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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Exposure settings when using flash...Hi all, I have been using auto mode when using flash simply because I was scared of experimenting, but this ...
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Old 13-12-2008, 18:36   #1 (permalink)
JAG
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Exposure settings when using flash

Hi all,

I have been using auto mode when using flash simply because I was scared of experimenting, but this afternoon I've had a play with using my D80 and SB600 in wireless mode and enjoyed it. I have found though that the 1/60th sec shutter speed is not fast enough.

Newbie flash question I'm afraid

I believe the fastest sync speed for the D80 is 1/200th sec, so, armed with this info set the camera to manual and dialled in something like f/5 @ 1/200th. Am I right in thinking that when metering through the camera the readings are as if the flash will NOT be triggered, (in this case I would have been massively underexposed), so I ignore the camera reading and go with my own? If so, what happens to the shutter speed if I select aperture priority.

The test shots looked ok, I just wondered if I'm missing something or whether this is actually correct?

Many thanks,

Ian
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Old 13-12-2008, 19:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

The flash exposure is automatic even if the camera is set to Manual - unless you set the flashgun itself to Manual.

I'm not sure how Nikons work, but Canons fire a pre-flash which allows flash exposure to be determined. You can set the camera to Manual with any shutter speed up to the flash sync speed (1/200 in your case), and any aperture. The smaller the aperture, the more flash power will be needed and the less contribution there will be from ambient light. The shutter speed does not effect the required flash power (the flash duration is usually thousandths of a second) but again it will effect the contribution from ambient light.

Usually, if you set the camera to Aperture Priority, the exposure will be as if the flash was not there, and the flash will fire as a 'fill in' at reduced power. Sometimes you can change how this works in the custom function settings, but basically you wouldn't normally use Aperture Priority in dim light or you'd get long exposure times and blurring (unless on a tripod). So Manual is usually the way to go.
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Old 13-12-2008, 19:48   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

Hey, thanks very much for that. Certainly made things a little clearer
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Old 13-12-2008, 20:08   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

Made sense Silky
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Old 13-12-2008, 20:26   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

It did? Must try harder....
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Old 13-12-2008, 20:29   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

I had the same question your post helped.

I guess I'll have to really read my
Nikon Creative Lighting System book instead of skipping thru some sections



This is where we wish Pixalo had http://www.pixalo.com/community/idea...tml#post243286

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Old 13-12-2008, 23:48   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

The anomaly is that Manual Exposure on the camera doesn't mean Manual when you switch on the flash, because the two are controlled separately. So you can set the camera (manually) to whatever you like, and the flash exposure will be OK if the flash has enough power.

But that's the rub... The flash may have a Guide Number of 58 metres or whatever, but that's the range at ISO 100 and f/1.0, and there aren't too many lenses that open up that much

The actual range = Guide Number / Aperture f-number, so if you're shooting at f/8 your flash with a GN of 58 has a range of just over 7 metres at full power and ISO 100. And that assumes direct flash - if you bounce the flash the range could be less than half that, depending on how you bounce it.

That's where the latest cameras with stupendous high-ISO performance really score. You can still use fill-in flash to reduce contrast and lift shadows, but you're not relying on the flash as the main light source.
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Old 14-12-2008, 13:00   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Exposure settings when using flash

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
The anomaly is that Manual Exposure on the camera doesn't mean Manual when you switch on the flash, because the two are controlled separately. So you can set the camera (manually) to whatever you like, and the flash exposure will be OK if the flash has enough power.

But that's the rub... The flash may have a Guide Number of 58 metres or whatever, but that's the range at ISO 100 and f/1.0, and there aren't too many lenses that open up that much

The actual range = Guide Number / Aperture f-number, so if you're shooting at f/8 your flash with a GN of 58 has a range of just over 7 metres at full power and ISO 100. And that assumes direct flash - if you bounce the flash the range could be less than half that, depending on how you bounce it.

That's where the latest cameras with stupendous high-ISO performance really score. You can still use fill-in flash to reduce contrast and lift shadows, but you're not relying on the flash as the main light source.
Thanks shipmate. Guide Numbers, I knew there was something else to consider. Off to read my flash manual. Perhaps we should forget the request I made for a lighting section
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