Help Files Camera and Photography Forum

For general camera equipment and photography technique questions. Moderated by another view. Also see the Learn section, Camera Reviews, Photography Lessons, and Glossary of Photo Terms.
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Swansea, MA

    Some help again! Fill Flash

    Hello again. I just wanted to get some help with using fill flash outside. I usually dont do this and Its new to me. I have a nikon N80 and a SB-27 flash unit. I called Nikon since the flash manual is very vague. They told me that it has TTl Mettering so I just keep everything on Program and Auto and it will meter and cut back as the distance changes (right?) Anyway, I took 2 rolls of test film and used my pop up and sb-27 and it did work better since there were no unflattering shadows. (The pop up looked good too, is this sufficient to use in a wedding?) However with my 35mm format I can only go up to 125th sec so its hard to get a shallow depth of field since I always am at f/16 or f/22. Is there soemthign else i can do that i'm not aware of? Any help on fill flash would help alot. also, does using fill flash make the images look more flat since the whites are blown out more?? And is it good to use a pocket flash outside also? thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
    Two things:

    1- When using fill-flash it's helpful to monitor the in-viewfinder meter to see how many stop under-exposed your setting is. One-stop under will give a really subtle effect, two-stop less so, etc.

    2- If you don't have a fast moving subject, the 1/125th of a second max sync speed isn't that much of a problem. If you want a shallower depth of field, you can use a neutral density filter. This will reduce the amount of available light, and let you use a wider aperture.


  3. #3
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Paris, France

    Fill-in flash season

    It's the season for fill-in flash. That 1/125s flash sync speed on the F80 is really a nuisance. If you want to get shallower depth of field will fill-in flash then you can :

    1. Use a slower film. 100 ISO Reala is slow and copes well with excessive contrast
    2. Shoot a contrejour with the sun at 45 degrees behind your subject. The sun lights the edge of your subject and the flash provides the main light.

    In all cases - and in particular if you try solution 2 - DON'T GO BEYOND THE RANGE OF THE FLASH or you will find that you have just a silhouette with blank shadow. Awful. Forget the built-in flash of the F80. In bright sunlight it has a range of about 3-6 feet. Your SB27 has a zoom head so the effective power of the flash varies according to the focal length of the lens, you'll have to look at the flash manual to know what the guide number is.

    Lets take an example with my SB28, a 50mm lens, 100 ISO film and worst-case exposure 1/125 f16. The Guide Number of the flash is 36 (metres) so the maximum distance for the flash is 36/16 = 2.25 meters or about 8 feet. This is really bad news for groups.

    The other problem with fill-in flash under clear blue skies is that the shadows are blue - they're lit only by the sky - and even if you bring them up with the flash, there will still be a hint of blue in the shadows. You have been warned.

    As for how the F80 and the flash work in Auto-P mode - fit the flash and the camera starts out with a default setting of 1/125 f5.6 or whatever for 100 ISO film. Then it realises that there's a lot of light out there and it sets the diaphragm to f16 (I have even seen f32 with some lenses) to expose the scene correctly for the ambient light. When you press the shutter release it pops off the flash and measures the exposure in real-time until the flash has shed enough light on the subject to provide a balanced picture at which time it shuts the flash off - unless the flash runs out of steam first, of course. In dim light the F80 will set a slower shutter speed and wider aperture to try to give a balanced effect - within limits. You can also use A- S- and even M- mode to set shutter speed and/or aperture yourself and the TTL flash will keep on giving the right exposure


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. How to use flash fill - 10D & 550ex
    By Sean Dempsey in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-07-2009, 06:38 AM
  2. Flash in Sports Photography
    By Jonnyboy in forum Sports Photography
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-06-2007, 11:14 AM
  3. using studio flash lights for home lighting?
    By joebloetemp in forum Studio & Lighting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-13-2004, 07:00 PM
  4. flash guide number
    By potterguy in forum Digital Cameras - General
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-24-2004, 11:23 PM
  5. Flash HELP!
    By JKeena in forum Help Files
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-22-2004, 12:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts