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Subject: "Learning Nikon Flash" Previous topic | Next topic
dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Sun 19-May-13 09:34 PM
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"Learning Nikon Flash"


US
          

I am looking for resources to better learn my Nikon flashes, the different methods and their advantages. I have used almost exclusively TTL but find it to be unreliable so I have started using manual mode. It would be helpful to see the advantages to the different methods for different situations, e.g. Manual vs. Auto Aperture vs. GN, or iTTL vs non TTL.

I prefer video to reading in learning... if there are any good options out there. My flashes consist of 3 SB900s, 1 SB25 and SU800 and 4 Pocket Wizard TT5 with 1 Plus II unit.


Thanks for any help here...

Doug

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
FineArtSnaps Silver Member
19th May 2013
1
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
19th May 2013
2
     Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
FineArtSnaps Silver Member
20th May 2013
7
          Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
22nd May 2013
13
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
mkbee1 Silver Member
20th May 2013
3
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
ctadin Silver Member
20th May 2013
4
     Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
20th May 2013
5
          Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
ctadin Silver Member
20th May 2013
6
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
djreed Gold Member
21st May 2013
8
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
22nd May 2013
12
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
Arkayem Moderator
21st May 2013
9
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
22nd May 2013
10
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
Arkayem Moderator
22nd May 2013
14
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
JeeperDoug Silver Member
22nd May 2013
15
Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
dspvisuals
22nd May 2013
11
     Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
djreed Gold Member
22nd May 2013
16
          Reply message RE: Learning Nikon Flash
Arkayem Moderator
23rd May 2013
17

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012Sun 19-May-13 10:05 PM
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#1. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 0


Manitou Springs, US
          

Doug, The best video I've seen is Joe McNally's "The Language of Light." Three DVD's in the set. Really good stuff. $130 for the set if you download it, which takes a while.

Check it out at http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/the-language-of-light/

Russ Lewis
www.FineArtSnaps.com
www.russ-lewis.com

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Sun 19-May-13 11:01 PM
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#2. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Thanks for your reply Russ- I have that DVD. I have not watched in a while- What I recall is he did more creative stuff and uses TTL a lot- where David Hobby is more manual. I want to delve into the other options that the flashes offer and find out how and when these are beneficial.
I was all amped to start using GN but just read that the flash head has to be in the 90 degree forward position to use this method, which I can understand, but this means complete direct on flash. We strive to not use this direction of light.

  

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FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012Mon 20-May-13 03:47 PM
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#7. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 2


Manitou Springs, US
          

>Thanks for your reply Russ- I have that DVD. I have not
>watched in a while- What I recall is he did more creative
>stuff and uses TTL a lot- where David Hobby is more manual. I
>want to delve into the other options that the flashes offer
>and find out how and when these are beneficial.
>I was all amped to start using GN but just read that the flash
>head has to be in the 90 degree forward position to use this
>method, which I can understand, but this means complete direct
>on flash. We strive to not use this direction of light.

Since you have the DVDs, Doug, I'd guess you've also read McNally's books. If you think back to (I think) "The Hot Shoe Diaries" (though maybe it's "Sketching Light") Joe makes clear why he uses i-TTL as much as he does. He's had some serious problems trying to use Pocket Wizards with TTL. He also makes clear that he switches to manual when the situation calls for it.

I can't imagine why anyone would be amped about GN. I've been doing serious shooting since 1953 and after the kind of reliable results I get from i-TTL I wouldn't go back to good old unreliable GN and arithmetic on a bet. On the other hand, with digital I can see the results right away, so maybe it's not all that bad. But then, I only use my SB910, 700 and 600 in situations where I simply can't use available light.

Russ Lewis
www.FineArtSnaps.com
www.russ-lewis.com

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Wed 22-May-13 12:24 PM
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#13. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

>>Thanks for your reply Russ- I have that DVD. I have not
>>watched in a while- What I recall is he did more
>creative
>>stuff and uses TTL a lot- where David Hobby is more
>manual. I
>>want to delve into the other options that the flashes
>offer
>>and find out how and when these are beneficial.
>>I was all amped to start using GN but just read that the
>flash
>>head has to be in the 90 degree forward position to use
>this
>>method, which I can understand, but this means complete
>direct
>>on flash. We strive to not use this direction of light.
>
>Since you have the DVDs, Doug, I'd guess you've also read
>McNally's books. If you think back to (I think) "The Hot
>Shoe Diaries" (though maybe it's "Sketching
>Light") Joe makes clear why he uses i-TTL as much as he
>does. He's had some serious problems trying to use Pocket
>Wizards with TTL. He also makes clear that he switches to
>manual when the situation calls for it.
>
>I can't imagine why anyone would be amped about GN. I've been
>doing serious shooting since 1953 and after the kind of
>reliable results I get from i-TTL I wouldn't go back to good
>old unreliable GN and arithmetic on a bet. On the other hand,
>with digital I can see the results right away, so maybe it's
>not all that bad. But then, I only use my SB910, 700 and 600
>in situations where I simply can't use available light.
>

