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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 06 Nov 2010 (Saturday) 17:46
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Is the final picture considered E-TTL when you add any manual flash to the scene?

 
slr_noob
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Nov 06, 2010 17:46 |  #1

This is a debate that I have where the true answer may differ from person to person.

Let's see what do you guys think about the following statements. I split it into two sentences so it's easier to read:

-"If you have any number of E-TTL capable flashes (say two 580EX II) set and triggered in E-TTL (by say the on-board 7D wireless trigger) to take a picture of a subject, it's no doubt a E-TTL exposure at the end."

-"When you add any number and any form of user-controlled manual flash (for example, a 580EX II in manual mode or a studio flash), the final exposure is no longer considered E-TTL even though E-TTL can co-exist with the manually-controlled flash(es) in the final exposure regardless whether it's a supplement."

I'm going to ask that question for now just so everyone is on the same page. Let me know if you don't understand any of it.


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billybookcase
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Nov 06, 2010 17:54 |  #2

i'm just going to speculate it would be awfully hard for that ETTL component to understand the full exposure given the fact that the preflash would not capture what's truly there.

I guess if you set everything accordingly (like FEC on the ETTL flash) then it could be partially ETTL?


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krb
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Nov 06, 2010 18:06 |  #3

I don't understand how or why ettl should be used as an adjective.


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TopHatMoments
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Nov 06, 2010 19:17 |  #4

That's like getting ready for a Jog, and putting only one sneaker on and leaving the other food bare.
Now comes the tricky part.. Which is going to work better, the bare foot or the one in the shoe?

If you run on the beach, the bare foot will work better. Run on a gym floor and a dry clean bare foot will grip better till it's start to sweat, acquire painful blisters and cloud your mind. The sneaker foot on the other hand is still ready to go. Run on asphalt and the bare foot is not going to do you any good.
Can you run like that? Sure. But why!?


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CliveyBoy
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Nov 06, 2010 19:36 |  #5

krb wrote in post #11237167 (external link)
I don't understand how or why ettl should be used as an adjective.

Quite so! E-TTL / E-TTL II and the recent version used in the 7D are a proprietary technology commonly referred to by the noun E-TTL.

The exposure it produces is in several forms. 1. Ambient and TTL for all flashes. 2. Ambient and TTL for A and B grouped flashes. 3. Ambient and TTL flashes, with other flashes adding un-evaluated light to the exposure.

Edit: Add 2A. Ambient and TTL for A and B, plus C evaluated as a compemsated value.

In my opinion, the only exposure that could be called "E-TTL" is one where the ambient is squelched to black. With flash, there are always at least two exposures.


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Hoppy1
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Nov 06, 2010 19:41 |  #6

The camera's exposure calculation would be 100% E-TTL, but the actual exposure would be part E-TTL and part manual, and the two would co-exist indpendently.

The camera would set the E-TTL exposure from the pre-flash, with no knowledge or influence of the manual gun's contribution.


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dmward
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Nov 07, 2010 08:43 |  #7

Not sure why the OP considers it a debate and thinks that the true answer will very.
There is only one technically correct answer;
ETTL is a light metering technology for Canon Speedlites.
The light output for the Speedlites using ETTL as metering source is set by the firmware.
Any manual flash has to be metered by a hand held meter.
The two meter readings have to be synchronized to get a proper exposure.
What seems to lead to questions like this is a mistaken idea about when ETTL metering takes place. It takes place before the exposure. Then the firmware sets the power output for the exposure.

Its the camera doing with a reflected light meter what the photographer does with an incident light meter. But it only works with Speedlites that will emit the pre-flash for measurement.

Same with ambient. Meter the room light, set the F-stop and shutter speed for correct exposure. Now turn on a 1000W hot light and take the picture. Over exposure.


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slr_noob
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Nov 07, 2010 22:46 |  #8

dmward wrote in post #11239984 (external link)
Not sure why the OP considers it a debate and thinks that the true answer will very.
There is only one technically correct answer;
ETTL is a light metering technology for Canon Speedlites.
The light output for the Speedlites using ETTL as metering source is set by the firmware.
Any manual flash has to be metered by a hand held meter.
The two meter readings have to be synchronized to get a proper exposure.
What seems to lead to questions like this is a mistaken idea about when ETTL metering takes place. It takes place before the exposure. Then the firmware sets the power output for the exposure.

Its the camera doing with a reflected light meter what the photographer does with an incident light meter. But it only works with Speedlites that will emit the pre-flash for measurement.

Same with ambient. Meter the room light, set the F-stop and shutter speed for correct exposure. Now turn on a 1000W hot light and take the picture. Over exposure.

You're so far the first person who comes close to where I'm getting to.

The point is not when E-TTL metering takes place. And you're right, the E-TTL metering takes place before the actual exposure begins after the shutter button is depressed. What I'm really looking for is how can I explain to someone who is so stubborn not to believe E-TTL is defeated and therefore out of the picture when anything E-TTL is not capable to use to judge flash power on E-TTL-enabled flash.

In otherwords: (X) number of E-TTL enabled flash = E-TTL exposure. (X) number of E-TTL enabled flash + any manual flash = no E-TTL exposure even though they can co-exist.


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dmward
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Nov 07, 2010 23:17 |  #9

I'm not sure what you are trying to illustrate.
When shooting ETTL, the camera/speedlite combination is controlling exposure for the ETTL speedlites.
If an external manual flash is part of the exposure it will deliver its light independent of the ETTL exposure calculation made by the camera metering system. i.e. Speedlite on camera set to ETTL, OCF set to 1/8 power on a light stand. When an image is made close to the OCF it over exposes, when an image is made farther away it under exposes compared to the ETTL Speedlite.
Thus, on a dance floor, when the subject is close to the OCF there is a strong back or side light. When the subject is farther away there is less back or side light. If far enough away there is no perceptible back or side light.

This is not magic. It is basic exposure control. The ONLY difference between ETTL and manual flash is the method of metering and when it occurs. EVERY thing else is how the photographer uses the information provided.


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SkipD
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Nov 08, 2010 05:15 |  #10

slr_noob wrote in post #11244094 (external link)
In otherwords: (X) number of E-TTL enabled flash = E-TTL exposure. (X) number of E-TTL enabled flash + any manual flash = no E-TTL exposure even though they can co-exist.

I think you're trying to play with words in a way that makes no logical sense.

If ETTL flash systems were used to make an exposure, using an an additional manually-controlled flash does not negate the fact that the primary exposure was computed by the ETTL systems.

The fact is that if one uses a manually controlled flash in addition to an ETTL system, the location and adjustment of the manually controlled flash will determine whether or not the exposure will be acceptable. If the manually controlled flash is aimed at the primary subject, the subject will be overexposed. The reason is simple - the ETTL system knows nothing about the extra flash and cannot compensate for it. If, however, the manually controlled flash is used for lighting some distant background, things could be just fine.


Skip Douglas
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Is the final picture considered E-TTL when you add any manual flash to the scene?
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