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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Feb 2014 (Thursday) 15:40
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just dont understand these new speedlites

 
Ltdave
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Feb 20, 2014 15:40 |  #1

i sold off my 580exIIs because A) i just didnt use them very much and B ) i had other things i could put the money towards...

my wife bless her heart saw i was flash-less so she used some of her Visa CC points and bought me a new 600exRT for valentines day. what a sweetie...

ive been playing around with it and i just dont get it.

with ETTL, if i put the camera in Tv and dial in any ss from 1/200 and down, the viewfinder indicator flashes f2.8 (24-70 f2.8L II). the aperture doesnt change even if i change the ISO on the camera. it will take photos that appear (back screen) to be pretty well lit but all the shots are at f2.8...

if i put the camera in Av and set an aperture it will give me even with the flash fully charged and ready to go, a SS of sometimes in the seconds (not 1/second)...

i can change the ISO on the speedlite if i go into Ext(ernal)M (external metering manual) but i dont think that has any bearing on the operation in ETTL...

the operators manual says in Automatic Flash operation (first section) that if i select Tv and my SS, the aperture setting is done automatically. the f2.8 is FLASHING in the viewfinder so that indicates to me wide open isnt open enough...

does this speedlite ONLY shoot at maximum aperture when in Tv and ETTL?

i tried it out the other night with some friends and on Av and f4.0 relatively close (6' or so) and with ISO 200 i was blowing out their faces...

i need a good tutorial on this other than the book i think...




  
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gonzogolf
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Feb 20, 2014 15:45 |  #2

The best way to use a speedlite for most applications is to put the camera in M, pick the apertutre you want and let ETTL do the rest. In TV and AV modes the camera tries use the flash as fill only so it selects an exposure value where the flash contributes only a bit of the total so your photos dont look "flashed" (bright subject, dark background) The downside of this is that you get slow shutter speeds in Av and wide open in TV. You never need to enter the ISO in the flash with ETTL so dont bother with external mode (it sort of simulates the old thyristor flashes). If you put the camera in M mode and let the flash bridge the gap between your shutter speed and your aperture you will be happeier.




  
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Ltdave
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Feb 20, 2014 15:56 |  #3

gonzogolf wrote in post #16704726 (external link)
The best way to use a speedlite for most applications is to put the camera in M, pick the apertutre you want and let ETTL do the rest. In TV and AV modes the camera tries use the flash as fill only so it selects an exposure value where the flash contributes only a bit of the total so your photos dont look "flashed" (bright subject, dark background) The downside of this is that you get slow shutter speeds in Av and wide open in TV. You never need to enter the ISO in the flash with ETTL so dont bother with external mode (it sort of simulates the old thyristor flashes). If you put the camera in M mode and let the flash bridge the gap between your shutter speed and your aperture you will be happeier.

okay, ill give it a try...

i watched Gary Fong's youtube but it was more of an overview of the 3 different ways (normal, master, slave) to use the flash...

the thyristor flashes are what im familiar with (sunpak 422D) where i would select an ISO on the flash (probably ASA then) and what aperture i wanted to use and it would give me a distance range i could shoot in...




  
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gonzogolf
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Feb 20, 2014 15:59 |  #4

You are entering a brave new world. But once you get a handle on it its much much better as the metering is done inside the camera. If you want to try the flash with AV to see what I'm talking about go out in open shade, or at least in enough light that the the camera wont select a very slow shutter speed.




  
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OceanRipple
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Feb 20, 2014 17:45 |  #5

Hi,
Sections 2 to 7 of this series are pretty helpful:
http://cpn.canon-europe.com …asterclass/cano​n_flash.do (external link)

and yes, camera to M, Speedlite to ETTL is the best starting point. Cheers




  
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Feb 20, 2014 18:10 |  #6

By default, the camera will attempt to balance flash and ambient light for a more natural look. Either set the camera's shutter speed and aperture manually, or go into the menu and change your flash sync speed from option 0 (30s-1/250s) to 1 (1/60-1/250) or 2 (1/250 fixed).


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Ltdave
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Feb 20, 2014 19:30 |  #7

bumpintheroad wrote in post #16705040 (external link)
By default, the camera will attempt to balance flash and ambient light for a more natural look...

how does this work with bouncing the flash?

i shot some "portrait" snapshots with bounce and i GUESS the flash had some affect on the shots. without shooting both with and without flash, i dont have anything to compare...




  
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Feb 20, 2014 19:53 |  #8

bumpintheroad wrote in post #16705040 (external link)
By default, the camera will attempt to balance flash and ambient light for a more natural look. Either set the camera's shutter speed and aperture manually, or go into the menu and change your flash sync speed from option 0 (30s-1/250s) to 1 (1/60-1/250) or 2 (1/250 fixed).

To expand, by default all three auto-exposure modes on the camera, P, Av, and Tv assume that you want fill flash, where the balance between ambient and flash is mostly on the side of the ambient, with a little bit of flash to "fill in" the shadows.

However, P will alter its behavior if it senses the ambient light levels are low, so you can stay within handholding shutter speeds, and will switch to using flash as the main source of illumination. The custom settings that are mentioned above will cause Av to behave the same way.

Ltdave wrote in post #16705195 (external link)
how does this work with bouncing the flash? ...

The way that TTL works is that the camera tells the flash to send out a "preflash" burst of a known brightness level, the camera meters that preburst through-the-lens (TTL), and adjusts the power output based upon the "known level", and attempts to get you into the ballpark, so long as you are within the flash's power limits.

When you bounce, you are increasing the distance the light has to travel (and therefore requiring more power), but since the meter reading of the preflash is used, it should be taken into account--as long as you are within the flash's power limits.

