Seek advice on Under Exposured


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lchoong78

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Jul 5, 2007
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#1
I was shooting my company’s event in an indoor recently and my gears were Canon 400D, 17-55 F2.8 and a Canon Speedlite 580EXII flash.

Initially when I want to shoot an individual, I set my camera to Manual (M) mode, Aperture to F2.8 and shuttle speed 1/60 with attached the flash set to E-TTL and let the E-TTL to handle everything. The result and exposure look fine for this setting.

However, when I want to shoot covering more people and increase my Aperture above F5.6, the result has turned to ‘Under exposured’.:cry:

My questions:-

1. I thought the E-TLL on my flash will handle everything to evaluate the correct exposures when every time I switching my Aperture? (correct me if I wrong)

2. In such situation, shall I adjust the FEC (Flash exposure compensation) or the camera’s EC (exposure compensation) or any alternative?

I would appreciate the Masters/sifu here can give me some advice.
 

Sispecho

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Sep 11, 2006
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#2
not really a pro, here, but as u already know, if you up the aperture value to 5.6 you will expose less, if other things remain equal. As you are using manual mode, my guess is that should you adjust the camera's exposure setting, it would not change much as exposure settings are done by you. (although it might be conceivable that by increasing the camera exposure value it then alters the flash's exposure setting, can more pro people give their thoughts on tthis??)

But what i normally do is to increase the flash exposure compensation, if i know that i am using a diffuser, or bouncing light. Thats just how i do it, and if i want to get ambient light, i just alter the shutter speed, and if it too isnt preferable to the situation, i just up the ISO level when on manual. however at higher iso levels i do be careful not to get them badly exposed because the noise levels might be too overbearing!!!

sorry if i do not help much, but just giving my unworthy thoughts on my experiences.
 

Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#3
I was shooting my company’s event in an indoor recently and my gears were Canon 400D, 17-55 F2.8 and a Canon Speedlite 580EXII flash.

Initially when I want to shoot an individual, I set my camera to Manual (M) mode, Aperture to F2.8 and shuttle speed 1/60 with attached the flash set to E-TTL and let the E-TTL to handle everything. The result and exposure look fine for this setting.

However, when I want to shoot covering more people and increase my Aperture above F5.6, the result has turned to ‘Under exposured’.:cry:

My questions:-

1. I thought the E-TLL on my flash will handle everything to evaluate the correct exposures when every time I switching my Aperture? (correct me if I wrong)

2. In such situation, shall I adjust the FEC (Flash exposure compensation) or the camera’s EC (exposure compensation) or any alternative?

I would appreciate the Masters/sifu here can give me some advice.
You would have to up your flash exposure compensation in this case. Alternatively, you could have upped your ISO or decreased your shutter speed. This is of course, assuming that you wish to have a shooting aperture of f5.6.
 

Jan 31, 2009
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#4
Hi,

Not a pro or shifu but would like to help.

When you moved from 2.8 to above 5.6 (covering more people and increase my Aperture above F5.6), you are not "opening" up the aperture more. You are in fact "closing" it. As such, less light will go through. All things being equal, your pics will be under-exposed as less light hit the sensor.

Hope this helps.
 

lchoong78

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
743
1
0
AMK
#5
not really a pro, here, but as u already know, if you up the aperture value to 5.6 you will expose less, if other things remain equal. As you are using manual mode, my guess is that should you adjust the camera's exposure setting, it would not change much as exposure settings are done by you. (although it might be conceivable that by increasing the camera exposure value it then alters the flash's exposure setting, can more pro people give their thoughts on tthis??)

But what i normally do is to increase the flash exposure compensation, if i know that i am using a diffuser, or bouncing light. Thats just how i do it, and if i want to get ambient light, i just alter the shutter speed, and if it too isnt preferable to the situation, i just up the ISO level when on manual. however at higher iso levels i do be careful not to get them badly exposed because the noise levels might be too overbearing!!!

sorry if i do not help much, but just giving my unworthy thoughts on my experiences.
Thanks. for shutter speed lower than the 1/60 i will not so confident as I afraid camera shake. agreed what u said to adjust ISO but my maximum acceptable level of noise is up to ISO400 for Canon 400D. In fact, all the photos i shoot on that day is already ISO400. Yup, let's see others expert advice.


