Flash Woes

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pirata, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Pirata

    Pirata TPF Noob!

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    I have a Sony DSLR A200 and I bought a HVL-F-56AM flash. The flash arrived yesterday and it does not provide sufficient light to shoot pics. I have played round with the settings and th only way I can get it to shoot a decent pic in in manual mode with either a high ISO setting or a long exposure time.

    There is a RATIO setting that can be either off/on. When I use this setting it overexposes the shot unless I am shooting a longer distance or I am using the 17mm zoom. The major bummer to this setting is when I turn it off it automatically resets back to the TTL mode making me have to set th flash every time I turn it on.

    Now in the TTL mode I am using a 1/1 power level and the flash range can be either manually or automatically. Being not the best scientist and not seeing subtle changes I will go from one extreme to the other and see a difference in the lighting in the shot but neither of the settings is sufficient light for the pic.

    I originally tried this flash attached to the camera then via a remote cable. When the flash was attached to the camera the flash was insufficient. When I connected it remotely it was enough light however both the external flash and the built in flash were being used when I took a pic. Now this morning I am unable to have both flashes at the same time no matter what have tried.

    Does anyone have any advise to solve this dilema? Thanks.
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The guide numbers for the flash are:

    104' (32m) at 28mm
    144' (44m) at 50mm
    183' (56m) at 85mm

    It has more than sufficient power, you just have to know how to use it.

    You should really post some examples of how your pictures are turning out. There's really not much advice I can offer if I'm not seeing your results.
     
  3. Pirata

    Pirata TPF Noob!

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    Here's examples:

    With the external flash on the stock settings the flash came with in auto mode on my camera:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the subject with the stock built in flash:
    [​IMG]


    See the major problem here? It's almost like the flash is firing too earl or late in relation to the shutter.
     
  4. Pirata

    Pirata TPF Noob!

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    The distance for both shots was about 7 feet.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What's your shutter speed? Unless you're using a high speed sync, the max for your camera is probably 1/250. If you go much above that, it won't work. It'll be dark and you'll see banding depending on how far over the x sync it is.

    So is the flash off of the camera in the first pic? Are you using a pc sync cable and not a specific sony type cable? What's your shutter speed?
     
  6. Pirata

    Pirata TPF Noob!

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    The shutter speed for both pics was 1/60th.

    The first pic the F56 flash is attached to the top of the camera. The flash illuminated when I took the pic.

    The second shot is using the internal "pop-up" flash in te camera.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What mode was the flash in? Put it in TTL with auto focal length and try shooting at 1/250, ISO 100, aperture f/9
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yeah... But that's an all white wall. You're probably going to need manual mode for that shot. No? Test it on something different. Your sofa, a chair, your kitchen table, anything that isn't predominantly white or black (or really any solid color for that matter).
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If it set to fire to the white expsoure, the white would still be illuminated and the other objects would be underexposed. It looks like the flash didn't even fire in that one.
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  11. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I had a similar problem with my 30D (Canon). Close to a year I thought it was "user error". That is until I borrowed a friend's 40D.

    There was a problem with some "stuck bulb" in 30D which Canon Service quickly fixed.

    Try finding another Sony and using that camera to see if you get similar issue.
     
  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    The light one above:
    Image Orientation: Top, Left-Hand
    Horizontal Resolution: 72 dpi
    Vertical Resolution: 72 dpi
    Image Created: 2008:08:14 11:24:05
    Exposure Time: 1/60 sec
    F-Number: f/5.0
    Exposure Program: Normal Program
    ISO Speed Rating: 400
    Brightness: 3.6 EV
    Exposure Bias: 0 EV
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Light Source: Unknown
    Flash: Flash, Auto
    Focal Length: 30.00 mm
    Color Space Information: sRGB
    Image Width: 3872
    Image Height: 2592
    Rendering: Normal
    Exposure Mode: Auto
    White Balance: Auto
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Contrast: Normal
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpness: Normal

    The dark one above:
    Image Orientation: Top, Left-Hand
    Horizontal Resolution: 72 dpi
    Vertical Resolution: 72 dpi
    Image Created: 2008:08:14 11:20:59
    Exposure Time: 1/60 sec
    F-Number: f/5.6
    Exposure Program: Normal Program
    ISO Speed Rating: 400
    Brightness: 4.1 EV
    Exposure Bias: 0 EV
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Light Source: Unknown
    Flash: Flash, Auto
    Focal Length: 40.00 mm
    Color Space Information: sRGB
    Image Width: 3872
    Image Height: 2592
    Rendering: Normal
    Exposure Mode: Auto
    White Balance: Auto
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Contrast: Normal
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpness: Normal​
     

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