M mode on the camera is typically preferred for flash shooting by most of us, because then you have full control over how the flash will be balanced against the ambient, and if you aren't within the power limits of the flash, you can adjust by increasing ISO, opening up the aperture, lowering the shutter speed, or getting the light closer to your subject.

You can also adjust the flash's power in Av/Tv/P while in TTL by using flash exposure compensation (FEC). Or, you could just put the flash into M mode, and adjust the power ratio setting directly on the flash.


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digital ­ paradise
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Feb 20, 2014 20:02 |  #9

Your concerns

with ETTL, if i put the camera in Tv and dial in any ss from 1/200 and down, the viewfinder indicator flashes f2.8 (24-70 f2.8L II). the aperture doesnt change even if i change the ISO on the camera. it will take photos that appear (back screen) to be pretty well lit but all the shots are at f2.8...

if i put the camera in Av and set an aperture it will give me even with the flash fully charged and ready to go, a SS of sometimes in the seconds (not 1/second)...


A dedicated flash will prevent sync speed problems as shown in the attached video. I never shoot Tv but in Av pretend you have no flash on your camera. In Av you select the aperture and based on the ISO the system will select whatever shutter speed it takes to maintain the aperture you selected. If you put the flash on it makes no difference. The shutter will go as slow as it needs to maintain the aperture you selected. You can get warnings, etc and can blow out images.

Watch this video for the the first 4 minutes. You don't need Pocket Wizard or need to worry about High Speed Sync right now. Just get to used to the the concept of Sync Speed and then take the next steps. A dedicated Canon flash prevents parts of the sensor being covered but can cause other problems like blown out images. Once you understand sync speed then it is easier to explain these other problems.

http://www.pocketwizar​d.com …wizard_controlt​l_optimiz/ (external link)


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Feb 20, 2014 21:26 |  #10

Fundamentals: Whatever mode you put our camera into (Tv or Av) the camera's first goal is to select an aperture/shutter speed which permits some ambient light to register in the exposure...


  1. In the case of Tv, your selected shutter speed is apparently too fast and f/2.8 is not large enough, so the aperture should be flashing in the viewfinder to tell you 'not enough exposure' -- without the flash enabled.
  2. In the case of Av, your selected aperture is causing the camera to choose a very slow shutter speed (the camera does not care that it is impossible to hand hold that slow with motion blur!)
  3. In M mode, the indicator needle is likely not centered, thereby indicating too low of an exposure.


Now turn on the ETTL flash and all three of the above behaviors will NOT CHANGE, as the camera supposedly commands the flash to output enough light to properly expose your subject. But let us examine the FLASH MODES of the flash...
  • If the flash is in 'ETTL' mode, it will work properly
  • If the flash is in 'TTL' mode it will NOT work properly because it is set up for the older 'TTL' in film cameras.
  • If the flash is in 'M', it may or may not work properly, for example if it were set to 1/4 power but the distance required Full power, the shot would be considerably underexposed.
  • If the flash is in 'External' mode, the flash uses its own photosensor to determine light output (rather than the ETTL metering doing that). Unfortunately, Canon set up External mode poorly, and most folks agree that External mode is about -2EV underexposed from what it should be!



...and all three of the above behaviors (#1, #2, #3) will NOT CHANGE because that meter reading is ONLY FOR AMBIENT

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czar2000
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Feb 20, 2014 21:59 |  #11

OceanRipple wrote in post #16704981 (external link)
Hi,
Sections 2 to 7 of this series are pretty helpful:
http://cpn.canon-europe.com …asterclass/cano​n_flash.do (external link)

and yes, camera to M, Speedlite to ETTL is the best starting point. Cheers


+1.
Camera M mode is your best and only way to get the consistent/controlled output.
Our expensive camera simply does not know how much flash light will eventually need to balance ambient & flash light until shutter button is fully pressed. Until then, camera just shows correct ss/aperture ratio at given mode.

You decide aperture & shuttuer in M mode, let the camera decide flash output in ETTL mode


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Feb 21, 2014 02:42 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #16705400 (external link)

  1. In M mode, the indicator needle is likely not centered, thereby indicating too low of an exposure.

That's right, and it shows that as far as the camera is concerned, M is actually treated the same as Tv and Av. Let's expose the ambient properly, then add flash. But in M, you don't have to adhere.


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Feb 21, 2014 07:35 |  #13

So you probably seen the video by now. Your camera's max sync speed is either 1/200 or 1/250. When using a Canon dedicated flash it prevents you from exceeding sync speed unless you enable HSS (High Speed Sync). If have not enabled HSS the system will not let the shutter exceed the max sync speed and if your aperture is too wide open and/or the ISO is too high you will still be able to press the shutter to take the shot but will result in a blown out image.

You will see a warning light flashing when you look into the viewfinder. Either close the aperture and/or reduce the ISO until the warning light stops flashing and you will be OK. This happens in all modes but most people shoot in Av and M modes. Av can be more difficult to work with until you get used to it.


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Ltdave
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Feb 21, 2014 14:57 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #14

looks like the weekend off to work on some remodeling just got cancelled!

ill be reviewing and rereading these posts and EXPERIMENTING...

thanks so much for the information




  
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Feb 21, 2014 15:05 |  #15

Just remember one thing. If you are in Av it does not matter if the flash is on or not, the camera reacts the same way. If you put the flash on and you are in a darker place the camera will adjust shutter speed to maintain the aperture you selected. If your ISO is too low you could be shooting at 1/15 or slower.

The opposite - outside you could be getting that flashing light warning in the viewfinder I mentioned in post #9 and blow out the people.

Good Luck.


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