You would have to up your flash exposure compensation in this case. Alternatively, you could have upped your ISO or decreased your shutter speed. This is of course, assuming that you wish to have a shooting aperture of f5.6.
Thanks for u advice to adjust the FEC. for ISO, my maximum acceptable level is ISO400 and i have already shoot in ISO 400. I don't dare to increase it due to noise problem. I notice that evey time i adjust the aperture my flash can also write and show the correct info on the screen, why can't it determine the correct exposure then? any ideal?

Hi,

Not a pro or shifu but would like to help.

When you moved from 2.8 to above 5.6 (covering more people and increase my Aperture above F5.6), you are not "opening" up the aperture more. You are in fact "closing" it. As such, less light will go through. All things being equal, your pics will be under-exposed as less light hit the sensor.

Hope this helps.
Hai romeo tango, I understand that by adjust the 2.8 to above 5.6 definely will smaller the side of aperture. but i got no choice bec i want to shoot a group photo. increase to 5.6 above is to ensure I can capture deatils of each people face.
 

Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#6
Shoot 800 or above and apply noise reduction in PP. There are times when you have to bite the bullet and up ISO
 

zcf

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2005
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270 degree of Singapore
#8
Thanks. for shutter speed lower than the 1/60 i will not so confident as I afraid camera shake. agreed what u said to adjust ISO but my maximum acceptable level of noise is up to ISO400 for Canon 400D. In fact, all the photos i shoot on that day is already ISO400. Yup, let's see others expert advice.
reduce shutter speed and use a tripod/monopod, or get a anti-shake lens or anti-shake sensor camera to reduce the chance of shake.

Otherwise borrow additional flash for more power though wireless sync.
 

Jan 31, 2009
634
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0
#9
increase to 5.6 above is to ensure I can capture deatils of each people face.
Hi lchoong78,

In that case, guess you will have to either up the ISO or reduce the shutter speed. I think 1/30 is still fast enough not to have camera shake if you hold it with proper support :)
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#10
aiya... no need so 1 dimensional la.

there are other ways too.

see ar, details/sharpness in this case refers to increased depth of field. aperture is not the only variable that affects dept of field. Focal length also leh. So, just keep your aperture at 2.8, den zoom out and move closer for the group shot. (there are other factors such as distance from camera to subject and distance from camera to background)

Also, note your focusing distance on your lens. everything outside of the written range and in the infinite range theoratically Should be focused if you're focusing on infinite. (due to the distance from camera to subject reason)
 

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catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#11
I was shooting my company’s event in an indoor recently and my gears were Canon 400D, 17-55 F2.8 and a Canon Speedlite 580EXII flash.

Initially when I want to shoot an individual, I set my camera to Manual (M) mode, Aperture to F2.8 and shuttle speed 1/60 with attached the flash set to E-TTL and let the E-TTL to handle everything. The result and exposure look fine for this setting.

However, when I want to shoot covering more people and increase my Aperture above F5.6, the result has turned to ‘Under exposured’.:cry:

My questions:-

1. I thought the E-TLL on my flash will handle everything to evaluate the correct exposures when every time I switching my Aperture? (correct me if I wrong)

2. In such situation, shall I adjust the FEC (Flash exposure compensation) or the camera’s EC (exposure compensation) or any alternative?

I would appreciate the Masters/sifu here can give me some advice.
Thanks. for shutter speed lower than the 1/60 i will not so confident as I afraid camera shake. agreed what u said to adjust ISO but my maximum acceptable level of noise is up to ISO400 for Canon 400D. In fact, all the photos i shoot on that day is already ISO400. Yup, let's see others expert advice.




Thanks for u advice to adjust the FEC. for ISO, my maximum acceptable level is ISO400 and i have already shoot in ISO 400. I don't dare to increase it due to noise problem. I notice that evey time i adjust the aperture my flash can also write and show the correct info on the screen, why can't it determine the correct exposure then? any ideal?



Hai romeo tango, I understand that by adjust the 2.8 to above 5.6 definely will smaller the side of aperture. but i got no choice bec i want to shoot a group photo. increase to 5.6 above is to ensure I can capture deatils of each people face.
given the 580 is the most powerful hotshoe flash of Canon, it shouldn't give you underexposed shot if use it correctly.

basically your choice of aperture setting, shutter speed and ISO for the individuals shots and group shots are fine.

however, you did not mention whether you are shooting bounce flash or direct flash for the group photo, the height and type of ceiling, the shooting distance, the size of group etc.

the image turn to be underexposed, it show that the flash already given maximum power, the flash should indicate underexposed too. (Nikon flash have, not sure about Canon flash) did you notice that?

If the flash already given maximum power output. it is useless to dial plus compensation on flash, it can't squeeze anymore flash power from it, all you can do is increase ISO, open up aperture, cut short the flash to subject distant.

anyway, shooting a group photo, it is very important to get sharp and clear photos. so it is better to use direct flash with f5.6~f8 if bounce flash is not workable.
 

lchoong78

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
743
1
0
AMK
#12
reduce shutter speed and use a tripod/monopod, or get a anti-shake lens or anti-shake sensor camera to reduce the chance of shake.

Otherwise borrow additional flash for more power though wireless sync.
Thanks zcf. in fact i was using an image stabilize len during that shooting. may be as what u said, use tripod/monopod to prevent hand shake. For additional flash don't think is workable in my case as this only casual event shooting and I don't want to set up so many equipments.


Hi lchoong78,

In that case, guess you will have to either up the ISO or reduce the shutter speed. I think 1/30 is still fast enough not to have camera shake if you hold it with proper support :)
Yup, guess your are right, I will try to increase ISO next time and train myself to shoot 1/30 without hand shake.:thumbsup:

aiya... no need so 1 dimensional la.

there are other ways too.

see ar, details/sharpness in this case refers to increased depth of field. aperture is not the only variable that affects dept of field. Focal length also leh. So, just keep your aperture at 2.8, den zoom out and move closer for the group shot. (there are other factors such as distance from camera to subject and distance from camera to background)

Also, note your focusing distance on your lens. everything outside of the written range and in the infinite range theoratically Should be focused if you're focusing on infinite. (due to the distance from camera to subject reason)
Em.I don't think this can be done.
In my case i shoot around 10 persons in a group and people are standing diffrerent direction (some in front some at back) so if I keep my aperture F2.8, I only able to focus people in front or behind. that the reason I must adjust my aperture to F5.6 and above.

given the 580 is the most powerful hotshoe flash of Canon, it shouldn't give you underexposed shot if use it correctly.

basically your choice of aperture setting, shutter speed and ISO for the individuals shots and group shots are fine.

however, you did not mention whether you are shooting bounce flash or direct flash for the group photo, the height and type of ceiling, the shooting distance, the size of group etc.

the image turn to be underexposed, it show that the flash already given maximum power, the flash should indicate underexposed too. (Nikon flash have, not sure about Canon flash) did you notice that?

If the flash already given maximum power output. it is useless to dial plus compensation on flash, it can't squeeze anymore flash power from it, all you can do is increase ISO, open up aperture, cut short the flash to subject distant.

anyway, shooting a group photo, it is very important to get sharp and clear photos. so it is better to use direct flash with f5.6~f8 if bounce flash is not workable.
I was shooting a group with 10 people and bounce flash. Not sure whether canon flash able to indicate underexposed, I'll need to clarify this later.
Shoot direct flash toward the people is also an alternative but i don't prefer the background turn black. may be as what some CS said to increase ISO even the noise level will also increase simultaneously.
 

Aug 23, 2009
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#13
Not sure if I am right but I always thought that when shooting with flash, it is aperture and not shutter speed which affects the exposure since the flash is of very. very short duration. That being the case, you should not have any shake problems even at 1/30, especially if you are on second curtain sync. Alternatively you could always keep all your existing values and just up the power on the flash, no?
 

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