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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Digitek DFL 002/003 – Speedlight Flash Gun review and How to use a Manual Speedlight


This review is for the actual Digitek 002 model; however this may also apply easily to the 003 model as they have the same specifications.


Advertised specifications:
Guide Number: 38 m (100 ISO)
You can easily increase the guide number if you need to by increasing the ISO. For, example, my D3100 gives good performance up to ISO 400, after which there appears consistent noise.

If the parameters of the exposure triangle are increase by one stop, the guide number increases by multiples of 1.414 (square root of 2); with the exception of shutter speed.

E.g., If ISO is increased from 100 to 200, the guide number increases to 38 x 1.414 = 54.

So how do you use guide Number?

Guide Number = FOD x Distance from the Subject.
OR
FOD = Guide Number / Distance from the subject.

Example, if your GN is 38 and distance from the subject is 4 metres, the f number for proper exposure should be 38/4 = 9.5.

If distance is 10 metres, then, FOD = 38/10 = 3.8.

You’ll have to open up your aperture when the subject is far to get the proper exposure.
Of course, these aperture values are assuming that you are in low light, and ambient light isn’t contributing much.

If you can’t go below f/4 in your lens, you can compensate for the guide number by increasing the ISO by one stop from ISO 100 to 200.

You get the idea. That’s how you use this manual Speedlight.

This speedlight does not have High-speed Sync. So if you take photos with shutter speeds faster than sync speed, you'll end up with a picture like this.

Using flash with camera set more that its sync speed 1/200
Using flash with camera set more that its sync speed 1/200
Does that mean you cant free motion faster than sync speed? (1/200)
Definitely you can!

Just set the shutter speed to the sync speed and you'll get amazing results by using flash to freeze motion.
The way this works is like this : - Small flash power equals shorter exposures.
This picture was taken at a sync speed of 1/200th of a second, but the flash was triggered for approx. 1/10000th of a second by lowering the flash output to 1/8 power. You will have to switch off lights for this to work effectively. The only light should be from the flash.
Droplets from the Shower @ Sync Speed using flash to freeze motion
Droplets from the Shower @ Sync Speed using flash to freeze motion

Recap --
The Digitek DFL 002 flash at full power should last for 1/200th of a second. The least powerful flash lasts for 1/20000th of a second. These are as per specifications on the manual that came with the Speedlight.
Therefore you can use the flash to freeze motion even though your maximum sync speed is 1/200.
To do this, just set your shutter to 1/200th of a second or less than your sync speed. Sync speed is the safest way to go.
-- End Recap

Coming back to the review.
The Digitek DFL 002 Speedlight has eight stop reductions in its flash capacity.

The build quality is good for the price and the Digitek DFL 002 flash gun rotates for 0 to 90 degrees in the vertical and 0 - 270 in the horizontal, which is good for bounce flash and also to incline the optical sensor towards light if you are in slave mode.

Speaking OF MODES:
There are three modes in the  Speedlight:
M: Manual flash. The flash triggers when you release the Shutter. The flash is mounted on the hot shoe of the camera for this to work.

S1: Flash triggers if it senses another flash, probably from another flash or from the built in Pop up flash. Orient the flash using the stand which comes with the speedlight on the subject according to your lighting needs and you are good to go, thereby controlling the optical slaves witht the popup flash.

S2: Pre-flash cancel. Use this mode when you are using the Pop up flash in TTL or another Speedlight which has TTL and you want to use this manual speedlight as an Optical slave. This mode makes the speedlight ignore the first small TTL flash.

It is to be noted that DFL 002/003 does not have TTL and only can be used on manual flash output conrol.

I guess that is it. It is a fairly good Speedlight and works best if you know how to use it. I feel that the batteries drain a little too quickly if you use it consistently at full flash strength, but that's expected.

Just get a good high capacity 2500+ mAh battery so that you have a good cycling time.

There is a red LED indicator which switches on when the flash is ready to be triggered. The recycle time under good battery conditions is approx. 3 seconds for full flash strength.
This flash does not have strobe/multi-flash capabilities.

The red LED blinks if there isn’t enough battery power to trigger the flash.

What else should I say?
I think I've said enough. Feel free to let me know if you are in doubt of any kind.

So, let me show some pictures taking using the flash. For demonstration, let’s bring in stunt girl and Happy family.

Flash direct in face.
Flash at face of stunt girl - I exaggerated the shot on purpose to show how bad this could be.
Flash at face of stunt girl - I exaggerated the shot on purpose to show how bad this could be.  

