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Thread: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

  1. #1

    Default Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Hi all,

    My current setup is D60+50mm 1.4G with SB400/bounce.

    I have been to several out door shoots mainly sentosa, orchard, street etc. One problem i encounter is when i try to shoot at 1.4 f-stop with flash sync at 1/200, I get over expose shots when i try to use flash to fill in the shadows.

    The only way to deal with this was to manage exposure compensation which I have done. Is there any other way to do this? Or just use a reflector to fill would be a better choice?

    Do let me know your comments, thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Hi all,

    My current setup is D60+50mm 1.4G with SB400/bounce.

    I have been to several out door shoots mainly sentosa, orchard, street etc. One problem i encounter is when i try to shoot at 1.4 f-stop with flash sync at 1/200, I get over expose shots when i try to use flash to fill in the shadows.

    The only way to deal with this was to manage exposure compensation which I have done. Is there any other way to do this? Or just use a reflector to fill would be a better choice?

    Do let me know your comments, thanks in advance.
    if the exposure of the ambient light is already exceeded the f1.4, 1/200s and ISO 200, the images will be overexposed, with or without flash.

    the D60 don't support FP mode, the best you can do is try TTL-BL and set minus compensation on your flash, or use flash manual mode and step down the power output, or using a ND filter on your lens to cut down the ambient and flash light all together.

    Hope this help.
    Last edited by catchlights; 18th February 2011 at 11:49 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Hi all,

    My current setup is D60+50mm 1.4G with SB400/bounce.

    I have been to several out door shoots mainly sentosa, orchard, street etc. One problem i encounter is when i try to shoot at 1.4 f-stop with flash sync at 1/200, I get over expose shots when i try to use flash to fill in the shadows.

    The only way to deal with this was to manage exposure compensation which I have done. Is there any other way to do this? Or just use a reflector to fill would be a better choice?

    Do let me know your comments, thanks in advance.
    Try set your flash to "High-speed sync" mode.
    | 5Diii | 24 ii | 40 | 24-70 ii | 24-105 | 70-200 F4 IS | 270 ii | 600EX-RT |

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by ahboy168 View Post
    Try set your flash to "High-speed sync" mode.
    You see, Nikon likes to **** up people who buy their entry level bodies. Entry level Nikon bodies do not support high speed sync. I'm not sure about Canon flash system, but for Nikon, flash sync is set on the camera body, not the flash unit. There was a situation where even when I was shooting at exposure compensation -2.3EV (heavily backlit) and flash exposure compensation to -2.3EV (there was not much space for me to move around and I was pretty close to the people I was shooting), the pictures were still overexposed.

    Best is to use TTL-BL and use the flash exposure compensation, go up to -3EV flash compensation if you have to.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Correct me if I not wrong but he doesn't have the option for TTL-BL if he's using an SB400? Only TTL is available?
    また再建しましょう~ ^_^

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    If you want a simple way, you can try one of those Gary Fong diffusor, or the cheaper China copy version, Gary Fong also shows you how to do it on his website.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin View Post
    If you want a simple way, you can try one of those Gary Fong diffusor, or the cheaper China copy version, Gary Fong also shows you how to do it on his website.
    If I am not wrong, TTL flashes automatically compensates for these diffusers, so you won't see the effect of the diffusers cutting light

    Also, I don't see any of the Gary Fong stuff useful in outdoor situations, other than to waste battery power. The Gary Fong Lightsphere is much more useful in small rooms as its purpose is to spread light all over the place so the light can bounce off walls and ceilings. It does not soften shadows or anything if the light does not bounce off anything, as it does not enlarge the light source much.
    Last edited by brapodam; 18th February 2011 at 12:54 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    no one suggest metering? okies... i'll have to dump my sekonic.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    You see, Nikon likes to **** up people who buy their entry level bodies. Entry level Nikon bodies do not support high speed sync.
    Chill man! Something's gotta give with the entry-level bodies right? You can't have everything!

