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Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!

Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Mon 13-May-13 12:49 AM

I just discovered/figured out Auto-FP mode.

Is there anything these cameras can't do???

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mklass

Tacoma, US
7421 posts

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#1. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 0

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 2006
Mon 13-May-13 01:38 AM

Make toast.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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#2. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 1

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Mon 13-May-13 10:55 AM

>Make toast.
>

Searching through the menus now...

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Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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#3. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 2

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Mon 13-May-13 11:02 AM

But in all seriousness, I found myself taking some informal, outdoor portraits over the weekend. I wanted an open aperture to isolate the subject, but the ambient light was way, way too bright for that at 1/250s shutter speed.

Somewhere I remembered reading about this magic "high speed sync" stuff. Looked it up, found the menu, dialed in 1/2000s on the shutter, and proceeded to take a bunch of shots with perfectly exposed fill flash.

Those Nikon guys are pretty smart, eh? I get the feeling these cameras just might catch on.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#4. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 3

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 13-May-13 11:30 AM

As smart as the Nikon engineers are the still they still have not automated composition. It is still a manual hand craft.
Nikon's flash systems are so good it is like cheating. A few SB700 or 900's using wireless CLS iTTL is still envied by every off brand(Canon, Sony, Pentax, Leica etc):-).
Creative use of flash is usually far down the list of priorities for those interested by improving the photos by upgrading bodies.
Lighting and it effective use is not only the cheapest aspect of photography it is also by far the most improvement for time of learning effort investment. Attending a workshop on creative lighting is cheaper and more fun than any new lens or body and makes by far the most difference.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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#5. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 4

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Mon 13-May-13 11:51 AM

>Nikon's flash systems are so good it is like cheating.

Absolutely 100% agree! I'm not sure its even possible to fool Nikon flashes into giving you a bad exposure. Ok, I'm sure its possible to fool Nikon flashes into giving you a bad exposure, but you'd probably have to try pretty hard.

And as someone who has way, way more invested in lighting than camera bodies, I agree with your sentiment entirely. Most of my rig consists of dedicated studio stuff...a bunch of studio strobes, as well as a home-made fluorescent setup designed to mimic Peter Hurley's Kino-Flo stuff. Of course, the big disadvantages of all that are that (a) they don't take advantage of Nikon's magic flash metering stuff and (b) they are woefully non-portable.

The future seems to be in LED gear. I'm thinking about trying out some of that stuff, but I'm also thinking about buying a few more speedlights so I can do more on-location flash work.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#6. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 5

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 14-May-13 09:14 AM

Within a month of getting my dslr,a d90, I designed and built a pair of 600 w/s strobes and large power supply. They work great but after starting my collection of SB900s I have only used the big strobes a couple times. I take the 900s everywhere and use then in daylight as often as night. When you need power however there is no substitute big strobes and modifiers.. it seem the places they are needed most are also a major hassle like at the beach a mile from the nearest road.
New users would be well served to put a sb700 on their list before getting caught up on a cycle of upgrading bodies. They often trade up before really exploring the real capabilities of the camera they already own.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Tucsonmr2

AU
43 posts

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#7. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 6

Tucsonmr2 Registered since 08th Nov 2012
Wed 15-May-13 05:14 AM

so what the hell is AUTO FP for the fools like me scratching their head....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/80080326@N04

DaddySS

Woodcliff Lake NJ, US
1021 posts

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#8. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 7

DaddySS Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 26th Dec 2006
Wed 15-May-13 06:21 AM | edited Wed 15-May-13 06:26 AM by DaddySS

Still scratching....the link takes me to MR2 photos.

Here's Russ' explanation:

http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2008/03/10-auto-fp-high-speed-sync-explained.html

Now I've got it!

Richard

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Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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#9. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 7

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Wed 15-May-13 03:08 PM

It breaks down like this:

These cameras have two-curtain shutters. That means that upon firing the camera, the first shutter curtain is pulled out of the way (thus exposing the sensor), then the second curtain is pulled over the sensor (thus ending the exposure).

Snap, snap. One opens. One closes.

Cool part of that is that at very high shutter speeds, the second ("closing") curtain starts closing before the first ("opening") curtain is fully out of the way. The two curtains work in tandem. The net effect is like having a narrow opening (call it a slit) passing over the sensor.

When you are using a flash, the flash burst only lasts a finite amount of time. POP! Pretty close to instantaneous (although there is a certain amount of "warm up" and "cool down" on the flash element that extends it a slight amount. But for our purposes here, you can think of the flash as being instantaneous. Zero seconds.

The problem comes in when you try to use the flash at high shutter speeds. Since at those speeds only a small sliver of the sensor is exposed at any moment in time, if you apply the flash, you will end up with that sliver getting flashed, while the rest of the sensor does not.

That's what "maximum sync speed" is all about. "Maximum sync speed" (1/250sec on my D7000) is the fastest shutter speed at which the opening curtain is fully out of the way BEFORE the closing curtain starts to close. Its the fastest speed at which the entire sensor is exposed at the same instant. Any faster, and the closing curtain starts before the opening curtain finishes.

