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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #1
Thomas Lunt
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Default HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Guys and Gals. I am thoroughly disgusted. I am not an expert by any stretch in fact I have relied on auto settings (both flash and camera) for most of my weddings but I cannot get my system to stop underexposing my shots particularly reception shots. I am also not a newbie, I have shot wedding for 17 years. I have had a constant problem with by flash exposure since switching to digital 5 years ago. It happened with my 20D, 1d MKII, and now the 1DS MKIII. I have gone through 420, 580ex, and now 580EXII. I shoot the 1dsMKIII in P and set the 580II on ETTL with the Lightsphere clear and a newton bracket. these shots were FEC +2/3 using the Quantum Turbo battery. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!?!?!? This is ridiculous. These shots are terrible.



ISO 1000 F2.8 42mm. I was only 10 feet away.



iso 1000 f 4.5 42mm 10 feet away.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Just so we have all the facts, can you post the EXIF data.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #3
Thomas Lunt
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

both were at 1/125th of a second and split metering
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

I'm a total newb, but am I right to say that your exposure could have been a couple stops slower? Also, where are you bouncing your flash? Lastly, maybe ditch the sphere and just bounce the flash off the walls and ceiling, cause to me it looks like the room you're in is bright enough in color to reflect plenty of light and soften your image a whole lot better.

Oh yeah, don't forget that if you're bouncing flash straight up, use the built in catch card on the 580EX II. It's very useful for the slight bit of fill.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Wait wait wait. You've been shooting weddings for 17 years and you're using auto?

Well...try ditching the lightsphere (gary fong is a joke), bounce, and set your ETTL-II metering to average instead of evaluative. The last one'll make a big difference, but it'll help to try and understand why.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #6
Curtis N
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

When ever there is significant white in the shot, you'll likely need more than +2/3 FEC.

You may have better luck by switching to Average E-TTL metering (custom function on the camera). The default setting (Evaluative E-TTL) will almost always make white stuff grey.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis N View Post
When ever there is significant white in the shot, you'll likely need more than +2/3 FEC.

You may have better luck by switching to Average E-TTL metering (custom function on the camera). The default setting (Evaluative E-TTL) will almost always make white stuff grey.
I agree that +2/3 FEC is not nearly enough when shooting a bride in her satin white gown. Although using Average metering with the +2/3 FEC would have resulted in better exposures only because the background is so far away, if the "correct" FEC had been set for the subject, I think the white gown would have been over-exposed. The correct FEC with Evaluative would probably have resulted in a more properly exposed picture.

BTW, Average metering would make white stuff gray, too. The only difference between Average and Evaluative flash metering is how much of the frame is used for the metering.
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Old 11th of March 2008 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis N View Post
When ever there is significant white in the shot, you'll likely need more than +2/3 FEC.

You may have better luck by switching to Average E-TTL metering (custom function on the camera). The default setting (Evaluative E-TTL) will almost always make white stuff grey.
Can the E-TTL metering be changed from Evaluative to Average on a Rebel XT? If so, how? I have read through the 580EXII manual, but I don't remember instructions on how to do this.

Thanks!
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Old 11th of March 2008 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

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Can the E-TTL metering be changed from Evaluative to Average on a Rebel XT? If so, how? I have read through the 580EXII manual, but I don't remember instructions on how to do this.
Read the RebelXT instruction manual. It's one of the custom functions.
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Old 11th of March 2008 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis N View Post
Read the RebelXT instruction manual. It's one of the custom functions.
Thanks. I'm not sure why I was thinking I'd find it in the flash manual.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Well, I mentioned shutter speed in terms of the ambient light int he bg, but I overlooked the ISO aspect of that equation to compensation for the dark background. Just playing devil's advocate and keeping the information in this thread relevent, wouldn't it be feasible to say that dropping exposure 1/40 is reasonable (42mm FL) to minimize relying on ISO and noise?

Quote:
When ever there is significant white in the shot, you'll likely need more than +2/3 FEC.

You may have better luck by switching to Average E-TTL metering (custom function on the camera). The default setting (Evaluative E-TTL) will almost always make white stuff grey.
The black tux doesn't balance it out enough?
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #12
Thomas Lunt
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Quote:
Wait wait wait. You've been shooting weddings for 17 years and you're using auto?
I shoot TV and AV a lot but rarely all M but for receptions I most often use P with no problem. not sure of your point.

I have had very good luck with the LS. Besides this problem happens with and without the sphere.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

[quote=Thomas Lunt;5080902]...I have shot wedding for 17 years. ...I shoot the 1dsMKIII in P./quote]

As has been said already these are your two main issues.

You have to expose for the ambient light and use your flash as fill.

ISO 1000 indoors at a wedding? Uh no. Try 1600, shoot at 3.2 and bounce your flash off the ceiling. Chuck that fong thing in the garbage. And yes, set your ETTL-II metering to average instead of evaluative with say +2/3 of FEC.

1/125 seems a bit high at 42mm with flash. 1/80th would have done it just fine.

Flash is not setup right in your custom function yes but you are not exposing for the ambient. You'll still have ghosts in the dark.

With ETTL you will get a massive reflection off her dress and the +2/3 FEC will come into play. Maybe even +1.

But shoot in M with ETTL. Your life will be much easier. But don't perform this switch at or during a wedding. Shoot a family event or some pets etc and get the hang of M. Doesn't take long and you could probably charge a lot for more your pics after that since the quality will go up.
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #14
Thomas Lunt
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

Do you think that 1/125th was just too fast or is this a metering issue?

What setting do you guys use during receptions?
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Old 9th of March 2008 (Sun)   #15
Thomas Lunt
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Default Re: HELP ME!!! I am about to throw my flash under a truck.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to help. This is frustrating. I don't want to come across as defensive about the LS issue but for those of you that have said get rid of it, have any of you shot with it. I actually like it. It really spreads the light around and softens it nicely (when I get the exposure right) but I will say it again, this issue is happening without the ls too.
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