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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #29086
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Subject: "Confused about exposure meter with sb-600" Previous topic | Next topic
5thElement Registered since 25th Jan 2008Tue 05-Feb-08 08:30 PM
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"Confused about exposure meter with sb-600"


GB
          

Hi,

I got the SB-600 today and i've just noticed this.

In auto mode on the camera, say i've got a shutter of 1/60th and f4, the exposure meter is fine, but when i switch to P mode on the camera, despite still having 1/60th and f4, the exposure meter is telling me the shot will be underexposed? with the meter all the way over to the negative side? but when taking the picture it seems turn out fine..? iso settings etc also the same as far i can tell.

Any ideas? is there something im not doing right with the flash unit? (it's set to TTL)

Thanks

  

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sillyconguru Registered since 31st Oct 2005Tue 05-Feb-08 08:57 PM
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#1. "RE: Confused about exposure meter with sb-600"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          

This should help you understand what is going on:
http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=154&topic_id=14752

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 05-Feb-08 09:03 PM
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#2. "RE: Confused about exposure meter with sb-600"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I got the SB-600 today and i've just noticed this.
>
>In auto mode on the camera, say i've got a shutter of 1/60th
>and f4, the exposure meter is fine, but when i switch to P
>mode on the camera, despite still having 1/60th and f4, the
>exposure meter is telling me the shot will be underexposed?
>with the meter all the way over to the negative side? but when
>taking the picture it seems turn out fine..? iso settings etc
>also the same as far i can tell.
>
>Any ideas? is there something im not doing right with the
>flash unit? (it's set to TTL)

I checked your profile, but it doesn't say which camera you have. Maybe different cameras work differently.

On my D200, with the SB600 attached, the light meter is displayed in A, S, and M modes. It is not displayed in P mode.

And the light meter reads the same in any of the modes it is displayed, as long as the shutter and aperture don't change. I think that when you go to P mode, the camera usually picks a different set of aperture and shutter than you may have selected.

The picture will turn out fine as long as the flash can provide enough power to light the subject. The camera f/ stop and shutter speed mostly affect the background brightness.

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/
http://NikonCLSPracticalGuide.blogspot.com/

  

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5thElement Registered since 25th Jan 2008Tue 05-Feb-08 09:16 PM
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#3. "RE: Confused about exposure meter with sb-600"
In response to Reply # 2


GB
          

Thanks for the quick replys and the link to the other thread.

Im using a Nikon D40 (i better fill in my profile!)

  

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Wayne Registered since 05th Nov 2005Tue 05-Feb-08 10:30 PM
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#4. "RE: Confused about exposure meter with sb-600"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

>In auto mode on the camera, say i've got a shutter of 1/60th
>and f4, the exposure meter is fine, but when i switch to P
>mode on the camera, despite still having 1/60th and f4, the
>exposure meter is telling me the shot will be underexposed?
>with the meter all the way over to the negative side? but when
>taking the picture it seems turn out fine..? iso settings etc
>also the same as far i can tell.

This exposure meter is only about the ambient room light. It cannot meter the flash.

With the SB-600 power switch turned off, perhaps the camera meter in P mode reads a dim room at 1 second at f/2.8 (whatever, something dim). That is the ambient room light being metered, and if you press the shutter, you do get something there, maybe blurred, but with a reasonable amount of exposure.

Then reach up and turn on the flash power, and P mode will jump to 1/60 second f/5. Camera models may vary slightly, but this is just lower limits of how P mode thinks we should use flash. P mode with flash will not go slower than 1/60 or open more than f/5 (D300 with f/2.8 lens). That exposure would be underexposed at these limits if you dont use flash, but it knows the flash is present and ready, so that is not a concern. When you use the flash, then the TTL flash mode automation takes over and gives you a proper degree of flash power for the aperture f/5.

I am not sure about a D40. I dont know, but suspect Auto mode is same as P mode, but with no user changeable settings in Auto? I refer to a D300, but I think they are all very similar. Sounds like your P mode goes to f/4, but my D300 with a f/2.8 lens only goes to f/5 in P mode.

So P mode is not the best bet for flash in a dim room-- it does not allow us to use our fancy f/2.8 lenses. P mode may be fine for flash outdoors in the sun, but indoors, try flash with A mode or M mode. A mode lets you set aperture for a decent flash power level, and will still limit at 1/60 second when the flash is on (there is a menu to change that, or slow sync mode will bypass it too). Flash itself does not care what the shutter speed is, flash only cares about aperture. Shutter speed (with flash) is only for letting in some of the ambient room light.

M mode is most versatile with flash, as it will allow any aperture and any shutter speed up to maximum sync speed.


  

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