Fea­tures to look for …

Get all the power and clever tricks you need for flash pho­tog­ra­phy

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Many flash­guns have a wide-an­gle dif­fuser panel to spread cov­er­age when us­ing ul­tra-wide an­gle lenses, and a re­flec­tor card for di­rect­ing some light for­wards in up­right bounce mode (see page 52 for more on this).

Light tube

The flash tube fires a very bright pulse of light for a split sec­ond. The max­i­mum avail­able out­put is quoted as a Guide num­ber (see Jar­gon Buster, be­low).

Zoom, zoom

The most com­mon mo­torised zoom range is 24 to 105mm but some stretch a lit­tle fur­ther. For ex­am­ple, the Nikon SB-910 has a 17 to 200mm zoom fa­cil­ity.

On the bounce

A bounce range of be­tween 0 and 90 de­grees (hor­i­zon­tal to ver­ti­cal) is usu­ally avail­able, and some flash­guns add a -7 or -9 de­gree down­ward-slant­ing op­tion for close-ups.

LCD screen

An il­lu­mi­nated LCD info panel is use­ful for dis­play­ing im­por­tant flash set­tings. The Metz flash­guns on test go even fur­ther, with mono or colour touch­screens.


On-board con­trols tend to com­prise an ar­ray of but­tons and di­als. With the Nikon SB-500, how­ever, ad­just­ments need to be made via the cam­era.

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