Canon 1D and Flash 550

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ChristianVirtual, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #1
    I attended a wedding last weekend from a colleague. I was trying to shoot with my 1DM3 with a SpeedLite 550 attached. In some cases the images came out highly overexposed, at an unrecoverable level.
    I tried several ways like Program, Tv, Av and M, in all modes I got bad images. Finally I gave up in the flash and used ISO 3200 with noiseNinja in post processing. But I don't like that too much as I loose sharpness. I know: photography is a different word for compromise.

    What is your rule of thumb for successful flash photography for a Canon man (and I know that Nikon has better flash system, but I have too much glass)

    Thanks for any good tip or link to tutorials.
     
  2. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #2
    You will not be able to master using a flash by reading a tutorial, you have to practice and practice and practice.
    Having said that, a good start in the basics of using a flash would be to read tutorials on http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/ starting with maybe this one: Lighting 101: Balancing Flash and Ambient, Pt 1
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #3
    gnd has given you good advice: strobist is probably the best online resource for people interested in flash photography. Personally, I got used to do almost all of my flash photography in M. First, I switch the flash off and adjust all parameters (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) to get the background as bright as I want it to be. Then I switch on the flash gun and shoot away. If you stay in one location, you basically don't need to change the settings anymore with the possible exception of a flash exposure compensation. If possible and desired, I bounce the flash and I often use gels (mostly yellow).

    This is not a very sophisticated setup and by no means do you have to change brands just to get acceptable photos with flash. Nikons are very nifty in one respect, though: you can use the built-in flash to command external flashes. I love that feature and use it quite a bit, too.

    In any case, you seem to have excellent equipment which may even be too complex for a beginner. You should be able to get first-rate results. If you post some photos you're unhappy with, I'm sure we can give you more specific advice.
     
  4. ChristianVirtual thread starter macrumors 601

    ChristianVirtual

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #4
    Thanks both for your reply; with respect to flash photography I kind of have to agree not having too much practice. I had in the past some good results with ambient light and fill-flash. This time not.

    Attached one sample of a number of 5 consecutive imaged completly strange.
    Something must caused the flash thinking to emit a huge amount of light. Before exposed ok; one after underexposed; after that went back to normal. A bit erratic to me; for sure not reliable.

    CLM34087.jpg

    EXIF:
    Aperture Value: 3.375
    Color Space: sRGB
    Date Time Digitized: 2011:09:10 15:29:14
    Date Time Original: 2011:09:10 15:29:14
    Exif Version: 2.2.1
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Mode: Auto exposure
    Exposure Program: Shutter priority
    Exposure Time: 2 / 333
    Flash: Flash fired, compulsory flash mode
    FlashPix Version: 1.0
    FNumber: 3.2
    Focal Length: 70
    ISO Speed Ratings: 800
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Shutter Speed Value: 7.375
    Sub-second Time: 00
    Sub-second Time Digitized: 00
    Sub-second Time Original: 00
    White Balance: Auto white balance
     
  5. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #5
    Was this manual flash or ETTL?

    This is horrific overexposure, suggesting either (a) you used manual flash at high power and didn't realize or (b) something is wrong with the Speedlite.

    What was the ambient light exposure?
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #6
    Unfortunately the copy of the image you've attached no longer contains the relevant EXIF data, but I think Edge's hunch may be correct.
     
  7. hansolo669 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #7
    just looking at your exif data everything seems okay... except
    your shooting in shutter priority? any specific reason? personally i usually do my shoot flash in either aperature prioity or manual.
    related to the shutter prioity setting your aperature is at 3.2 afaik not a good number for repetable flash pics.

    i belive (correct me if im wrong) but if your shootin in ett(ittl or just plain ttl) you need to have a aperature around f8 (@iso 400) otherwise your pictures get compleatly blown out due to the fact that the camera is meetering for the scene not for the flash (also as a note old film cams would meeter of the film during flash not so with digital)
     
  8. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #8
    Agreed that use of Tv mode is odd with flash.

    You're incorrect about ETTL, however. You can shoot at any f/stop or ISO you'd like; so long as the flash has enough power to light the scene (or, conversely, the power can be reduced low enough), you'll get a "proper" exposure. I put 'proper' in quote marks because it's only "proper" with respect to what the camera believes the correct exposure to be. Whether it's "proper" in terms of the exposure you want is another matter.
     
  9. hansolo669 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #9
    aah ... well i dont have much experiance with modern ttl flash systems (the newest flash i have is...the built in one on my d100 :p) but this is good to know (has been bugging me for quite some time)
     

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