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    If I am not wrong, TTL flashes automatically compensates for these diffusers, so you won't see the effect of the diffusers cutting light

    Also, I don't see any of the Gary Fong stuff useful in outdoor situations, other than to waste battery power. The Gary Fong Lightsphere is much more useful in small rooms as its purpose is to spread light all over the place so the light can bounce off walls and ceilings. It does not soften shadows or anything if the light does not bounce off anything, as it does not enlarge the light source much.
    what Astin suggests, is to weaken the flash output further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin View Post
    If you want a simple way, you can try one of those Gary Fong diffusor, or the cheaper China copy version, Gary Fong also shows you how to do it on his website.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulKami View Post
    Correct me if I not wrong but he doesn't have the option for TTL-BL if he's using an SB400? Only TTL is available?
    you are correct, FP mode and TTL-BL mode both are not available on TS's set up.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    To TS, I would use a reflector in those situations, rather than using fill-flash. Of course, if this is a casual outing, I won't expect you to have a reflector handy.

    In that case, just follow catchlight's recommendations.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Thanks for the help guys. Ya, my light weight setup dun have alot feature, but still good la. The only option for me is to compensate exposure since D60 dont have focal plane high speed sync and sb400 dont have TTL.

    I hear alot of fellow shooters adjusting only f-stop to compensate, either step down or step up. Its like ez mode. I usually spent like 5-10 mins to adjust inorder to get a proper well expose shot with exposure at -5ev <--I think max level. I also up my f-stop to about f2.0 sometimes. But bokeh was still ok so its fine.

  14. #14
    Member pasay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    unless it's in really, REALLY low light, f1.4, 1/200s will most likely be overexposed. were you taking at night or in daytime?
    a Nikon body, some lenses, a flash, and a whole lot of dusty photos

  15. #15

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. Ya, my light weight setup dun have alot feature, but still good la. The only option for me is to compensate exposure since D60 dont have focal plane high speed sync and sb400 dont have TTL.

    I hear alot of fellow shooters adjusting only f-stop to compensate, either step down or step up. Its like ez mode. I usually spent like 5-10 mins to adjust inorder to get a proper well expose shot with exposure at -5ev <--I think max level. I also up my f-stop to about f2.0 sometimes. But bokeh was still ok so its fine.
    Something useful to know:

    Aperture and ISO affect flash exposure
    Shutter speed does not affect flash exposure, but like aperture and ISO, it does affect normal exposure.

    For indoors, if you background is too dark and your subject is well-exposed, just slow down your shutter speed and the background will be brighter but your subject will remain around the same exposure as before (as flash exposure is unchanged). But that's indoors.

    For outdoor flashes, unless you are already at the minimum flash power, don't use any diffuser to cut light as your flash TTL is "smart" enough to compensate for the loss of light.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    Something useful to know:

    Aperture and ISO affect flash exposure
    Shutter speed does not affect flash exposure, but like aperture and ISO, it does affect normal exposure.

    For indoors, if you background is too dark and your subject is well-exposed, just slow down your shutter speed and the background will be brighter but your subject will remain around the same exposure as before (as flash exposure is unchanged). But that's indoors.

    For outdoor flashes, unless you are already at the minimum flash power, don't use any diffuser to cut light as your flash TTL is "smart" enough to compensate for the loss of light.
    Currently i don't use diffuser, just a bounce card to get a softer lighting. SB 400 only got on/off switch. Didnt know have TTL??

    By the way, seems quite a number of people have this problem too and some suggestions from the pros.

    ====

    Here is an old way to compute exposures: the "Sunny 16 Rule". It was invented back when few - if any - cameras had a built-in light meter. It states: "On a sunny day, set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed to 1/ISO." So lets set ISO 100 and go out on this sunny day. Its also an excellent way to actually see the f-stop/shutter speed relationship.

    f90 @ 1/3 sec. - 5 stops
    f64 @ 1/6 sec. - 4 stops
    f45 @ 1/12 sec. - 3 stops
    f32 @ 1/25 sec. - 2 stops
    f22 @ 1/50 sec. - 1 stop
    f16 @ 1/100 sec. "Sunny 16"
    f11 @ 1/200 sec. + 1 stop
    f8 @ 1/400 sec. + 2 stops
    f5.6 @ 1/800 sec. + 3 stops
    f4 @ 1/1600 sec. + 4 stops
    f2.8 @ 1/3200 sec. + 5 stops
    Since your camera's maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 sec. this is the maximum aperture you can use on a sunny day.
    f2 @ 1/6400 sec. + 6 stops
    f1.4 @ 1/12800 sec. + 7 stops

