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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #61202
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Subject: "D800E with Speedlight SB-910" Previous topic | Next topic
Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:54 AM
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"D800E with Speedlight SB-910"



Maybe somebody can answer this question:
I have set my custom settings such that when I half press the shutter release the camera will auto focus as well as light meter; C1=ON.
I find this very useful, especially when I want to re-frame the shot but maintain focus and proper exposure of the original object, for example a face. This is all working well and easy to understand. Now add to this the built-in or the SB-910 flash and all is well and easy to understand as long as I do not re-frame the shot. However, shooting as described above with flash and re-framing the shot I do not understand how the D800-SB910 achieves proper exposure since it does not fire a pre-flash before I re-frame.
1. Does it simply ignore the initial light metering and do a normal pre-flash-meter-flash exposure in the new location.
2. Or does it use the initial light metering, without a pre-flash, to calculate required flash-lumens to achieve desired exposure of the object selected before re-framing.

Curious and want to know.

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 gvk Silver Member
10th Apr 2013
1
Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
11th Apr 2013
2
Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
11th Apr 2013
3
     Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
11th Apr 2013
4
     Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 gvk Silver Member
11th Apr 2013
5
          Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
11th Apr 2013
6
          Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
11th Apr 2013
7
               Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 gvk Silver Member
11th Apr 2013
8
                    Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
12th Apr 2013
9
                         Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 gvk Silver Member
13th Apr 2013
10
                              Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
13th Apr 2013
11
                              Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
16th Apr 2013
12
                                   Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
16th Apr 2013
13
                                        Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
16th Apr 2013
14
                                             Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
16th Apr 2013
15
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
17th Apr 2013
16
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
17th Apr 2013
17
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
17th Apr 2013
18
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
18th Apr 2013
19
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
19th Apr 2013
20
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
19th Apr 2013
21
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
19th Apr 2013
22
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
19th Apr 2013
23
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
20th Apr 2013
24
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
20th Apr 2013
25
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
20th Apr 2013
26
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
20th Apr 2013
27
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
20th Apr 2013
28
                                                  Reply message RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910 Bengt Nyman
20th Apr 2013
29

gvk Silver Member  Mystic, US  Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:00 PM
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#1. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 0



When using the TTL setting, flash metering and ambient metering are separate. I believe that you are locking only the ambient exposure reading with the shutter half-press. To lock flash exposure, you have to use FV lock. With the flash in TTL-BL mode, the camera tries to balance the flash exposure with the ambient. It is anyone's guess what it will do in the situation that you describe. That is why I never, or at least rarely, use TTL-BL.

Gerry

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:23 AM
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#2. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 1



Excellent! Thank you. FV lock produces the missing pre-flash that I was looking for, for correct main subject exposure.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Thu 11-Apr-13 12:50 AM
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#3. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 1



>With the flash in
>TTL-BL mode, the camera tries to balance the flash exposure
>with the ambient. It is anyone's guess what it will do in the
>situation that you describe. That is why I never, or at least
>rarely, use TTL-BL.

TTL-BL should only be used in bright ambient conditions for providing fill flash.

When using TTL-BL, the camera meter must be zeroed, so the ambient light makes a normal exposure. Then the flash adds fill to brighten the shadows. It works best when the subject is darker than the background, like when the subject is in the shadows under a tree.

Often the best way to use TTL-BL is to put the camera in P mode. Then, the camera meter is always zeroed automatically. In camera P mode the TTL-BL flash works together with the system to quickly make excellent fill-flash images.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Thu 11-Apr-13 10:15 AM
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#4. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 3



You mention that the TTL-BL works best in bright ambient conditions.
Envision a dark music scene with spotty lighting. I want to preserve the ambiance of the scene but bring out the primary actors without lighting the backdrop more than necessary.
Today I do it with the camera in Manual or in restricted P and when necessary with flash in low fraction Manual or stopped down TTL.
Would this be a situation for TTL-BL?

  

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gvk Silver Member  Mystic, US  Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006 Thu 11-Apr-13 01:32 PM
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#5. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 3



>TTL-BL should only be used in bright ambient conditions for
>providing fill flash.

Fill in bright light is about the only situation that I have tried using TTL-BL, and generally found it unsatisfactory. I prefer getting predictable results rather than guessing what the camera might do. I find it much easier to control the amount of fill using TTL and flash exposure compensation, or even full manual setting. Of course, I used manual flash for many years before auto thyristor flash technology was introduced. YMMV.

