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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #59892
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Subject: "SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?" Previous topic | Next topic
richlewt Registered since 24th Oct 2012Thu 22-Nov-12 05:27 PM
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"SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"


UK
          

Hi
A quick question for you. My SB-700 works in TTL-BL when Matrix or Centre-Weighted metering is selected, to set it to TTL (which I have read is good for indoors when you only need to correctly light your subject) I need to select spot metering.
Does this mean that I will be using the small spot metering area for my shots? I am thinking if I am in a party situation it may be difficult to try and pick up a mid-tone for the spot to work off of. Or does it use this mode just to select TTL and it actually uses a more centre weighted area to meter?

Cheers
Rich

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Luke_Miller Silver Member
22nd Nov 2012
1
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
22nd Nov 2012
2
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Luke_Miller Silver Member
22nd Nov 2012
3
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
22nd Nov 2012
4
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Luke_Miller Silver Member
22nd Nov 2012
6
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
23rd Nov 2012
8
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
richlewt
22nd Nov 2012
5
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills
22nd Nov 2012
7
Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
23rd Nov 2012
9
     Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
richlewt
24th Nov 2012
10
          Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
24th Nov 2012
11
               Reply message RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?
Patrick604
02nd Dec 2012
12
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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
03rd Dec 2012
13
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Shene Silver Member
03rd Jan 2014
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luckyphoto Gold Member
03rd Jan 2014
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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
04th Jan 2014
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06th Feb 2014
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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Thu 22-Nov-12 06:12 PM
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#1. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 22-Nov-12 06:13 PM by Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
          

If you want TTL (no BL) just set your flash to that mode. That is the normal method. When the TTL-BL mode is showing on the flash LCD just hit the mode button and TTL is the next mode selection. I believe spot metering takes you out of TTL-BL because BL requires the meter to read a large area of the scene in order to balance the foreground with the background. Spot metering will not allow that.

Places We Have Been

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Thu 22-Nov-12 06:58 PM
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#2. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 22-Nov-12 06:59 PM by mklass

Tacoma, US
          

The SB 700 woks differently that the other Nikon Speedlights, in that the use of TTL or TTL-BL is determined by the camera settings, you can't set it on the flash.

When your camera is set to spot meter and the SB-700 is in TTL, the camera will meter on the focus point and send that info to the flash. Should you need to meter on a different point that the focus point, you can set the AE-L/AF-L button to Flash Value Lock (Assign AE-L/AF-L in the Controls section of your Custom Setting Menu, but not sure what camera you are using as your profile isn't filled out). Press the button when focused on the spot you want to meter, then recompose to focus and shoot.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Thu 22-Nov-12 07:15 PM
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#3. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 2


Rural Virginia, US
          

Thanks for the correction, Mick

I was "assuming" the SB-700 was like the SB-800. Assumptions are always dangerous - you'd think I'd learn.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Thu 22-Nov-12 07:27 PM
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#4. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 3
Thu 22-Nov-12 07:28 PM by mklass

Tacoma, US
          

Well, Luke, I learned (and continue to learn) the hard way.

I normally use SB-900's but have a SB-700 for a compact travel flash with my D7000. I am usually being "reminded" that it works differently... every time I use it.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Thu 22-Nov-12 08:47 PM
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#6. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 4


Rural Virginia, US
          

>I am usually being "reminded" that it works differently... every time I use it.
>

My problem is that my "rememberer" doesn't work as well as it used to.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 23-Nov-12 08:07 PM
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#8. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thanks for the correction, Mick
>
>I was "assuming" the SB-700 was like the SB-800.
>Assumptions are always dangerous - you'd think I'd learn.

Actually, you're not far off.

If you put the camera in Matrix or CW metering, and the SB800 in TTL-BL mode, it will switch from regular TTL when you switch the camera to Spot metering, just like the SB700.

The SB400 also works the same way.

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

  

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richlewt Registered since 24th Oct 2012Thu 22-Nov-12 08:40 PM
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#5. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 2


UK
          

>The SB 700 woks differently that the other Nikon Speedlights,
>in that the use of TTL or TTL-BL is determined by the camera
>settings, you can't set it on the flash.
>
>When your camera is set to spot meter and the SB-700 is in
>TTL, the camera will meter on the focus point and send that
>info to the flash. Should you need to meter on a different
>point that the focus point, you can set the AE-L/AF-L button
>to Flash Value Lock (Assign AE-L/AF-L in the Controls section
>of your Custom Setting Menu, but not sure what camera you are
>using as your profile isn't filled out). Press the button when
>focused on the spot you want to meter, then recompose to focus
>and shoot.

