Flash - What went wrong??!!!

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by ted_smith, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Help!

    I have recently upgraded my F65 Nikon body to an F80, and as you may know, there is a significant improvement in the flash capabilities.

    However, having used it for the first time over Christmas, I have been devastated to see how over exposed a lot of my pictures are. I had a certain style with the F65 and got used to it's flash etc and took some prety good shots, and the F80 is clearly much more powerful and probably expects me to set more settings manually, perhaps. But out of three films, almost every one where flash was used has come back similar to the pics below.

    Anyway, here are two shots. What I'd like to know is this :

    a) If I had the Nikon SB22 Speedlight as opposed to using the built in flash, would these have been significantly better or is the problem my understanding of flash generally or
    b) is the overexposure entirely down to my mis-understanding of the camera function, and if so, which function?

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I am sorry for the ignorance, it's just that I don't really know what info to look for for in respect of this. It might be worth noting that a lot of the shots were taken at about 1ft distance, but I assumed the flash reduced it's light using the distance meter?

    Any advice greatfully received.

    Ted
     
  2. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    I've read the manual again for my F80 and checked the flash instructions. The manual says :

    "The following TTL Auto Flash modes are available with built-in
    Speedlight depending on the type of lens used.

    a) D- or G-type Nikkor lens : 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash
    (with Distance Information and Monitor Pre-Flash)

    b) CPU Nikkor lens other than D/G - Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash
    type (except AF Nikkor for F3AF) (with Monitor Pre-Flash*2)

    c) Non-CPU Nikkor lens - Standard TTL

    3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash can be performed with a combination of the
    F80/F80D/F80S camera and D- or G-type Nikkor lens. In this flash mode, just
    after you press the shutter release button and before the shutter is activated, the
    built-in Speedlight will fire a series of imperceptible pre-flashes that are detected
    by the F80/F80D/F80S’s five-segment TTL Multi Sensor, then analysed for
    brightness and contrast. Furthermore, it integrates Distance Information from the
    lens with other exposure control information, automatically compensating the
    flash output level so that flash output and ambient light are balanced.

    Note that Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash with TTL Multi Sensor is executed
    with the exposure mode set to Auto-Multi Progam, Shutter-Priority Auto or
    Aperture-Priority Auto, and Standard TTL with the Manual."


    So, as far as I can ascertain, the camera would reduce the flash intensity if the subject was too close. In the shots above, and others like them, the subjects were often only about a foot away from the lens.

    But I had assumed the flash would be reduced so as not to wash out the subject.

    I realise (now) that there is a flash compensation feature to redcue the exposure my + or - EV. However, this appears to be a manual selection and does not ring-true with what the manual is telling me.

    Does that help anyone shed any light on why I have these ruined overexposed shots - which have been added to by about another dozen ruined shots that I took on New Years Eve :-(

    Thanks

    Ted
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I don't use flash much, so I don't know the specifics on that one, but it does look like you are rather close (ah, as you say, 1'). I would try using a longer focal length and backing up. I don't know how low power that flash can go and still flash. That's really close. It will also improve their look and focus. You might try using a flash cord and holding the flash out in your hand. A shoe flash isn't as close to the lens as a built-in, but it's not a lot farther either. It's still really direct light. Or you could try bouncing the light off a wall or ceiling, but again, you'd need to back up for that.
     
  4. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    \Thanks for the help. Note to self - in future use flash at a distance!

    I too don't like to use flash if I can help it, but when shooting at indoor events, especially at night, I seldom seem able to get fast enough shutter speeds for hand-held even using wide aperature and ISO400 film.

    But by the looks of it I was wrong to be so close to the subject which is fair enough now I know. I just assumed the camera and flash would reduce the power if I was close-up, but seemingly not.

    I like your gallery BTW. Some great B&W shots.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Thanks.

    The camera/flash should reduce power, but the flashes I'm familiar with have a minimum distance as well as a maximum. Hopefully it's in the manual.
     
  6. LifesMirror

    LifesMirror TPF Noob!

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    You could also try covering the flash with a piece of paper or tissue.
     
  7. ClarkKent

    ClarkKent TPF Noob!

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    Little close and you mihgt want to try closing the aperature a lot if you are going to shoot that close.
     

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