Gerry

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Thu 11-Apr-13 02:35 PM
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#6. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 5



Ok. We're on the same page. My experience exactly. I recently added the D800E and the SB-910 to my arsenal thinking there might be some new tricks there. Thanks for the inputs.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Thu 11-Apr-13 03:35 PM
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#7. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 5



>>TTL-BL should only be used in bright ambient conditions
>for
>>providing fill flash.
>
>Fill in bright light is about the only situation that I have
>tried using TTL-BL, and generally found it unsatisfactory. I
>prefer getting predictable results rather than guessing what
>the camera might do. I find it much easier to control the
>amount of fill using TTL and flash exposure compensation, or
>even full manual setting. Of course, I used manual flash for
>many years before auto thyristor flash technology was
>introduced. YMMV.

You should never have to guess what the camera will do.

TTL-BL works perfectly as long as you use it correctly. Many people simply don't use it correctly. It is very difficult to use TTL-BL with the camera in Manual mode, because the meter in the camera meter MUST BE CENTERED, and in camera manual mode, you have to keep changing the aperture/shutter speed to keep the meter centered. That's why most of the pros I worked with used camera P mode when shooting fill outdoors in bright light. They joked that camera P mode stood for camera Professional mode, because it seems only pros use it with TTL-BL flash

Of course, you can also use regular TTL for fill, but it takes much longer to get it right than TTL-BL.

Also, you can adjust the flash down in TTL-BL mode if you are finding your shots too hot. I always turned it down by -.7 ev and left it there. Then, the images seemed more natural; almost like without flash.

Once you learn to use TTL-BL correctly you'll never go back to regular TTL when shooting quick event shots outdoors in bright light.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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gvk Silver Member  Mystic, US  Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006 Thu 11-Apr-13 08:20 PM
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#8. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 7



I do not mean to be argumentative, but we will have to agree to disagree on TTL-BL. I'm not saying that it never works. So far, at least, I do not find it useful to get the more subtle fill flash effect that I prefer. BTW, lots of good info on your blog; I first read it years ago, and still check back once in a while. It is clear that you have done much more testing of TTL-BL and other modes than I have, and seem to understand the inner workings of Nikon's algorithms.

I find TTL-BL to be less predictable than either TTL or manual flash. That is why I say that I don't like to guess. In particular, flash compensation with TTL-BL often seems to be modified unpredictably by the camera's exposure algorithm, usually making it less effective than I expect. Significant shot to shot exposure variations are also common with minor composition or focus point changes, particularly in high contrast situations where on-camera fill flash is most useful. I use manual camera settings for the vast majority of my flash work to enable independent choice of shutter speed and aperture for balancing of flash and ambient exposures. I have no trouble centering the meter in manual mode, since I have been doing the match needle thing since the Nikon FTn, F2, etc. from the late 1960s on.

My observations on TTL-BL are from using SB-800s and SB-900s on cameras from the F6, D2X, D90 to the D3. I note that there are certainly differences in how TTL-BL behaves from camera to camera, as if Nikon were tweaking their exposure algorithm. Best results I have seen were from the D3, and worse from the D2X and D90. I admit that I have not tried TTL-BL on my relatively new D800 yet.

I will certainly try your suggestions, well except for P-mode , when I get a chance.

Gerry

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Fri 12-Apr-13 06:32 AM
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#9. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 8



>I do not mean to be argumentative, but we will have to agree
>to disagree on TTL-BL. I'm not saying that it never works. So
>far, at least, I do not find it useful to get the more subtle
>fill flash effect that I prefer. BTW, lots of good info on
>your blog; I first read it years ago, and still check back
>once in a while. It is clear that you have done much more
>testing of TTL-BL and other modes than I have, and seem to
>understand the inner workings of Nikon's algorithms.
>
>I find TTL-BL to be less predictable than either TTL or manual
>flash. That is why I say that I don't like to guess. In
>particular, flash compensation with TTL-BL often seems to be
>modified unpredictably by the camera's exposure algorithm,
>usually making it less effective than I expect. Significant
>shot to shot exposure variations are also common with minor
>composition or focus point changes, particularly in high
>contrast situations where on-camera fill flash is most useful.
>I use manual camera settings for the vast majority of my flash
>work to enable independent choice of shutter speed and
>aperture for balancing of flash and ambient exposures. I have
>no trouble centering the meter in manual mode, since I have
>been doing the match needle thing since the Nikon FTn, F2,
>etc. from the late 1960s on.
>
>My observations on TTL-BL are from using SB-800s and SB-900s
>on cameras from the F6, D2X, D90 to the D3. I note that there
>are certainly differences in how TTL-BL behaves from camera to
>camera, as if Nikon were tweaking their exposure algorithm.
>Best results I have seen were from the D3, and worse from the
>D2X and D90. I admit that I have not tried TTL-BL on my
>relatively new D800 yet.