Hi Mick
Thanks for reply. (profile now filled in ) I am using a D7000. Thats good advice and nicely answered. I will now programme my AE-L button and have a play.

Cheers
Rich

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 22-Nov-12 11:27 PM
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#7. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 2
Thu 22-Nov-12 11:28 PM by briantilley

Paignton, UK
          


>The SB 700 works differently that the other Nikon Speedlights,
>in that the use of TTL or TTL-BL is determined by the camera
>settings, you can't set it on the flash.

Yes, I was quite surprised when I realised that!

I'd taken a new SB-700 rather than my usual SB-900 with me to a photo workshop, and forgot to take the manual...! It took me a while to discover what was going on - but the fact that the instructor couldn't work it out either made me feel a lot better...

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 23-Nov-12 08:11 PM
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#9. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 2


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>When your camera is set to spot meter and the SB-700 is in
>TTL, the camera will meter on the focus point and send that
>info to the flash.

Actually, in regular TTL mode, no camera metering information is sent to the flash. In regular TTL mode, the flash power setting is calculated strictly from the monitor preflash. The metering value or mode on the camera will make no difference to the flash power.

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

  

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richlewt Registered since 24th Oct 2012Sat 24-Nov-12 09:16 AM
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#10. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 9


UK
          

>>When your camera is set to spot meter and the SB-700 is
>in
>>TTL, the camera will meter on the focus point and send
>that
>>info to the flash.
>
>Actually, in regular TTL mode, no camera metering information
>is sent to the flash. In regular TTL mode, the flash power
>setting is calculated strictly from the monitor preflash. The
>metering value or mode on the camera will make no difference
>to the flash power.

Hi
Damn it, I thought I understood this but now I dont. I know that I have to select Spot Metering mode to force the gun off TTL-BL and into TTL mode. But what metering mode is is being used to work out info from the pre-flash?

Cheers
Rich

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 24-Nov-12 03:05 PM
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#11. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 10
Sat 24-Nov-12 03:07 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>>>When your camera is set to spot meter and the SB-700
>is
>>in
>>>TTL, the camera will meter on the focus point and
>send
>>that
>>>info to the flash.
>>
>>Actually, in regular TTL mode, no camera metering
>information
>>is sent to the flash. In regular TTL mode, the flash
>power
>>setting is calculated strictly from the monitor preflash.
>The
>>metering value or mode on the camera will make no
>difference
>>to the flash power.
>
>Hi
>Damn it, I thought I understood this but now I dont. I know
>that I have to select Spot Metering mode to force the gun off
>TTL-BL and into TTL mode. But what metering mode is is being
>used to work out info from the pre-flash?

When using flash in Regular TTL mode, the reflected energy from the preflash is always measured center-weighted across the entire frame, regardless of the metering mode of the camera. In Regular TTL mode, the metering mode in the camera is only used for determining the aperture/shutter combination and has no impact on the flash metering.

There is no communication between the flash metering and the camera metering when using Regular TTL mode. The flash sets the entire exposure based on the preflash, and ambient light has no impact on this measurement. This is why it is best to use the camera in Manual mode when using regular TTL and set the ambient exposure to be about 3 stops underexposed based on the camera meter. Then, the flash will effectively make the entire exposure on the subject (the background will be mostly ambient).

This works entirely differently when using TTL-BL, and the approach you use should also be entirely different.

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

  

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Patrick604 Registered since 24th Jun 2012Sun 02-Dec-12 10:22 PM
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#12. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 11


US
          

The best flash Nikon ever made was the SB-24. Too bad my SB-700 doesn't work nearly as well. I shoot a lot at night, where TTL-BL isn't worth a hoot. I don't understand why this flash unit cannot be operated in TTL with Matrix metering. Grumble grumble grumble... Bad move, Nikon!

Link to my Nikonians Gallery

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 03-Dec-12 08:46 PM
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#13. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 12


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>The best flash Nikon ever made was the SB-24. Too bad my
>SB-700 doesn't work nearly as well. I shoot a lot at night,
>where TTL-BL isn't worth a hoot. I don't understand why this
>flash unit cannot be operated in TTL with Matrix metering.
>Grumble grumble grumble... Bad move, Nikon!

