Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2011 · Need Help With Flash
  
 
outlawyer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Need Help With Flash


The manual is useless to a dullwitted creature such as myself.
I have the 430EX set to ETTL, and am using Av. The flash fires fine, but it's as if the camera (5D) doesn't know the flash is there, as it chooses a slower shutter speed. The result is overexposed shots which are nonetheless blurry.
Same result with 580EX.
Using Tv, results are much better, but I like Av.
If anyone knows of an online resource, I'd sure appreciate it. I have visited cgardner's excellent site, but as helpful as it is, it assumes that the operator has some minimal level of competence and common sense, both of which elude me.
Thanks in advance.



Dec 07, 2011 at 07:33 PM
tandlh
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Need Help With Flash


I understand your frustration completely, been there. In the end I made peace with my flash when I went into manual mode on the camera. Gave up on Av for flash. Go manual mode, set apperture as you wish, then set a shutter speed up to the max synch speed dependent upon how much of the natural light you want to impact the image. Then shoot with the flash and adjust + or - flash exposure compensation from there.

Years of frustration led me to that point and now I love flash.

Ted

Edited on Dec 07, 2011 at 07:52 PM · View previous versions



Dec 07, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Binh Ly
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Need Help With Flash


If you really want Av, check CFn-03 in your 5D manual. Set it to 1 if you want the shutter speed to be 1/200th fixed for flash use. Otherwise, M is your friend.


Dec 07, 2011 at 07:48 PM
erosebud
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Need Help With Flash


I've been there, too--still am, in many respects. I've found it most helpful to do a search on these forums and get distilled advice (you've gotten some already). For a longer, more comprehensive look at this, I also followed the lead of several poster's and bought Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook. About the third time through its 400 pages, things begin to make natural sense.


Dec 07, 2011 at 07:49 PM
outlawyer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Need Help With Flash


Thanks everyone. Tv mode seems to work pretty well.
Thanks also for the reference to the CF setting. I had already tried on custom function setteing (17 I believe) which provides the options of average or (something else). But I will check the 03, because 200 would be fine.
Or manual.
It's good to know that I'm not alone in this, like I usually am, haha.



Dec 07, 2011 at 07:53 PM
outlawyer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Need Help With Flash


Binh Ly wrote:
If you really want Av, check CFn-03 in your 5D manual. Set it to 1 if you want the shutter speed to be 1/200th fixed for flash use. Otherwise, M is your friend.


Tried this, and am perfectly happy with the results. Thanks a million!



Dec 07, 2011 at 08:07 PM
gpop
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Need Help With Flash


ettl works different in Av mode. it will set shutter speed for the background, but flash for the subject. in Tv and M it will use the flash to light the entire scene.

I don't have a full understanding of the system, so you'll want to read up and get more accurate information than i provided, but that's the nature of the Av beast for canon ettl.

if you only care about the exposure of the subject, you can dial down exposure comp in Av mode and it'll raise the shutter speed some, and still flash expose properly for the subject.



Dec 07, 2011 at 08:46 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Need Help With Flash


tandlh wrote:
...Gave up on Av for flash. Go manual mode, set apperture as you wish, then set a shutter speed up to the max synch speed dependent upon how much of the natural light you want to impact the image. Then shoot with the flash and adjust + or - flash exposure compensation from there.


This is how I do it most of the time, too. Manual exposure mode puts me in control of the ambient exposure.

I usually use ETTL Autoflash even with Manual camera mode, but for total control I'll go to Manual flash, as well.

outlawyer wrote:
The manual is useless to a dullwitted creature such as myself.


This may help: http://bluecranedigital.com/Understanding-the-Canon-Speedlite-580EX-II-430EX-II

Also ditto on Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook.



Dec 07, 2011 at 09:10 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Need Help With Flash


The camera knows the flash is there but having flash on doesn't affect the ambient metering. Indoors using Av in low light will drag the shutter. In Tv you'll wind up with the lens wide open with shallow DOF and whatever shutter speed the metering decides on. Both are less than ideal.

The best choice in terms of creative control is to set the camera manually. I suggest a starting baseline of ISO 200 - 400, f/5.6, and 1/125th. Take a test shot then adjust as needed: aperture for more or less DOF, shutter for lighter or darker ambient background, higher ISO if you pick a shutter / aperture combination the results are underexposed.

f5.6 will provide adequate DOF to keep the foreground in focus while not overtaxing the flash. The more you stop down the power flash power is needed.

