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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    sOnIc's Avatar

    D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?
    Hi there .. I've done pretty well at nightclub photography with the kit lens, onboard flash, and a screw-on 0.5x wide angle adapter, but its time to move up a level.

    My typical shots at the moment are F3.5, 1/4th second rear-curtain flash, with flash exposure compensation at about -1ev. Spin flash shots with about 45 degrees of spin before the flash. Processed with RAW tools and levels etc in Photoshop.



    Reasons for buying a speedlight are:
    1/ To eliminate the lens shadow you get from the onboard flash projecting a dark semicircle at the bottom of pics.
    2/ To replace the on-board auto-focus illuminator bulb with a less annoying red auto-focus assist light (turning the onboard AF bulb off), as it's annoying to people being very bright.

    I cannot afford to go top of the range, so I'm looking at the cheaper speedlights such as Neewer and Yongnuo.

    My main questions are:
    1/ Some flashlights say "
    Lens Coverage 18mm - 180mm" .. Sometime soon i'm gonna buy a Tokina 11-16mm, so does this mean the speedlight cannot work with a lens below 18mm at all?
    2/ Some descriptions say "Front Curtain Sync" .. but I need the speed light to work with Rear curtain sync .. do all speedlights work with my typical rear-flash shots using the camera's settings?
    3/ Do all these cheap speedlights have the red-light method of auto-focus illumination, so I can switch the camera's white light bulb off?

    So I'm looking at the Neewer NW580/VK750 - would that do it? Or what has the Mark II version got which the Mark 1 has not?

    Any help or recommendations appreciated as I don't know anything about speedlights at the moment.
    Cheers,
    Chris
    All my club photography here, just over a years experience at it and learned a lot: Club Nights Photography | Flite Media



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    Last edited by sOnIc; 11-17-2016 at 10:01 PM.
    New D3200 (previously a D50), 18-55 VR kit lens, 70-300 Nikkor, Manfrotto tripod, lots of accessories, Photoshop CC.
    www.flitemedia.com/photography



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    sOnIc's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?
    Answering some of my own questions ..

    The 18mm thing I guess is just the width/height distribution of the light, and I'm not bothered about less flash lighting around the edges; in fact that vignetting makes the pics better in the case of my wide-angle adapter .. so as long as the flash can be set to 18mm while the camera is actually at 11mm, then that's ok.

    This picture says a lot, I don't want a big object sitting on top the camera at all really, so small size is very important.


    So atm its looking like the Altura, which is cheap and comes with a bag and diffuser. EDIT: Can't seem to get them direct in the UK ! Might have to order one in ..
    Attached Images Attached Images D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?-speedlight-1-2-m.jpg 
    Last edited by sOnIc; 11-18-2016 at 02:07 AM.
    New D3200 (previously a D50), 18-55 VR kit lens, 70-300 Nikkor, Manfrotto tripod, lots of accessories, Photoshop CC.
    www.flitemedia.com/photography

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    sOnIc's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    I'm refining what I need, but still after advice please ?!

    I need a wide AF-Assist beam, I need to turn the white light AF-assist bulb off, but I use matrix AF metering which has a wide field of focus points, so I need the red beam to cover a fairly wide area. Note that this is pretty much my reason for getting a speed-light, because the white light AF bulb blinds people when your close, its really annoying.

    The other priority for me is that I want the smallest speed-light I can get, most of them are huge! I love the small size of my D3200 and want a very low profile speed-light for it, also I'd rather the light came from lower down; not high above the line of sight.

    I think I'm gonna be happy using manual mode, so I can set the zoom to either 18mm for wide coverage, or have the option of zooming the flash in; without touching the lens; to get a smaller flash area. I shoot 18mm all the time, though its actually 9mm cus of the 0.5x wide-angle adaptor.

    So I'm looking at the Viltrox JY-610N II, super cheep, but none of the sellers even mention the AF-beam. Is this flash going to support rear-curtain sync? It has no backlight on the screen but a "unique feature in manual mode: the GN of the flash unit can be adjusted by adjusting the EV on the cameras" which is nice! No flash zoom either.

    Another thing, the recycle time on the above says 1-4secs, and I use -1ev flash compensation at the moment, so I assume the lower flash power means a faster recycle time? As long as its not over 3 secs I'm happy I think.

    So, any ideas on whats gonna be my perfect speedlight?
    Last edited by sOnIc; 01-09-2017 at 08:13 AM.
    New D3200 (previously a D50), 18-55 VR kit lens, 70-300 Nikkor, Manfrotto tripod, lots of accessories, Photoshop CC.
    www.flitemedia.com/photography

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    sOnIc's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    Talking to myself I am .. but i've just received the Viltrox, and whilst it seems a really great flash for the money I have a fundamental flaw in my plan - it doesnt have a red beam AF-assist, and it's forcing the camera's own AF-assist bulb to switch off, even with the onboard flash open, so unless some magic happens I'm not gonna be able to focus in a dark nightclub ......
    New D3200 (previously a D50), 18-55 VR kit lens, 70-300 Nikkor, Manfrotto tripod, lots of accessories, Photoshop CC.
    www.flitemedia.com/photography

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    WayneF's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by sOnIc View Post

    My main questions are:
    1/ Some flashlights say "
    Lens Coverage 18mm - 180mm" .. Sometime soon i'm gonna buy a Tokina 11-16mm, so does this mean the speedlight cannot work with a lens below 18mm at all?

    Sounds like you have all worked out pretty well. Yes, 18mm coverage will not fill 11mm coverage, the corners should be dark. Which may or may not be any problem (esp not if in bright ambient). Or you can always crop a little.

    The 18mm probably implies on a DX body, and probably means it is 24mm on a FX body. To fill an 11mm frame will require some combination of bounce reflection and a longer flash to subject distance.

