Fill flash but over exposure during out door shoot


Jul 7, 2008
437
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16
#1
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.
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
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#2
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:

ahboy168

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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East
#3
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.:)
 

brapodam

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
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#4
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.
 

PaulKami

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Sep 9, 2007
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#5
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?
 

Astin

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Mar 2, 2002
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#6
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.
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#7
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.
 

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mitsucolt

New Member
Jul 16, 2009
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#8
no one suggest metering? okies... i'll have to dump my sekonic.
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#9
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!
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#10
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.

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.
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
4,886
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#12
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.
 

Jul 7, 2008
437
0
16
#13
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.
 

pasay

New Member
May 13, 2010
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#14
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?
 

brapodam

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
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#15
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.
 

Jul 7, 2008
437
0
16
#16
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&#8230; 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......
 

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Jul 7, 2008
437
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#18
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?
 

Diavonex

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2008
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#19
Have a strange feeling your picture is already over-expose even without the flash; use ND filter :)
 

brapodam

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
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#20
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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