1/125th will eliminate camera shake. The ambient light indoors is a different color temp and too much of it will result in unflattering color casts on faces, etc. So usually its better to keep the shutter speed on the high side to cut the ambient and use strategies like bouncing or splitting the flash 50/50 up and forward with a diffuser to fill the room with an indirect/direct flash mix.

ISO should be kept as low as possible to reduce noise.

Indoors it is primarily the flash FEC that controls the exposure. FEC can be changed on camera or flash. Having used both I find it easier to just reach up and change it on the flash which I can do with my eye never leaving the viewfinder.


For any given aperture/ISO the flash exposure is only correct at one distance from the light in the highlights. Changing power changes that distance front > back from the flash.

Getting correct exposure is like sighting in a new gun. If you raise FEC to the point you see white objects like shirt colors start to black out in the clipping warning then back off FEC one click (1/3 stop) exposure will be optimal in most situations. Just take a test shot, see where in the scene exposure looks correct front to back, then adjust FEC: + to move correct exposure further away, - to move it closer to the flash.

ETTL is never "set it and forget it" simple. If you or the scene in the viewfinder moves it may affect the metering an you will need to tweek the FEC. The flash has finite capacity and when bouncing increasing FEC may have no effect because it was already firing at full power. You can usually tell that from the low recycle time. If + FEC does correctly expose try a wider aperture or higher ISO speed.

Composition affects flash metering results. Light bouncing off foreground objects will skew the metering which will try to expose foreground correctly leaving what you want exposed correctly underexposed. If you learn to compose so what you want correctly exposed is closest, then the metering will do a better job of setting power correctly in ETTL mode.

If you find ETTL isn't working as you expect it should switch the flash to M mode. When using ETTL I also pre-set my flashes for M mode at 1/1 full power. That way if + FEC isn't working I can press the mode button, switch to M and fire off a test shot at full power. If it is underexposed then I know its time to raise ISO, move closer, or use a more efficient flash strategy like direct flash instead of my diffuser or bouncing.

In M mode changing the power with the wheel on the flash has the same net effect as changing FEC, shortening the flash duration for less power moving the point where exposure is correct closer when the wheel is turned CCW to reduce power and lengthening the flash duration and moving the point of exposure further away. If you use the flash directly in M mode you'll notice the display on the back tells you the distance exposure will be correct at.

Outdoors keep the sun to the back of your subjects and expose the ambient below clipping first. Then its just a matter of adjusting FEC or M power until the white shirt color or other light objects lit by the flash are about 2/3 stop below clipping. Raise power until you see clipping, back off two clicks — Bingo! Correct exposure on the sunny and shaded side.




Dec 07, 2011 at 11:28 PM
outlawyer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Need Help With Flash


Thanks so much Mr. Gardner. I'm printing your post. You are the genuine Grand Master Flash

Brian, funny you should mention that, I ordered it once but it never came, my money was refunded. I may try again.
Thanks again to everyone, and Merry Christmas



Dec 08, 2011 at 12:09 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Need Help With Flash


outlawyer wrote:
Brian, funny you should mention that, I ordered it once but it never came, my money was refunded. I may try again.


Lost in the mail?

I haven't seen the new, EX II-specific version, but I have the first edition and I found it mostly informative. There were a few things I disagree with the presenter about (like him using a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce outdoors), but mostly my quibbles are minor ones.

Speaking of Manual exposure with ETTL flash...

I picked up a 7D and a 430EX II on Monday. It's the first camera I've owned that had the ability to control wireless slave flashes via the pop-up flash, so tonight I tortured a coworker until he relented and let me take his picture.

I didn't have my lighting kit with me, just the camera and the 430; no light stands, modifiers, etc., so I just placed the 430 on a shelf about three feet from the subject and a foot above eye level (I would have gone higher if I could have), and at about a 20-degree angle from the camera-left side.

I used an exposure of f/8 @ 1/200 and 160 ISO, to prevent the overhead fluorescent lights from contributing to the exposure, and set a 430 : pop-up ratio of 4:1.

Considering that this was literally a less-than-five-minutes-from-setup-to-shoot process, I'm very happy with the results. If I'd had my 580EX with me I could have used the 580 as the main light, the pop-up as the fill again, and the 430 as a background light; that would have eliminated the shadow on the BG for a better (in my opinion) look, but overall I think this is fine for a quick portrait.








Dec 08, 2011 at 11:05 AM
clarence3
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Need Help With Flash


outlawyer wrote:
I have the 430EX set to ETTL, and am using Av. The flash fires fine, but it's as if the camera (5D) doesn't know the flash is there, as it chooses a slower shutter speed. The result is overexposed shots which are nonetheless blurry.
Same result with 580EX.


