Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,918
    My Gallery
    (22)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2603 times

    A Nikon user using a Canon... a cry for help!

    Ok. So a woman I work with is NOT a camera buff, but takes pictures of people at work for passports. She is using a Canon 20D, if you can believe that. Kinda overkill. She also has a Canon Rebel XTi which she brings in and uses on occasion. (even that is overkill for what she's doing, but she's kind of enthusiastic about photography even though she's pretty clueless at it, so whatever... let the woman have her fun.)

    Anyway, she was graussing over shadowy eyes and stuff without the flash, and graussing over the zombie look people get when she uses the onboard flash. She wanted nicer pictures. Fair enough. I suggested she look into an external flash that she can bounce off the ceiling. She says "Oh! I have one of those at home! I'll bring it in and we can try again!" Cool.

    So today she brings in her flash... a 430EX I believe it was. I had also brought in my Nikon D300 and my SB-600. We tried a quick pic using that setup and I showed it to her. Perfect. No shadowy eyes, nice even light, etc. She was all excited. So we pop her 430 onto her flash, she hands me a tupperware diffuser that she also bought (I was pleasantly surprised to see this), we pointed the flash at the ceiling, and took the pic.

    BLECH. Horrible. The shot was totally underexposed and looked awful.

    I futzed and futzed with the thing. I took the diffuser off... no good. I tried a different bounce angle... no good. The only thing I could do to make it work was to set the camera in manual mode and intentionally meter to overexpose, or to point the flash (with diffuser) directly at the person (which actually had far better results than I expected, but I still wouldn't consider this ideal).

    I was also looking for ways I could up the power on the flash, but really couldn't find anything on it... and in a quick search I didn't see any manuals on Canon's website, which was irksome.

    BTW, we had the same results on both the 20D and the XTi.

    So am I doing something seriously stupid here?

    BTW... I LOVE that the 430 appears to have a mechanical switch to go into slave mode. That's REALLY nice.

    (which I don't want to make her do because she's really new to this stuff and not really someone who "gets it" if you know what I mean)
    The Return of the TPF Photo Challenge!

    Me on Google+ (I fixed this... it was broken before. Thanks Jaemie!)

    Yeah, I finally started doing the twitter thing... @russochr.

    Manaheim's Guide to Night Photography

    "Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise..."





  2. #2
    I spend too much of my life on TPF!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Waxhaw, NC
    Posts
    676
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Liked
    0 times
    Check that the flash is in ETTL mode. Otherwise I would check to make sure the camera does not have any exposure compensation set. I have the XTi and the 430ex and they work great together, especially when bouncing off the ceiling or other subjects.

    I also have a lightsphere. When you use it turn it straight up, don't try to point it straight on or at an angle. It's not designed to be used that way.
    Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV
    Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, Canon 17-40mm f/4L
    Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, Canon 24-105 f/4L IS

    Canon 50mm F1.8
    , Canon 500mm f/4 L IS
    Canon 580EXII Flash, Canon MR-14 EX Ring Flash
    Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod & RRS BH-55 Ballhead


  3. #3
    has a hat around here somewhere Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    UK - England
    Posts
    19,805
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2503 times
    check both the cameras flash exposure compensation and the flash units own internal one - if it happened with both it might be set in the flash itself.
    After that do check that its in ETTL mode. Try also using the preflash to get the flash to auto meter for itself that might help

  4. #4
    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,918
    My Gallery
    (22)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2603 times
    It definitely was in ETTL mode. I'll check the exposure comp.

    Doesn't the flash meter on its own when it takes the shot?
    The Return of the TPF Photo Challenge!

    Me on Google+ (I fixed this... it was broken before. Thanks Jaemie!)

    Yeah, I finally started doing the twitter thing... @russochr.

    Manaheim's Guide to Night Photography

    "Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise..."