    As you can easily see, as we "open up" our lens (f16 to f11, f11 to f8, etc.) we allow more light and our shutter speed must increase (get faster) to compensate. As we "stop down" our lens (f11 to f16, f16 to f22, etc.) we admit less light and our shutter speed must decrease (get slower) to compensate. If you are using your camera in Manual then you must adjust the shutter speed when you adjust the f-stop. If you don't, your exposure will be either under or over exposed. If you'd like to see this for yourself, put your camera in Manual, set ISO 100 and set the shutter speed to 1/1600 sec. and then take a picture at every f-stop from maximum to minimum, leaving the shutter speed at 1/1600 sec.

    So if our goal is f1.4 in bright sun we need to reduce the amount of light admitted in order to not exceed our camera's maximum shutter speed. This is best done with a Neutral Density (ND) filter. You'll find a good explanation here: http://www.answers.com/topic/neutral-den… ND filters are marked in two ways: as ND2, ND4, etc. or 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, etc.

    ND2/0.3 = - 1 stop
    ND4/0.6 = - 2 stops
    ND8/0.9 = - 3 stops
    ND64/1.8 = - 6 stops
    ND1000/3.0 = - 10 stops

    By looking at our "Sunny 16" chart we see that to use f1.4 at 1/400 sec. will require an ND4/0.6 and ND8/0.9 to give us - 5 stops and reduce our shutter speed from 1/12800 sec. to 1/400 sec. Or we could decide on a 1/200 sec. shutter speed and just use an ND64/1.8 to give us - 6 stops and a 1/200 sec. shutter speed.

    ==

    sounds logical on the ND filter. Could the cheapest quick fix. But Im not so comfortable switching filters during shoots......
    Last edited by torque6; 18th February 2011 at 02:26 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    ND filter to the rescue...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Got this from Answers.com


    Lens area opening, as fraction of the complete lens Filter Optical Density f-Stop Reduction % transmittance
    1 0.0 100%
    ND2 1/2 0.3 1 50%
    ND4 1/4 0.6 2 25%
    ND8 1/8 0.9 3 12.5%
    ND16 1/16 1.2 4 6.25%
    ND32 1/32 1.5 5 3.125%
    ND64 1/64 1.8 6 1.563%
    ND128 1/128 2.1 7 0.781%
    ND256 1/256 2.4 8 0.391%
    ND512 1/512 2.7 9 0.195%
    ND1024 1/1024 3.0 10 0.098%
    ND2048 1/2048 3.3 11 0.049%
    ND4096 1/4096 3.6 12 0.024%
    ND8192 1/8192 3.9 13 0.012%

    so the % means light coming in? e.g N8 only allows 12.5% ambient light to come in yes?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Diavonex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Have a strange feeling your picture is already over-expose even without the flash; use ND filter

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by torque6 View Post
    Currently i don't use diffuser, just a bounce card to get a softer lighting. SB 400 only got on/off switch. Didnt know have TTL??
    TTL is "through the lens", which is some sort of auto exposure for the flash. The flash unit fires a pre-flash, measures the amount of light bounced back, calculate the flash power needed to expose the subject, then fires using that flash power. SB-400 is TTL only (no manual flash power, only flash exposure compensation can be adjusted from the camera)

    Bounce card is too small and will not contribute to softer lighting. When you want softer lighting, your light source has to become bigger, and has to be close to the subject. Putting a bounce card outdoors will waste flash power as the card will eat up some of the flash power. Even a Gary Fong Lightsphere will not help to enlarge the light source by much, and will not contribute to softer lighting outdoors. However, a Lightsphere or a dome diffuser will help to soften the light indoors IF the light is bounced off surfaces. Essentially, what these diffusers do is that they spread the light everywhere in the hope that the light will bounce off the surrounding walls and ceilings to spread out the light (enlarging the light source tremendously) and thus softens shadows. Outdoors, you're better off saving flash power and using direct flash if you don't have a reflector or soft box or something to enlarge the light source. I didn't know all of these till I saw some of the videos that Lumiquest put up...I popped on the dome diffuser every time I used the flash, thinking that it would magically soften shadows, but that is not the way these things work.

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