This is by design. Av mode is trying to expose for the dark ambient background, so it sets a long exposure time.

See FAQ #7 in "Top Ten Frequently Asked EOS Flash Questions"...
http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index.html#faq7

photonotes.org wrote:
In Av, night and Tv (shutter speed priority) modes the camera meters for ambient (existing) light and fills in the foreground subject using the flash. It does not assume that the primary light source is the flash, and therefore the shutter speed it sets is the same as it would set if you weren’t using flash at all. In low light this results in slow shutter photography.


Once you understand that Av mode is trying to drag the shutter to get better background exposure, you can either prepare for the long exposure (use a tripod) or limit Av shutter speed to x-sync in the menu...

See page 151 of the 5D manual about setting C.Fn-03:
http://209.129.49.56/joomla/documents/manuals/EOS5DIM-EN.pdf





Dec 08, 2011 at 02:19 PM
h00ligan
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Need Help With Flash


BrianO wrote:
This is how I do it most of the time, too. Manual exposure mode puts me in control of the ambient exposure.

I usually use ETTL Autoflash even with Manual camera mode, but for total control I'll go to Manual flash, as well.

This may help: http://bluecranedigital.com/Understanding-the-Canon-Speedlite-580EX-II-430EX-II

Also ditto on Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook.


Ditto, this was the first thing that fixed my flash probs, going into manual on the camera. Ii actually found another book to be a great starting place

'On camera flash techniques for wedding and portrait photographers'

Between them, they are a really food starting point for a newb to flash like me.


Edited on Dec 08, 2011 at 03:08 PM · View previous versions



Dec 08, 2011 at 02:48 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Need Help With Flash


BrianO wrote:
Considering that this was literally a less-than-five-minutes-from-setup-to-shoot process, I'm very happy with the results. If I'd had my 580EX with me I could have used the 580 as the main light, the pop-up as the fill again, and the 430 as a background light; that would have eliminated the shadow on the BG for a better (in my opinion) look, but overall I think this is fine for a quick portrait.


Or just put the 580ex on a flash bracket as fill and eliminate the head shadow from view and there's no need for the 430ex background flash — basically what I've been doing for the last 40 years with various types of flashes, the last six with a pair of 580ex.

Based on the GN specs for the 7D flash your results are actually better than I would have expected because using the build-in as Master reduces the amount of juice remaining to serve as fill which would limit range. It would be useful in close-in situations but wouldn't rely because it will limit overall shooting range. For example outdoors in HSS mode a pair of 580ex flashes at full 1/1 power only have an effective range of 10ft, limited by the ability of the Master / Fill add detail to the shadows. If you instead relied on just the 7D flash for fill the range would be more limited or you'd loose shadow detail.

If you get a chance to do some controlled testing / comparison of using the built-in for fill vs the 580ex/430ex using the same range of ratios it would be interesting to see the results and the limits of the built-in flash as fill.







Dec 08, 2011 at 02:51 PM
h00ligan
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Need Help With Flash


Cgardner,

Any recommendations for a flash bracket? I've been looking around but they either cost a small portion or make shooting portrait cumbersome.



Dec 08, 2011 at 03:09 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Need Help With Flash


h00ligan wrote:
Cgardner,

Any recommendations for a flash bracket? I've been looking around but they either cost a small portion or make shooting portrait cumbersome.


This is what I use:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?Q=&O=&A=details&is=REG&sku=105119






As for being cumbersome? Sure anything added to the camera is, but you adapt to it and don't even notice its there. In fact I find it more convenient when not shooting to carry the camera and flash by grabbing the bracket on top near the base of the flash and letting the camera hang down.

I've also always used flash on a bracket because that's what my boss handed me 40 years ago to shoot weddings for him with and would feel odd without one on the camera. Over the years I made a variety of DIY brackets for my various cameras by when buying my first digital, a Kodak DC290 P&S in 2000, I bought the bracket above which still only costs $48. I've used it for my Minolta D7Hi, Canon 20D and now with my 50D.

There are more expensive and better built brackets on the market but it still does the job —which is really simple — and is convenient to use and carry around. I keep the OC-E3 cord permanently attached now ( the photo above is an old one) and clip it to the handle of my shoulder bag on the outside for transport. I've travelled with it that way on planes with no hassle from TSA.

I like the ergonomics, keeping my right hand on the grip to flip the camera and cradling the base of the bracket with my left as I would the camera without the bracket. With my 70-200mm I need to shift my left hand to the lens barrel for balance which in portrait mode can cause the arm with the flash to rotate down out of position. I could have remedied that by tightening the tilt linkages but instead added a locking pin...












