Throwdown Time: Off camera - Manual vs. TTL

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Village Idiot, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let's see opinions and what not.

    TTL cons - inconsistent exposures

    Manual cons - you almost have to know what you're doing

    I'm in the manual camp here. A lot of people think that TTL is the greatest thing since ketchup flavored chips, but I like my ruffles plain.

    When I'm shooting what I'm shooting, I want steady and reliable shots no matter what I focus on or what I'm metering. If there's a scene that's composed of white and black, I want to set my lights and fire away without having to worry that my colors will change from shot to shot.

    I'm also for the seemingly cheaper price of manual. I've paid only $90 for each of my Vivitar 285HV's, only $750 for four PW PII's and $400 for my 580EX II for a total of $1332 as opposed to $1150 for three 430EX's and a 580EX II.

    ....uh...oops....should have bought skyports? :mrgreen:

    More opinions please...
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For the most part...I agree. Manual is a great way to go. One of the biggest reasons is that radio triggering is more reliable than IR.

    I haven't used E-TTL metering off camera, so I don't know how inconsistent it is. I do know that it does have it's flaws...but E-TTL II is better than E-TTL I and I don't find that it's hard to work with (on camera at least).

    One big benefit to the E-TTL system is that you can use HSS (high speed sync). Some people may never need this...but some people do. Just the other day, I was shooting portrait type shots...into the sun. I was using shutter speeds of 1/8000 and 1/4000 to knock down the sun's exposure and underexpose the sky for nice deep color and cloud rendition. You can't do that with radio triggers.
    If course, HSS really reduces the flash range. I could have limited the shutter to 1/250 and used an aperture of F22...which still limits the flash range, but I could do this with Pocket Wizards if I wanted.
    On a side note, I seem to remember a test where different radio triggers were tested at faster shutter speeds. The Pocket Wizards were good at 1/250 but most others were starting to show shutter creep at that speed.

    As we've discussed before, Radio Poppers apear to give you the best of both radio signals and E-TTL but they are an added cost to everything you need for the E-TTL kit.
     
  3. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm a huge (so what if I tip the scales at ***) proponent of photographic education. Learning the nuts and bolts and anytime someone is just starting out I would always recommend as manual and as simple as possible. Once a photographer learns how to photograph (record light) then they can make an informed decision as to their own particular poison.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Metz in auto, Nikon in manual- no worries! ;)
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's the convenience factor too. On camera I use my flashes in TTL exclusively. But if you have time to setup multiple flashes on stands then as far as I am concerned you have time to setup the power output on each device and do test shots.
     

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