    2/ Some descriptions say "Front Curtain Sync" .. but I need the speed light to work with Rear curtain sync .. do all speedlights work with my typical rear-flash shots using the camera's settings?
    Yes, the Nikon camera does the front or rear sync triggering. The flash just flashes when it is triggered.

    3 Do all these cheap speedlights have the red-light method of auto-focus illumination, so I can switch the camera's white light bulb off?

    So I'm looking at the Neewer NW580/VK750 - would that do it? Or what has the Mark II version got which the Mark 1 has not?


    No, they don't all have focus assist, but many do. Manual flash may tend not to have it. The red beam may look dim to the eye, but is infrared, and gives great capability in the dark.

    See a review at Review of the Neewer VK750 II Speedlight about the VK750, including AF Assist pattern, and including 18mm zoom patterns.

    Flash zoom pattern only applies to direct flash. Bounce flash will be much wider.

    The VK750 is slightly lower power than full powered flashes (VK750 power is similar to Nikon SB-700 level). This should not matter at all for direct flash, but bounce can always use more power.
    Last edited by WayneF; 01-27-2017 at 06:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    sOnIc's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    Hi Wayne, thanks for the reply and info!

    This Viltrox speedlite hasn't got the red beam, instead is has a strobe flash AF-Assist which I found to be unreliable, as well as putting too much strain on the flash/battery and thus getting overheat protection kicking in pretty regularly.

    I would use the cameras own AF-assist bulb but unfortunately this becomes disabled once the speedlite is turned on! It says its switched on in the cameras settings, but turning the speedlite on stops the bulb from working.

    I did a night of club shots and had to go back to using the onboard flash because I need 100% reliability and dependable auto-focus.

    I don't want a large speedlite if at all possible because I need a nimble lightweight setup, even this small Viltrox adds a lot of bulk.

    Ideally I just want a way to fool the camera into using its AF-assist bulb, I have tried opening the onboard flash but this doesn't help.

    Another thing I've noticed is that the onboard AF-assist 'illuminator' bulb has its light blocked bottom-left by the lens, and with the wide-angle adaptor I'm using this is even more. So, thats one of the issues I have with when doing these nightclub shots.

    It's a real shame because I like this little Viltrox, if it had the red beam it would be perfect. So, maybe I'm gonna have to buy that Neewer and see how the massive 4 battery thing works for me!
    Last edited by sOnIc; 01-30-2017 at 02:05 AM.
    New D3200 (previously a D50), 18-55 VR kit lens, 70-300 Nikkor, Manfrotto tripod, lots of accessories, Photoshop CC.
    www.flitemedia.com/photography

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?
    What are you trying to achieve in shooting 1/4SS? Normally we use shutter dragging to get character of the entire scene, 1-2 stops below subject metering. If you are shooting so close, there is little room scene in the frame.
    Get the larger flash and keep it off camera. I have a herd of SB900s but added a Yongnuo YN-568ex and was so impressed with it that I got 2 more. Using the YN-622n flash controller transceivers and a YN-622 TX commander, it solves any remote mounting or power control issues when using multiple lights.
    I would suggest getting the Yn-568ex or other flash, about $99 in the US and use a diffuser like a mini softbox with a remote flash, meter for the room with slow shutter and use the softbox, hand held for subject illumination. Set the aperture and ISO so the room if 1-2 stops underexposed before tuning on the flash. The IR focus light on the YN-568 is brighter with more beams than my SB900's. Don't get too close to subjects with wide angle, the distortion can be very unflattering. Your camera has good low light DR so you can be safe increasing ISO to get the room ambient light. I always shoot in manual mode, it makes things more consistent and is easier. I shot in a club last night that was almost dead...my first visit there, nice upscale place and it was me and 12 girls and staff of about 30.....I guess it was an off night. I purposely wanted darker background to not make it obvious the place was dead, just enough background to suggest space. Here is an example f/2.8, 70mm, 1/125 ISO 800 (shutter was raised to drop ambient 2.5 stops) The SB900 and YN-568 are essentially interchangeable in this sort of shooting, but the Yongnuo is 1/7th the price. D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?-agent-3824_pp.jpg

    In a busy club, I shoot with drag shutter on a D800 or D7000, any of these cameras made in the last 8 years are fine for this sort of shooting. I usually use a 24-70 on fx or 17-55 on Dx, or 85 1.4 or better for clubs, the lower cost 1.8g version. Lens is not as critical as lighting, and the camera is not critical at all. A good all rounder for the Dx bodies is the 35 1.8g, sharp, low distortion and fast, light and cheap. I use a 24 1.4 sometimes or 70-200 2.8 but but the 70-200 is too heavy for one handed shooting, camera in right and, flash/modifier in the right. Your camera is perfect for one handed shooting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?

    D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?
    Another point, don't worry about a direct beam width covering the angle of view, there is no reason to ever used direct on-camera flash except as fill flash, everything use uses some light modifier to adapt the flash output to the desired effect or bounce flash which has no effective beam width after reflecting off anything. Here is another one of a different girl who was sitting against a deep red lit background so increased the background exposure as an interesting contrast.D3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?-agent-3840_pp.jpgD3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?-nebar-118.jpgD3200 Speedlight for Close/WideAngle nightclub photography?-nebar-120.jpg
    The second two were in a small club I visit often, as example of dragging the shutter, and increasing contrast and a JPG Picture Control in a dark clubs with a number of colored light sources, exposing for the background to down about 1 stop and using bounce flash hand held. Nothing complicated, fast and dirty, about 300 taken for the club's web site for customers to download. Very different lighting conditions and personalities of the clubs so using different settings to match the mood. The girls want to be flattered with the photos so that is #1 priority.





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