If you are shooting regular TTL in dark conditions, then it won't make any difference whether you are using spot or matrix. The flash will set its own power separately, and it does not depend on the camera metering mode. The only thing the camera metering mode does is set the aperture and shutter, which you should be setting manually when using regular TTL, so the metering mode won't make any difference.

The SB-700 uses reflected energy from a monitor preflash to set the flash power.

The SB-24 uses a different method for determining the flash power. It measures the reflected energy off the film emulsion and quenches the flash pulse when a certain threshold is reached. This method won't work with digital cameras, because there is no emulsion to measure the reflection. That's why the monitor preflash system was invented.

The bottom line is that the differences between the SB-24 TTL and the SB-700 TTL have nothing to do with the metering of the camera, so there would be no reason to be able to select regular TTL when in matrix metering. That's why it is not offered.

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

  

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Shene Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Dec 2013Fri 03-Jan-14 02:46 PM
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#14. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

I have a D610 and an SB700 as well as the on camera flash. All I want is to be able to use the flash indoors when the light is insufficient and have it work well and but allow me to pick the aperture I want.
Seemed easy with my D100 and SB 80. Now this thing is driving me nuts. Spot vs matrix etc. What do I set it on to do what I want.

Set mode to(A or S or P)?
set metering mode (point, vs small area, vs bigger area)?
Set SB700?

I want to be able to select my desired f stop for depth of field control and use the flash to raise the light level to give me adequate exposure. Anybody please advise me on the settings I need as above.

Bill Shenefelt Shene

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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luckyphoto Gold Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Fri 03-Jan-14 03:06 PM
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#15. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 14
Mon 02-Jun-14 10:54 AM by jrp

Port Charlotte, US
          

Hi Bill. Russ MacDonald has a series of articles that help explain flash in understandable terms.
If you click on the link "CLS Practical Guide" under his name and begin with the 1st blog, you will begin to better understand the relationship between the camera setting and the flash settings.

Good luck,

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 04-Jan-14 03:44 AM
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#16. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 14


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I have a D610 and an SB700 as well as the on camera flash.
>All I want is to be able to use the flash indoors when the
>light is insufficient and have it work well and but allow me
>to pick the aperture I want.
>Seemed easy with my D100 and SB 80. Now this thing is driving
>me nuts. Spot vs matrix etc. What do I set it on to do what I
>want.
>
>Set mode to(A or S or P)?
>set metering mode (point, vs small area, vs bigger area)?
>Set SB700?
>
>I want to be able to select my desired f stop for depth of
>field control and use the flash to raise the light level to
>give me adequate exposure. Anybody please advise me on the
>settings I need as above.

Hi Bill,

The key to shooting flash indoors in low ambient conditions is to use Regular TTL, and set the camera to underexpose the ambient by two to three stops. This is best accomplished by using camera Manual mode. Then choose your aperture and then set the shutter for the under exposure. Also, always use fixed ISO when shooting flash. I use ISO 400 for all my indoor low ambient shots. Typical settings on the camera would be f/4.5 and 1/80th. As long as you set the shutter high enough to eliminate the ambient contribution on the subject the shutter speed is not critical when shooting regular TTL.

To get the SB700 flash to shoot in Regular TTL mode, you need to put the camera in Spot Metering mode. If you choose Matrix metering, the SB700 will be forced into TTL-BL mode, and that is only used for Fill flash in bright ambient conditions. There are different requirements to make TTL-BL provide the correct amount of fill flash, and that is a different subject.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Trefayne Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Mar 2011Thu 06-Feb-14 11:18 PM
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#17. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 16


Vancouver, US
          

Hi Russ,

Thanks for the very informative articles, here and on your blog. I am still confused about one point: With my D700 and SB-700, the camera set to manual(generally to underexpose the ambient), what is the difference between having the camera set to spot or matrix metering.

I know that with an automatic exposure mode, and the subject backlit, matrix would put the camera in TTL-BL, and the flash would just fill the subject. But with the camera in manual and the ambient underexposed, any attempt to fill the subject forces the system to do so only with flash. And my experiments show this is working fine. In this case is matrix metering in use to set flash exposure, rather than center or spot metering?

Best regards,
David

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 07-Feb-14 12:05 AM
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#18. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 17


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I am still confused about one point: With my D700 and
>SB-700, the camera set to manual(generally to underexpose the
>ambient), what is the difference between having the camera set
>to spot or matrix metering.
>
>I know that with an automatic exposure mode, and the subject
>backlit, matrix would put the camera in TTL-BL, and the flash
>would just fill the subject. But with the camera in manual and
>the ambient underexposed, any attempt to fill the subject
>forces the system to do so only with flash. And my experiments
>show this is working fine. In this case is matrix metering in
>use to set flash exposure, rather than center or spot
>metering?