  5. #5
    has a hat around here somewhere Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    UK - England
    Posts
    19,805
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2503 times
    *is most certainly not an expert but*

    there is a preflash command that lets the camera/flash meter for the flash - there is a noticable difference with the result when using the preflash to meter the shot.
    It might help

  6. #6
    TPF Junkie!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Posts
    6,901
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Liked
    335 times
    Quote Originally Posted by manaheim View Post
    It definitely was in ETTL mode. I'll check the exposure comp.

    Doesn't the flash meter on its own when it takes the shot?
    Searching yahoo for "Canon 430ex manual pdf" brings this up as the first entry:
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/O...ash-Manual.pdf

    Yes it does. If you're bouncing it though, it's still metering as if it's firing forward and so you have to compensate for that.
    My name is Will. You may call me Will.
    -Will

    Slough Roast Blog
    Capitol Sound Blog

  7. #7
    TPF Junkie!
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Posts
    9,463
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    336 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    Yes it does. If you're bouncing it though, it's still metering as if it's firing forward and so you have to compensate for that.
    I was under the impression that it would still be metering properly since the preflash is also being bounced....



    If my memory serves me correctly, you'll need to put the flash into High sync mode if you are shooting in manual and shutter speed is faster than sync. Shooting with a high shutter speed with the flash in normal mode can result in the same underexposed photo as the OP described.

    Its been a while since I shot with my canon but try the following:
    1) Camera in Av. .. set aperture to something reasonable... letsay f/5.6
    2) Attach and power up the flash. Set the flash to Ettl mode.
    3) Set the head of the flash to bounce.
    4) Take a photo.
    note: in Ettl+Av mode, the camera should stay under sync speed automatically. If you need faster sync, set the flash to high-sync BUT be aware that efficiency and power are both reduced. EX line+Canon DSLR setup works pretty well and straight forward.
    Last edited by usayit; 10-10-2008 at 08:27 AM.
    <exits stage left>

  8. #8
    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,918
    My Gallery
    (22)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2603 times
    Man what a pain in the butt... I swear I've never had to go through this much work with my Nikon flash in either automatic or manual modes, and the results have always been amazingly good.

    Hate to say it, but Nikon:1, Canon:0
    The Return of the TPF Photo Challenge!

    Me on Google+ (I fixed this... it was broken before. Thanks Jaemie!)

    Yeah, I finally started doing the twitter thing... @russochr.

    Manaheim's Guide to Night Photography

    "Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise..."



  9. #9
    I spend too much of my life on TPF!
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Waxhaw, NC
    Posts
    676
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    Yes it does. If you're bouncing it though, it's still metering as if it's firing forward and so you have to compensate for that.
    That's not correct. It will meter correctly even when bouncing.

    I don't know what what is causing your problem, but other than getting out of the range of the flash, I haven't had any problems getting good exposures. Are you using spot metering? I guess the Nikon system works the same, but with the Canon, you set the exposure for the background and the flash will provide the appropriate amount of power to properly expose the subject.

    As Usayit said, if you are shooting faster than the sync speed, the camera will reset its self to the max sync speed no matter what you set it at in manual mode. If you need a faster shutter speed, you need to set the flash to high-sync mode.
    Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark IV
    Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, Canon 17-40mm f/4L
    Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, Canon 24-105 f/4L IS

    Canon 50mm F1.8
    , Canon 500mm f/4 L IS
    Canon 580EXII Flash, Canon MR-14 EX Ring Flash
    Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod & RRS BH-55 Ballhead


  10. #10
    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,918
    My Gallery
    (22)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2603 times
    Well, I just had the thing in full auto... and used both spot and full-frame metering. I also put it in manual modes with better results, but as I say, I can't have her do that. Too much work for her atm.

    I definitely wasn't out of the range of the flash since I was maybe 6-7' away.
    The Return of the TPF Photo Challenge!

    Me on Google+ (I fixed this... it was broken before. Thanks Jaemie!)

    Yeah, I finally started doing the twitter thing... @russochr.

    Manaheim's Guide to Night Photography

    "Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise..."