Yes, TTL-BL performance has greatly improved from one camera to the next, and it works extremely well on the D3, D300, and D800. I have not had a chance to check out the D4 or D600.

>I will certainly try your suggestions, well except for P-mode
> , when I get a chance.

I really think you should give P mode a try. When shooting TTL-BL flash in bright ambient conditions, P mode usually does exactly the same thing that you do manually. It sets the shutter at the highest speed it can for the ambient conditions (sync speed if possible). Then, it controls the ambient exposure with aperture. Then, it adds fill based on the overall brightness as measured by the camera meter.

TTL-BL will work with both Matrix and Center Weighted Metering, but it usually works much better using Matrix metering. In CW metering mode, the flash power is more sensitive to where the camera is pointed, which can give unexpected results at times.

And be sure NOT to use Auto ISO! TTL-BL is very unpredictable coupled with Auto ISO.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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gvk Silver Member  Mystic, US  Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006 Sat 13-Apr-13 03:04 AM
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#10. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 9



Thanks Russ. Some good ideas in this thread, even if it did wander a bit from the OP's question.

I generally use matrix metering, supplemented by spot readings for determining EV compensation. And I always use matrix with flash. I used CW for over 30 years with film cameras, so it took me a while to get comfortable with matrix. Today I rarely use CW, except sometimes with backlit subjects.

Oh, and I never use auto ISO with flash. I agree that is a bad idea with any Nikon DSLR that I have used.

Gerry

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Sat 13-Apr-13 06:56 AM
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#11. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 10



Thanks to all for great inputs. Flash photography has certainly come a long way the last 50 years. In spite of great new, fast lenses and better and better image sensors photography is still all about light. The only thing I still miss in flash photography is a simple knob with fixed stops on the side of my flash units for fast tactile adjustments of manual flash in hurried situations.

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Tue 16-Apr-13 08:23 PM
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#12. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 10
Tue 16-Apr-13 08:26 PM by Bengt Nyman


How about with for example the D800 where you can restrict the movement of Auto ISO to within, say: 100-400. I use it in Shutter Priority mode with flash to give the automation a little more reach without the feeling of stepping on a banana peel.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Tue 16-Apr-13 09:44 PM
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#13. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 12



>How about with for example the D800 where you can restrict
>the movement of Auto ISO to within, say: 100-400. I use it in
>Shutter Priority mode with flash to give the automation a
>little more reach without the feeling of stepping on a banana
>peel.

I would recommend you set fixed ISO 400 and camera Manual mode and f/4. Then set the shutter high enough to dim the ambient by two stops, and let the regular TTL flash handle the exposure. You will get very predictable results, and all images will look similar. If your ISO changes while shooting flash, it makes the images look different because it changes the ambient contribution.

Have you read my CLS blog articles? I invite you to read them here:
http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2008/01/nikon-flash-two-separate-metering.html

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Tue 16-Apr-13 10:36 PM
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#14. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 13
Tue 16-Apr-13 11:05 PM by Bengt Nyman


OK. That's what I have been doing shooting Canon in the past. I guess I better leave all these new and fun little Nikon knobs alone.
P.S. Please explain to me the difference in the image in these three cases of photographing with flash:
1. Exposure compensation = -2 and Flash compensation = 0
2. Exposure compensation = 0 and Flash compensation = -2
3. Exposure compensation = -2 and Flash compensation = -2

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Tue 16-Apr-13 11:53 PM
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#15. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 14



>OK. That's what I have been doing shooting Canon in the past.
>I guess I better leave all these new and fun little Nikon
>knobs alone.
>P.S. Please explain to me the difference in the image in these
>three cases of photographing with flash:
>1. Exposure compensation = -2 and Flash compensation = 0
>2. Exposure compensation = 0 and Flash compensation = -2
>3. Exposure compensation = -2 and Flash compensation = -2

In general, changes to camera compensation affect both the flash and the camera. Changes to flash compensation affect only the flash.