That's also what the "rear" flash mode is all about: These cameras give you the option of firing the flash as soon as the opening curtain is out of the way (front flash, which is the standard) or waiting until just before the closing curtain starts to close (hence the name "rear" flash).

Back in the old days (with manual cameras) we would do this by accident from time to time: Run the flash, while forgetting to set the shutter to its "sync" speed. The result was partially black images.

New cameras are electronically controlled, so they don't let us make that mistake anymore. But we still have the problem of only being able to use flash at relatively slow shutter speeds.

This is where Auto-FP mode comes in. What it does is extend the duration of the flash itself so that it can be used with high shutter speeds. Instead of a "zero seconds" flash, you get one that lasts long enough to cover the full period of time from when the opening curtain first opens to when the closing curtain finally closes. Extremely nifty.

In my case, what it allowed me to do was to use fill flash on some outdoor portraits while still running a wide-open aperture (to isolate the subject).

And this Nikon stuff is absolute magic. It couldn't be easier to set up: I put the camera in "M" mode, opened the aperture all the way, then used the viewfinder's light meter to set the shutter speed until the meter read "0". IIRC, I ended up with something like 1/2000s at ISO 100. I was looking at the general direction of the background for my shot at the time. I took a few test shots (no flash), and checked them visually and with the histogram to make sure I liked it.

Then, having turned on Auto-FP mode in the menus, I turned on the flash and took some shots. I ended up deciding on turning down the flash exposure 1/3 stop (hold down the "flash" button on the side and spin the front control wheel) based on a quick visual inspection. Turned out perfect.

That's where Nikon magic is so amazing. You dial in the exposure for everything else, and it just automatically nails the exposure of the flash stuff. I was watching a webinar the other day where a photographer was explaining his flash techniques. He uses manual strobes, and was all about calculating distances and stops and inverse-square law and all that. Nothing wrong with that, but Nikon has already done all of that for you. Just set the flash and BOOM! You about can't help but nail the shot!

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tmcguire17

US
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#10. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 9

tmcguire17 Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Jun 2012
Wed 15-May-13 03:13 PM

Only downside that Ive had with it is it wont work if the flash is not on the camera. Mount my SB800 on the camera perfect take it off no go capped at 250.

Tim

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Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

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#11. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 10

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Wed 15-May-13 03:28 PM

Interesting. I just tried a couple of quick tests with my SB-700 and it seems to work fine combining "Auto-FP" with commander mode.

At least the remote flash fires. I didn't look at the resulting images to see how well they were exposed.

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Skyehammer

Isle of Skye, UK
50 posts

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#12. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 11

Skyehammer Registered since 06th Sep 2013
Thu 25-Sep-14 05:45 PM

This is the sort of thread that forces newbies like myself to learn more about my camera and my flash .
I bought an SB-200 months ago and have never had it on my D7000 up to now , but having read this and then finding more information in one of the 4 books I have on my D7000 , I will certainly go out and give it a go , many thanks for bringing this method to our attention .

Cheers ,

Peter .

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AlGentile

Boca Raton, US
221 posts

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#13. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 9

AlGentile Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Aug 2014
Thu 25-Sep-14 08:35 PM

Just a minor point:

The "FP" in auto-FP stands for Flash Pulse. Actually, the camera fires (or pulses) the flash several times as the 'slit' travels across the sensor. It's not one long pulse; it's multiple shorter pulses.

Al Gentile

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jbloom

Wethersfield, US
7735 posts

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#14. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 13

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Thu 25-Sep-14 11:05 PM

>The "FP" in auto-FP stands for Flash Pulse.

Where did you see that? I've always understood it to mean "flat peak," the characteristic of the flash bulbs used in FP mode on cameras dating back to long before there was electronic flash, and which involved no pulsing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_synchronization#M.2C_F.2C_FP.2C_X_and_HSS_sync

Some people refer to the "FP" as "focal plane" since it's used with focal-plane shutters.

>Actually, the camera fires (or pulses) the flash several times
>as the 'slit' travels across the sensor. It's not one long
>pulse; it's multiple shorter pulses.

Electrically, yes, but the pulses are timed so as to maintain the ionization of the xenon gas for the entire period, so it's effectively a single light pulse lasting for the 1/200 s or so of shutter travel time.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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pistnbroke

UK
213 posts

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#15. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 14

pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012
Fri 26-Sep-14 05:04 AM

I think it means flash program ..but who cares ..set it at 1/320 FP and just leave it on that and go take some pics ....

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AlGentile

Boca Raton, US
221 posts

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#16. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 14

AlGentile Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Aug 2014
Fri 26-Sep-14 10:06 AM

Jon:

I've got to go look that up. It's been a long time since I first heard that. I think it was from a review column that was written with Auto-FP was first offered.

Al Gentile

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tfeazel

Polk City, US
992 posts

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#17. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 12

tfeazel Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2004
Fri 26-Sep-14 10:28 AM

>This is the sort of thread that forces newbies like myself to
>learn more about my camera and my flash .


