Flash Settings.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by PlasticSpanner, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone help me in understanding the settings on my simple flash gun?

    The head is extendable from "Wide 28" to "Tele 85" but I don't know what the numbers mean!

    There is a sliding switch for film ISO. The scale above the switch reads from 25-800 that I presume I set to whatever film I'm using. The scale on the switch shows what I think is the aperture settings. Below this there is a green dot and a red dot which I presume depends on what power setting I set on the front of the unit and whichever aperture the coloured dot lines up with is the aperture I use on the lens?

    Below that is a distance slider with 4 settings at the end (Tele, Std, Wide1, Wide 2) which I set to how I have the lens head and there is also a red and a green bar which I presume will show the range of the flash distance.

    However whenever I set all this to what I think should work & test it with the "Auto Check" the indicator doesn't light suggesting the scene isn't illuminated enough.:confused:

    Any suggestions please?
     
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  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    The numbers refer to the width/length of your lens i.e. 28mm-85mm.
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    You are correct in your assumptions - and Rob is right in what he says.
    For the test to work you need to have something within range for the flash to bounce off. If the flash is underpowered then it will only happen close up.
    It's a bit like a car speedo. Just because it goes up to 150 doesn't mean that the car can. Quite often they make several models with different power outputs but in the same case.
    You should have a flash guide number on it somewhere. This will give you the power output.
    Guide Number divided by Flash-to-Subject Distance in feet will give you the f-number.
    Then you can work out what the range is.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Use a tripod instead :mrgreen:

    Hertz has of course supplied the necessary information - I was "busy" in off-topic.

    Flash power can be a nightmare if your gun and your camera don't match or understand each other. Using my Nikon SpeedLights with my Contaxes is a great example. They have a slider for aperture/range and a set of absolutely incomprehensible modes for M which appear to be some kind of off-set. All I know is that A-TTL doesn't work when the brands are mixed, so I understand your plight entirely.

    And unlike the digital kids, it costs us money and time to find out when we've got it wrong!

    Rob
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    So was/am I.
    I use two computers and operate one with each hand.
    How do you think I spammed my way up to my current post count in a year? :lol:
     
  6. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    I would except I would also have to get people to keep very still at the same time! :lol:

    Unfortunately the gun doesn't have a guide number on it (Starblitz 2000 BTZ) and I'm assuming the green setting is for closer subjects (range 3-15 feet) but brighter/more powerful (aperture f8 ) and the red is for longer distances (5-30 feet) but duller/less power (aperture f4):confused: Maybe this is the bit I'm getting wrong?
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I've had a good hunt around and can find your flash but no guide number info. It should be in the specs in the manual if you still have it. Otherwise you should buy one. Google the flash and you will get several sites selling copies of the manual for around $10. I'm afraid it's the only way you'll find it.
    The power output is the same for both. It is controlled by a thyristor circuit that quenches the flash so it's duration period changes to control light levels. A larger aperture means you illuminate objects further away because the camera is letting in more light.
     

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