Understanding Flash Distance

How far does my flash reach? Unfortunately, there is no unequivocal answer.
The light of the flash is able to cover a certain maximum distance. In short, this depends on:

  1. the flash type
  2. the camera setting

1. The flash type

The more powerful your flash unit is, the longer the maximum flash distance will be.

how far does my flash reach?

Image 1: Powerful flashguns such as Canon 600EX, Nikon SB5000, Sony HVL 60 and similar flashguns can reach subjects at distances up to 65 feet/20 meters.
Image 2:Less powerful flashguns such as Canon 470EX, Nikon SB 700, Sony HVL 43 and similar flashguns can reach subjects at distances up to 50 feet/15 meters.
Image 3:Pop-up flash on cameras will not cover very long distances.


2. The camera setting

Not only the power of a flashgun, also the camera setting determines the maximum flash distance.

When your flash is attached to the hotshoe of the camera, it recognises the aperture, ISO, focal point and shutter speed (at High Speed flash sync).

Below is a summary of camera settings and yellow arrows. The longer the arrow, the longer the flash distance.

To learn more about the flash distance, consult the mentioned paragraphs as covered in Flashography – The Basics of Flash Photography.


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