Well, I'm no newbie, my D700 has 120K shots on it, and I've had lots of cameras over the last 60 years.

This is new territory for me, and it sounds like fun, or is that NAS kicking in?

Tom

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Leonard62

Pa, US
4419 posts

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#18. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 0

Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Writer Ribbon awarded for his contributions to the Nikonians Resources articles library Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009
Fri 26-Sep-14 10:58 AM

The Auto FP mode has been in every camera that supports the CLS system going back to the D200 and D2H. It's pretty much necessary when taking outdoor portraits or in any bright light where slow sync speeds might overexpose or create ghosting. I set up all my cameras to use Auto FP. It's a great feature.

Len

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PSAGuy

Lake Elmo, US
1761 posts

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#19. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 1

PSAGuy Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008
Fri 26-Sep-14 11:04 AM | edited Fri 26-Sep-14 11:05 AM by PSAGuy

>Make toast

My D4 makes it....albeit a bit burned. We are working on that. My wife is jealous.

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16917 posts

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#20. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 16

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Fri 26-Sep-14 11:12 AM

Those of us who have been around a while remember that film cameras often had a choice of flash synchronization. There was typically "X" sync, which worked with electronic flashes, and operated up to 1/60 to 1/250 sec, depending on the camera and its shutter; and there was "FP" sync, which worked with FP class bulbs. The latter were long-burning flash bulbs that enabled you to synch up to 1/1000 or whatever the top speed was of the camera. The "FP" term came from "focal plane", just like Jon mentioned, and arose from the focal plane shutters that needed FP bulbs to work at their highest shutter speed. FP sync is just a modern version of the same idea, but now the flash is pulsed instead of burning for an extended period of time.

Just so I don't appear too old, I only used flash bulbs with an SLR when I was ten. By the time I was eleven, I had moved on to an electronic flash.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

GaryDD

Englewood, US
56 posts

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#21. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 20

GaryDD Registered since 29th Aug 2014
Sat 27-Sep-14 11:52 AM


>Just so I don't appear too old, I only used flash bulbs with
>an SLR when I was ten. By the time I was eleven, I had moved
>on to an electronic flash.

I don't care about old any more. The first electronic flash I saw was about age fifteen. I still have some flashbulbs that look like 300 watt standard clear light bulbs.

Keep calm, and carry a Nikon.

unclemikey

Farmville, US
954 posts

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#22. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 5

unclemikey Registered since 29th Apr 2013
Tue 30-Sep-14 07:05 PM

>>Nikon's flash systems are so good it is like cheating.
>
>Absolutely 100% agree! I'm not sure its even possible to fool
>Nikon flashes into giving you a bad exposure. Ok, I'm sure its
>possible to fool Nikon flashes into giving you a bad exposure,
>but you'd probably have to try pretty hard.
>
>And as someone who has way, way more invested in lighting than
>camera bodies, I agree with your sentiment entirely. Most of
>my rig consists of dedicated studio stuff...a bunch of studio
>strobes, as well as a home-made fluorescent setup designed to
>mimic Peter Hurley's Kino-Flo stuff. Of course, the big
>disadvantages of all that are that (a) they don't take
>advantage of Nikon's magic flash metering stuff and (b) they
>are woefully non-portable.
>
>The future seems to be in LED gear. I'm thinking about trying
>out some of that stuff, but I'm also thinking about buying a
>few more speedlights so I can do more on-location flash work.
>

Omaha, I've been using Auto-FP for a long time but recently bought some LED lights for the studio. Until recently I hadn't thought about using them out doors. Caution, the better kits are expensive but I'm beginning to love them as they simulate my early learning days with hot lighting. Only these stay cool and can be put away as soon as you turn them off. I bought Ikan. I can either plug them in, in the studio or run them from batteries that attach to the back of the unit. Dimmable and Kelvin controlled. I made a set of my own diffusers because the ones I found on line are very expensive.

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unclemikey

Farmville, US
954 posts

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#23. "RE: Wow! Auto FP is the COOLEST!" | In response to Reply # 20

unclemikey Registered since 29th Apr 2013
Tue 30-Sep-14 07:12 PM

>Those of us who have been around a while remember that film
>cameras often had a choice of flash synchronization. There
>was typically "X" sync, which worked with electronic
>flashes, and operated up to 1/60 to 1/250 sec, depending on
>the camera and its shutter; and there was "FP" sync,
>which worked with FP class bulbs. The latter were
>long-burning flash bulbs that enabled you to synch up to
>1/1000 or whatever the top speed was of the camera. The
>"FP" term came from "focal plane", just
>like Jon mentioned, and arose from the focal plane shutters
>that needed FP bulbs to work at their highest shutter speed.
>FP sync is just a modern version of the same idea, but now the
>flash is pulsed instead of burning for an extended period of
>time.
>
>Just so I don't appear too old, I only used flash bulbs with
>an SLR when I was ten. By the time I was eleven, I had moved
>on to an electronic flash.

By the time I was eleven there still were no electronic flashes. LOL

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G