't suit you. But I think it is possible to sell it for at least $35 on eBay. Sorry I don't have pictures ready to show you, but it looked kind of like a Metz 40 MZ-2, but with much fewer features and less power. It has a LED-based user interface which is rather intuitive and easy to use.
 
W

writing4me

Thanks very much Bobby. Very good information. For $35 and free shipping I'll give it a try! I appreciate your help. Best, Lynn
 

skimmel

Member
Thank you very much Bobby. I will do some research into other Metz flashes and share with the group whatever I find.

If anyone else has other recommendations, I'd love to hear those as well.

Thanks.
 
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