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Thread: What aperture to use, when using external flash....

  1. #1

    Default What aperture to use, when using external flash....

    For portraits, what aperture should I use ? I know aperture controls to a large extent the brightness of the shot when a flash is used, especially in very low ambient light. I have a Nikon F80, together with a rather powerful sigma st-500 super flash system. Sometimes I take outdoor snapshots of people at night, with very low ambient lighting. What apertures do you suggest I shld use ?
    If I use like, F16 or smaller, would it be too small ? If I use F1.8 would it be too bright ? I'm afraid at F16 or smaller, the flash would not be powerful enough. I usually go for F8 for indoor flash photography.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    There should be a chart in your flash manual (or the settings are shown on the LCD of the flash) that states the range for various aperture settings right? just keep within the range and you should do fine. the larger the aperture, the more ambient light (mainly affecting the background which is not reached by your flash) you can capture assuming the shutter speed is fixed.
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  3. #3
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    If you are using TTL flash, you can basically use about any aperture as the TTL metering will regulate flash output for you. Using a smaller aperture will reduce your max subject distance; using a bigger aperture increases that.

    Check your manual for the max/min aperture you can use for a given subject distance and ISO. Or the LCD behind the flash (or other form of indicator) should tell you also.

    I've shot wide open with flash indoors, no problems. f/8 will render backgrounds dark.

    Regards
    CK

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What aperture to use, when using external flash....

    well assuming that your flash is an auto or ttl version, and your intent is to avoid the black background syndrome caused by low ambient lighting, and also presuming that your flash to distance subject is within the power limits of your flash at that aperture, then use the largest aperture and perhaps a slow sync of 1/30 or so to maximise ur background exposure.




    Originally posted by marcwang
    For portraits, what aperture should I use ? I know aperture controls to a large extent the brightness of the shot when a flash is used, especially in very low ambient light. I have a Nikon F80, together with a rather powerful sigma st-500 super flash system. Sometimes I take outdoor snapshots of people at night, with very low ambient lighting. What apertures do you suggest I shld use ?
    If I use like, F16 or smaller, would it be too small ? If I use F1.8 would it be too bright ? I'm afraid at F16 or smaller, the flash would not be powerful enough. I usually go for F8 for indoor flash photography.

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