Nikon D50 - Built-in Flash question...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by igmolinav, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. igmolinav macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005

    I have a Nikon D50 camera. I have been using the camera for a month or so and I haven´t been able to use the built-in flash properly, or perhaps there is something wrong with it.

    I have mostly shot at night using the aperture mode, and my only complain is that the flash "overpowers" itself. I mean, I take a picture and the flash overexposes the taken image. What do you suggest me to do ?? I have set up the flash in automatic mode and at the same time lowered its exposition level to -3 stops - (didn´t work, the images come out overexposed); and I have also used it in manual at 1/16th of its power (the lowest for manual), and it still overexposes the image - (also didn´t work!!!).

    What can I do ??? I want to take pictures of people, and that they may be dimmly illuminated by the flash, so it gives a more natural feeling at night of the pictures being taken. I have seen pictures taken with a Canon camera and the pictures are nice flash balanced, is Nikon also supposed to balance flash lights properly like Canon ???.

    In advance, thank you very much for your help,

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I've always known the on-board flash to be very hot and with Nikon this is actually a complaint that seems to date way back before digital. However, the photos you want I believe would best be taken with the sb-600, it's the less expensive less feature packed but still full of great features dedicated flash unit that will mount on your hot shoe. This will give you the full control you desire.
  3. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    put the camera on manual and set it to 1/60 sec at f8.

    photograph something that is about 8 feet away.

    and then change the f-stop to see what gives you the best results at that distance.

    nikons dont make good point and shoot cameras.
  4. CDailey macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
  5. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    Have you tried reducing the flash power level? After you pop up the flash, hold down the flash and exposure compensation (+/-) buttons, and turn the dial to change the flash power level. Is this what you mean by "exposition level" or are you referring to actual exposure compensation? Exposure compensation, same procedure as above but without the flash button, might help as well.

    Also worth considering for many portraits is cranking the ISO to 1600 and seeing if you can get by without flash. This doesn't always work, but it's worth a shot since with digital you can always see if it came out lousy and pop the flash anyhow.
  6. bozigle macrumors regular

    Depending of the amount of flash pictures you're doing... but as a rule portrait+build-in flash= disaster
    So what can you do?
    -as previously mentionned you can decrease by 1 or 2 stop your flash power (it's look like the same as the exposure stop but for the flash... even my girlfriend bridge has one so you SLR should)
    -you can invest in a little diffusing ad-on to fix on your camera
    -you can invest in a cheap flash with a cable, this way you can take the flash away from the axe of the lense, but you'll have to learn to take picture with one hand handling the flash...

  7. lurcher macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2004
    Get a sheet of loo paper and attach it over the flash with an elastic band. This creates a diffused light. It works sometimes believe it or not! Very Blue Petery ;)
  8. igmolinav thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2005
    Thank you very much !!!!

    Thank you very much to all of you for your input !!!

    The use of a dimmed fill-in flash light would be for photojournalistic or documentary shots, where the light is barely noticed. I think canon is just better at this with its built-in flash.

    Any other ideas are appreciated.

  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I think you should be able to turn down the flash. I notice that on the D50 you can't in some modes but I'm pretty sure you can in aperture priority mode.

    What you really should do is post this question at This is a Mac Rumors forum the camera related advice I see here is only about 60% accurate. You should be able to dial it down. But if the subject is close and you are shooting wide open with an f/1.4 lens there may not be enough compensation range.

    Also what lens are you using? An AFD or an AF? The "D" is supose to be smart enought to transmit distance data to the camera. With my 50mm AD (no D) lens the built in flash is at least 1/2 stop "hot" on the D50. Many of my lenses were bought 15 years ago before the "D" thing came out.

    I've noticed that my N90 and SB26 system is MUCH smarter about flash exposure then the built in flash on the D50. The N90 nails it perfectly Could just be that the SB26 is just a better flash
  10. matt311rocks macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2006
    I found this to be very true. I have a N90s with a SB26 and a D50 and the exposure is very close to right on with the flash. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the SB26 being a better flash than the built in. But hey, at least you're not wasting film with the D50. If I must use the flash on my D50 I underexpose, well according to the meter, every time. Try the auto bracketing on your camera. I use it quite a bit. I'd try out .3 step bracketing for flash and exposure and maybe underexpose your first shot by just a tad.
  11. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    At night using aperture priority? there's your problem!

    Remember, most likely the camera is using matrix metering- it analyzes the scene and with the flash active, it will attempt to light the entire scene- not just your subject.

    You need to do one or a combination of a few things:
    1) meter for your subject. zoom in or use center or spot metering
    2) use FV lock. I'm pretty sure you can assign the AE/AF-L button to FV lock.
    3) try slow sync, which will meter for ambient light and use flash only as fill for this. Note this will require a wider aperture and higher ISO to achieve a high shutter speed
    4) shoot in manual exposure mode
    5) use an external flash for best results and easier control.

    Nikon is widely regarded as having the best flash system in the world with their i-TTL system which the D50 features.
  12. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT

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