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Different ratios within the same group?

NickMilner

Manchester, UK
75 posts

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013
Wed 14-Aug-13 05:10 PM | edited Wed 14-Aug-13 05:10 PM by NickMilner

Hi all, this is half a question and half just me thinking out loud. Either way I'd appreciate the benefit of your experience!

I have two Metz 44 AF-1 flashes which are compatible with Nikon's AWL system but they're hard-wired to Group A (all channels) and can't be changed.

My understanding is that since the two units can only be controlled as a single group my options are somewhat limited if I want to set a ratio between the two. For example, if I want to do over/under clam-shell lighting with a stronger overhead light, or I want monster lighting with a start overhead light and a softer light just on the face, or a classic key/fill combination, or any one of a million other configurations!

- If I use TTL lighting the system will automatically set the power of each flash to evenly light the subject, which isn't necessarily what I want.

- If I set them to manual mode then they will be fixed at the same strength but I can break out the inverse square law and use distance to generate a differential. This could be my only realistic option.

- I could put some kind of barrier in the way of one of the lights to cut down its illumination. Not really a fan of this option.

Are these the only options? Am I missing some flexibility within the AWL system? It would be great if I could set the flashes independently to manual, which would allow me to set different powers on each, and just use the commander to trigger them but I don't think that's possible (as soon as they go into remote mode you lose any way to configure them directly on-flash). This seems like an obvious limitation to me.

In reality I have a little more flexibility because I also have an SB-700 I can set on Group B, but fundamentally I have a maximum of two "tune-able" configurations, especially since both the D7100 and the SB-700 only support two groups so I'd like to see what flexibility I can get within a single group.

Thanks for any advice you may have! Apologies if this question has been asked before - I did a search but couldn't see anything obvious.

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