Bounce Flash from side.
Happy family - Side light from flash bounced off wall
Happy family - Side light from flash bounced off wall
Flash pointed at the background
Happy family - flash on the wall making picture float in air
Happy family - flash on the wall making picture float in air
Grapes reflecting Flash because of the ice frosting on their surface. 

Grapes reflecting Flash because of the ice frosting on their surface:
Grapes reflecting Flash because of the ice frosting on their surface:
Did you notice the grape on the top that didn't reflect any light? That's because I washed the frost off after taking it from the fridge. If you have noticed this, power to you!

I guess that's it. If you have a comment or a question, leave a comment.
Happy flashing!

20 comments:

constellationcafe said...

Thanks for the review Gomaz!

Anonymous said...

I thanks for the review...its informative ....can you give some information on DigiTeK TTL Flash DFL -300T LCD Flash For All Nikon Camera GN40 ...I have Nikon 5100 and want cheap flash like this at the range of 4k to 5k...can you suggest if this is ok for me
thanks

sameer tuladhar said...

Is this flash compatible with nikon d5200? I am thinking buying this one 003 model but not sure if its compatible with d5200.

Ranjith said...

@Sameer,
Yes this flash should be compatible with any camera which has a dedicated flash head on top to attach a flash.

http://vishaltomarphotgraphy.wordpress.com/ said...

hey..thanks for the review...! can you please tell me if this flash works with wireless radio trigger ? and which is the cheapest option available for TTL and wireless radio ability flashes for canon 550D

thanks.

Ranjith said...

@VISHAL,
Yes, it should work with wireless trigger shoe. Practically it's all the same.
I saw some digitek TTL flashes available on ebay. Just make sure you check compatibility with seller before you buy.

Vaibhav Ubale said...

Hey thanx...its very helpful review...can you please tell how to use this flash as back-light..i hav 003 & Canon 600D

Vaibhav Ubale said...

Thanks for review..its very helpful..can you please tell me how to use this flash as back-lite..i hav DFL 003 & Canon 600D...while trying i put flash in s1 mode and fires built-in flash.. DFL 003 fires but before shutter..i cn see its firing thru viewfinder bt i dnt get y it didnt comes in piture...please help me

Ranjith said...

@Vishal, I think you have TTL turned on in the Camera settings for the built in Pop up flash.
Set the (built-in) Pop up flash to manual and set the Speedlight to S1 mode.
If you still want to Maintain TTL in Camera pop up flash, you have to put the speedlight in pre-flash cancel mode which is S2.

Ekshwanku said...

Hey, your review explains a lot but u missed to tell me the settings of the flash. I have the DFL 003 but can't understand, how powerful should I keep the flash. Can i get your email as i could ask u easily because u are one of the best explainer. Thanks

Ranjith said...

@Ekshwanku

I shall then write a post related to this sometime.
You can of course contact me through Quote(ignore)wallpapers(ignore this too)(at)(the mail Google provides)

Ekshwanku said...

Hello
I commented before about flash settings and u said to mail u. But i can't find your mail ID.If u don't want to put your mail just comment back so i could give u mine.

Ekshwanku said...

Hello
Could u give e your email please.

Ekshwanku said...

I commented before and u said to message u but sadly i can't find your email so could u please tell me.
Thanks

Ranjith said...

@Eshwanku,

I had given you my mail id in my previous comment. Anyways, here it is again.

Quotewallpapers (at) gmail.com

nilesh dhakle said...

This is simply a superb explanation...Will definitely be in touch with you through E-Mail..
I am right now planning to buy Digitek Flash in the range of 3 to 4K. Please suggest Model No.
My No. is 9870122331.

You can call me as I am in a hurry. My Nissin 622 Mk2 accidentally fell down from my bag and is under repair.....

Regards
Nilesh Dhakle

sid digwal said...

would you please tell me digitek Flash speedlight is good for canon 1200D or not ??

Ranjith said...

@Sid,
The flash is good for any camera as long as you have got matching heads to fit it right in.

udit patel said...

Hey this was really helpful considering the lack of information on the manual of the digitek dfl 12a m-057kv flash i just got. my flash has an additional multi function as youve mentioned above. could you help me with what advantages i can get from the strobe flash. any help would be appreciated.

Ranjith said...

@Udit,
Thanks for leaving a comment.
The strobe flash can be used for multiple exposures within a single shot.
Imagine an apple rolling in a dark room with just a strobe flash on. If you set your Dslr at a longer exposure, your photo will have the same apple at different places in one single photo.

Hope you get the idea.