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Subject: "Why does this happen?" Previous topic | Next topic
bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Mon 06-Apr-09 03:58 AM
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"Why does this happen?"


US
          

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3375/3417158880_384380f471_b.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3387/3417172866_56d091c6f4_b.jpg

Why is bottom half of the picture dark?

I am very new to the lighting systems. My guess is that the ceiling may be too high and that not enough power was emitted so it couldn't reach all the way down. Is there also a way to keep the ISO as low as possible when the flash is mounted. I use auto-iso, but everytime I use a bounce flash, it goes to 1600.

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Why does this happen?
SKnikonian
06th Apr 2009
1
Reply message RE: Why does this happen?
Arkayem Moderator
06th Apr 2009
2
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mikeacollins
06th Apr 2009
3
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Arkayem Moderator
07th Apr 2009
4
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bigbearbe
08th Apr 2009
5
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Arkayem Moderator
08th Apr 2009
6
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Len Shepherd Gold Member
08th Apr 2009
7
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bigbearbe
08th Apr 2009
8
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Arkayem Moderator
09th Apr 2009
10
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bigbearbe
09th Apr 2009
11
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ScottChapin Moderator
09th Apr 2009
12
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09th Apr 2009
13
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09th Apr 2009
15
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09th Apr 2009
22
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Ed Morris
09th Apr 2009
14
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09th Apr 2009
17
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09th Apr 2009
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09th Apr 2009
23
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SKnikonian Registered since 03rd Dec 2003Mon 06-Apr-09 04:18 PM
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#1. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 0


Carlyle, CA
          

>http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3375/3417158880_384380f471_b.jpg
>http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3387/3417172866_56d091c6f4_b.jpg
>
>Why is bottom half of the picture dark?
>
>I am very new to the lighting systems. My guess is that the
>ceiling may be too high and that not enough power was emitted
>so it couldn't reach all the way down. Is there also a way to
>keep the ISO as low as possible when the flash is mounted. I
>use auto-iso, but everytime I use a bounce flash, it goes to
>1600.
>
>Eric

Typically, the dark bar on the bottom is caused by your flash and camera being out of sync. Too high a shutter speed lets the shutter start closing before the flash. Have you set the high speed sync setting on your camera?

Personally, I don't care for auto iso. I like to know how the camera is thinking in lighting situations so I don't use auto. That said, if you were simply bouncing your flash straight up with no deflector in place to aim the light forward then this environment would make it extremely difficult to get enough out of your flash. Use a reflector, built in or otherwise, to get some of that light forward in places like this.

In this instance, I would likely set my flash to TTL, put some kind of reflector in place, for horizontal shooting I would aim the flash head about 60 degrees up, set the iso at 400 or 800, then the camera in manual mode set at a shutter speed that I am comfortable with and an aperture that would give me the desired DOF. Remember, the flash will freeze the action in its light path so you could actually get some neat effects in places like this by setting the camera to Rear-Curtain sync and using a slower shutter speed (dragging the shutter).

Practice in different low-light situations and get used to what various settings on your camera produce and soon you can construct the shots you want quickly and easily.

Hope this helps a bit,
K

Kevin Dyck - Prairie Nikonian

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 06-Apr-09 09:16 PM
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#2. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Your flash is clearly not sync'd properly to your camera. This normally happens when the shutter speed is set too high (above 1/250th on my D200).

I am also very suspicious that your problem may be due to the fact that you are using a Canon 530-EF ST DG Flash instead of a Nikon flash. I have no idea whether a Canon flash will sync properly with a Nikon camera.

Also, with a Nikon flash, you can select Auto FP High Speed Sync and that will allow higher shutter speeds, but the Canon flash may not support that mode. Try selecting regular flash sync in the menus.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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mikeacollins Basic MemberMon 06-Apr-09 09:53 PM
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#3. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 2
Mon 06-Apr-09 10:03 PM by mikeacollins

Kalispell, US
          

Russ,

The 530-EF ST DG is a Sigma flash. As long as it is the NA-iTTL model for Nikon's it should work fine. The ST model does not support FP mode but their Super model does.


Mike

------------------------------
Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.
Wynn Bullock

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 07-Apr-09 11:39 AM
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#4. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>The 530-EF ST DG is a Sigma flash. As long as it is the
>NA-iTTL model for Nikon's it should work fine. The ST model
>does not support FP mode but their Super model does.

OK, I thought it was a Canon. Anyway, I think the reason for the dark band on the picture is because it doesn't support Auto FP mode, and the camera must have been in that mode for the shutter to be allowed to go above the flash sync speed of 1/250th.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Wed 08-Apr-09 12:56 AM
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#5. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

Ah, so I would need to adjust the settings of the flash sync speed. Can someone please go into just a little bit more detail about this. The flash sync speed is not the same as the shutter speed, correct? Also, setting my camera in manual mode would allow me to set the desired shutter speed (1/60 or 1/80) and any ISO along with the f-stop solely because the flash will know and compensate for any lighting I need correct?

Eric

PS, I have an SB600 on the way. I only got the 530 DG ST because it seemed a little bit better than the SB400 and for nearly the same price.


Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 08-Apr-09 02:01 AM
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#6. "RE: Why does this happen?"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Ah, so I would need to adjust the settings of the flash sync
>speed. Can someone please go into just a little bit more
>detail about this. The flash sync speed is not the same as the
>shutter speed, correct? Also, setting my camera in manual mode
>would allow me to set the desired shutter speed (1/60 or 1/80)
>and any ISO along with the f-stop solely because the flash
>will know and compensate for any lighting I need correct?
>
>Eric

The flash sync speed is not something you can change. It is inherent in the shutter design, and on the D200 it is 1/250th second. In fact, the flash sync speed is the highest shutter speed that the entire frame is open at one time. Above this speed, the shutter becomes a traveling slit, and that is why when the flash fires, the frame is not completely open and part of it is dark.

The camera won't let set a shutter speed above 1/250th when the flash is turned ON, unless you are in Auto FP mode. I think this is what is happening to you. You are in Auto FP mode, but the 530 DG ST doesn't have this mode, so it is making the bottom half of your image dark.

Once you get your SB-600, you won't see this problem anymore, because it will work in Auto FP mode.

So, for now, I think to fix your problem while using the 530 DG ST, you need to turn off Auto FP mode. Go into the D200 menu e1 and set it to 1/250s NOT 1/250s (Auto FP).

Then, the camera will not allow you to set a shutter speed higher than 1/250th, when the flash is turned on and in the hot shoe.

Then, I think the 530 should sync just fine.

I invite you to read more about Auto FP mode in my blog article here: http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2008/03/10-auto-fp-high-speed-sync-explained.html

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Wed 08-Apr-09 08:33 PM
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#7. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 6
Wed 08-Apr-09 08:38 PM by Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, GB
          

First IS IT a flash sync issue?
Looking particularly at the second picture the dark band is not level across the picture - which might be an obstruction in front of the lens.
>The flash sync speed is not something you can change.
True - but in shutter priority mode if it is a flash sync issue, with the shutter speed set at 1/60, perhaps 1/125 and maybe even 1/250 there should be no cut off.
As the flash gun fires in the range of 1/800 to perhaps 1/10000 time you will not get a double exposure blur in low indoor "nightclub" lighting levels.
Back to the flashgun it's timing relative to "shutter fully open" may not be as good as Nikon. If it is you can shoot in shutter priority at 1/250 - if not 1/60 should be good and 1/125 could be OK.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Wed 08-Apr-09 10:17 PM
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#8. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Thanks everyone for helping. I will admit I have been shooting in A mode which is probably not the best thing to do for flash units. Im going to try putting it in Manual or Program mode with a lower ISO(200 or 400), 1/125 or 1/250 Shutter speed, and the aperture I prefer given the moment. The flash gun should know the amount of power it needs to output correct?

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 02:43 AM
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#10. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 8


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thanks everyone for helping. I will admit I have been
>shooting in A mode which is probably not the best thing to do
>for flash units. Im going to try putting it in Manual or
>Program mode with a lower ISO(200 or 400), 1/125 or 1/250
>Shutter speed, and the aperture I prefer given the moment. The
>flash gun should know the amount of power it needs to output
>correct?
>
>Eric

Eric,

Go back and check what your shutter speed was on those two shots you posted. Let us know what you find.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Thu 09-Apr-09 01:06 PM
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#11. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

First Picture

Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Focal Length: 18.3 mm
ISO Speed: 1250
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Auto, Fired, Return detected

Second Picture

Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Focal Length: 18.3 mm
ISO Speed: 720
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Auto, Fired, Return detected

BTW, these are all shot on a D40.

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 01:22 PM
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#12. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 11


Powder Springs, US
          

I don't think this is a sync issue with 1/60th shutter speeds. There is a thread in the D300 forum now stating that their bar is at the top of frame with a sync issue, as I had thought it would be.

Len enboldened me to come forth by saying that it didn't look like a sync issue to him. First I thought a long lens was the problem, but it's vignette would be convex to the frame. Yours is concave to the frame.

You probably had some obstruction close to the lens. That would be particularly suspected, if you do not see this in other photos.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 02:00 PM
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#13. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 12


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>You probably had some obstruction close to the lens. That
>would be particularly suspected, if you do not see this in
>other photos.

Maybe it was the lens hood.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 02:15 PM
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#15. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 13


Powder Springs, US
          

Hi Russ,

I was thinking that, but it would have had to be severely tilted upwards to cause the concave shadow, otherwise the top of the hood would have been in the way causing it to be convex. In fact, the hood might have gotten knocked cock eyed.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Thu 09-Apr-09 06:52 PM
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#22. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 11


Chicago, US
          

Your flash will only zoom to a focal length of 24mm while the SB-600 will zoom to a focal length of 14mm. So if you use a lens with a wider focal length than your flash will support, your flash will not fill the Field of View, FOV, for the lens.

Did you have your flash on a bracket above and to the right of the center of the lens?