I also added an Arca-Swiss style quick release / plate (Wimberley) which cost twice as much at the bracket did, but makes mounting / unmounting easier. On my 50D I opted for an RRS L plate on the camera so when on a tripod I don't need to flop the camera sideways. That alone cost 3x more than the bracket. So its not just about cost for me, it's finding what works best for me.

YMMV. For example the bracket above doesn't work with grip cameras — not enough clearance in portrait mode. So you need to find what works best for your camera and shooting style.




Dec 08, 2011 at 04:14 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Need Help With Flash


BrianO wrote:
Considering that this was literally a less-than-five-minutes-from-setup-to-shoot process, I'm very happy with the results. If I'd had my 580EX with me I could have used the 580 as the main light, the pop-up as the fill again, and the 430 as a background light; that would have eliminated the shadow on the BG for a better (in my opinion) look, but overall I think this is fine for a quick portrait.


cgardner wrote:
Or just put the 580ex on a flash bracket as fill and eliminate the head shadow from view and there's no need for the 430ex background flash — basically what I've been doing for the last 40 years with various types of flashes, the last six with a pair of 580ex.


I have, and use, brackets for events where I'm walking around and shooting from the hip, as it were, but in this case I didn't want that look. I specifically wanted short lighting, which requires the main light to be off to the side opposite the more-visible of the ears.

Since the main light is stronger than the fill, the shadow it casts cannot be eliminated by the fill light, only reduced -- as it was here. Putting the fill on a bracket wouldn't have changed that; a background light set equal to or greater than the main light would have.

Once one understands the cause and effect of light and shadow, it become easier to know in advance what the various options of lighting placement will do, and to choose them accordingly.



Dec 08, 2011 at 05:58 PM
fiyawerx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Need Help With Flash


cgardner wrote:
...



Wow... I've been getting slightly frustrated with similar issues and not being able to quite "get it". Thanks for shedding some light!



Dec 08, 2011 at 06:53 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Need Help With Flash


Brian. I appears you misunderstood my comment. I wasn't suggesting single flash with a bracket. I was suggesting that fill from the bracket, in addition to the off camera light 45° from the nose, would eliminate the shadow on the wall...







The shadow behind him appears to be from the fill light due to the fact it is sideways and level with his head as would be expected from the build-in flash used in portrait mode just to the left of the lens. That would also explain why side of the face is in shadow - the fill was shaded there because the camera flash put to to the right of the lens.

At the same time the shadow cast by the nose and catchlights of the eyes seem to indicate the key light was higher than the head and to the left, possibly bounced or diffused? Bouncing the off camera flash would seem to me to explain how the background wound up so light (fall off from fill would produce the opposite cause and effect) and why the fill shadow is visible. Fill was brighter than the OCF where both sources hit the wall.








Dec 08, 2011 at 07:10 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Need Help With Flash


cgardner wrote:
Brian. I appears you misunderstood my comment. I wasn't suggesting single flash with a bracket.


No, I know what you meant: key and overlapping fill. I don't have your depth of experience with brackets, since I haven't been using them for 40 years, but I do understand the concept. (I've only been using brackets since June of '73; that's what? 38.5 years?)

cgardner wrote:
...That would also explain why side of the face is in shadow - the fill was shaded there because the camera flash put to to the right of the lens.


The right side of his face is in shadow because I chose to create short lighting by placing the main light to camera left in order to create the shadow on the right side of his face. I also chose to turn the camera to put the fill on that side in order to augment that shadow.

I could have put the main light to camera-right in order to put the shadow on the left side, but that would have been broad lighting, which I did not want. (I wanted to de-emphasize his ear a bit, among other things.)

cgardner wrote:
...At the same time the shadow cast by the nose and catchlights of the eyes seem to indicate the key light was higher than the head and to the left, possibly bounced or diffused?


In this case the main light was direct, not bounced and not diffused.

It was only slightly above his eye level, because that's where the only shelf on the peninsula of the dispatch console was. As I mentioned in my post above, if I had brought a light stand (or if there had been a higher shelf) I could have still got short lighting, but with a more-classic loop shadow from his nose, but that wasn't an option at the time.

I didn't bring my camera to work today, but if I get a chance tomorrow I'll recreate the setup I used and take another shot, this time with the fill flash not firing, so we can see how much of the light is contributed only by the main flash. You may be right about which light actually created the visible shadow on the wall; it'll be an interesting experiment.



Dec 08, 2011 at 08:13 PM





FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password