However, to answer your specific questions, I need more information.

Are you using Regular TTL or TTL-BL?

Are you using camera A, S, P, or M mode on the camera? Compensation affects the exposure differently in different modes.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Wed 17-Apr-13 08:29 AM
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#16. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 15



I understand there is no short answer. I am presently reading your previous work including your compendium. When and if I digest this I will likely return.
P.S. Do you know if there are any specific new flash features in the combination D800(E) and SB-910, other than the option to set limits for automatic exposure time and Auto ISO range in the Menu Banks ?
The reason I am interested in using flash in Shutter Priority as opposed to Manual is that much of my work includes photographing popular musical events where everything changes in a flash and manual adjustments are simply too slow.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Wed 17-Apr-13 03:00 PM
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#17. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 16



>I understand there is no short answer. I am presently reading
>your previous work including your compendium. When and if I
>digest this I will likely return.
>P.S. Do you know if there are any specific new flash features
>in the combination D800(E) and SB-910, other than the option
>to set limits for automatic exposure time and Auto ISO range
>in the Menu Banks ?
>The reason I am interested in using flash in Shutter Priority
>as opposed to Manual is that much of my work includes
>photographing popular musical events where everything changes
>in a flash and manual adjustments are simply too slow.

Maybe it would be best if I tell you how I shoot concerts.

First, never use Auto ISO with flash.

I usually set the flash compensation on -2/3 ev to avoid overexposure on key spots (like the performer's face). White skin faces are much more prone to blowing out than dark skin faces.

Determine how much ambient there is. You can use a light meter or your camera meter to measure the ambient (see my instructions in my blog) before you start.

If there is 'bright' ambient, say ISO 400, f/4 and 1/160th or higher for a normal non-flash exposure, then TTL-BL and camera P mode is usually best. Camera P mode will first select the highest shutter speed it can, and then control the aperture for a correct ambient exposure, and then add a small amount of flash to fill the shadows and balance with the ambient.

However, most concerts are very dark ambient, so the best way to shoot them is usually to use Regular TTL and Camera Manual. Then, the flash will stop the action, and you adjust the shutter to allow a desired amount of motion blur and ambient. The shutter can be adjusted between 1/60th and 1/250th. ISO can also be increased up to 3200 on the D800E to allow lots of ambient (and lots of motion blur). Aperture usually has to be set based on the distance to the performers due to limited flash power. You don't get much choice for depth of field.

If I want lots of ambient to be included, and I am close enough to the performers for the flash to have enough power, then I use Auto FP High Speed Sync. This is the only time you might want to try Camera S mode. This will allow shutter speeds above flash sync speed, but at less than half maximum flash power. If the low flash power will be okay, then I like to use a very high ISO like 3200 coupled with a high shutter speed like 1/500th and regular TTL flash.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Wed 17-Apr-13 07:42 PM
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#18. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 17
Wed 17-Apr-13 07:45 PM by Bengt Nyman


Thank you Russ.

I have enjoyed reading your compendium. Understanding how ambient and flash meterings are separate, different and sometimes interact is very interesting and will probably prove helpful.

I am disappointed, however, that You and I shot concerts the same way. With predominantly dark backgrounds I rarely see a reason to use anything other than TTL. Manual exposure of the ambient plus compensated spot flash metering, sometimes with FV for the subject is certainly a safe recipe.

When the background occasionally explodes in spotlights or fireworks I guess you take your chances.

For this reason, and based on your explanations, my thought goes to a TTL matrix metered ambient in restricted blur control Shutter priority, plus an apparently essentially spot metered subject flash metering.
The aperture will of course close down when the background explodes, but hopefully the SB-910 will have enough power to still satisfy the subject flash metering.

I am going to try this and let you explain why it didn't work, if that becomes the case. I promise though, I will do it in manual ISO as usual, at least to start with.

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Thu 18-Apr-13 03:03 PM
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#19. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 17
Fri 19-Apr-13 09:44 AM by Bengt Nyman


Results of stage photography with Nikon D800E and SB-910 flash, simulated in studio with varying lighting effects in the background.

The object of the test was to focus on the face of a light skinned stage performer to produce an overall stage image with perfect focus and exposure of the face of the performer.