>Best regards,
>David

Hi David,

I think it will be easier if I just explain things rather than try to answer your questions point by point.

I know you realize this, but just for completeness: On the SB700, there is no switch or menu selection on the flash to change between TTL to TTL-BL mode. Switching is done on the camera by switching between Matrix and Spot metering. In Matrix metering mode the SB700 functions in TTL-BL mode, and in Spot metering mode it functions in Regular TTL mode.

Now for the explanations:

There is a simple reason for the Regular TTL mode and very complex reasons for the TTL-BL mode. In Regular TTL mode, the entire exposure on the subject depends on the flash. In fact, it doesn't matter how much ambient there is. The flash will still provide same amount of light on the subject. That means that if you allow ambient to contribute on the subject, the subject will tend to be overexposed. This is why you have to underexpose the subject by two or three stops, or you risk overexposure on the subject. Spot metering on the camera only controls the exposure where the Spot is placed, so you put the camera in Manual mode and place the spot on the subject and set the underexposure manually. It is usually best to use the shutter speed to create the underexposure, since that won't affect flash power. If you use the aperture to set the underexposure, you risk stopping down so far that the flash doesn't have sufficient maximum power to provide the required light on the subject.

In TTL-BL mode, things are much more complex. The reason Matrix metering is required for TTL-BL is that the entire frame must be metered in order to get a reading of the lighting across both the subject and the background, sort of averaged together. This reading, coupled with the distance as measured by the D lens is what sets the flash power. The goal is to fire the flash at a power that matches the brightness of the subject to the overall ambient of the entire frame. In other words it fires the flash to provide Fill.

In order for TTL-BL to work correctly, there are a couple of key things you must do that many people do not realize. 1) the camera must be adjusted to expose the ambient properly. The easiest way to do this is to use the camera P mode. That will set the aperture and shutter speed correctly. The flash assumes that these settings are correct for a proper ambient exposure and then it makes the calculation of the required flash power. If you try to use TTL-BL like you do for Regular TTL (ie, underexpose the ambient), you will get dark images. 2) TTL-BL works best when you point the flash directly at the subject and use no diffusion. That way the distance from the lens is used. If you were to tilt the flash up, then TTL-BL works a completely different set of algorythms based on the monitor preflash and doesn't work as well. If you happen to use a diffuser, there is a little switch on the flash that is pushed, that makes the flash add extra power to account for the loss of light in the diffuser. This is why you should use a Nikon diffuser, when using TTL-BL, since third party flashes may not push that button.

Also, TTL-BL works best when there is lots of background compared to subject area. That way the Matrix metering gets a better measurement of the ambient.

When I was shooting weddings outdoor in daylight, I used TTL-BL, Camera P mode, ISO 200, and the flash pointed directly at the subject. It works great.

When I was shooting indoors in low ambient, I used Camera Manual at ISO 400, f/4, and 1/80th as a starting point. Then, I used a Fong Light Sphere diffuser on the flash and normally pointed it straight up to get the softest light I could from the room.

You should always use fixed ISO when shooting flash. If you leave it on Auto, you will get widely varying amounts of ambient in your shots giving them entirely different ambient from one shot to the next. Plus the noise varies from one shot to the next as well. This makes wedding shots look very unprofessional - if they end up exposed properly at all.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Trefayne Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Mar 2011Fri 07-Feb-14 12:28 AM
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#19. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 18


Vancouver, US
          

Thank you, Russ.

I have been studying flash, trying to make it a comfortable part of my shooting. And it's going quite well.

I was hoping that with the camera in manual with an underexposed ambient and the metering matrix the camera would be using its scene-based exposure system rather than spot or center. But the CLS system works so well I'm not sure it matters.

I did an experiment indoors with ambient 5 stops down. I used the SB700 off camera bounced to the back ceiling and took photos of a dress makers model head. Two photos each with metering set to spot and matrix. For the two photos, one centered the white Styrofoam head and the other put it at the side. In all four cases I judge the exposure correct for the subject. The head was at perhaps 60% on the histogram, with the background which was at twice the distance maybe 2 stops down. There was no difference in the histograms for the four cases.

I have 2 SB-700's and have been experimenting with off-camera control. The CLS system is brilliant!

