Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Fill flash in manual mode.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Fill flash in manual mode.

    Hi All,

    I wonder if you can help?

    Having read the Nikon D7000 manual I am none the wiser so thought I would ask some experts.

    If I am shooting manual mode for example with a shutter speed of say 1/800th second, and I flip the fill flash up, the camera changes shutter speed to 1/320th which is the flash sync speed in the camera menu (it says in the camera menu 1/320 auto FP and not sure what auto FP is?)

    The menu also says flash shutter speed 1/60th.

    Basically I am wondering what I should be doing with fill flash in manual mode and what I should be looking for? The meter then wont always centre with the fill flash up.

    I read in a book that you should adjust the fill flash compensation to -0.3 for more natural results which I have done but I am, to be totally honest.... lost.

    Thanks in advance and if there is too much info to reply to here, can someone direct me to further reading material (I have from snapshots to greatshots but can't find what I need there on shooting manual with fill).

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Hi Eon,

    In the Canon world ...

    Sync speed for a built in flash is typically around 1/250th - so that's what the shutter speed maxes out at if the on-camera flash is engaged. In Av mode - with low light levels - the shutter speed can drop to a lavel where you get camera shake - so there's the option to limit the lower level to 1/60th and the flash picks up the difference.

    In terms of metering - the metering you see doesn't take flash into account (only when you take the shot) - which is why you may not be able to balance the meter manally if in Tv mode (Canon) or with the 1/60th minimum engaged.

    With a camera-mounted external flash you should be able to go higher than X-Sunc if FP mode is engaged.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 25th May 2011 at 09:08 PM.

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Colin,

    Many Thanks, yes it does help, I need to put the info into practice.


    Jiro,

    Awesome link, appreciate it. Never seen that site before but I am off to read it. Loads of great information.

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,417
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    If I am shooting manual mode for example with a shutter speed of say 1/800th second, and I flip the fill flash up, the camera changes shutter speed to 1/320th which is the flash sync speed in the camera menu (it says in the camera menu 1/320 auto FP and not sure what auto FP is?)
    FP is Nikon-speak for high-speed sync. What's going on here is that your camera body has a maximum sync shutter speed. Focal plane shutters on dSLRS use two curtains to control the shutter speed. The gap between the first and second shutter curtains is what determines your shutter speed. As the shutter speed gets faster, that gap gets smaller and smaller. Your max. sync speed is the shutter speed at which that gap is still just big enough to leave your whole sensor uncovered.

    When you go faster than that, the gap will only cover a part of your sensor at any given time. And a flash burst is typically much much faster than any shutter speed you can use, so the light from the flash will only hit the part that's uncovered by the gap, and the rest of the frame will have dark bars at the top and/or bottom, unless you use high-speed sync.

    High-speed sync is where the flash body and the flash can talk to each other, and get timed pulses of light from the flash that follow the gap as it travels across the shutter, so that the whole sensor gets the same amount of flash illumination. That's what FP is doing for you. And Auto FP (I'm guessing) is the camera automatically going into FP mode when you try and use a higher shutter speed.

    The big down side of using FP mode is that the amount of light the flash can throw out is drastically reduced because of the need to fire multiple pulses.

    ... Basically I am wondering what I should be doing with fill flash in manual mode and what I should be looking for? The meter then wont always centre with the fill flash up.
    It probably shouldn't. The meter can only tell you what's there in the ambient light. It can't measure a flash burst that doesn't exist in the scene yet. That's what i-TTL is for.

    I read in a book that you should adjust the fill flash compensation to -0.3 for more natural results which I have done but I am, to be totally honest.... lost.
    Try this website, or its book version. That should help you out.

    Essentially, the main thinking you have to adjust is how you think about exposure. Right now you think that exposure is about iso, shutter speed, and aperture.

    But with flash photography, you have two different exposures that you're combining into the same image. The first is the usual iso/shutter speed/aperture one, or "ambient" light--all the light that's in the scene aside from the flash. And then the flash illumination: everything that gets hit with the light from the flash. Adding those two together is what gets you your image, and you can control the two more or less independently of each other. So there is no one single good exposure setting possibility--there's a bunch of different combinations that could all be termed as "properly" exposed. It all depends on how you want to balance your flash against the ambient.

    "Fill" flash means that the majority of the light is going to come from the ambient, and you're just adding a little flash to lift the shadows or decrease the dynamic range. The other end of the balance would be to eliminate the ambient and only look at what the flash is lighting up: this is how you get black backgrounds with flash--but underexposing the ambient, but then adding a lot of flash.

    It's up to you what you want.

    But the reason the advice is underexpose by -0.3EV is because this will be near-ambient, and then has some wiggle room for the light you're adding from the flash. This is the "fill" balance.

    One common thing that we do with flash photography is to underexpose the ambient and then bring the subject to the level we like with the flash. This is how you can get blue-blue skies, or backlit rim lighting with the sun. Your meter will tell you where the ambient is. Where the flash is and how you control it and its effect on the image is what you need to learn.
    Last edited by inkista; 25th May 2011 at 11:43 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    One common thing that we do with flash photography is to underexpose the ambient and then bring the subject to the level we like with the flash. This is how you can get blue-blue skies, or backlit rim lighting with the sun.
    Shhhh - that was supposed to be a secret!

  7. #7
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,417
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Shhhh - that was supposed to be a secret!
    Wait, that's the secret I'm not supposed to give away? I thought it was back-button autofocus!!!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    12,008

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    If this is any help, Eon.

    For my insect photos (macro lens plus flash) I normally set the manual camera adjustments to suit the scene, but with shutter speed at 1/250 or slower then adjust the flash compensation to suit.

    An average setting would be 1/200; F14; ISO 200 then flash compensation to suit the scene; usually -2/3 to -1 but with a white subject I sometimes need to go as far as -2. It is a bit of trial and error initially, but I find that my guess settings are usually fairly close.

    But that is with a Speedlite flash set to the ETTL setting, although if I don't have the external unit I sometimes use the pop up flash instead.

    And I tend to get better results from flash on more normal scenes by using roughly similar settings.

    For me, using flash on the Tv or Av controls usually results in a disappointing photo; and even worse for the auto settings.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Fill flash in manual mode.

    Thanks loads Guys!!

    A massive help. A lot of thought provoking info in here and the links are great as I have never seen them before.

    Interesting about back button focus, I just started using that .... sssshhhhhh... sorry /

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •