Which Flash modes?


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wlcling

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Mar 10, 2007
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#1
Using an SB-800 on Nikon,

which flash mode to use? AA, TTL?

In Flash photography, do you try to capture as much ambience light as possible? Or mantain dark backgrounds to single out bright foreground objects (the subjects)?
 

Jan 14, 2005
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#2
AA is automatic mode. The flash uses a built-in sensor to adjust the flash power. TTL (through the lens) uses the camera metering to adjust the flash power.

Use TTL-BL mode if you want to balance the flash with ambient light. Up the ISO will help.

If you want full control, use manual exposure (M mode). Meter the ambient light. Keep it within 2 stops from the "correct" exposure by adjusting shutter speed/aperture. (Use the metering indicator in the viewfinder to do that.) Raise the ISO if you need to. Set the flash to TTL or TTL-BL mode. You should get some ambient light in your photo. If you want the background to be total black out, the metered value of the background should be >3 stops below (increase shutter speed or reduce the apperture and ISO).

BC
 

wlcling

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Mar 10, 2007
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#3
Thanks for the explanation, but which will be better to use? AA or TTL?
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#5
iTTL.

But if you don't know what you are doing, it doesn't help much either... It's best to try it out in various modes and learn how they can help you or how it can affect the lighting.
 

wlcling

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#6
ok... when using flash, do you try to keep background items bright (or balanced with the subject), or keep subject brightly illuminated while background is dark?
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#7
ok... when using flash, do you try to keep background items bright (or balanced with the subject), or keep subject brightly illuminated while background is dark?
Depends on the effect I want or need....

When I shoot macros, I meter for the subject mainly and occasionally it may turn the background dark esp if I am using a very small aperture.

Else I can increase the ISO, open up the aperture and allow the background to be brightened up
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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Cons digger.
#8
AA is automatic mode. The flash uses a built-in sensor to adjust the flash power. TTL (through the lens) uses the camera metering to adjust the flash power.

Use TTL-BL mode if you want to balance the flash with ambient light. Up the ISO will help.

If you want full control, use manual exposure (M mode). Meter the ambient light. Keep it within 2 stops from the "correct" exposure by adjusting shutter speed/aperture. (Use the metering indicator in the viewfinder to do that.) Raise the ISO if you need to. Set the flash to TTL or TTL-BL mode. You should get some ambient light in your photo. If you want the background to be total black out, the metered value of the background should be >3 stops below (increase shutter speed or reduce the apperture and ISO).

BC
i always thought AA was auto aperture while A was auto mode.
 

#9
i always thought AA was auto aperture while A was auto mode.
yeah youre right.. in AA mode the camera information is transmitted to the flash unit so you dont need to set anything except flash compensation should you require it.. but in A mode, usually when youre using non-nikon cameras.. you have to manually dial in aperture, and the flash will calculate the flash exposure for you.. hence in a way it is still 'auto'.. i use AA mode when there is complicated lighting that might confuse TTL.. it seems to work better for me in getting a more consistent exposure.
 

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