Kind regards,
David

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 07-Feb-14 12:48 AM
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#20. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 19
Fri 07-Feb-14 08:25 AM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thank you, Russ.
>
>I have been studying flash, trying to make it a comfortable
>part of my shooting. And it's going quite well.
>
>I was hoping that with the camera in manual with an
>underexposed ambient and the metering matrix the camera would
>be using its scene-based exposure system rather than spot or
>center. But the CLS system works so well I'm not sure it
>matters.

When you use Matrix metering, the camera does use its scene based exposure system - FOR THE AMBIENT PART OF THE EXPOSURE. And, since the flash is in TTL-BL mode when in Matrix metering, it will set the flash power based on what the camera measured the ambient to be, as well as the distance to the subject.

>I did an experiment indoors with ambient 5 stops down. I used
>the SB700 off camera bounced to the back ceiling and took
>photos of a dress makers model head. Two photos each with
>metering set to spot and matrix. For the two photos, one
>centered the white Styrofoam head and the other put it at the
>side. In all four cases I judge the exposure correct for the
>subject. The head was at perhaps 60% on the histogram, with
>the background which was at twice the distance maybe 2 stops
>down. There was no difference in the histograms for the four
>cases.

Whenever you use the flash Off-Camera in wireless TTL mode, it ALWAYS fires in Regular TTL mode. It doesn't matter if you have the camera in Matrix or Spot when the flash is off-camera. That means, when the flash is off-camera, and you want only Fill flash in bright ambient conditions, you have to turn down the flash power manually (on the back of the flash) to avoid overexposure. A good starting point for this is -1.5 ev.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Trefayne Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Mar 2011Fri 07-Feb-14 03:33 AM
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#21. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 20


Vancouver, US
          

Thank you, Russ. That explains a lot. But it should have been obvious to me when in Commander Mode I was selecting TTL vs manual.

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 07-Feb-14 08:35 AM
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#22. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 21
Fri 07-Feb-14 04:39 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thank you, Russ. That explains a lot. But it should have been
>obvious to me when in Commander Mode I was selecting TTL vs
>manual.

I updated my previous answer to be more correct.

When using the SB700 off-camera you can select several modes, including Commander Manual mode. Since we had only been discussing the two TTL modes, I did not mention the Manual mode.

In Commander Manual mode, you set the power you want the flash to fire at on the Commander menu screen on the camera.

There are also other modes on the SB700, but I have not considered them in my answers. I have only been talking about the two TTL modes.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Trefayne Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Mar 2011Fri 07-Feb-14 06:48 PM
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#23. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 22


Vancouver, US
          

This is making a lot of sense to me now. Especially since I understand the role of the distance measurement. On the camera, with the flash pointed at the subject (not tilted for bounce and not diffused), the system knows the flash-to-subject distance, the ISO, and the aperture -- so it can CALCULATE the needed flash power. But off camera, bounced, or modified it no longer knows the relationship between flash power and the resulting subject illumination, so it has to measure that with the preflash.

I'm not a pro, and mostly I've shot nature and landscape. I've been getting more comfortable shooting people (with a camera!) and started to really enjoy street photography. I've used TTL-BL with the on-camera flash or a little SB-400, which has worked great for backlit subjects.

I want to become more adept when the flash really needs to be the main light. I've learned a lot on the web. (Niekerk's site was really interesting.) I have run some experiments in a room with a Styrofoam head for a subject -- positioning the two SB-700's for bounce off either the white ceiling or white foamcore, and placing the flashes in different locations, with different lighting ratios controlled on camera, and TTL exposure. I have managed to recreate most of the different lighting styles I read about.

I have an opportunity to shoot photos at a cooking class as a favor to the instructor. I looked the room over. I think there are good locations for ceiling and wall bounce, and I'm thinking I can place the flashes strategically, fixed for the session, and then modify their output depending on where in the room I'm shooting using on-camera control.

This is a lot of fun -- and I really appreciate your help in understanding this. It's nice you've reverse engineered the system. Nikon isn't very forthcoming on how this is really working!

Best regards,
David

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cosmicfires Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011Sun 22-Jun-14 01:38 AM
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#24. "RE: SB-700 TTL Selection Using Spot Metering?"
In response to Reply # 0


Lynnwood, US
          

The built in flash on my D7000 works like the SB700, when the camera is in spot meter mode the flash is in TTL mode. When the camera is in matrix or center weighted mode the flash is in TTL-BL mode.

Does this apply to all Nikon DSLRs?

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