  11. #11
    Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still a stud!
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    7,021
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Liked
    13 times
    The meter has no clue where the flash is pointed or what's on it. In ETTL a low-power pre-flash is fired and metered at the lens' max aperture, and then a full power flash is calculated and fired at the set aperture.

    Assuming the camera and flash are not malfunctioning something is causing the meter to be fooled (actually since the meter is an inanimate object, the camera operator is being fooled, but we'll stick to blaming the gear ). Is the background bright or reflective? That would cause the flash to underexpose. I've run into a few situations where Canon ETTL (I own several 20Ds and 430exs) is fooled, but 99% of the time it's as point-n-shoot as anyone else's.
    "There's no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I'm always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don't give a damn how it got made." -Minor White

    http://www.henrypeach.com
    http://www.mattneedham.com

  12. #12
    TPF Junkie!
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Posts
    9,463
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    336 times
    Quote Originally Posted by manaheim View Post
    Man what a pain in the butt... I swear I've never had to go through this much work with my Nikon flash in either automatic or manual modes, and the results have always been amazingly good.

    Hate to say it, but Nikon:1, Canon:0
    How is it different for Nikon? As far as I know, they operation is the very similar. Which of the 4 steps I posted are not required by Nikon flash systems?

    You could just pop the flash on and set the camera to full auto... is that simple enough?
    <exits stage left>

  13. #13
    Jedi Bunnywabbit Site Moderator
    TPF Supporter

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,918
    My Gallery
    (22)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    2603 times
    Quote Originally Posted by usayit View Post
    How is it different for Nikon? As far as I know, they operation is the very similar. Which of the 4 steps I posted are not required by Nikon flash systems?

    You could just pop the flash on and set the camera to full auto... is that simple enough?
    Maybe I misread, but it looked like I had to go through a number of extra steps just to get the Canon to expose properly even in full auto/ttl. Nikon is pretty much pop the flash on and take the pic. If you happen to want to do something snazzy, you can, but the auto pics have always come out flawlessly for me with the SB-600.
    The Return of the TPF Photo Challenge!

    Me on Google+ (I fixed this... it was broken before. Thanks Jaemie!)

    Yeah, I finally started doing the twitter thing... @russochr.

    Manaheim's Guide to Night Photography

    "Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise..."



  14. #14
    TPF Junkie!
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Posts
    9,463
    My Gallery
    (0)
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Liked
    336 times
    Quote Originally Posted by manaheim View Post
    Maybe I misread, but it looked like I had to go through a number of extra steps just to get the Canon to expose properly even in full auto/ttl. Nikon is pretty much pop the flash on and take the pic. If you happen to want to do something snazzy, you can, but the auto pics have always come out flawlessly for me with the SB-600.
    I think you misread... My steps were just being explicit to help avoid confusion. Nikon is pretty much the same... Pop the flash set to manual or full auto and take the photo. From your post it just sounds like you are presented with a competing product which is unfamiliar to you... which you immediately wrote off as inferior and searched for a workaround rather than a solution. I was trying to redirect...

    Just like Nikon.. canon flashes operate in normal and high-sync modes. My guess is that you were shooting at a faster than sync shutter speed and did not have the flash in high-sync. Thus resulting in no to little of the flash light making it to the film plane.
    <exits stage left>

 

 

Ads

Posting Permissions

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

Similar Threads

  1. Canon User have a 1 up on Nikon now
    By Sachphotography in forum Photography Equipment & Products
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12-11-2010, 11:14 PM
  2. hello new nikon user old olympus user
    By infamousjwills in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-11-2010, 09:59 PM
  3. c&c canon user's first field day with a nikon
    By vd853 in forum Photography Beginners' Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-12-2010, 05:52 PM
  4. Nikon user needing a little Canon lens help
    By JerryPH in forum Photography Equipment & Products
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-04-2007, 11:07 PM
  5. any NIKON FA user?
    By logel in forum Beyond the Basics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-25-2004, 10:25 AM