Flash photo - top is dark/black

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mystwalker, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Have been playing around with flash in "M" mode. Some photo come out over-exposed. I guess 1/1 power is too much. Some come out with bottom exposed properly and top un-exposed (totally black). Have not been able to duplicate this consistently and it's bugging me. What am I doing wrong?

    I have found that with flash in "M" mode and 1/1 power, I can have camera on "M" mode ... jack up the aperture (f/16+) and the shutter (1/1000 or faster) ... result being very nicely exposed shots. I got flash mostly for indoor shots of daughter running around so this is PERFECT.

    Still curious about where I goofed with my half dark/half exposed shots though.
     
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Your shutter speed is too high, the black you are seeing is the shutter closing, try bringing your flash power down and your shutter speed 250 or lower.
    That should solve the problem.
     
  3. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    You never mentioned what camera you have, but it sounds like you're exceeding the maximum flash sync speed of your camera. SpeedTrap's observation sounds correct. For most DSLRs the maximum sync speed is not going to be much faster than 1/200s, so you need to limit yourself to those speeds with a flash to avoid seeing what you've been seeing. The only DSLRs I know of that don't have a limit like this are older Nikons and the current D40. Their firmware limits them to 1/500s with the flash, but they'll actually go beyond even 1/1000s in "hack" modes if you want/need more.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yup, shutter too fast.
     
  5. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for info. I did have shutter way up there. Worse it got, faster I made it, thought shutter wasn't fast enough to "catch light" - DOH, was opposite :)

    850EXII has a feature that allows me to exceed 1/250.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ... with a big drop in effectiveness. Yes, that is a well known feature with many manufacturers.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's not the firmware, it's the shutter type. They can actually shoot with a flash at their max shutter speed. The Strobist blog has a post about it and a shot at 1/4000 with the D70, iirc.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is that the article where they are testing the Radio Poppers?
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. I forget the shutter names, but the type that's in the d40 and d70 and older Nikons and the Canon 1D classic are not full mechanical. They use an electronic shutter once it hits a certain speed. Sure they're rated at 1/500 x sync speed, but in reality, you can sync upwards of 1/4000 and 1/8000 with what ever device you're syncing with becoming the limiting factor.

    This is not high speed sync mode, it's using a regular flash in manual mode with those cameras.

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/01/control-your-world-with-ultra-high-sync.html
     

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