Hi Russ-
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. I think the reason that I would like to explore more about GN is that it is something that I need to know more about for my CPP exam as much as it is learning about this method of flash exposure itself. Dude- you have been shooting longer than I have been alive- that is awesome!

  

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mkbee1 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Mon 20-May-13 12:59 AM
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#3. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 0


West Valley, US
          

Nikon TTL unreliable? I feel your pain; something that expen$ive should be reliable to a fault!

Not that I am doubting you, but it is hard for me to imagine, judging from the excellent service and exposures I have experienced from my Nikon SB 400, 600, and miscellaneous 3rd-party lights. SB 900s are supposed to be way better than all of the preceeding models.

A more-detailed explanation and sample pixes might give some hint as to the problem(s).

It is a Fine and Pleasant Madness

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Mon 20-May-13 12:28 PM
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#4. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 3
Mon 20-May-13 12:31 PM by ctadin

St Louis, US
          

David Hobby of Strobist does sell DVD's on using your speed lights.
Have you read any of our own Russ McDonald blogs on speed lights? He has great, informative, tutorials on speed lights: Nikon CLS Practical Guide.

Cheryl

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Mon 20-May-13 12:57 PM
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#5. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I have Hobby's too- got it the same time that McNally's came out. I went back and was watching McNally's last night. I had sort of forgotten all the cool things he does. But as I remembered McNally uses TTL for his work.

I will go back and watch Hobby's videos again too. From what I recall- Hobby does more of a layout type presentation and uses manual mode.

I have not read Russ' work- I will check that out- thank you

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Mon 20-May-13 01:02 PM
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#6. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 5


St Louis, US
          

You're welcome. Can you describe the issue you're having so I or another nikonian can offer a solution?

Cheryl

  

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djreed Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jul 2008Tue 21-May-13 02:33 AM
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#8. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 0


Downers Grove, US
          

Doug... Joe McNallys "Hot Shoe Diaries" is a fun read and great resource... And the most beneficial I've found is Nikonian Press "The Nikon Creative Lighting System" by Mike Hagen. Kelby has some good video lessons as does Joe Brady of Mac Group... Good luck... It's a fun learning experience .

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Wed 22-May-13 12:21 PM
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#12. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Thanks DJreed- I do not have Joe's book, I will give that a look through as well as Mike Hagen's. Mike's may have just that info. I will check in w/ Joe Brady- I have watched some of his tutorials on the Sekonic- still have not mastered that piece of equipment yet... So much to learn so little time

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 21-May-13 10:54 PM
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#9. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 23-May-13 01:31 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I am looking for resources to better learn my Nikon flashes,
>the different methods and their advantages. I have used almost
>exclusively TTL but find it to be unreliable so I have started
>using manual mode. It would be helpful to see the advantages
>to the different methods for different situations, e.g. Manual
>vs. Auto Aperture vs. GN, or iTTL vs non TTL.
>
>I prefer video to reading in learning... if there are any good
>options out there. My flashes consist of 3 SB900s, 1 SB25 and
>SU800 and 4 Pocket Wizard TT5 with 1 Plus II unit.
>
>
>Thanks for any help here...
>
>Doug

Hi Doug,

The fact that you are finding TTL unreliable tells me that you must not be using it properly, because it is extremely reliable. However, you have to fully understand how it works before it will work well for you. When I was shooting weddings (I retired last year), I would shoot over 800 raw images, all using TTL, and often 100% of them would be exposed well enough to be totally usable.

I invite you to read my blog articles. Here is the link to the first article. I recommend you read them in order:
http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2008/01/nikon-flash-two-separate-metering.html

Let us know what you think.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Wed 22-May-13 12:17 PM
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#10. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

Hi Russ-
Thanks for your reply, I briefly started reading your blog. But before I would say that I am not using it properly I will give you a for instance- and I will go find the image a bit later and upload it using TTL and using Manual to demonstrate.

Shooting a person of color wearing a black shirt during an event assignment- TTL blew out his skin tone. TTL can get confused or understandably so- in my opinion. In fact after re-visiting McNally's video he talks about this in several different videos.

