Metering for flash?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by blinded, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. blinded

    blinded TPF Noob!

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    Heya,

    I shoot with a Minolta Maxxum 7000, and a Minolta 1800AF flash. I have just recently started experimenting with the flash, and I was wondering why my camera sets the exposure for 1/60 f2.8 everytime I attach the flash, no matter what lighting conditions exist? This is on both shutter priority and aperature priority mode. The flash sync on this camera is 1/100.

    I was thinking maybe this is just a safe exposure for all flash photography or something and that my camera is not able to meter for flash photography? I've been putting it on manual and using 1/60 and f2.8 as a reference and shooting shots at 1/30 and f3.5 or 1/100 and f1.7 and so on just to get some different effects and it seems that all my shots are exposed correctly.

    Anyways I hope someone understands what I am asking.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know anything specifically about your flash or Minolta products, but here's what I think is going on.

    Since it's a dedicated flash, it is probably setting the camera body at this standard, and then the flash output power varies depending on the lighting.

    When using flash adjusting shutter speed mostly affects the parts of the image that aren't flashed, such as the far background. Reducing shutter speed increases exposure of that area, although it also allows more camera shake. What lens do you have on your camera? Your camera may be choosing 1/60th based on the focal length of the lens (to help with camera shake). I'm guessing you are using a 50mm lens?

    As long as your flash is set on TTL (through the lens), the flash power is variable, and will adjust itself according to your settings for the proper exposure (within it's limitations). To have more control, set your flash to manual (this will fire full power all the time), then as you increase or decrease aperture you should see a difference.

    Also, I'm sure there is lot's of very good info on how the flash operates in the instructions. I read and reread all instruction manuals periodically. It's amazing how I'll forget about features or special tips and tricks.
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    Man, with all those cameras you've got this must be a constant chore.
     
  4. blinded

    blinded TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info, I'll experiment with some stuff!
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Well, before they automated and electronified everything, cameras all pretty much worked the same. Most of my cameras don't have enough "features" to need more than a single page of instructions. You just need to understand how to load the film, use the shutter, aperture, and focusing, and you've got it. It's refreshingly simple.

    Periodically I do refresh myself on the instructions of my more modern cameras and flash units though. The more automated a device is, the more I need to know how it operates so that I can out think it, and trick it into doing what I want rather than what Nikon/Canon/Pentax thinks is right.
     

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