Tests were done with both a dark stage background and a background with a range of lighting effects.
Tests were done in Manual mode and Shutter Priority mode.
Tests were done using TTL Spot metering, TTL Center Weighted metering and TTL Matrix metering.
Tests were done in both Manual ISO and Auto ISO
No re-framing was done.

Results:

Results with a dark stage background:
The system selected the same Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO in all tests. All results were comparable except Spot metering produced a barely noticeably darker background, because of the slightly lower energy output decided by the SB-910.

Results with a wild and unpredictable stage background:
Shutter priority with spot metering performed the best. It kept the face of the performer in portrait quality throughout the tests.
The Aperture varied within a little less than one stop to keep the target properly exposed.
Auto ISO remained stable and unchanged throughout the tests.

Shutter priority with Centerweighted and Matrix metering also did very well with a barely noticeable variation in the exposure of the face of the performer due to slightly more attention to the exposure of the background.

Manual mode did not perform well. It produced what looked like roughly 1 stop variation in the exposure of the face of the performer. With Shutter speed and Aperture locked in, the power discretion of the SB-910 did not have the necessary information to keep the changes in the light emitted from the background from upsetting the exposure of the face of the performer.

Conclusions:

The system performed very well with Shutter priority outperforming Manual mode. The Auto ISO, when used, did not budge during the tests.

It has been suggested that flash metering could be compared to Spot metering. My impression is that it performs more like Center Weighted metering, based on the variation in face exposure seen in Manual mode.
Maybe in the future we get to choose flash metering mode, like we do with ambient metering.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Fri 19-Apr-13 05:35 PM
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#20. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 19



>Results of stage photography with Nikon D800E and SB-910
>flash, simulated in studio with varying lighting effects in
>the background.
>
>The object of the test was to focus on the face of a light
>skinned stage performer to produce an overall stage image with
>perfect focus and exposure of the face of the performer.
>
>
>Tests were done with both a dark stage background and a
>background with a range of lighting effects.
>Tests were done in Manual mode and Shutter Priority mode.
>Tests were done using TTL Spot metering, TTL Center Weighted
>metering and TTL Matrix metering.
>Tests were done in both Manual ISO and Auto ISO
>No re-framing was done.
>
>Results:
>
>Results with a dark stage background:
>The system selected the same Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO
>in all tests. All results were comparable except Spot metering
>produced a barely noticeably darker background, because of the
>slightly lower energy output decided by the SB-910.
>
>Results with a wild and unpredictable stage background:
>Shutter priority with spot metering performed the best. It
>kept the face of the performer in portrait quality throughout
>the tests.
>The Aperture varied within a little less than one stop to keep
>the target properly exposed.
>Auto ISO remained stable and unchanged throughout the tests.
>
>Shutter priority with Centerweighted and Matrix metering also
>did very well with a barely noticeable variation in the
>exposure of the face of the performer due to slightly more
>attention to the exposure of the background.
>
>Manual mode did not perform well. It produced what looked like
>roughly 1 stop variation in the exposure of the face of the
>performer. With Shutter speed and Aperture locked in, the
>power discretion of the SB-910 did not have the necessary
>information to keep the changes in the light emitted from the
>background from upsetting the exposure of the face of the
>performer.
>
>Conclusions:
>
>The system performed very well with Shutter priority
>outperforming Manual mode. The Auto ISO, when used, did not
>budge during the tests.
>
>It has been suggested that flash metering could be compared to
>Spot metering. My impression is that it performs more like
>Center Weighted metering, based on the variation in face
>exposure seen in Manual mode.
>Maybe in the future we get to choose flash metering mode, like
>we do with ambient metering.

I think your experiments have too many variables for you to understand what is really happening, and that is making you come to some incorrect conclusions about the camera metering mode and how it relates to the flash metering.

When using regular TTL, the metering that you choose on the camera has no effect on the flash power. This is critically important to understand. If you see a change when changing the camera metering mode, you are seeing only a difference in the amount of ambient that you are allowing into the image.

In camera Manual mode, you control the amount of ambient with aperture and shutter.

In camera S mode, the camera chooses the Aperture automatically to control the ambient. The regular TTL flash system doesn't know anything about what you are doing on the camera. The regular TTL flash system assumes you are setting the ambient where you want the background to be. In regular TTL mode, the ambient always adds to the flash, so you have to watch out for overexposure on the subject if the ambient is allowed to contribute too much.

