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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #59638
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Subject: "TTL BL on SB900 w D80" Previous topic | Next topic
z1gary Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2006Mon 29-Oct-12 02:50 AM
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"TTL BL on SB900 w D80"


Crystal River, US
          

picked up my camera (D80 w 85mm 1.4)) after a year of non-use for halloween party...and got all tangled up w my SB-900. Totally operator error I'm sure.

Problem: could not get the TTL-BL to work. I get A, M, RPT and TTL modes to choose from but no TTL-BL.

That is the case whether the SB-900 is mounted on D80 or off camera.

D80 Custom Setting Menu #22, Built in Flash, is set to TTL.
SB-900 power is 'on' (not remote or master).

i swear i swear i swear i have had it working in the past - neither the D80 nor the SB900 manuals (seem to) help (today).

Thanks,
Gary

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
clayolmstead Silver Member
29th Oct 2012
1
Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
blw Moderator
29th Oct 2012
2
Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
z1gary Silver Member
29th Oct 2012
5
     Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
Arkayem Moderator
29th Oct 2012
6
          Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
z1gary Silver Member
31st Oct 2012
11
Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
JonK Moderator
29th Oct 2012
3
Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
Arkayem Moderator
29th Oct 2012
4
     Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
JonK Moderator
29th Oct 2012
7
     Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
z1gary Silver Member
29th Oct 2012
8
          Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
Arkayem Moderator
29th Oct 2012
9
               Reply message RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80
z1gary Silver Member
30th Oct 2012
10

clayolmstead Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jul 2010Mon 29-Oct-12 03:28 AM
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#1. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 0


Austin, US
          

I bet the D80 is in spot metering mode.

Clay
Austin, TX USA

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 29-Oct-12 11:42 AM
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#2. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 1


Richmond, US
          

Spot on, I'd say. (Pun intended.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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z1gary Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2006Mon 29-Oct-12 09:48 PM
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#5. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 1


Crystal River, US
          

yes, it is in spot metering mode.

Are you hinting it will work in a different metering mode? which?

thanks
GaryH

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 29-Oct-12 10:00 PM
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#6. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>yes, it is in spot metering mode.
>
>Are you hinting it will work in a different metering mode?
>which?

Yes, TTL-BL is inhibited when in Spot Metering mode. It will work in either Matrix or Center Weighted.

The reason is that TTL-BL needs to know the ambient lighting across the whole frame (or at least most of it, like with CW), and spot will only give the light on the subject. This is also why Matrix metering ususally gives the best results with TTL-BL.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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z1gary Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2006Wed 31-Oct-12 01:57 PM
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#11. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 6


Crystal River, US
          

you da bes' !
Thanks
GaryH

  

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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Mon 29-Oct-12 04:50 PM
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#3. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 0


New York, US
          

If the party was indoors then TTL-BF was not going to be much help.

TTL-BL, "Balance Light" attempts to balance the flash with the ambient light. This is particularly beneficial outdoors, where the ambient light is particularly bright. -BL achieves this by altering the ambient exposure to better mesh with the flash output. Some photographers like what it does and others prefer to control the situation themselves via TTL and exposure and flash compensation or by total manual flash and exposure control.

Indoor flash frequently presents a different problem. With comparatively much lower ambient light (no sun), the flash is dominant. Beyond the subject distance, the background rapidly falls to black. TTL-BL, when it sees the big discrepancy between the flash and ambient exposure, significantly lightening the ambient exposure and making everything look somewhat weird. When indoors, I recommend that you stick to straight TTL.

Here is one of Nikon's explanations.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 29-Oct-12 09:34 PM
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#4. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>TTL-BL, "Balance Light" attempts to balance the
>flash with the ambient light. This is particularly beneficial
>outdoors, where the ambient light is particularly bright. -BL
>achieves this by altering the ambient exposure to better mesh
>with the flash output. Some photographers like what it does
>and others prefer to control the situation themselves via TTL
>and exposure and flash compensation or by total manual flash
>and exposure control.

I think you will find that TTL-BL does not alter the ambient exposure (ie, shutter/aperture). If you turn the flash off and check the aperture and shutter, and then turn the flash on and check the aperture and shutter again, you will see that the camera chooses exactly the same settings. This is, of course, assuming you are in bright ambient conditions, and using P mode, so there are no limits to the shutter speed.

>Indoor flash frequently presents a different problem. With
>comparatively much lower ambient light (no sun), the flash is
>dominant. Beyond the subject distance, the background rapidly
>falls to black. TTL-BL, when it sees the big discrepancy
>between the flash and ambient exposure, significantly
>lightening the ambient exposure and making everything look
>somewhat weird. When indoors, I recommend that you stick to
>straight TTL.

Indoors, TTL-BL doesn't work well, usually, because the shutter speed is limited to Flash Shutter Speed. This is 1/60th by default, which will make the background very dark. TTL-BL will assume that the meter is centered, and it will add the appropriate amount of flash for that setting. If you were to put the camera in manual mode, and center the meter manually, then turn on TTL-BL you would get a good expoosure, but the shutter speed will be very low, and you will see lots of ghosting (unless you use a tripod).

The whole key to getting a proper exposure with TTL-BL is to make sure the camera meter is centered. That's what the TTL-BL flash always assumes, and it doesn't have any way to know if the meter is not centered.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Mon 29-Oct-12 10:00 PM
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#7. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 4


New York, US
          

Thanks for the correction about the ambient exposure not being altered.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

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z1gary Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2006Mon 29-Oct-12 10:03 PM
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#8. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 4


Crystal River, US
          

Hi Russ,

Thanks for your usual thoughtful and thorough response. Unfortunately, it seems the discussion took a turn away from my intended subject and turned into a very interesting conceptual discussion on how/when/where/if TTL-BL should or shouldn’t be used.

My intent was decidedly more mundane and mechanical:

I just want to know which buttons to push and/or what settings to use. So let’s forget the indoor Halloween party and assume an outdoor situation appropriate for TTL-BL. What buttons to push and/or what settings to use to get TTL-BL to even show up on the SB-900 information screen?

Thanks,

GaryH

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 29-Oct-12 10:06 PM
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#9. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 8


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Hi Russ,
>
>Thanks for your usual thoughtful and thorough response.
>Unfortunately, it seems the discussion took a turn away from
>my intended subject and turned into a very interesting
>conceptual discussion on how/when/where/if TTL-BL should or
>shouldn’t be used.
>
>My intent was decidedly more mundane and mechanical:
>
>I just want to know which buttons to push and/or what settings
>to use. So let’s forget the indoor Halloween party and assume
>an outdoor situation appropriate for TTL-BL. What buttons to
>push and/or what settings to use to get TTL-BL to even show up
>on the SB-900 information screen?

The only thing I can think of that will keep TTL-BL from showing up on the screen is if you are in Spot Metering mode.

Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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z1gary Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2006Tue 30-Oct-12 12:02 AM
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#10. "RE: TTL BL on SB900 w D80"
In response to Reply # 9


Crystal River, US
          

Thanks!!
GaryH

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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