Introduction to flash photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sprocket13, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. sprocket13

    sprocket13 TPF Noob!

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    Just got into film photography. I've used simple digital cameras and I am familiar with ISO, aperture, exposure, focus, and white balance.

    I have picked up my dads old Minolta XD5 and a Minolta Auto 320x flash. I've been reading up on flash photography techniques however I'm not sure how to achieve proper exposure using the flash and camera settings. The dial on the flash is supposed to indicate the proper aperture, however I think this might be for direct flash. If I want to bounce the flash these settings will most likely be different. (If it matters I'm using a MD lens, capable of running in aperture priority)


    • Does anyone know how to configure/interpret the dial on the back of the flash
    • Is there a way to meter the exposure of a shot with the light meter built into the camera
    Picture of the flash dial (sorry for the blurred image, I took the picture quickly)
    http://www.andornor.com/gallery/index.php?album=camerasℑ=SD530449.JPG
     
  2. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    i had a simlilar issues with my minolta and flash and mine was even different than that so i cant really reccomend anything as far as that goes however what i did (and it cost me some money) was i used like 2 rolls of film just adjusting everything and seeing how it all worked keeping a log and eventually kinda figured it out gl to ya
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Light meter.
     
  4. sprocket13

    sprocket13 TPF Noob!

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    Looks like I'll be pricing a light meter. Trial and error will have to do for now. I was hoping to get a more precise and consistent way of metering exposure.

    For others that are interested I found the following link for flash photography. It describes a few flash techniques and how to adjust exposure to get the desired affect using DSLR cameras.
    planet neil - tangents » flash photography techniques
     
  5. digitaldetours

    digitaldetours TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link! I struggle with flash sometimes and that link seems to be very informative.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also use a flashes Guide Number.

    GN = Distance / Aperture
     
  7. sprocket13

    sprocket13 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Here is some useful related information I was able to dig up:
    Explanation of the Auto 320x features
    Strobist: Guide Number: Your Free Flash Meter
    Guide number - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Another useful tip for beginners, is what I could summarize as the rule of halves and doubles (for lack of a better name).

    • For shutter speeds the next setting is twice or half the exposure time, letting in twice or half the light
    • Same applies for aperture, the next stop will let twice or half the amount of light in.
    • Also applies for film speed or ISO (800 is twice as fast as 400)
    This all being said, a properly exposed shot taken on ISO800 F/4 1/125 sec will have the same exposure as the same shot taken on ISO800 F/2.8 1/250 sec. In other words when shooting, if you change your aperture by a stop you can compensate by changing your shutter speed by a stop. When using a direct flash the guide number will give you an accurate exposure. Typically the distance from the flash to the subject is known along with the flash power. Using this the proper f/stop can be derived. If you're bouncing the flash a good rule of thumb is to shoot two stops above the guide number as the intensity from a bounce flash is less than a direct flash.


    Let me know if I'm off the mark on this one. I think I've got a pretty good handle on it. I just wanted to post my findings for anyone else who might be able to use them.


    On a side note, I've found that when the flash is connected to the Minolta XD5, the camera automatically goes into x-sync mode. It seems like this might limit some of my flexibility. I was hoping to try 'dragging the shutter.'
     

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