Also, if you use camera S mode with your flash in low ambient conditions, the aperture will be opened to maximum at all times (except for very slow shutter speeds). This eliminates any control over depth of field, and also reduces the sharpness of you images since the lens is never as sharp when wide open. It is far better to control the ambient portion of the exposure with the shutter after setting the aperture at the depth of field you want. This can only be done in camera Manual mode.

The regular TTL system ALWAYS sets the flash power based ONLY on the energy reflected from the Monitor Preflash, and it is always center weighted. This is why FV Lock is so important to use, if you are going to reposition the subject toward the edge of the frame. This is also why it is critical to control the ambient portion of the exposure in camera Manual mode or you can get overexposure on the subject.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Fri 19-Apr-13 07:06 PM
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#21. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 20
Fri 19-Apr-13 07:55 PM by Bengt Nyman


Dear Russ,

I am not challenging your wisdom so please do not judge until you understand the experiment.

1. TTL and Shutter Priority mode was advantageous over Manual mode in a scene where the dark ambient background changed unpredictably. The D800E made smaller adjustments to the aperture setting to maintain perfect exposure of the main subject.

This in no way conflicts with your conventional wisdom above.

2. As a side observation I tested where the Auto ISO fits into the D800 control priority. Like I said, during my experiments where Auto ISO was used, the ISO never changed.
This does not mean that I plan to use Auto ISO when I do not want ISO to change.




  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Fri 19-Apr-13 07:59 PM
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#22. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 21



>Dear Russ,
>
>I am not challenging your wisdom so please do not judge until
>you understand the experiment.
>
>1. TTL and Shutter Priority mode was advantageous over Manual
>mode in a scene where the dark ambient background changed
>unpredictably. The D800E made smaller adjustments to the
>aperture setting to maintain perfect exposure of the main
>subject.
>
>This in no way conflicts with your conventional wisdom above.

I feel certain that I understand your experiment. However, I am not sure you understand your results.

When the aperture changes while using regular TTL, the flash portion of the exposure on the subject remains constant, but the ambient portion on the subject changes.

Therefore, changes of the aperture CANNOT maintain perfect exposure of the main subject. In fact, the ONLY way the subject can remain in perfect exposure when the aperture is changing due to ambient changes is if none of the ambient background is affecting the front of the subject to begin with, and then the only thing in the image that will be changing will be the background exposure - NOT the subject exposure.

It is very important to understand that the S mode does not take the regular TTL flash contribution to the image into consideration. S mode will adjust the camera to exactly the same aperture whether the flash is on or not. Then, when the regular TTL flash is turned on it will add on top of the ambient.

The bottom line is that using regular TTL flash with camera S mode risks overexposure of the subject under certain conditions. If all of the ambient is coming from behind the subject S mode will work fine, but if any of the ambient is also hitting the front of the subject it can easily overexpose in those areas.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Fri 19-Apr-13 10:25 PM
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#23. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 22



>When the aperture changes while using regular TTL, the flash
>portion of the exposure on the subject remains constant, but
>the ambient portion on the subject changes.

Remember, only the background ambient was changing, not the foreground illumination of the subject.

>Therefore, changes of the aperture CANNOT maintain perfect
>exposure of the main subject. In fact, the ONLY way the
>subject can remain in perfect exposure when the aperture is
>changing due to ambient changes is if none of the ambient
>background is affecting the front of the subject to begin
>with, and then the only thing in the image that will be
>changing will be the background exposure - NOT the subject
>exposure.

Here you are finally confirming what I am saying. The subject exposure remains correct.

>It is very important to understand that the S mode does not
>take the regular TTL flash contribution to the image into
>consideration. S mode will adjust the camera to exactly the
>same aperture whether the flash is on or not. Then, when the
>regular TTL flash is turned on it will add on top of the
>ambient.

Agreed.

>The bottom line is that using regular TTL flash with camera S
>mode risks overexposure of the subject under certain
>conditions. If all of the ambient is coming from behind the
>subject S mode will work fine, but if any of the ambient is
>also hitting the front of the subject it can easily overexpose
>in those areas.