Not only is there a darkening at the bottom, but it also appears to be on the left side of the image.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 01:27 AM
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#9. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 7


Powder Springs, US
          

I'm not convinced it's a sync issue either. As you say,Len, the line is not straight. Also, I thought the band from a sync issue appears at the top of the frame. At least, I thought I had seen that in some examples at one time.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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Ed Morris Registered since 25th Mar 2009Thu 09-Apr-09 02:13 PM
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#14. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

>I'm not convinced it's a sync issue either. As you say,Len,
>the line is not straight. Also, I thought the band from a sync
>issue appears at the top of the frame. At least, I thought I
>had seen that in some examples at one time.

I have had the camera strap get caught up in a flower type lens hood. In daylight, you would see it, of course, but in a dimly lit setting, you might not.

Wonder if he was using the hood and has a strap?

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 02:17 PM
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#16. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 14


Powder Springs, US
          

Ahhh....maybe so.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Thu 09-Apr-09 03:06 PM
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#17. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 14
Thu 09-Apr-09 03:06 PM by bigbearbe

US
          

I was using a strap but it was tightly wrapped around my hand. There was no hood.

The ceiling was 12-14ft high and black. Would that cause any issues? Usually in the cases of a high ceiling, a diffuser or reflector (white index card) may need to be used correct?

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 03:33 PM
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#18. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 17


Powder Springs, US
          

The only thing that makes sense to me is that something was encroaching on your FOV. It was in front of you and below the lens. You just didn't know it was there.

Whatever it was, it blocked your flash, but not your lens.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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nightcat Registered since 05th Mar 2006Thu 09-Apr-09 04:17 PM
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#20. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 18


LaCrosse,WI, US
          

When I first read the OP, I was thinking the problem may have been caused by the flash being tilted up and the ceiling being black. Basically, the flash head itself is causing the shadow. I am far from an expert so was reluctant to say anything. Could this be the problem?

Kraig

"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides
"I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 04:35 PM
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#21. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 20


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>When I first read the OP, I was thinking the problem may have
>been caused by the flash being tilted up and the ceiling being
>black. Basically, the flash head itself is causing the shadow.
>I am far from an expert so was reluctant to say anything.
>Could this be the problem?

No, I don't think so. The flash itself could not make that sharp a dividing line between light and dark.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 04:10 PM
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#19. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 17


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>The ceiling was 12-14ft high and black. Would that cause any
>issues? Usually in the cases of a high ceiling, a diffuser or
>reflector (white index card) may need to be used correct?

No, the height of the ceiling could not cause this. This also could not have been caused by the use of not of a diffuser.

Did this happen on all your flash pictures or only these? I notice these were both wide angle shots.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Thu 09-Apr-09 08:29 PM
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#23. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 19


US
          

Russ,

While I was in the club, most of the pictures ended up like this. Whereas if I am at home, the shots come out perfect.

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 09:26 PM
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#24. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 23


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Russ,
>
>While I was in the club, most of the pictures ended up like
>this. Whereas if I am at home, the shots come out perfect.
>
>Eric

Now, that is really weird! I have no idea what is causing it.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Thu 09-Apr-09 09:29 PM
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#25. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 23
Thu 09-Apr-09 09:33 PM by gkaiseril

Chicago, US
          

Was your home as dark as the club?

It appears the focal length of your lenes, 18mm, is wider than the widest focal length of the flash head, 24mm. At home the ambient light of the room maybe enough to allow a better exposure.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 09-Apr-09 11:52 PM
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#26. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 25


Powder Springs, US
          

Maybe. An 18mm lens on a DX body is about 27mm FX, so a 24mm non DX indexing flash should cover it.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 10-Apr-09 12:00 AM
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#27. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 17


Powder Springs, US
          

Wait a minute. Were you trying to bounce flash in a black ceiling room? That would be it probably. The flash is not providing full coverage and nothing is bouncing back.

If that is the case, you need to shoot straight on through the diffuser or get something like a reflector (which you had mentioned).

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Fri 10-Apr-09 05:33 AM
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#28. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 27


US
          

Thats what I keep thinking. In my house, the ceiling is only about 9-11 feet.

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 10-Apr-09 12:15 PM
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#29. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 27


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Wait a minute. Were you trying to bounce flash in a black
>ceiling room? That would be it probably. The flash is not
>providing full coverage and nothing is bouncing back.
>
>If that is the case, you need to shoot straight on through the
>diffuser or get something like a reflector (which you had
>mentioned).

I thought about that, but in the first picture, you can see a bright flash reflection in the background indicating plenty of direct light.

Something is blocking that direct light from reaching the bottom of the frame.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 10-Apr-09 01:13 PM
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#30. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 29


Powder Springs, US
          

Yeah, I'm not sure, but I have had hot spots in windows despite angling the flash upwards. With the diffuser in place, it might do that and leave a rectangular hot spot....dunno..

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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bigbearbe Registered since 02nd Jan 2009Fri 10-Apr-09 04:16 PM
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#31. "RE: Clarification"
In response to Reply # 30


US
          

Thanks Everyone, Ill test a it more and see what comes up. So far, it is only in high ceilings that this happens.

Eric

Selling: Nikon 18-105 VR

  

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