One reason I want to learn the other flash options is just for this reason, so that I am versed in using which mode in specific situations. I still use and will continue to use TTL I have not found where others use or discuss the different methods, Aperture priority, Non-TTL Auto Flash. My thought is that Nikon have these different modes for a reason- yet I have not learned what they or when they could/should be used.

Thanks-

Doug

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 22-May-13 12:55 PM
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#14. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 10


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Hi Russ-
>Thanks for your reply, I briefly started reading your blog.
>But before I would say that I am not using it properly I will
>give you a for instance- and I will go find the image a bit
>later and upload it using TTL and using Manual to
>demonstrate.
>
>Shooting a person of color wearing a black shirt during an
>event assignment- TTL blew out his skin tone. TTL can get
>confused or understandably so- in my opinion. In fact after
>re-visiting McNally's video he talks about this in several
>different videos.
>
>One reason I want to learn the other flash options is just for
>this reason, so that I am versed in using which mode in
>specific situations. I still use and will continue to use TTL
> I have not found where others use or discuss the
>different methods, Aperture priority, Non-TTL Auto Flash. My
>thought is that Nikon have these different modes for a reason-
>yet I have not learned what they or when they could/should be
>used.

Hi Doug,

Yes, you are right. I simply use -0.7 to -1.0 FEC on the flash when shooting people with dark skin or clothes. Then, there may be a few images that are underexposed, but they can all be used if you shoot raw and brighten them in post processing. You can brighten up to two and a half stops when shooting raw, but you can't fix a blow-out no matter how hard you try.

Also, I use FVLock quite often. I aim the camera at a neutral area of clothing, press FVLock, recompose, and take the shot. This works really well when shooting a person with white skin and dark clothing. You zoom in on the face, fire the FVLock, zoom back out and take the shot. BUT then you have to remember to clear the FVlock value by pushing it a second time, or you get a string of bad exposures to follow.

Even though TTL has some difficulties, it is the best system there is. None of the non-TTL systems work any better. The non-TTL A and AA modes are really designed for older non-TTL compatible cameras. They measure the reflected energy using the flash's own 'eye' and have all the same problems as TTL with dark clothing/skin. A and AA work okay, but not as good as TTL.

Did you read my blog on Flash A/AA modes?

Of course, Manual flash will work perfectly, but you simply can't set it up fast enough for event shooting.

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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JeeperDoug Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd May 2013Wed 22-May-13 12:55 PM
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#15. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 10


Cinnaminson, US
          

.
>
>Shooting a person of color wearing a black shirt during an
>event assignment- TTL blew out his skin tone. TTL can get
>confused or understandably so- in my opinion. In fact after
>re-visiting McNally's video he talks about this in several
>different videos.

In that situation iTTL and some negative flash exposure compensation should get you a properly exposed image. Any auto flash mode is going to require some flash exposure compensation with similar subject matter. Personally, I find it simpler to quickly adjust the flash exposure comp than do the calculations for manual flash Ina dynamic situation.

That aside, knowledge is good and you have gotten some excellent recommendations so far. Good luck.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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dspvisuals Registered since 24th Apr 2013Wed 22-May-13 12:17 PM
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#11. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

Hi Russ-
Thanks for your reply, I briefly started reading your blog. But before I would say that I am not using it properly I will give you a for instance- and I will go find the image a bit later and upload it using TTL and using Manual to demonstrate.

Shooting a person of color wearing a black shirt during an event assignment- TTL blew out his skin tone. TTL can get confused or understandably so- in my opinion. In fact after re-visiting McNally's video he talks about this in several different videos.

One reason I want to learn the other flash options is just for this reason, so that I am versed in using which mode in specific situations. I still use and will continue to use TTL I have not found where others use or discuss the different methods, Aperture priority, Non-TTL Auto Flash. My thought is that Nikon have these different modes for a reason- yet I have not learned what they or when they could/should be used.

Thanks-

Doug

  

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djreed Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jul 2008Wed 22-May-13 01:50 PM
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#16. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 11


Downers Grove, US
          

Doug... I know you will enjoy the learning adventure!

Russ.... Thanks for your blog! What a fantastic resource... I will be a regular reader!
Don

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 23-May-13 01:29 PM
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#17. "RE: Learning Nikon Flash"
In response to Reply # 16


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Doug... I know you will enjoy the learning adventure!
>
>Russ.... Thanks for your blog! What a fantastic resource... I
>will be a regular reader!
>Don

You are most welcome!

Russ
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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