I've owned my D200 for a couple of years now, but mainly used it as a p&s. Now that I'm beginning to use more seriously I'm finding things I don't know!! One of these things relates to flash. Using TTL can I use +/- flash adjustment in conjunction with +/- exposure adjustment please? Will the two work together or am I wasting my time trying? What was happening was I was getting under exposure, but even with maximum compensation it still wasn't right, so I added maximum exposure compensation but was still under exposed? Thanks for any help Max
As far as I know you can use both the normal Exposure Compensation for ambient light along with Flash Exposure Compensation for the light from the flash. However, if you are using the built-in flash, be aware that it is pretty wimpy. The flash range of the built-in flash is fairly short, especially at low ISO values. No matter how much positive Flash Exposure Compensation you dial in, if the flash is already operating at its maximum power it cannot add any additional light.
In order to get better advice from us, it would help if you describe more fully the circumstances under which you are shooting and all the relevant camera settings. In fact, posting an example image would greatly improve the responses you can get.
Hi Richard, Many thanks for your reply. Yes, I realise now that I skimped a bit on info. Unfortunately I delete immediately any images that aren't usable, so as to avoid wasting space. All I can do is to go by memory. In the instance I'm thinking of, I was photographing insects on a plant using the built in flash. The lens was the Nikkor 35-135 3.5-4.5 with TC-210 in macro position. The f stop was 16 I think, and operating distance would have been about 9-10 inches. I put maximum plus on flash, and close to maximum exposure adjustment, and the pics were still under exposed. My impression at the time was that exposure compensation didn't make any difference at all. I may have to buy a seperate flash unit, but even that seems confusing as to which can be used with the D200. I may post a seperate question on this later. If you can think of anything I may have done wrong, then please say. In terms of using this camera, I'm a rank beginner. Cheers Max
1. "...and operating distance would have been about 9-10 inches."
Well, I think I can identify one issue from this. The built-in flash is far enough above the lens that at a working distance of 9-10 inches nearly all of the light from the flash will be directed above the subject. Since little light from the flash is actually hitting the subject, Flash Exposure Compensation will have no effect. When shooting close-ups and macro shots with flash, most photographers use a separate flash on a special bracket that allows pointing the flash at the subject.
2. "The lens was the Nikkor 35-135 3.5-4.5 with TC-210 in macro position. The f stop was 16 I think..."
Just to make sure you are aware... Since the TC-201 doubles the lens focal length, you "lose" 2 stops when it is in place. So if you set your lens to f/16, you are really shooting at f/32. f/32 is a VERY small aperture and will allow little light to reach the sensor. Unless you are shooting in an extremely bright environment, or at an extremely high ISO value, f/32 will require a relatively long shutter speed to register any of the ambient light. Depending on the shutter speed you had selected at the time, even maximum Exposure Compensation may not be enough to reach a "normal" exposure level.
3. " Unfortunately I delete immediately any images that aren't usable..."
Since we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes, you may want to re-think this policy. Flash cards are not very expensive these days and picking up another one so that you can keep the bad shots will help you learn. The camera records a lot of technical data when it captures an image (P, A, S, or M mode; exposure mode; aperture; shutter speed; etc., etc., etc.). Being able to review the technical details for a bad shot (or provide them on a forum such as this one) can be of great value.
Well Richard, your reply has been SO helpful; thanks! You've clearly solved the problem, and now that you have it's obvious! Many thanks again for taking the time to reply; very much appreciated. Cheers Max
Unless your set the camera to spot metering, the flash will be in TTL/BL (balanced fill flash). This may lead to underexposure if you're trying to use the flash as the primary light source. The camera exposure compensation would effect the ambient light exposure which usually means the background exposure, i.e. areas that are not illuminated much by the flash.
You can use any of the recent or new Speedlights on your D200. The older SB-600 & 800, newer SB-700 & 900.
Oh that's brilliant Alan! This seems to explain why I'm getting this problem perfectly. I'll try setting to spot tomorrow, and report back. Once again many thanks! Max p.s. Thanks for the flash info also; I'll look into the models you mention.
Sat 25-Aug-12 12:56 PM | edited Sat 25-Aug-12 03:58 PM by hoverman
OK, reporting back. I changed to spot exposure and had maximum +1 flash compensation, and maximum exposure compensation. I found the pics (similar subject and distance) were better, but still not fully exposed. I took ALL the exposure compensation off, and found no difference at all. I'm including; I hope, a couple of the better exposed pics of a Cinnabar caterpillar - full frame original, and then adjusted crop. I'm pleased with the end result. I spent a lot of time reading about flash guns, which I've not used for about 45 years, especially the Nikon ones above mentioned. I know this is treason, but ended up plumping for a used Metz 58 AF-1 Digital. What most attracted me to this was the provision of a 7 degree downward rake, and swivel head, both of which I feel will be useful for macro work. The unit I'm buying is also much cheaper than the Nikon units. I'll report when I've received and tested. Here hopefully are the pics - ANY comments appreciated. Cheers Max p.s. see crop here: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/389035
If you look at the EXIF data for the image, you will see that even though the flash was used, the return of light from the use of the flash was not detected. This could indicate you are too far from your subject for the flash to provide any contributing light. It also looks like you used a teleconverter.
>If you look at the EXIF data for the image, you will see that >even though the flash was used, the return of light from the >use of the flash was not detected. This could indicate you are >too far from your subject for the flash to provide any >contributing light. It also looks like you used a >teleconverter. Hi there, With that shot I was probably about a foot away, and yes, it was with my TC-201. What does that mean about returned light not detected? Cheers Max
I'm not sure about your lens, but there is a very real possibility that your lens (or lens hood) may be blocking your flash from illuminating the subject. When you shoot close, many times, especially with the built in flash, with it being close to the body, the flash sits low enough that the flash is blocked by the front of the lens. You are using a TC which puts the lens even further out. Kim Western burbs of Chicago