The risk for that happening is just as high in Manual mode.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Sat 20-Apr-13 12:17 AM
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#24. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 23



>>When the aperture changes while using regular TTL, the
>flash
>>portion of the exposure on the subject remains constant,
>but
>>the ambient portion on the subject changes.
>
>Remember, only the background ambient was changing, not the
>foreground illumination of the subject.
>
>>Therefore, changes of the aperture CANNOT maintain
>perfect
>>exposure of the main subject. In fact, the ONLY way the
>>subject can remain in perfect exposure when the aperture
>is
>>changing due to ambient changes is if none of the ambient
>>background is affecting the front of the subject to begin
>>with, and then the only thing in the image that will be
>>changing will be the background exposure - NOT the
>subject
>>exposure.
>
>Here you are finally confirming what I am saying. The subject
>exposure remains correct.

Yes, but you said the exposure of the SUBJECT was being held constant by the CHANGING APERTURE. But that is not true. It's being held constant by the regular TTL flash metering system. It is only luck that the subject exposure is not changing in the typical stage situation, because the changing background is also usually changing the subject ambient as well.
>
>>The bottom line is that using regular TTL flash with
>camera S
>>mode risks overexposure of the subject under certain
>>conditions. If all of the ambient is coming from behind
>the
>>subject S mode will work fine, but if any of the ambient
>is
>>also hitting the front of the subject it can easily
>overexpose
>>in those areas.
>
>The risk for that happening is just as high in Manual mode.

No, it's not. There is no risk of overexposing the subject due to the ambient when using camera Manual mode and regular TTL, as long as you always set the aperture and shutter for an exposure at least two stops darker than the brightest expected ambient. Then, the subject will always be exposed by the regular TTL flash metering system without any ambient contribution. This also makes for a much better sequence of shots (ie, shots that have a similar color balance and subject exposure from one shot to the next). You don't want the aperture changing on this type of sequence.

Of course, you can still get overexposure on the subject if the clothing of the subject is very dark, or the center of the frame is aimed at a dark area of the background. These can mess up the regular TTL metering. This is why I always set -2/3 ev into the flash before any club shoot. It is easy to add exposure in post-processing, but it is impossible to fix a blow-out.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Sat 20-Apr-13 08:44 AM
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#25. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 24



>There is no risk of overexposing the subject due
>to the ambient when using camera Manual mode and regular TTL,
>as long as you always set the aperture and shutter for an
>exposure at least two stops darker than the brightest expected
>ambient.

For my taste that's too much guess work and too slow. I rather set TTL EC -1 in Shutter priority.

P.S. You have been very helpful Russ. Thank you very much.

If you don't mind changing the subject I have another question.
Do we know what light metering pattern the SB-910 uses ?
Since it uses the same meter as the ambient, does it also use one of the same algorithms, such as Point, CW or Matrix ? Or is it even possible that it uses the same as the one chosen for the ambient ?

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Sat 20-Apr-13 03:57 PM
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#26. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 25



>Do we know what light metering pattern the SB-910 uses ?
>Since it uses the same meter as the ambient, does it also use
>one of the same algorithms, such as Point, CW or Matrix ? Or
>is it even possible that it uses the same as the one chosen
>for the ambient ?

The flash metering system uses the same sensor as the camera meter but it has its own unique CW pattern. The pattern is different from any of the camera patterns, and selecting different camera metering modes has no effect on the flash metering mode.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Sat 20-Apr-13 06:12 PM
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#27. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 26



>The flash metering system uses the same sensor as the camera
>meter but it has its own unique CW pattern. The pattern is
>different from any of the camera patterns, and selecting
>different camera metering modes has no effect on the flash
>metering mode.

Thank You.
CW is often described in form of the size of the weighted circle.
Do we know what that is in case of the D800(E) with an SB-910 ?

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography   Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US  Charter Member Sat 20-Apr-13 07:34 PM
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#28. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 27



>>The flash metering system uses the same sensor as the
>camera
>>meter but it has its own unique CW pattern. The pattern
>is
>>different from any of the camera patterns, and selecting
>>different camera metering modes has no effect on the
>flash
>>metering mode.
>
>Thank You.
>CW is often described in form of the size of the weighted
>circle.
>Do we know what that is in case of the D800(E) with an SB-910
>?

No. Flash CW metering size is never specified, because it is so variable depending on the subject reflectivity and color, and the strength and isolation of the ambient (background). The metering covers the whole frame with diminishing impact the farther from the center you get.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bengt Nyman   Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US  Registered since 10th Apr 2013 Sat 20-Apr-13 08:40 PM
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#29. "RE: D800E with Speedlight SB-910"
In response to Reply # 28



Thank you Russ.

  

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