Using flash with the DP3 Merrill

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
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Shashinka73 Junior Member • Posts: 29
Using flash with the DP3 Merrill

I recently got a little curious about using the DP3M for things like product shots, certain kinds of portrait, even regular old shots when fill flash is needed, etc. This, however, would necessitate the use of flash and that's one area of photography where I'm not even clueless: I'm at the beginning of the road that leads to clueless-ville.

Firstly, I'd need to know a suitable flash, and secondly I'd need a tutorial aimed at total idiots. Assume that I know right next to nothing. I don't understand the numbers they use (20 feet at ISO 100, etc), I don't understand the idea of flash compensation and I don't understand how you combine flash with available light. This is not boasting of my ignorance, but it is a fairly accurate description of my knowledge.

Anyone who can point me in the right direction for either or both of these earns 46mp equivalent of gratitude!

Sigma DP3 Merrill
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Scott Greiff
Scott Greiff Senior Member • Posts: 1,623
Re: Using flash with the DP3 Merrill
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Antone
Antone Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: Using flash with the DP3 Merrill

Shashinka73 wrote:

Firstly, I'd need to know a suitable flash, and secondly I'd need a tutorial aimed at total idiots. Assume that I know right next to nothing. I don't understand the numbers they use (20 feet at ISO 100, etc), I don't understand the idea of flash compensation and I don't understand how you combine flash with available light. This is not boasting of my ignorance, but it is a fairly accurate description of my knowledge.

How much do you want to spend? If a lot, then just buy Sigma's TTL flash. If not so much, just buy an older, used autothyristor flash. They are simple to use and can be found from reputable sources (e.g., KEH) for $20 or less. I have a Sunpak 26DX Autothyristor from my old film days and it works perfectly with the DP1 Merrill and DP3 Merrill. Just put the camera in manual mode, set the aperture so it agrees with the flash/ISO, then fire away.Shooting in daylight takes a little more thought with an autothyristor, but it typically only requires a shutter speed adjustment.

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Tony-S

dmaclau Senior Member • Posts: 2,074
experimentation is the key

It strikes me that the types of photography you mentioned have quite different flash requirements.  I would suggest buying an inexpensive (?) flash and giving it a go.

I own several Nikon flashes, gathered over the years.  When I decided to try one with my DP1 (not merril) I quickly saw that smaller was better for me.  It was more what i would carry and use than technical sophistication that mattered.  I found a small, quick recharge flash and it worked pretty well.  The DP1 will take a 3 shot burst and the flash fired properly for shots 1 & 3.  Doing the distance / f stop calculations is a breeze actually and with digital you get near instant confirmation.

I shot just a ton of live blues performances with this setup.  F stop was somewhere around 7, distance  also about 7 (feet) and everything of interest seemed to be in focus and lighted properly.

good luck, show us some results.

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KyleSlamchez Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: experimentation is the key

Wouldn't off-camera flash be more important than ever with Foveon-based cameras, as you need to stay at (or fairly close) to base ISO to retain image quality?

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Canon PowerShot S30 Sigma DP1x Sigma DP2s Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +14 more
dmaclau Senior Member • Posts: 2,074
I don't understand

why would the placement of the flash (on vs off-camera) be impacted by ISO?

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Johan Borg Senior Member • Posts: 2,321
Re: Using flash with the DP3 Merrill

Antone wrote:

Shashinka73 wrote:

Firstly, I'd need to know a suitable flash, and secondly I'd need a tutorial aimed at total idiots. Assume that I know right next to nothing. I don't understand the numbers they use (20 feet at ISO 100, etc), I don't understand the idea of flash compensation and I don't understand how you combine flash with available light. This is not boasting of my ignorance, but it is a fairly accurate description of my knowledge.

How much do you want to spend? If a lot, then just buy Sigma's TTL flash. If not so much, just buy an older, used autothyristor flash. They are simple to use and can be found from reputable sources (e.g., KEH) for $20 or less. I have a Sunpak 26DX Autothyristor from my old film days and it works perfectly with the DP1 Merrill and DP3 Merrill. Just put the camera in manual mode, set the aperture so it agrees with the flash/ISO, then fire away.Shooting in daylight takes a little more thought with an autothyristor, but it typically only requires a shutter speed adjustment.

Agree with Antone, either buy a Sigma flash intended for the camera or go with a semi-automatic. Even the macro/ring flash model should work with DP3M after firmware 1.01 upgrade: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/em-140-dg-macro-flash

Although I've been tempted by the macro flash above, I use the Metz 20 C-2 with all my DP cameras including the DP3M and it doesn't take much experimentation to find the best aperture combination even when using bounce flash.

http://www.metz.de/en/flash-units/product-ranges/sca-flash-units/mecablitz-20-c-2.html

PrebenR Senior Member • Posts: 3,325
Re: I don't understand

dmaclau wrote:

why would the placement of the flash (on vs off-camera) be impacted by ISO?

One flash vs many. You want to use off camera flashes for better lighting.
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JohnKRZ Regular Member • Posts: 126
Re: Using flash with the DP3 Merrill

Here is the easiest flash for the DP3M EF-140 DG Shoe Mount Flash.

As has been said off camera flash can help avoid certain problems with red eye, or in the case of macro, of shadow thrown on the subject, so a bracket and a sync cord can come in handy. You might have to buy one of these http://strobist.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/universal-translator-ushers-in-new-age.html for the sync cord to fit into on the bracket.

Cheers

John

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